Protecting our democracy. On Monday, and every day.

We are living through a time when the basic features of our democracy feel under threat.

When the former FBI director reports that he wrote memos after every meeting with the President, because he expected him to lie. When the evidence is mounting that the President obstructed justice, to prevent an investigation into whether his campaign colluded with a foreign country to undermine our election.   Read more »

#GetOrganizedBK Leader Highlight: Jen Friedlin

Jen Friedlin at Free Press Rally in February. 

Every week, we'll be highlighting a #GetOrganizedBK leader to show you insight on the actions they're planning, the work they're doing, and more. These will be highlighted in our weekly #GetOrgBK newsletters.  Read more »

Here’s what your neighbors are saying about Gowanus. What about you?

“The historic landmark bridge is fantastic – one of my favorite parts of the neighborhood.”

 “A volunteer-run emerging office complex with gallery & studio space, plus woodworking, printmaking & metal shops for artists and fabricators. Cool stuff happens here.” Read more »

A few highlights from NYC’s FY 2018 budget

After months of negotiation and advocacy, the City Council voted today to approve the $85.2 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2018.

In Washington DC, Trump & the GOP have proposed budget cuts that would abandon the most vulnerable Americans, undermine public education, and neglect public infrastructure. In NYC, we will not go along with Trump-led austerity. Our budget invests in our communities, in our kids, in our seniors, in the public and social infrastructure that our city rests upon. Read more »

A remarkable educator, helping kids (including this one) be their best selves

It’s not easy for any of us – at least, I know it’s not for me – to make changes in who we are, to build our muscles of empathy and compassion, to grow into our better selves. And there’s a big debate about whether “character” can or should be taught in our public schools.

My mom’s remarkable career as a public elementary school guidance counselor leaves me no doubt that it can and should. As she retires this month, I want to take a minute to appreciate the enormous difference she’s made in the lives of thousands of kids and families. Including my own. Read more »

Statement of City Council Members Brad Lander & Ritchie Torres on the NYC Department of Education’s Plan for “Diversity In NYC’s Public Schools”

June 6, 2017
New York, New York

The Department of Education’s “Diversity in NYC’s Public Schools” plan is a serious start to a decades-overdue effort to curb school segregation in New York City. We have a long way to go to achieve systemic change. Read more »

We won’t let him destroy our kids’ planet (or their country).

Some things we want for our kids: A good education. Their health. A country they can be proud of. A planet to live on.

Who knew we’d be battling the President just to preserve their basic democratic inheritance? It’s “covfefe” (in my youth we called it “fubar”).

By leaving the Paris Climate Accord, Trump is not just spitting on the rest of the world (though he is doing that, to be sure, since the U.S. is the largest historic emitter of greenhouse gases). He is playing Russian roulette (pun very much intended) with our kids’ future.   

We can’t let him do it. Read more »

Council Members Push to Reform NYC’s Capital Projects Management

New issue brief shows 44% of projects severely late, 42% severely over budget. City Council legislation seeks fundamental reform.
May 25, 2017
New York

In the wake of ongoing City Council attention to the weaknesses in NYC’s capital projects management system, Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and Deputy Leader for Policy Brad Lander, along with Council Members Mark Levine, Andy Cohen, Ritchie Torres, and James Vacca, released an issue brief further highlighting the problem, and announced a package of legislation to reform the City’s system for managing capital projects. Read more »

A fair work week for New Yorkers

Nearly five years ago, fast-food workers in Downtown Brooklyn went out on strike for a few hours -- and they sparked a national movement.

Their demand, “$15 and a union,” was dismissed as crazy at the time. But by demanding dignity, by organizing, by their courage, they made it possible. Since then, more than 22 million Americans have benefited from state & local increases in the minimum wage … and more than 10 million (including all low-wage workers in NYC) are on the path to earning $15/hour. Read more »

Join the Student Demonstration for Integration this Saturday. You won’t find better inspiration for justice.

This time of year, as graduations approach, I always get a little teary-eyed about the power of public education (and this year will be worse than usual, with my kids graduating from middle-school and high-school).

Public education is the foundation of our democracy. We put our tax dollars to work -- the biggest share of our spending in NYC by far -- for the concept that all our kids are created equal, and should have equal opportunity to fulfill their potential. Read more »

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