13 Projects That Could Transform Your Neighborhood

The participatory budgeting vote is only a few weeks away, and I hope we can count on you to be part of it. Pledge to vote between April 14th and 19th and decide which of the outstanding projects, developed by your neighbors, will help transform your community. (Voting times and locations are on my website.)

After months of working hard to turn your ideas into reality, our volunteer budget delegates have put forth 13 projects for this year’s participatory budgeting ballot– from new public art, to fixing dangerous intersections, to upgrades at schools, parks, and subway stops.  Read more »

Participatory Budgeting – Our Biggest Year Yet

If your neighbors gave you $1.5 million dollars, what would you change about your neighborhood? Safer streets and sidewalks? Subway station upgrades? Improvements to one of our much-loved parks or public libraries?It’s almost your time to decide.Over the last several months, your neighbors have been considering these questions. Our volunteer “budget delegates” have reviewed hundreds of ideas that you suggested and put together a slate of a dozen potential projects. Now, we’re turning it over to you to decide which ones will be funded and implemented in our neighborhoods.This year I’m increasing my commitment to “participatory budgeting” from $1 million to $1.5 million – more funds than ever before. But the process only works if you take part.So make sure you pledge to vote in this year’s election, between April 14th and April 19th. Read more »

Why I was arrested today

Over the past few months, our community has supported the struggle of the carwasheros at Vegas Car Wash on 19th Street in Park Slope. We have stood with them as they have demanded repayment of $1 million in wages stolen from them, organized to form a union, and demanded a simple, fair contract (to read about the unfair practices these workers are protesting, read my previous post or this  WNYC article).

They aren’t demanding anything extravagant. Even with a contract, these will still be low-wage jobs. They just want – no, they just insist – on being treated like human beings, with some basic dignity.

After seeing the carwasheros newly-formed union denied, their conditions worsen, and their presence day-in-and-day-out at the picket lines throughout a freezing cold winter, I can no longer remain on the sidelines. Read more »

Holding Reckless Drivers Accountable

Across our neighborhoods, we’ve witnessed too many tragedies where reckless drivers have killed or seriously injured neighbors and loved ones. The three young teens who were students at MS 51 (Sammy Cohen-Eckstein, Joie Sellers, and Mohammed Naiem Uddin) are not the only pedestrians killed in our district over the past few years. Others have been seniors, workers at local businesses, and young people just starting their careers.

We’ve made a lot of progress since Mayor de Blasio launched “Vision Zero” last year. Pedestrian deaths in 2014 were the lowest in a century. But there’s still a long way to go, toward our goal of a city without senseless traffic deaths. Read more »

Council Member Brad Lander, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson and Street Safety Advocates Announce Driver Accountability Task Force

Council Member Brad Lander, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson and Street Safety Advocates Announce Driver Accountability Task Force

Elected Officials Partner with Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets to Improve Prosecution of New Vision Zero Laws in Brooklyn

BROOKLYN, NY – New York City Council Member Brad Lander and Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson in partnership with Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets, announced the creation of a Driver Accountability Task Force for the Borough of Brooklyn. The task force is the first of its kind in New York City. Read more »

The Power of Organizing: Congratulations to Brooklyn’s Cablevision Workers & CWA

Yesterday, after 37 months, the 262 workers at Cablevision sites in Brooklyn were finally offered a fair contract by Cablevision (aka Optimum, owned by Jim Dolan, who also owns Madison Square Garden, and the Knicks). 

Back in 2012, these workers had the courage to form a union, as part of the Communications Workers of America (CWA). Like the other 15,000 Cablevision workers in the region, they knew the company was treating them unfairly – low poor, poor health benefits, and rotten treatment. Unlike the other 15,000, they had the courage to do something about it. Read more »

A few personal highlights from Mayor de Blasio's State of the City

In case you missed it, earlier today Mayor Bill de Blasio gave his annual State of the City speech. I’ve focused my whole career on working for affordable housing and vibrant communities – so I especially appreciated his focus on what it will take to create and preserve affordable housing, protect residents from displacement, keep our communities diverse, and still insure great, vibrant, livable neighborhoods.  

Below are a few personal highlights from the speech: Read more »

Prospect Park West Manhole Explosions

I have been in contact with the FDNY regarding the manhole explosions on Prospect Park West and 5th Street. Two individuals were injured. One hit by the manhole cover that was launched into the air by the pressure that had built from a fire under the street, and another from a broken window that shattered during the blast. Both are now in stable condition. Read more »

Winter Storm 311 Follow Up Requests

If you are experiencing problems with downed tree limbs, snow removal, or other unsafe conditions, please report them to the City. Your first point of contact should be 311 (either by phone or online) so the report can be directly routed to the relevant City agency right away.

If you would like my office to follow up on a report, please fill out this form.

If this is an emergency, please call 911.

Read more »

What to know before the blizzard

It looks like we are in for a very big snowstorm Monday and Tuesday. A Blizzard Warning is in effect for NYC beginning Monday at 1 PM and lasting through Tuesday night, and the current forecast calls for 20 to 30 inches. (I know, I’m always a little skeptical of “historic” predictions, too. But the probability of a blizzard is very high, and it is much better to be prepared). 

New York City has set up a great Severe Weather Update website, with updates on City services. It’s the best source for up to the minute information on city operations and the best place for answers to many of your snow-related questions (and you can even track the progress of City snow plows). We do our best to keep you updated as well, via e-mail, my website, Twitter & Facebook.

Read more »

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