Jobs & Economic Development

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.

Of Dumpster Pools and Solar Panels: Checking In on NYC’s Participatory Budgeting Project

Channel 13 WNET
12/12/2011

Participatory budgeting, an experiment in democratic engagement that launched in New York City this fall, allows citizens to suggest how their tax dollars should be spent, and then to vote on the proposed ideas.

Hundreds of people in the districts of the four  Council members involved — Brad LanderJumaane WilliamsMelissa Mark-Viverito and Eric Ulrich — attended public assemblies over the past few months to share their ideas on how to spend approximately $1 million per district in capital funds. The proposals are now being considered by volunteer committees and will be put to a vote this spring. 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 »

A Progressive Caucus for the "New Progressive Movement"

Living wage rally

Professor Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, had a great Op Ed in yesterday’s New York Times, on “The New Progressive Movement.”

Sachs believes that the Occupy Wall Street movement suggests the coming of a third progressive era in American politics (after the Progressive Era, following the financial crisis of 1893; and the New Deal in the 1930s, after the Great Depression). In all three of these cycles, an era of great inequality (the Gilded Age, the Roaring 20s, the financial bubble of the 2000s) was followed by a financial crisis, and then a demand not only to restore economic prosperity, but also to address inequality. Read more »

Audio: Participatory Budgeting

The Brian Lehrer Show
10/21/2011

Brad Lander, Brooklyn City Councilman (D-39), and Melissa Mark-Viverito, city council member representing East Harlem and parts of the Bronx and Upper West Side, and member of the council's Progressive Caucus, discuss their new plan to involve constituents in budget allocation.

Read more »

4 Council Members, Each With $1 Million, Will Let Public Decide How It’s Spent

New York Times
09/14/2011

Four City Council members, intrigued by experiments begun in Brazil to let ordinary citizens determine how government uses tax dollars, say they plan to allow their constituents to decide how $4 million is spent next year. Read more »

An inspirational living memorial (and a path to good jobs)

Last night – as the memorial beams of light began blazing from the World Trade Center site, and President Obama pushed for much-needed new investments to create jobs – I was honored to attend a moving tribute that truly honors the victims of the tragedy, and helps point a way forward.

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Keeping labor in Labor Day

Councilmember Lander with Striking Verizon Workers

Labor Day is a time to be with family and enjoy the end of summer (and maybe spend time stuck in traffic).  But I will be doing one more thing on Labor Day this year – thinking about workers and the state of unions in our country.

Unemployment is at 9.2%. The wealth gap is at record levels.  More people are on food stamps. And yet, the very institutions that make things better for working people are under attack. Read more »

Brad Lander Hungry For Better Food Policy

Carroll Gardens Patch
08/09/2011

Just over a week ago, the New York City Council voted in five impressive pieces of legislation designed to help ensure more New Yorkers have access to healthy, fresh, locally grown foods produced in New York State and contiguous states. Our own Councilmember Brad Lander, representing both Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill, co-sponsored four of the five bills. Read more »

Support Striking Verizon Workers

Today, Verizon workers are entering the second day of their multi-state strike. In total, 45,000 members of the Communication Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers walked off of the job after Verizon pushed unacceptable concessions and refused to budge. Read more »