Empowering and supporting people to build stronger communities a block at a time.
A Block at a Time (ABAAT) is a non-partisan community group. We do not endorse candidates or legislation and work very hard to create a safe space for everyone free to voice their concerns. We strive to empower community members to work together to identify and implement reasonable solutions that help everyone.
Based on the concept of Nano-Communities, developed by Dannielle Hille, which acknowledges that the bigger picture is made up of all the little pieces working together. In this concept Albany is the Macro-Community, the Neighborhoods are Micro-Community and the individual blocks of the Neighborhoods are the Nano-Communities. It’s grassroots community building from the ground up. If every block is working to improve itself then the neighborhood is improving and if the neighborhood is improving then the city is improving.
So how do we accomplish this? Its easier then you think all you have to do is work towards improving your block. Identify issues and take the necessary steps to work to correct those issues. Meet your neighbors and learn what issues they have identified, then work with them to address those issues. Know that you are not alone. There are others in your community who are working towards the improving the community and you can reach out for assistance. Connect with your Common Council Person, community leader and other invested parties.
Always remember we are all working towards the same goal, improving our community one issue or block at a time. The Nano-Communities make up the Micro-Communities which make up the Macro-Community. Every little piece makes a difference!
ABAAT was created in 2013 by Dannielle Hille to help her both address issues on her block and provide information that other residents could access. Talking to the neighbors, Dannielle realized that residents would complain to each other but nothing would get to the people who can correct the issue. She also found a lack of community participation. To ensure transparency she purchased www.abaat.org and began posting the issues and responses.
Fast-forward to March 16, 2019 and the incident of excessive use of force by the Albany Police Department (APD) over a noise complaint. Dannielle felt this was the right time to start addressing larger issues. She called Zach Garafalo and Jonathan Capra and together they devised an immediate response to the March 16th incident. Utilizing ABAAT’s platform, they with the APD Chief, acquired the Arbor Hill Community Center Gym and rallied the community to come out and speak directly to APD Chief and Command staff. They expanded the meeting to a series which included the President of the Citizens Police Review Board, Ivy Morris, and District Attorney David Soares. The meetings were a success and we stated planning for the future.
Since then ABAAT has branched out to address larger scale issues within the city. In June 2020, ABAAT incorporated in New York as a not-for-profit. We are currently pending our designation from the IRS.