Service

Schools, Libraries, and Our Charity

As one of the "spirited Brooklynites" who spent last weekend running (and even helping to organize) the Brooklyn PTA 5K Fun Run for Public Schools, and then Biking the Branches in support of the Brooklyn Public Library, I completely agree with Liza Featherstone's critique in this article: that we must not come to view our schools and libraries as "charities," but as fundamental public institutions that we have a duty to robustly (and more equally) support with our tax dollars. AND that we are not doing so. AND especially not in the case of NYC's public libraries. AND that this is a real shortcoming of the budget that Mayor de Blasio put forward this week (which cuts the expense budget of the 3 library systems $10 million from last year, and includes only a scant & largely illusory increase of capital funding).

For what it's worth, though, I do think events like the PTA 5K, and Bike the Branches -- and even more participatory budgeting (PBNYC) -- can be a fundamental part of efforts to "fight privatization, not revel in it," as Featherstone rightly demands. Read more »

Gratitude

Councilmembers at Masbia

I’m grateful for so much this Thanksgiving. For Meg and the kids, for friends and family, for a remarkable community, for great public schools and locally-owned stores, for a renewed conversation about how we create equality, for the opportunity to serve. And, of course, for having the Thanksgiving meal my family will share tomorrow night, and for having enough to eat the rest of the year. Read more »

Volunteer escort program gets women home safely after string of sex attacks hit Brooklyn

Volunteer escort program gets women home safely after string of sex attacks hit
New York Daily News
10/23/2011

It was dark and rainy outside the Fort Hamilton Parkway subway station in Brooklyn when Tim Malloy approached a woman and offered to walk her home.

She looked confused, even alarmed - and no wonder, since the Windsor Terrace neighborhood is one of the areas where serial gropers have struck.

Malloy, 46, a security guard, explained that he had started a volunteer escort program because of the string of 20 sexual attacks.

"I thought you were being creepy," the woman said, apologizing. Read more »

The patron of Prospect Park: Business owner cleans up park for free

Picture of Prospect Park volunteer cleaners
New York Daily News
08/23/2011

A business owner who lives in Kensington is pitching in to help tackle cash-strapped Prospect Park's trash problem.

Armando Gonzalez, the owner of Sunshine Best Cleaning Inc., recently wrote to Mayor Bloomberg offering to send professional cleaning crews into the park free of charge.

Gonzalez, 55, made the offer after reading an article in the Daily News about how budget cuts made it harder for the city to maintain its parks - leaving them marred with piles of garbage. Read more »

A Walk for Prospect Park

Our friends at the Prospect Park Alliance are holding a walk-a-thon on September 18th to raise money for Brooklyn's backyard.  Here are the details:

Join us for the Alliance's second annual walk-a-thon!  Read more »

Dome Playground Clean-Up: A Success and a Real Good Time

The Kensington Prospect
08/08/2011

Threats of a thunderstorm did not keep the more than 30 volunteers away from the Sunday, August 7 activities at Dome Playground’s “Clean It, Paint It, Fix It!” afternoon. The first official event sponsored by Friends of Dome Playground (friendsofdomepark [at] gmail [dot] com), a good cross-section of neighbors and users, both kids and adults, showed up to scrape and paint the handball court’s walls a lovely cement gray, and rake the cigarette butts off the lawn. Read more »

Help clean-up Dome Playground on Sunday, August 7th

Last year, Borough President Marty Markowitz and I were able to allocate $900,000 in city funds to renovate Dome Playground. When I brought together residents from Kensington and Borough Park in March to discuss their visions for how that money could be used, I was thrilled with the result. Over fifty people came to the meeting and sent a clear message to me and the Parks Department: this is our park and we want to make it better. Read more »

A Night Volunteering at Old First Respite Shelter for Homeless Men

Park Slope Patch
08/01/2011

The night I got back from my recent trip to Europe I ran into Charlotte, a good friend of mine, on Seventh Avenue and she told me that we were going to be having a sleepover date.

Well, not exactly a sleepover date. Charlotte, who is a member of Congregation Beth Elohim, had volunteered us to be Overnight Shelter Hosts at the new homeless respite shelter at Old First.

"You volunteered me to do what?" I said loud and clear standing on the corner of Third Street in front of Cheeburger Cheeburger.

"It'll be fun. We'll stay up all night and talk," she said. Read more »

Honoring the 5th Grade Service Award Winners

Brad with students from PS 124If we want a democratic society — one that lives up to ideals of equality, of opportunity, of fairness, of creativity, of stewardship for future generations, of commitment to the common good — it starts with a celebration and a re−commitment to what can happen in our public schools.

To celebrate that spirit, my office is recognizing graduating 5th graders who have taken part in community service. We invited students to write essays about their own service to the community and how they would like to continue helping people in the future. Read more »

Remembering Murray Adams

A wonderful Cobble Hill leader, Murray Adams, passed away earlier this week at LICH, and I wanted to take a minute to remember him. I had the chance to work with Murray over the past few years, and considered it a true honor and pleasure. Read more »

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