A traffic light that shines more brightly than usual

New stoplight at Caton Avenue and E. 8th Street

We usually take stop-lights for granted. We stop-on-red, go-on-green, yield-to-pedestrians in the crosswalk, and don’t think too much about it. But the installation of the new traffic-light at Caton Avenue and E. 8th Street signals something bigger: our sorrow at the loss of a young man, and our commitment to do something about it. Read more »

Brooklyn Elected Officials, LGBT Community Groups Issue Statement in Response to the Attack of a Transgender Individual on 7th Ave and 9th Street in Park Slope

Council Member Brad Lander; Council Member Carlos Menchaca; Floyd Rumohr, Executive Director of Brooklyn Community Pride Center; Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn; and Brooklyn Pride, Inc. issued the following statement regarding the attack of a transgender individual in Park Slope on Friday, May 13:

“Our community is both outraged and deeply saddened to see a hate-fueled anti-LGBT attack in our own backyard, and our hearts go out to the individual who was so brutally attacked in broad daylight on 7th Avenue and 9th Street in Park Slope last Friday. All New Yorkers, of all gender-identities, have the right to express themselves and we refuse to let such horrific intolerance occur on our streets.

Our neighborhood has long been known for embracing the diversity that makes Brooklyn such a vibrant place to live and we will not take lightly any act of violence that threatens the inclusive community we’ve all built together. At a time when transgender individuals face systematic statewide persecution in other parts of the country, horrifying events like this attack stand as reminders of the many intolerances and injustices facing the transgender community right here in New York. Read more »

Statement of Council Member Brad Lander on the NYC Independent Budget Office’s Review of the 421-a “Extended Affordability Benefit”

Thank you to the Independent Budget Office for evaluating the impact of the “Extended Affordability Benefit” (EAB) provision of the recent 421-a legislation. Over the years, I have worked hard to reform New York’s 421-a property tax-exemption, long a for-too-generous giveaway to developers for far-too-little affordable housing. Read more »

Brooklyn Elected Officials Release Joint Statement Regarding MTA’s Proposal for F Train Express Service

Council Member Brad Lander, Council Member Stephen Levin, State Senator Daniel Squadron, State Senator Jesse Hamilton, State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, State Senator Kevin S. Parker, and Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon released the following statement regarding the MTA’s Proposal for Express Service along the F line in Brooklyn:

“We are extremely dismayed by the utter lack of process on the part of the MTA regarding proposed new F-Express service between Church Avenue and Jay St-MetroTech stops in Brooklyn. The proposed service change harms more people than it helps, ignores our request for increased service, and pits Brooklyn residents against each other, creating ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ without sufficient information or dialogue.

We made clear from the start that we could only support an F-Express if overall service was increased on the F line and riders at local stops were not harmed. The MTA promised to share information with the community before making a decision – including information about what service increase would be needed to avoid harming riders at local stations. Read more »

Big News about the Carroll and Columbia Street Intersection

I’m writing to let you know that our efforts to improve pedestrian safety at the intersection of Carroll and Columbia Streets have paid off. Thank you to those of you who signed our petition. 

Today, NYC DOT announced their plan to install a traffic signal at the intersection. DOT has said they tentatively plan to install the traffic signal in September.

This is great news for everyone in Columbia Waterfront who is tired of risking their lives every time they cross the street, and will go a long way towards getting cars to slow down when they speed off the BQE and into our residential neighborhoods. Read more »

Date Change for PTA Fun Run --May 14th

Due to a permit mishap, we need to move the Brooklyn PTA 5K Fun Run to Saturday May 14th. The race will start at 10 am (8:45 am check-in).

I’m terribly sorry for the last minute switch... and I hope that many families and school teams can still join us on Saturday the 14th. We know how hard so many of you have worked to build your teams! 

