Honoring Dr. King's Legacy

MLK Day always serves as an inspiration -- not only in the deeds and words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, but also of those working to further his legacy -- and as a reminder of how far we have to go to achieve racial and economic justice in our society. Read more »

John Jay High School, and some hard truths

The NYC Department of Education is proposing changes to the John Jay High School campus in Park Slope (which currently houses the Secondary Schools of Law, Journalism, and Research). DOE’s proposal is to bring in a new, fourth school – Millennium Brooklyn, a selective high school, with priority given to students who reside in Brooklyn, as well as an inclusion program for students with autism – and to phase out the middle school programs at the Secondary Schools of Law and Journalism (they would continue as high schools).

The proposed changes raise a series of challenging issues. I believe it is important to be honest about the hard truths of race, class, inequality, and education that the situation at John Jay highlights. My testimony tonight will seek to address these truths, and to make recommendations to the DOE.

Read more »

Blizzard Cleanup Report and Hearings

Tomorrow morning, the City Council will be holding its first hearing to examine why the City's cleanup efforts after the December 26th blizzard were so much worse than in past storms, and what must be done to address these failures going forward. If you are interested, you can watch the hearing live. Read more »

Service suspensions on the F/G line in Kensington/Windsor Terrace

Many of you have contacted my office today after learning abruptly that Queens-bound F/G service will be suspended at the Fort Hamilton Parkway and 15th Street stations for the next five months.

This is part of a necessary project to rehabilitate the F/G line. But the MTA did not do enough outreach to provide advance notice and has not offered adequate alternative service. I will be working immediately to push the MTA to provide better alternative service during the project.

I am calling upon the MTA to implement regular shuttle bus service (at least at rush hour) or to extend and expand the service of nearby bus lines. I have been in touch with MTA officials to suggest these kinds of alternatives, and will continue to strongly urge the MTA to implement them.

Read more »

In the Press: Cruise Ships Docked at Red Hook Terminal 'Choking Brooklyn,' Community Leaders Say

Brad speaking at Shore Power press conference
New York Daily News

Cruise ships docked in Brooklyn are spewing tons of noxious fumes into the air, and a fix is bogged down in two years of bureaucratic nonsense, officials and community leaders complained Monday.

Cruise ships that dock at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook have to run on diesel because there's no way for them to plug into the electric grid.

Government agencies have pledged $15 million to build an electric system, known as shore power. But the Port Authority, which owns the property, and the city Economic Development Corp., which runs the terminal, are still fighting over who should have to pay to maintain it.

"We've had two years of idling ships and idling negotiations," said City Councilman Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn). Read more »

Putting the Bush-era tax breaks to work for New York

It’s been a busy few days in Washington. I’m thrilled about the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the one-year extension of unemployment benefits to the millions of Americans who can’t find work in these difficult times.

But I remain very disappointed with the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts to the wealthiest households in the U.S. This is terrible public policy. It comes at a time of growing income concentration, will do little to stimulate the economy, and increase the deficit in order to put more money in the pockets of millionaires. Read more »

Community Survey Results on Prospect Park West Reconfiguration

Councilmembers Brad Lander and Stephen Levin and Brooklyn Community Board 6 released the findings of their community survey on the new traffic configuration and two-way bike lane on Prospect Park West.

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In the Press: Progressive Caucus Applauds Study by Center for American Progress on the Benefits of Higher Wage Standards

Press release

New York, NY - Members of the New York City Council Progressive Caucus hailed today’s release by the Center for American Progress of “Creating Good Jobs in Our Communities: How Higher Wage Standards Affect Economic Development and Employment.” The Progressive Caucus welcomed the study’s findings, and called for passage of two key pieces of legislation to insure that taxpayer-funded subsidies in New York City are used to create good jobs. The study is available here.  Read more »

In the Press: NYC Needs a Responsible Banking Act

Huffington Post

Go to the Huffington Post website to read the full post

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I had the chance to see Inside Job – Charles Ferguson's stinging indictment of the financial sector surrounding the global financial crisis of 2008. It left me angry once again about how the explosion of predatory lending, combined with all the wrong incentives in the financial sector, stripped millions of families of their life savings, led to the financial meltdown, and cost millions of jobs around the world.  And also disappointed about how little real financial reform there has been since then, and how bleak the outlook for meaningful change in Washington is right now.

At the local level, though, we have the opportunity to take a meaningful step forward.  A NYC Responsible Banking Act would require banks that want to make money by holding on to the City of New York's cash to put forward a new generation of strategic plans and reports for how they are meeting the credit needs of our communities.

Read more »

Shop local this holiday season

7th Ave. Park Slope

I hope you had a safe and happy Thanksgiving with friends and loved ones. In addition to a great meal with family, my daughter Rosa and I had the chance to deliver Thanksgiving meals to some homebound seniors, and to remember just how grateful we are for our many blessings.

One of the many things that I'm thankful for in our neighborhoods are our local, independent businesses. As the holiday shopping season begins, I hope you'll do as much of it as you can with small businesses here in Brooklyn. Read more »

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