Sorority grads hold meeting to address troubled family court buildings

The sorry state of the family court facilities in Yonkers and New Rochelle will be the topic of a morning meeting hosted by the graduate chapters of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority in Westchester County on Saturday, Oct. 29.

The sorority will host a legislative forum from 9 to 11 a.m. at the YWCA in White Plains, 515 North Street. The forum will address social justice and human rights concerns at the family court sites, which a state report last year called “among the worst in New York state.” The report, by the Office of Court Administration, detailed overcrowding, lack of parking, security problems and accessibility violations among the problems.

It also cited potentially dangerous scenarios, such as having people in heated legal battles ride elevators together before going through metal detectors, and urged “immediate action” to address the situation. More than a year later, county legislators are still reviewing options. By law, counties must provide adequate space for courts to conduct business.

The Yonkers Family Court has been housed since 1979 in a corner office building at 53 S. Broadway shared by a Rent-A-Center store and the former Yonkers Diner. The smaller family court in New Rochelle, at 420 North Ave. since 1985, shares the building and a parking lot with other businesses. Together they cost taxpayers $1 million a year in rent.

Elected officials have been invited and the forum, which is being billed as nonpartisan and open to the public. A continental breakfast will be served starting at 8:30 a.m. For more information, contact Barbara Wiggins at 997-7491.