Historic Kindergarten Building in Carroll Gardens Saved from Demolition

Elected officials and community leaders are grateful to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission for listening to the community and protecting 236 & 238 President Street.

Brooklyn, NYC – Local elected officials and community leaders celebrated the preservation of two treasured buildings in Carroll Gardens today, including the first stand-alone kindergarten in Brooklyn, at 236 President Street, which was threatened with demolition. Read more »

Carroll Gardens Rallies to Save Historic Kindergarten Building from Demolition

Brooklyn, NYC – A group of local elected officials, community leaders, residents, and preservation advocates rallied today and called on the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate 236 and 238 President Street in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn as New York City landmarks. The buildings are both historic treasures from the 19th century, and 236 President (the first freestanding kindergarden in Brooklyn) is at immediate risk of being demolished and replaced with an out-of-context 7-story condo building. Read more »

Broken-hearted. And committed to change.

Our neighborhood has been shattered by the horrible and senseless deaths yesterday of 4-year-old Abigail Blumenstein and 18-month-old Joshua Lew. They were were crossing 9th Street at 5th Avenue with their moms, Lauren Lew and Ruthie Ann Miles (Abby’s pregnant mom, who was also hit and remains in the hospital in stable condition). Read more »

Governor Cuomo Has Failed to Deliver a Solution for Plastic Bags (Or Even a Proposal)

“With his failure of leadership, every additional ton of plastic bag waste is on his hands.”

New York City Council Member Brad Lander -- prime sponsor of NYC’s “Bring Your Own Bag” Bill -- issued this statement on the release of the so-called report of Governor Cuomo's NYS Plastic Bag Task Force: Read more »

City Council Members Launch Public Website & Legislation for a New NYC Historic and Cultural Markers Program

Building on the work of the Mayor’s “Monuments Commission,” Council Members Lander, Cumbo, and Van Bramer push to establish a new NYC Historic & Cultural Markers Program, to commemorate a more inclusive set of histories, communities, struggles and sites that shape our city. The Council Members are launching www.AllOurHistoriesNYC.com and introducing legislation to authorize the program.
January 12, 2018
City Hall, NY

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Integrated Kindergarten & Pre-K options in our community


As you settle into the New Year and the bustle of life post-holidays, you may not be thinking about them right at this moment, but the PreK and Kindergarten application process are coming up fast. The Kindergarten application process is already underway (deadline is next Friday, January 12). And the Pre-Kindergarten application process opens on February 5th.

Most families in NYC go to their zoned school for kindergarten, but there several non-zoned options for Pre-K and K at schools that work to foster integrated student communities. We want to make sure that all families are aware of these options.

Bringing kids together across lines of race, class and language is one of the greatest promises of our public schools ... but one that is far from being fulfilled. That’s why I’ve been working for the past several years with advocates, educators and colleagues to fight school segregation (you can read more about that broader work here). This work is urgently necessary if we believe in equality, and research shows it also results in better education for all our kids. Read more »

Snow Day Update

The “bomb cyclone” is hitting NYC a few hours later than predicted – but it’s still likely to have a big impact. The National Weather Service is predicting that 4-8” will fall over the next few hours, and freezing temperatures will be with us for several days. Read more »

An Axe You Break Down Doors With: Some Sparks of Hope for 2018

When my daughter Rosa and I went to Washington DC earlier this month, we thought we were doing it to support my friend Ady Barkan. But it turns out, he was really the one helping us.

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Legislators Announce Proposal for “Mom & Pop Rent Increase Exemption” to Help Save NYC’s Most-Beloved Small Businesses

New York City’s small businesses are increasingly under pressure as commercial rents rise, often facing rent increases upwards of 50 percent, especially when their leases expire. New legislation would create a property tax exemption for landlords who offer independently-owned small businesses a long-term lease with fair increases & a fair renewal clause. This “Mom & Pop Rent Increase Exemption” would save some of NYC’s most-beloved small businesses, preserve retail diversity, and create more livable neighborhoods.
December 15, 2017
New York City

Today, a group of New York elected officials announced their plan to create a new “Mom & Pop Rent Increase Exemption” program to help save some of New York City’s most-beloved small businesses. The program would encourage landlords to enter into long-term, affordable leases, with fair renewal clauses, with mom & pop retailers. Read more »

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