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 »

From the depths of the Gowanus Canal...

Yesterday afternoon, the EPA dipped their toes—or, more accurately, a 100,000-pound hydraulic excavator—into the depths of the Gowanus Canal, and began removing the decades of debris that has accumulated there.

Looking into those dark waters, we’ve all wondered what lies beneath. This week we'll start to find out: from sunken vessels, to discarded tires and bikes, and at least one very wet art project. (For more detail, here is a fact sheet from the EPA.)

Here on dry land, we are moving forward to answer questions about the Gowanus Canal area by coming together to shape its future. This Thursday evening, the NYC Department of City Planning will hold a kick-off meeting to introduce their Gowanus neighborhood planning study (or “PLACES” study), which will build upon the ground work our community laid together through the Bridging Gowanus community planning process. Read more »

Announcing “Age-Friendly Park Slope.” Better for seniors, and for all of us.

Park Slope is a great neighborhood for people of all ages. And we work hard to stand up for our seniors, as we did in the fight to protect our elderly neighbors at Prospect Park Residence.

But there’s more we can do to make our neighborhood welcoming and accessible to older residents.   

So I’m proud to announce a new partnership with Heights & Hills, the Park Slope Center for Successful Aging, and Good Neighbors of Park Slope: “Age-Friendly Park Slope.”

We are joining “age-friendly” cities around the world, and neighborhoods around NYC, that are taking concrete actions to make communities better places to grow old. Read more »

Is your school #TooHotToLearn?

Long after summer ends, in many NYC schools (especially during weeks like this one), it's just plain #TooHotToLearn!

Students can't learn in sweltering classrooms. Unfortunately, many public schools in NYC lack air conditioning in their classrooms, auditoriums, gym, and cafeterias. As climate change brings more days in June, September, and now even the middle of October when rising temperatures make it too hot to learn, we need to get serious about getting A/Cs in all our classrooms and critical public spaces.

In June, the City Council required the NYC Department of Education & School Construction authority to produce a report outlining which schools need air conditioning. 

Unfortunately, the new report (available on my website) fails to provide critical information. It identifies 17% of schools with full air-conditioning, and 5% of schools (90 schools) that lack A/C entirely. However, 78% of schools (1,590) are simply identified as “Partial A/C” -- which means only that they have at least 1 A/C unit somewhere in the building -- without any information about how many classrooms, auditoriums, gyms, or cafeterias remain to be covered. (Meanwhile, just 4 schools are currently having A/Cs installed.)

So we are asking for help from parents, students, and educators to fill in the missing information. We’ve launched a new #TooHotToLearn campaign – which you can read more about in DNA Info. Read more »

City Council to NYC Department of Education: “It’s October, and it’s still #TooHotToLearn!”

New DOE/SCA Report Fails to Provide Useful Information or a Plan to Get Air Conditioners in Schools as Temperatures Continue to Rise

Council Members Turn to Parents, Students, and Teachers to Crowdsource Data on A/Cs in Schools: http://bit.ly/TooHotToLearn 

City Hall, N.Y. – As temperatures are projected to reach 82 degrees in New York City today, City Council Members Brad Lander, Margaret Chin, Daniel Dromm, and Julissa Ferreras-Copeland criticized a new report from the NYC Department of Education and School Construction Authority on air conditioning in schools for failing to provide useful data, and for the lack of planning to install A/Cs in NYC public schools where it is too hot to learn.

The report (attachment available for download here) was required by the City Council as a term and condition in the FY 16-17 budget, passed in June. At the time, the DOE and SCA expressed a willingness to work with the Council on a plan to install air conditioning in schools that need it. The first step was to identify and prioritize the schools most in need.

Unfortunately, the report fails to provide critical information. It identifies 17% of schools with full air-conditioning, and 5% of schools (90 schools) that lack A/C entirely. However, 78% of schools (1,590) are simply identified as “Partial A/C” -- which means only that they have at least 1 A/C unit in the building -- without any information about how many classrooms, auditoriums, gyms, or cafeterias remain to be covered. Meanwhile, just 4 schools are currently having A/Cs installed. Read more »

Community Meeting on Revised Plan for 5th Ave Key Food

You are invited to a community meeting to learn about the revised proposal for the 5th Avenue Key Food at 120 5th Avenue in Park Slope. On Tuesday November 1 at 6:30 pm, a group of community organizations and elected officials will present the results of our months-long negotiation with the developer, Avery Hall Investments (AHI). Come ask questions, share your feedback, and get involved: Read more »

Community Board 6 meeting on Citi Bike expansion next Thursday

It’s no secret that the recent expansion of Citi Bike to our community has brought out strong feelings.

Many of you have told me how thrilled you are about the expansion, and that the bikes have become part of your daily commute, or a good new way to run errands and get around our neighborhoods.

Others have shared with me your deep unhappiness with the bikes and stations that have appeared on your blocks, with the loss of parking and other impacts.

No matter how you feel about the issue, I want to let you know that Community Board 6 will be hosting a public hearing on the Citi Bike expansion next week, on Thursday, October 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the 78th Precinct station house at 65 6th Avenue (details here & below). Read more »

Statement on Citi Bike/Bike-share in Community Board 6

The expansion of Citi Bike to Community Board 6 has brought passionate responses. In my office, we’ve heard a lot: both from people who are thrilled, and have become regular users – and from people who are deeply unhappy (either with a particular station near them, or with bike-share as a whole).

It’s no secret that I’m a supporter of Citi Bike, and worked hard to make sure that bike-share expanded to our neighborhoods this year. I believe it is a valuable piece of public infrastructure that gives people a useful and convenient new transit option.   Read more »

Preparing for the Yom Kippur fast -- some public t'shuvah

Like every year, I’m preparing for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur by focusing on t’shuvah – seeking forgiveness for the things I’ve done wrong over the past year, and also redemption and return to my better, truer, less damaged self.

Like every year, I will focus on my personal wrongdoings, as there are certainly many of those. Over the next 36 hours, I’ll be scrutinizing my own shortcomings, and seeking forgiveness from family, friends, loved ones, co-workers, and others whom I have harmed – knowingly or inadvertently – over the past year.

But this year, I’m feeling the need to engage in some public t’shuvah as well. Our political dialogue have been so badly warped in this election season, that it feels like the public sphere itself has been poisoned. I can’t think of any place where t’shuvah is so badly needed right now.

So, in that spirit, I want to seek your forgiveness for my shortcomings and wrongdoings in public office this past year. Read more »

Prospect Park is going to the dogs…

For pups across Brooklyn, this summer was a “ruff” one, when their popular swimming spot at Dog Beach was closed for renovations. But thanks to the fantastic in-house design team at the Prospect Park Alliance, Dog Beach is back ahead of schedule and, looking quite “fetching.”

This Saturday morning, we’re joining dog lovers from all over our neighborhoods to “unleash” Prospect Park’s newly renovated Dog Beach. Read more »

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