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Pine Hills resident strives for a better neighborhood

February 26, 2010

by Chelsea Kruger

ALBANY, NY – Building relationships between older residents and the college students in the Pine Hills area is one of the ambitious goals Leah Golby plans to complete during her first four years as the 10th ward Common Councilwoman.

Elected in January of this year, Golby intends on making her zone of the Pine Hills a more neighborly neighborhood by becoming a member of the Albany Common Council and bringing her community closer together. She feels as though she is connected with the residents of her jurisdiction, the 10th ward, which lies in a majority of the Pine Hills and endeavors to improve the relationships between the residents themselves.

“I represent people of my area,” said Golby, in an interview.

Golby became better acquainted with her surrounding neighbors while campaigning for the Albany Common Council in the summer of 2009. The New York City native strives to connect the population of Pine Hills, believing that currently there is a “transient population of students” that “lacks community cohesion.”  While visiting residents on a door-to-door basis, Golby found that many neighbors weren’t in fact being neighborly to others, specifically the student population.

Golby understands the void between students and families in the area, having been a student at the University at Albany  in the late 1980s and now, living in the Pine Hills. She inhabited an off-campus apartment on Morris Street from 1987 to 1988 while attending UAlbany,  and was awarded a degree in theater.

“One of the issues in the 10th ward is between the long-term residents and the student community,” said Golby.

She plans on appointing block captains who would try and unite the residents, especially when new students move into the area.

“I’m very glad she’s on our Common Council,” said Fiona Thompson, a Pine Hills resident who also worked on Golby’s campaign. “She has a lot of good ideas about the neighborhood. . . She’s interested in what people have to say.”

While planning on improving the neighborhood, Golby still enjoys living in the Pine Hills. She has lived in the area since 2001 and owns her home on Myrtle Avenue. She is currently renting her downstairs apartment to a female tenant.

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