Public Education

Effective public education, in elementary, middle and high school, is essential to preparing our children for success. The schools of the 39th Council District have some of the city's best teachers, principals and parent leaders, and we need to do everything we can to make sure they are supported in the crucial work that they do.

Participatory Budgeting Ballot Projects - 2012

2013 Participatory Budgeting projects to be announced soon!

After months of hard work evaluating hundreds of project ideas, our team of community budget delegates have compiled the following list of Participatory Budgeting ballot projects. Now it's up to you to choose which projects will be funded. Then cast your vote the weekend of March 31-April 1, 2012.

You can vote for up to (but no more than) five projects - which projects will you choose? Read more »

John Jay High School: One year later

Education is our right mural

A year ago, our community grappled with challenging issues surrounding changes at John Jay High School – issues of race, class, inequality, and community in public education. One year later, we sure haven’t solved those issues. But with the inspiring work of students, teachers, principals, parents, community groups, and volunteers, we are taking small but steady steps forward. Read more »

Students at PS 58 Stand Up To Bullying

PS 58 students at reading about bullying
Carroll Gardens Patch
02/15/2012

According to The NYC Department of Education, February 13-17 has been designated as 'Respect For All Week' in all NYC public schools. During this week, schools take the opportunity to highlight ongoing diversity programs and open up a dialogue through curriculum-based instruction, engaging students in lessons and activities that focus on preventing bias-based harassment, intimidation or bullying.

At PS 58, located at 330 Smith Street between First Place and Carroll Street, fifth graders had the opportunity to meet with Councilmember Brad Lander, who kicked off the week by reading "Nobody Knew What To Do," a story about bullying. Afterward, the children then discussed their feelings about respecting differences. Read more »

Giving The People What They Want in Brooklyn: Participation

Curbed
01/27/2012

Brooklyn residents have an idea for you to consider. Hundreds and hundreds of ideas. Brooklyn Councilman Brad Lander has open-sourced his constituent services. Rather than sit back and field complaints and requests from constituents and then respond on a case-by-case basis, Lander is experimenting with participatory budgeting, which seeks out residents' priorities that they want their elected representative to fight for. Read more »

Democracy is Inspiring

Participatory budgeting neighborhood assembly

Last fall, as part of our new participatory budgeting initiative, we asked for your ideas for projects that would improve our neighborhoods. Nearly 1,000 of you answered the call and offered your ideas – from subway station improvements, to new community spaces, to upgrades to local playgrounds. You can view all of the ideas people submitted here.

Since then, a team of 100 community volunteers have been working in seven “budget delegate” committees to research and evaluate these ideas, to figure out which ones are feasible, and determine how much they would cost.

They are now working to put together the ballot – at the end of March, you will be able to vote on which projects will get funded. Read more »

Education Committee Asks the Hard Questions

Participatory Budgeting update from Jason Boutin of the Education Committee:

It's probably safe to say the delegates of the Education committee got more than they bargained for out of the Participatory Budget process. This is said from the perspective of the effort undertaken as well as from the rewarding nature of the work. It's been a tremendously interesting journey so far, but probably not the one anyone expected. Read more »

2011 Annual Report

Over the past year, people in NYC and around the globe have called for government that is more accountable to the people. I’ve worked to achieve a high standard of accountability – in that spirit I’m pleased to share this annual report on what we accomplished in 2011, what we learned, and what we’re hoping to do in the year to come. You can view the report below, download it, or explore our interactive map of accomplishments from the past year.

 

Cries of ‘Shame’ Accompany Vote For Cobble Hill Charter

Brooklyn Eagle
12/15/2011

The Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) voted late Wednesday to approve “co-locating” a Success Academy charter school inside a Cobble Hill building already occupied by three public schools.

Before the meeting, several hundred sign-waving attendees held their own vote — of “no confidence” in the PEP. “Parents, students and educators have no vote on this panel,” many in the crowd read in unison. “This panel is here to rubber stamp the decision made by Bloomberg.” Read more »

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 »

Testimony opposing proposed charter school in IS 293 in Cobble Hill

Statement from City Councilmember Brad Lander in opposition to the proposed co-location of a Success Academy Charter School at IS 293 in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

(prepared for November 29, 2011 hearing)

Read more »