For Veterans Day & Beyond: A Challenge

Amidst the pain and division we are feeling in the country, I am grateful for the opportunity of Veterans Day to unify in gratitude to people who have served our country. While there will be much work ahead to defend core American ideals, we honor those who have given their service and their lives for them.

From the Maryland 400, whose 240th anniversary of sacrifice we observed in August, who gave their lives in what Washington called “an hour more precious to liberty than any other,” to the wars of our generation, we owe our veterans our deep gratitude – but also something much more tangible than that.

I’m proud that NYC has established a new Department of Veterans Services, under the leadership of Ret. Brigadier General Loree Sutton.

But we’ve got a lot more to do.
Read more »

Don't Just Mourn. Organize.

Before going to sleep early this morning, I wrote (borrowing the legendary last words of union organizer Joe Hill): “Don’t Mourn. Organize.”

On a few hours sleep, I’ll amend that: Mourn. This is a nightmare, with very real consequences. But then, seriously, organize.

That’s not some polly-anish advice. Just sad and practical reality.

It was so hard to wake up and have to tell your kids the news that Donald Trump won. Far worse, of course, in families that include immigrants, Muslims, women, and other groups who were the targets of Trump’s attacks … and are now rightly worried about what the future holds. The disappointment in the eyes of our daughters was heartbreaking. And the results make us question many things about the country we thought we live in.

So a little mourning is necessary. Mourning is rooted in love and compassion for others, so it’s a good place to start.  

But not to stop.

We have an obligation to do all we can to defend the things we know are right, protect those who are vulnerable, stand together in organized resistance, and to fight for the future we believe in. Read more »

Get Out And Vote (and with enthusiasm, even)

After what seems like an eternity … Election Day is finally here.

Polls in New York are open tomorrow from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. You can use nyc.pollsitelocator.com to find your polling place.

In addition to the Presidential race, don’t forget to vote in the other federal, state, and local races on the ballot (you may need to turn your ballot over for them).

If you have trouble voting … Read more »

Saving our supermarket: great news about the 5th Avenue Key Food site

Last year, our community received a real jolt, when we learned that a developer planned to demolish the 5th Avenue Key Food, North Park Slope’s main supermarket, and replace it with mixed-income housing and new retail.

Residents quickly organized, and more than 400 people turned out to make our voice heard loud and clear: we are not anti-development, but we can’t lose the only large, affordable, community supermarket in our neighborhood. After that meeting, I worked with the Fifth Avenue Committee to convene a strong stakeholder coalition of neighborhood organizations, community leaders, and elected officials – and the developer (Avery Hall Investments, or AHI) agreed to negotiate with us.

On Tuesday night, we announced the results of months of negotiations, and I think you’ll agree that it is a big win for our community: Read more »

Advocates & Elected Officials Launch Campaign for an Elevator to Make the 7th Avenue F/G Subway Station Accessible to All

Call on MTA to Improve Station Access for Seniors, People With Disabilities, Hospital Patients, and Families with Strollers. “Age-Friendly Park Slope” Advocates Include Robert Carroll, Brad Lander, Good Neighbors of Park Slope, and the Park Slope Center for Successful Aging.

BROOKLYN, NY –Wednesday morning, outside a stairway leading down to the 7th Ave F/G line subway station, advocates, elected officials, and senior organizations throughout Park Slope announced the start of a new campaign to improve station accessibility at the 7th Ave F/G station, by funding a new elevator. They committed to dedicate available discretionary capital funding, and to push the MTA to prioritize and provide funding for an elevator at the 7th Ave station. Read more »

Some thoughts on the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy

The fourth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy arrives at a time when we are in dire need of some reminders: of the urgency of confronting climate change, and the power of collective action to bring the changes we need. Read more »

The NYC Council just helped protect freelancers from getting stiffed

Over one million New Yorkers work as freelancers or independent contractors. Unfortunately, most of them -- over 70% according to a Freelancers Union survey -- have been cheated out of payments that they’ve earned.

People like Mauricio Niebla, part of a group of 30 writers and editors cheated out of a total of $400,000 by a national publishing company.

Like Just Raymona, a pattern-maker from the Bronx, who paid the people she owed out of her savings when she was stiffed, but couldn’t pay her own rent or phone bill.

Like Ellen Sandles, who told us of persistent problems facing freelance court reporters, and Jessica Perez, who described rampant abuses in the modeling industry.

Today at the New York City Council we made history by passing new a law to make sure they get paid on-time and in full for their work. Read more »

In Landmark Victory, Millions of NYC Gig Economy Workers Win Wage Theft Protections

Historic Law First in the Nation to Extend Social Safety Net to Growing US Independent Workforce

Supported by Freelancers Union & Introduced by NYC Council Member Brad Lander, ‘Freelance Isn’t Free’ Act Could Serve as Model for Cities Across Country

New York – In a landmark victory for the nation’s 55 million independent workers, the New York City Council today passed the “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act – first-of-its-kind legislation that extends the social safety net and provides millions of NYC freelancers with unprecedented wage theft protections. The bill (Intro. 1017-C), supported by Freelancers Union and introduced by NYC Council Member Brad Lander, is a milestone moment for the gig economy and freelancers’ rights. The law could have national implications by serving as a model for other cities to follow. Read more »

Senior discounts (and more) for Park Slopers

This week was the official kick-off for Age Friendly Park Slope a new partnership to make Park Slope a more welcoming community to age-in-place. We launched this project by recognizing 60 small businesses throughout our neighborhood that offer age-friendly shopping experiences. That includes features like accessible entrances, available bathrooms, and in many cases new discounts for seniors. You can read more about this new initiative, and hear from some of the businesses participating in News 12DNA InfoBKLYNER, and Patch.

To see the list of small business that have been recognized, and the discounts being offered download the full brochure here (or scroll down), and keep an eye out for “Age Friendly Park Slope” window stickers at local businesses throughout our neighborhood. Read more »

Ennis Playground Reconstruction

Ennis Playground is a well-loved neighborhood park in the heart of Gowanus -- between 11th and 12th Streets, and Second and Third Aves -- but it hasn't seen public investment in many years. Thanks to the advocacy of many neighbors, the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, and the Gowanus Alliance, Ennis Playground will be getting a full upgrade. I was happy to allocate $1.85 million to make a renovation possible, together with Borough President Eric Adams. Read more »

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