In the Press: Gym-nastic! PS 39 gets its recreation space back

Parents at PS 39 rallied and got the city to renew a lease with a neighboring gym.
The Brooklyn Paper
07/02/2010

The city has come up with the money to retain a Park Slope elementary school’s gym program that had been threatened by bureaucratic stinginess.

Parents at PS 39, a historic school on Sixth Avenue that’s too small to have its own gym, raised a ruckus last week when the city refused to renew a lease on a neighboring gym space because the operators of the space, the Camp Friendship Youth Program, sought to raise the rent from $48,000 to $67,850.

“Many PS 39 parents contacted my office and it’s fantastic that they were making their voices heard,” said Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope), who helped mediate the negotiations. “And Camp Friendship showed a lot of flexibility, so it’s a win-win for everyone.” Read more »

Citizen of the Week: Veronica Guzman

This week, our office is pleased to honor Veronica Guzman, whose contributions to PS 230 and the Kensington community have touched many lives in significant ways. Her commitment to helping children and their families makes her our choice for Citizen of the Week.

New York City Budget Approved

After months of negotiations, the City Council voted today to approve the Fiscal Year 2011 budget for the City of New York. Considering the very difficult fiscal circumstances we are facing, and the deep cuts the Mayor had initially proposed to many essential services, the final budget is not nearly as bad as it could have been.

Celebrating democracy with our newest 9th, 6th, and 1st graders!

Amidst the sometimes-frustrating scrum of City budget negotiations last week, I had a great counterweight: public school graduations ... My teary-eyed takeaway is this: public education is the crown jewel of local democracy.

Making the region's ports more environmentally sustainable

Earlier this month, at my request, the Waterfronts Committee in the City Council held a hearing on ways to improve air quality at the ports in New York harbor. We heard testimony from the Port Authority, the NYC Economic Development Corp, neighbors of the port, truckers, environmental advocates, and waterfront advocates. During my campaign, I made a promise to advance policies to make our port the greenest on the East Coast, and this was the beginning of that effort.

In the Press: DOE may leave students hungry

New York Daily News
06/24/2010

The Department of Education is ending its practice of giving every student a free lunch without their parents having to prove their need - and 35 borough schools are on the list. DOE will require parents to apply for free meals each year, instead of every four years, and only qualified students will get them. Opponents said DOE's plan would reduce the number of free meals provided to students who need them most. "Unfortunately, there are families who should apply for free lunches but don't do it," said Councilman Brad Lander (D-Red Hook). "This means that low income kids would go hungry." Read more »

Citizen of the Week: Alicia Kershaw

Alicia Kershaw
Alicia and her fellow organizers founded Gallop NYC in 2005. They were inspired by “the power of horses” and their ability to heal. Alicia wants to reach as many people as possible and wants to spread the joy of therapeutic horseback riding. This week we honor Alicia Kershaw as Citizen of the Week for her outstanding contribution to our community’s disabled people through therapeutic horseback riding and for providing them with fun and hope.

Columbia Waterfront Update

Dear Columbia Waterfront Neighbors: I wanted to share with you some quick updates on a few neighborhood issues that affect the area along the Columbia Street Waterfront:

In the Press: Seniors Enjoy Free Walking at Park Slope Armory

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
06/10/2010

Starting on Wednesday, June 16, the YMCA Sports Complex at the Park Slope Armory will open its doors for Senior Citizens to enjoy free walking time on their beautiful indoor 200-meter track. The free program will run Monday and Wednesday mornings from 9 to 10 a.m. The June kick-off for the program allows for participants to get inside from the heat and the free walking time will continue year-round.

In the Press: Elected Officials, City, Clash Over Living Wage Study-to-Be

New York Observer
06/08/2010

Tensions are rising over living wage. The Bloomberg administration's plan to study the effects of living wage laws came under attack today from a set of Council members and City Comptroller John Liu, who called the effort a "sham." In addition, nine Council members wrote a letter to Economic Development Corporation president Seth Pinsky asking him to take a more objective approach, given that the Bloomberg administration has repeatedly voiced opposition to many living wage requirements. "I welcome informative data that helps us make decisions, but given that the city has already indicated that it is skeptical of this policy, how can we be confident that the study will be objective and independent?" Councilman Brad Lander said today via phone. Read more »

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