Marching in Spirit

I’m on a long-planned family vacation this week — but I’m marching in spirit in Staten Island today with the families of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Ramarley Graham, and with so many other allies in pursuit of racial justice in policing, in NYC, in St. Louis, and across the country. Read more »

Passing the Independent Expenditure Real Disclosure Act

I'm very happy to share that the Council is moving forward, this week, to pass a new law giving our city the strongest disclosure requirements for independent expenditures in the country (and the strongest permissible under Citizens United).   Read more »

Update on Prospect Park Residence

I wanted to give you an update on the court fight to maintain services for our elderly neighbors at Prospect Park Residence who are fighting a cruel eviction.

You can read news coverage of the first hearing in June here, and more information about our fight here. Read more »

In the Press: Letter to the Editor: Bagging Plastic

NY Post

As co-sponsors of the City Council bill to reduce plastic-bag waste, we’d like to correct inaccuracies in “The City Council’s E. Coli Fans,” by Brad Gertsman (PostOpinion, July 31). Read more »

Reduce Single-use Bags in NYC

Plastic bags are designed to be used only for a short period of time, but their negative impacts are long-lasting. Even when properly disposed of, plastic bags often blow away onto the street or into waterways, where they become eye-sores, clog storm drains, and endanger wildlife. Our bill aims to reduce the use and negative impacts of carryout bags by requiring a 10-cent charge for carryout bags in NYC grocery and retail stores, and stores would retain the cost of the charge. 

Read more »

Deepest thanks, congrats & good luck to NYPD Deputy Inspector Mike Ameri

The thanks of a grateful community – and very heartfelt personal thanks from me – go out to NYPD Deputy Inspector Mike Ameri, who has been promoted from his position as Commanding Officer of the 78th Precinct (Park Slope) to become the new chief of the NYPD Highway Division, which includes the recently-expanded Collision Investigation Squad and other essential Vision Zero work. 

Inspector Ameri has been a great overall commanding officer, keeping the neighborhood safe (we’re down 30% in every major category in year-over-year crime stats), working closely with community groups, and managing the expansion of the 78th Precinct to include responsibility for Barclay’s Center. 

Mike has especially been a true champion for safer streets, even before Vision Zero was official NYPD policy.  He worked together with us to launch the Park Slope Street Safety Partnership, and established monthly community meetings to focus on street safety  Read more »

Planning for the future of Gowanus

When we launched the “Bridging Gowanus” community planning process a year ago, we knew we were taking on a big challenge. 

We’ve seen (and smelled) the fetid water after a rainfall.  I was there when it flooded its banks during Hurricane Sandy.  And we knew these toxic waters might seem still compared to asking Brooklynites to debate too-often-polarizing questions about development, density, infrastructure, industry, and housing. 

But deciding not to engage seemed worse.  Should we just wait and let developers make plans of their own (or pretend that they won’t)?  Should we allow hotels, big-box stores, and self-storage facilities (all currently allowed “as-of-right” throughout the Gowanus) overrun the whole area?  Should we miss the opportunity to frame the community’s priorities for the new mayoral administration? Read more »

Carroll Gardens Dogs Have Their Day (At Last)!

DiMattina Dog Park renovated and open to the public

“After four ruff years, there are no bones about it: Carroll Gardens has gone to the dogs. Renovations to DiMattina Dog Park at Hicks Street and Hamilton Avenue are complete and the park is now open to the public. The upgraded park includes separate dog runs for small and large dogs, each featuring a new running surface with improved drainage. The renovations also included new plantings, benches, and drinking fountains for both dog-owners and their furry friends. After allocating $225,000 for the renovations in 2010, which was matched by then-Borough President Marty Markowitz in 2011, I am thrilled to see this long-awaited project come to fruition. Thank you to the DiMattina Dog Park Friends Group for their tireless dedication and pawesome advocacy and to the Parks Department for completing the project.”

Read more »

A progressive, responsible, transparent budget for NYC

Last night, the City Council voted to approve NYC’s budget for the coming fiscal year – the result of months of hearings and negotiation.  This year’s process allowed for a more substantive and productive discussion than we have seen in years past.  The result is a budget that more effectively meets our City's pressing needs and will create opportunity for so many New Yorkers. Read more »

Reflections from a 5th grade graduation

It’s sentimental, and yet deeply true: for me, there is no better celebration of American democracy than a 5th grade public school graduation, rooted in the idea that every single student has the potential to achieve their goals, and the right to get a real opportunity to try.

If we want a democratic society – inspired by the ideals of equality, of opportunity, of fairness, of creativity, of stewardship for future generations, of commitment to the common good – a good starting place is to celebrate and recommit to what can happen in our public schools. Read more »

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