Livable Neighborhoods

Keeping our neighborhoods and communities safe, clean and engaged takes participation from all of us. Working together with area schools, local police precincts, civic and neighborhood groups, and local merchants and businesses we can ensure that all the neighborhoods of the 39th district remain friendly, safe and great places to live.

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 »

Call Governor Cuomo - don't close our community hospital!

Brooklyn needs LICH and Governor Cuomo’s support is essential. He oversees the Department of Health and SUNY, the two agencies that are putting LICH’s future in question.

We need you to call on Governor Cuomo to urge the Department of Health to reject SUNY’s closure plan, immediately stop the closure of all departments, and require SUNY to continue operating the hospital until a new provider is identified.

Call Governor Cuomo at (518) 474-8390. Read more »

Brooklyn officials storm LICH, protest SUNY’s closure plan

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
07/19/2013

Long Island College Hospital (LICH) doctors say they've been told by SUNY Downstate administrators to transfer all their patients out by Friday so that LICH could be shut down by Sunday.

Dr. Alice Garner, head of the neonatal unit at LICH, said “I received verbal orders that we are to transfer all patients by tomorrow so they can shut us down by Sunday. We did not receive one written word to substantiate this. We were told the surgical areas and the G.I. suite will be closed tomorrow in direct violation of the restraining order, putting the community at risk.” Read more »

Hicks Street turns a corner

Thanks to sustained community leadership, Hicks Street is finally a bit safer. What has been a dangerous and disruptive speedway is now a few steps closer to being a safe and neighborhood-friendly street for Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens. Read more »

Statement on Pacific Street Library

The recent agreement between the City Council, Mayor Bloomberg, and the Brooklyn Public Library system has given a reprieve to the Pacific Street Branch, at least through the end of the Bloomberg Administration. BPL issued a statement committing to “working with elected officials and community stakeholders to develop an appropriate plan for the Pacific Street building through an open community process.” Read more »

Our City's budget, and our values

Last week was a busy one at City Hall. We passed two important police reform bills (more on those here), overrode the mayor’s veto of legislation that will guarantee paid sick days for a million more New York workers, and we passed the City’s FY2014 budget, for the fiscal year that begins today (for good measure, we also passed a bill to “save brunch,” which had apparently become threatened due to an outdated law).

In budget negotiations, we were able restore the essential public services proposed for cuts by Mayor Bloomberg. Libraries will keep their full hours. Low-income families will keep their childcare. Our neighborhood firehouses, parks, and pools will remain open. You can access all the details of the City’s FY2014 budget here, and on those areas where the Council focused on restorations and additions here. Read more »

Comment on the EPA’s Proposed Plan for the Gowanus Canal

EPA and Councilmember Lander staff test canal after Hurricane Sandy

For many years, cleaning up the Gowanus Canal has been a high priority for our community – but one that seemed hopelessly far away.  With the EPA’s proposed cleanup plan, and I am thrilled to see that day getting much closer.  I am enthusiastic about the EPA’s Proposed Plan and believe that it puts forward the right steps: Read more »

Great news: SUNY withdraws plan to close LICH!

Statement of NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Members Brad Lander & Stephen Levin

“We are relieved and happy to learn that SUNY Downstate Medical Center withdrew its proposal to close Long Island College Hospital. This is an incredible victory for Downtown Brooklyn and its residents. Read more »

And the winning projects are...

What a weekend!

Yesterday, we wrapped up our second Participatory Budgeting vote - the culmination of a process that empowers New Yorkers to decide how tax dollars are spent on projects in their neighborhoods. Read more »