Public Safety

The 39th District is lucky to have the officers of the 66th, 72nd, 76th, and 78th Precincts keeping us safe. Working with law enforcement and citizen groups, we can make sure that all of us feel safe on the streets and in our homes.

NYPD oversight plans vetoed; override vote due

Associated Press
07/23/2013

NEW YORK—Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday vetoed the most ambitious plan proposed in years for oversight of the New York Police Department, setting up an override showdown between him and lawmakers.

Bloomberg's long-expected veto puts the proposals on course for their possible revival in an override vote later this summer. The measures would create an outside watchdog for the department and more latitude for lawsuits claiming discriminatory policing. 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 »

Pols to mayor: Hear from public on NYPD measures

Associated Press
07/18/2013

NEW YORK — Some New York City lawmakers are urging Mayor Michael Bloomberg to give the public a chance to talk to him before his expected veto of measures that would create new checks on the Police Department.

Councilmen Brad Lander, Jumaane Williams and four colleagues made the request in a letter Thursday.

Bloomberg spokesman Marc LaVorgna says Bloomberg doesn't plan to do so.

The measures would create an inspector general for police and make it easier to bring suits claiming discriminatory policing. 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 »

Take action for a safer Church Ave & Ocean Parkway

One week ago, there was an awful crash at Ocean Parkway and Church Avenue, near the entrance to the Prospect Expressway, which took like the life of our neighbor, Ngozi Agbim. The news was truly heartbreaking. We’ve been working for years to fix that intersection. But we were too late to prevent the tragedy that took Ngozi’s life.

Please help make sure we make this intersection safer before there are any more tragedies there. Sign our petition to New York State DOT today. Read more »

It's not a crime to be who you are

Early Thursday morning, well past midnight, the New York City Council passed landmark legislation – known as the Community Safety Act – to establish long-needed independent oversight of the NYPD (an Inspector General) and to strengthen the City’s prohibition on bias-based profiling by the police. Read more »

Kensington Residents Demand Ped Safety Improvements

With cars whizzing by this morning, Kensington residents, transportation advocates, and City Council Member Brad Lander called on the New York State Department of Transportation to sign-off on safety improvements at the dangerous Church Avenue - Ocean Parkway intersection. 

One year ago, residents voted in Council Member Lander’s “participatory budgeting” election to allocate $200,000 to safety upgrades at the notorious intersection – but that money has gone unspent because the New York State Department of Transportation has not approved a plan from the New York City DOT that would make it safer to cross.

The death earlier this week of Ngozi Agbim, 73, who was hit and killed by a semi truck at the intersection on Monday, has left the neighborhood sad and angry. Read more »

NYC Council Passes Plans for New Police Oversight

Associated Press
06/27/2013

NEW YORK (AP) — The most expansive plans in years to impose new oversight on the New York Police Department passed the City Council early Thursday, as lawmakers voted to create an outside watchdog and make it easier to bring racial profiling claims against the nation's largest police force.

Both passed with enough votes to override expected vetoes, marking an inflection point in the public debate and power dynamics that have set the balance between prioritizing safety and protecting civil liberties here.

Proponents see the legislation as a check on a police department that has come under scrutiny for its heavy use of a tactic known as stop and frisk and its extensive surveillance of Muslims, as disclosed in a series of stories by The Associated Press.

"New Yorkers know that we can keep our city safe from crime and terrorism without profiling our neighbors," Councilman Brad Lander, who spearheaded the measures with fellow Democratic Councilman Jumaane Williams, said at a packed and emotional meeting that began shortly before midnight and stretched into the early morning. Read more »

2 Bills on Police Oversight Advance Amid Objections From Bloomberg

New York Times
06/24/2013

Shortly before a key vote on two policing bills in the City Council, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg stood at Police Headquarters, flanked by Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, a dozen other law enforcement officials and Robert M. Morgenthau, the 93-year-old former Manhattan district attorney.

With the mayor playing a solemn M.C. for nearly an hour, each man spoke forcefully against the bills on Monday, warning of the dangers they would pose to the city — some invoking Al Qaeda, others the bad old days of rampant crime — and urging council members to vote no.

Their pleas went unheeded for now.

With the support of Speaker Christine C. Quinn, the Council overwhelmingly approved twin motions — each by a vote of 41 to 8 — to bypass a committee where the bills had stalled and bring them up for a full hearing and vote as early as Wednesday. Read more »