88 Prospect Park West Fire

I have been doing a lot of communicating about troubling developments at the national level, but today I am writing to share about an incident closer to home. This past weekend, a fire broke out in the basement of 88 Prospect Park West, destroying four apartments and temporarily leaving the building without hot water, electricity and plumbing. For now, none of the residents can return to their homes. Read more »

Two Steps This Week Toward A Fairer NYC

As New Yorkers, we believe that everyone should have a fair shot, no matter who they are, or where they live.

This week, the City Council took two steps toward making our city a little more fair. Read more »

The Trump regime is erratic. But we’re staying focused.

Another week, another wild ride.

After Trump’s speech to Congress, some applauded his “Presidential” tone -- as if an hour of reading from the teleprompter was enough to distract from the ongoing bigotry and corruption of this Administration. Read more »

Part of something bigger (see you Monday night for #GetOrganizedBK)

Just one month into the Trump regime, I fear I’m starting to sound like a broken record. Each time we meet, some new darkness -- that we had not even imagined yet -- threatens us.  

For me, this week, that was the desecration of the Chesed Shel Emeth cemetery in University City, MO, where my own grandparents are buried. It is still hard to believe that hatred has risen to the point where even our cemeteries are under attack.

And yet, the power of organized resistance continues to build bridges that heal and inspire. When our Brooklyn neighbor, Women’s March organizer, and friend Linda Sarsour organized Muslim Americans across the country to raise funds to repair the Jewish cemetery, she showed the power of compassion and solidarity to light even this dark hour. Read more »

Statement of NYC Council Member Brad Lander on NYS DEC Commissioner’s Newfound Support for a NYC Plastic Bag Ban

“After failing to weigh in to support NYC’s efforts to reduce plastic bag waste at any point over the past three years, it takes a lot of chutzpah – and very little concern for good public policy – for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner to start telling New York City what we should do. 

Just last week, Governor Cuomo promised to form ‘a statewide task force to develop a uniform state plan for addressing the plastic bag problem’ by the end of this year. Did the task force meet? Did I miss it somehow? Read more »

Inspiration in every act of resistance

After President Trump’s bizarre press conference on Thursday, I’m in need of a new dose of inspiration and action.

Trump promised to push forward with plans to bar immigrants and refugees and to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Amidst many attacks on the press, he angrily ignored the respectful-to-a-fault question of an Orthodox Jewish reporter from Brooklyn who simply asked about the spike in anti-Semitic incidents (like the two our #NotInOurCity working group highlighted in their most recent vigil). Meanwhile, the growing ICE raids are terrorizing immigrant families, despite the sanctuary our cities are working to offer.

Fortunately, inspiration and action are not hard to find. Read more »

Statement of Council Members Brad Lander and Margaret Chin on Albany's Pre-Emption of NYC's Bring Your Own Bag Law

"We fought plastic bags, and for now, plastic bags won. They are stubborn and toxic forms of solid waste. They never biodegrade, so they pollute our trees, oceans, and landfills forever. And they are hard to dislodge from the State Legislature, too.  Read more »

Help #CLOSERikers & Design a More Effective & Humane Jail System

For decades, Rikers Island has been marked by violence, corruption, and the needless destruction of human lives. Over 75,000 New Yorkers cycle through Rikers Island every year. 80% of the people detained on Rikers are New Yorkers that have not yet been found guilty of a crime. They are simply too poor to make bail while they await trial. Nine-of-ten of those detained at Rikers Island are people of color. Read more »

Nevertheless, they persisted. We will, too.

I was distressed to wake up this morning to news of ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) raids in cities across the country.

Our Local Progress colleague Greg Casar, a city council member in Austin, TX reached out to let me know about raids taking place in his community. Greg has led the way in making Austin (and the surrounding Travis County) into a sanctuary city, refusing to hand over immigrants in local jails to ICE for possible deportation.

The Washington Post reported raids in at least 6 states last night. It’s clear that many of those rounded up have no criminal records. The result: “panic and terror … running through many immigrant communities,” according to Make the Road NY. And that, of course, that is exactly what the Trump regime is aiming for. Read more »

Overwhelming Support for NYC’s "Bring Your Own Bag Bill" // Request for Governor Cuomo to Veto Pre-Emption

New York's environmental and climate justice groups, labor unions, good government organizations, local elected officials around NYS, business leaders & editorial boards overwhelmingly support New York City’s "Bring Your Own Bag Law" and urge Governor Cuomo to veto state legislation (A.4883/S.4158) which would unfairly pre-empt NYC's new law. Read more »

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