Jobs & Economic Development

Test: New York City needs job policies that makes work pay for New Yorkers, and build a fair economy for all of us. By guaranteeing paid sick leave for all workers, supporting the rights of independent and low-wage workers, retaining good jobs that are pathways to the middle class like manufacturing, and reforming low-road economic development subsidies so they create living wage jobs, New York can regain its place as the largest engine of economic mobility for the United States.

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 »

Bridging Gowanus Second Meeting Thursday

On Thursday, we are holding the second community planning meeting about the future of Gowanus. The meeting is Thursday, March 20 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm in the Wyckoff Gardens Community Center.

Last fall, I joined together with Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, and Council Member Stephen Levin to announce Bridging Gowanus, an inclusive community-driven planning process to develop a long-term vision for a safe, vibrant, and sustainable Gowanus.

Bridging Gowanus is an effort to bring together a wide range of community members to identify broadly-shared goals, discuss different viewpoints, and build consensus around a neighborhood framework for the infrastructure and land use regulations needed in the Gowanus Canal area. Read more »

Brooklyn Electeds Statement on LICH Settlement

BROOKLYN -- Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, and City Councilmembers Brad Lander, Steve Levin, and Carlos Menchaca released the following statement in response to the settlement agreement reached today regarding Long Island College Hospital (LICH):

"We've long urged SUNY and the State to agree to a new, more open RFP process for LICH, to make sure our community and all of Brooklyn have the best possible healthcare outcome. Read more »

Brooklyn Elected Officials Respond to SUNY on LICH

BROOKLYN -- Today, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, and Councilmembers Brad Lander, Steve Levin, and Carlos Menchaca sent the following letter to State University of New York (SUNY) Chairman Carl McCall regarding Long Island College Hospital (LICH): Read more »

Brooklyn Elected Officials' Statement on LICH

BROOKLYN -- Today, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, State Senators Daniel Squadron and Velmanette Montgomery, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, Public Advocate Letitia James, and Councilmembers Brad Lander, Steve Levin, and Carlos Menchaca released the following statement regarding Long Island College Hospital (LICH): Read more »

Locals and Officials to Brainstorm Improvements for Gritty Fourth Avenue

DNAinfo
01/14/2014

Fourth Avenue is an "unwelcoming" thoroughfare with a lifeless streetscape, and new luxury highrises aren't doing much to improve it.

Those are a few of the gripes local residents shared in a recent survey about Fourth Avenue, the gritty, industrial stretch on the western edge of tree-lined Park Slope where several residential towers have sprung up in recent years.

The Park Slope Civic Council will present the survey results at a Tuesday meeting where locals and elected officials will brainstorm an action plan for improving Fourth Avenue.

City Council members Brad Lander and Stephen Levin are scheduled to present their visions for the avenue's future, and residents, business owners and community groups will share their top priorities for the busy street. Read more »

Council Passes Legislation to Track and Reduce New York City Poverty

NEW YORK, NY – Today, the City Council passed legislation requiring the mayor to annually report on poverty in New York City, assess the effectiveness of anti-poverty policies, and lay out plans to reduce poverty going forward. Following an election where New York City’s startling inequality took center stage, the legislation creates a regular mechanism to assess the inequalities across the city and reduce poverty. Read more »

A Flood of Compassion … But Not Much Justice

By Lisa Cowan (Red Hook Initiative) and Brad Lander (New York City Council)

One year ago, Hurricane Sandy darkened the skyline and changed the lives of so many of our neighbors.  This week’s anniversary calls to mind the crowds who waited for food and supplies in Red Hook, the cars full of baked ziti and batteries dispatched to Coney Island, Staten Island, and the Rockaways, the gas station lines, and the rows upon rows of cots for hundreds of evacuees at the Park Slope Armory (and so many other places). Read more »

Civil Disobedience to Defend our Hospital

Today, I was arrested while standing up to the illegal closure of Long Island College Hospital.

With LICH nurses and other workers from SEIU 1199 and the New York State Nurses Association, the National Action Network, and other community members, we blocked traffic to draw attention to the increasingly dire situation at the hospital.

Civil disobedience was central to many important struggles in our nation’s history, including in the civil rights movement. But the decision to risk arrest for what is right is not something I take lightly. Read more »

The real champions of change

I’m honored to be in Washington DC today to receive a “Champions of Change” award from the White House for work (along with Alderman Joe Moore from Chicago, and Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito from East Harlem) on participatory budgeting.

I’m excited to meet and learn from other elected officials, not-for-profit leaders, and community organizers who are pioneering new forms of civic engagement and open government (like Jessica Klein, co-founder of Rockaway Help, which created new technology tools to enable people to collaborate for disaster relief). 

But there is something not-quite-right about getting an award for something as inclusive as participatory budgeting (which The New York Times called “revolutionary civics in action”). The whole idea of participatory budgeting is to see elected office not as a vehicle for one person’s leadership, but as a way to bring people together to take shared responsibility.  The best part of participatory budgeting is how people step up together to act as stewards of the shared public realm – our schools, parks, public transportation, streets, libraries – that makes our life together possible, and sometimes even ennobling. Read more »