Registrations that have already been made will count toward school team totals even if you cannot make the new date.  We hope everyone will keep their registration in order to benefit our PTAs, but if you have questions please email vsell [at] council [dot] nyc [dot] gov  and PTArunfortheschools [at] gmail [dot] comRead more »

Springtime in Gowanus: Big steps forward toward a healthier canal

At the end of 2015, I wrote to you with a (rather in depth) update on the Gowanus Canal cleanup. I’m happy to report that, this month, we took another big step forward toward a healthier canal. We are also working hard to involve community members in the cleanup efforts

As part of the Superfund cleanup process, the EPA has required that the City of New York construct two large sewage retention tanks in Gowanus—in order to dramatically reduce the amount of sewage that flows into the canal when it rains. On April 15, the EPA and the City announced a proposed agreement on the location of those tanks: an eight-million gallon tank will be built on privately-owned property along the Canal, between Butler and Degraw Streets, and a smaller four-million gallon tank will be located on a City-owned property at 2nd Avenue and 5th Streets. Read more »

Local Elected Officials Welcome EPA/DEP Agreement on Gowanus CSO Retention Tanks

For Immediate Release                                                                                              April 22, 2016


Local Elected Officials Issue Statement Welcoming Agreement between U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and NYC Department of Environmental Protection on Gowanus CSO Retention Tanks:

Will Dramatically Reduce Sewage Flowing Into the Canal While Fully Preserving Thomas Greene Park and Increasing Open Space

BROOKLYN, NY -- In advance of a public meeting on Monday, April 25, New York City Council Member Brad Lander, New York City Council Member Stephen Levin, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, and New York State Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon, issued the following statement:

"We welcome the agreement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on the location of two sewage and stormwater retention tanks in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Construction of these two large retention tanks is an essential component of the Gowanus Canal Superfund cleanup, to reverse over a century of environmental degradation and neglect that made the Gowanus Canal one of the most contaminated water bodies in the country. Together, the two retention tanks will achieve an estimated reduction of 58 to 78 percent of the combined sewage discharges (CSO) that flow into the Gowanus Canal today. Read more »

And the winners are … the 2016 PBNYC results

The PBNYC vote results are in! I’m pleased to announce that we had our highest turnout in five years of PBNYC voting -- both here in District 39 and across New York City. In our district, 3100 people voted this year, coming out to take part in expanding democracy and support our neighborhoods.

Residents from across our district turned out in big numbers to vote at schools and community spaces and at pop-up locations in parks and plazas. We held polling places at the mosques in Kensington, at the senior-centers, at a very rainy Little League parade, and at the First Saturday event at the Brooklyn Museum. We even had a mobile station making its way around our neighborhoods hooked up to the back of a bike! And with a whole second ballot of “programming” projects, we opened up an entirely new voting opportunity for the first time this year. 

After five very successful years of PBNYC in our district, it’s remarkable to see how this idea has taken off across the city. This year 28 districts participated (up from just four when we started) and tens of thousands of New Yorkers voted citywide. It was a great year for PBNYC. Read more »

Majority of City Council Members Join Climate Justice Leaders, Community-Based Groups and Students to Support Amended Bill to Reduce Plastic Bag Waste


Charge for single-use bags reduced to 5 cents. Broad coalition now in support of passing amended legislation for Earth Day 2016

CITY HALL - A majority of City Council Members have signed onto Intro 209-A, a bill to dramatically reduce single-use plastic and paper bag waste in New York City. The bill’s co-sponsors, Council Members Brad Lander, Margaret Chin and Antonio Reynoso, joined fellow elected officials, environmental leaders, climate justice groups, community-based organizations, and elementary school students from neighborhoods across NYC to rally for passage of the amended bill.

New Yorkers throw away more than 9 billion plastic bags each year, over 91,000 tons of solid waste sent to landfills, at a cost of over $12.5 million. The bags, which are made of petroleum and take millions of years to decompose, get stuck in trees, litter streets and beaches, clog storm drains and recycling equipment, and become part of giant islands of plastic sludge in our oceans

Read more »

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