Arts and Culture

We live in the cultural capital of the world. And, as you know, that artistic expression is not confined to Manhattan. Our neighborhoods are populated with exciting authors, artists, actors, and other creative professionals. We need to support these members of our community that bring beauty into our world, and encourage each other to express ourselves artistically.

Unveiling the PB ballot

Which projects will get your vote? The 2013 Participatory Budgeting ballot is here, with great projects that will invest in building a better neighborhood for us to share.

And next week, we will be kicking off the Participatory Budgeting Vote, with early voting Tuesday through Thursday and voting locations in your neighborhood on Saturday and Sunday (April 6th and 7th). The projects that get the most votes will be funded in this year’s City budget. Read more »

New Computers and Pedestrian Safety on Carroll Gardens Budget List

DNA Info
03/21/2013

COBBLE HILL AND CARROLL GARDENS — Renovated school bathrooms and new computers at Carroll Gardens Library  are some of the projects that could become a reality through City Councilman Brad Lander’s participatory budget program.

The program allows the community decide how to spend $1 million of Lander’s discretionary budget for public improvements.

Last fall, the several local committees brainstormed over ideas and narrowed them down based on use, feasibility and expense, since each project has a $500,000 limit. Read more »

Park Slope Pitches Composting and School Upgrades for Budget Wish List

DNAinfo
03/22/2013

PARK SLOPE — Film buffs, nature lovers, and tree huggers could all have a reason to cheer about this year's round of City Councilman Brad Lander's participatory budgeting program.

Projects that could benefit all three groups were on display Thursday night at Lander's participatory budgeting expo, where locals made pitches about how they'd like to spend $1 million in taxpayer money on neighborhood improvements. Read more »

Behind the Scenes of Participatory Budgeting in District 39

By Rachel Fine of the Participatory Budgeting District Committee 

As a District Committee member, I have been focusing on getting the word out about participatory budgeting and engaging our district’s diverse communities in this process. Although the past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity getting ready for the neighborhood assemblies, our outreach efforts have targeted a number of communities. Read more »

Self-government's appeal

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
10/03/2012

So who knows our neighborhood needs better than we do? A rhetorical question, of course, but one that gets at the heart of a City Council initiative called Participatory Budgeting.

In 2011-2012, Brad Lander was one of four NYC Councilmembers leading their districts in a program first hatched in Brazil and launched in this country in Chicago. The success of the actions taken in NYC’s four forward-thinking districts led to the program’s doubling—eight councilmembers, representing over one million New Yorkers, have dedicated a total of at least $10 million in NYC discretionary capital funds for the 2012-2013 program. It is we, the constituents, who decide how the money is spent. Read more »

Participatory Budgeting is Back

One year ago, we started an experiment: to give New Yorkers the power to decide how to spend $1 million of their tax dollars on projects in the neighborhood.

That experiment, Participatory Budgeting, was a huge success. Over 3,000 people participated, we received nearly a thousand ideas for projects in the community, and our small voting sites were overwhelmed with eager residents wanting to be part of what the New York Times called “revolutionary civics in action.” The seven projects with the most votes – projects for local schools, libraries, parks, and streets – received City funding and are moving forward.

Now we are starting again, with another $1 million and your great ideas. Read more »

Join Michael Buscemi to Wait For the “B61”… On the Silver Screen!

We’ve all been there. Waiting and waiting for a bus that seems like it will never come. Brooklyn filmmaker Michael Buscemi has spent a lot of time waiting for the B61 – and decided to make a film inspired by it! Read more »

Salmon BLT? PS 230 students made it delicious

Brooklyn Daily
06/26/2012

The foodie craze has finally infiltrated the most reluctant of groups: teenagers.

Kensington elementary school PS 230 was transformed into an epicurean battleground on Saturday, as teams of teenagers duked it out in a chef battle, cooking things that had even the seasoned chefs in attendance blinking their eyes.

“I was a little concerned when they told me they wanted to make salmon sandwiches with turkey bacon and truffle oil,” said chef and organizer Veronica Guzman of the winning dish. “But the way that they cooked it I was like, ‘Oh my god, it’s really good!’ ” Read more »

Response to Mayor's Budget

Mayor Bloomberg’s FY13 Executive Budget:
Some Good News for Our Classrooms, Bad News for Just About Everything Else

City Councilmember Brad Lander had the following statement in response to Mayor Bloomberg’s Executive Budget:

"Mayor Bloomberg presented his FY2013 Executive Budget proposal this morning. There was some good news for our public schools, but bad news for just about everything else.

"For the first time in five years, there will not be cuts to our teaching force through attrition. Earlier this spring, my office released a report highlighting the painful impact of the loss of teachers in recent years: the number of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders in general education classrooms of 30 or more students has grown tenfold during this period (and overall class sizes are up significantly). The Mayor’s Preliminary Budget in February proposed to continue teacher attrition, projecting a loss of 2,570 teachers, which would have resulted in thousands more young kids in very large classes. I am pleased that the Mayor and the Department of Education recognized this problem, and took these cuts to our classrooms off the table. It will make a real difference in our schools.

"Unfortunately, the Mayor’s Executive Budget continues to propose devastating cuts to child care and after school programs, to our public libraries, to 20 fire companies, to senior services, and to shelter beds for runaway homeless youth. The cuts to child care and after-school are particular unacceptable: 47,000 kids will no longer have somewhere safe to go after school, on top of more than 40,000 childcare slots that have been lost in recent years (more than 60% of the slots that existed in 2009). Read more »