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.

Steps toward a better NYPD – and a safer, fairer city

This week, we took some big steps forward toward a better NYPD – one that keeps working hard every day to keep us safe in our communities, but that stops engaging in discriminatory and abusive policing. And one that has the basic, democratic oversight that all agencies need to identify and fix problems, so it can keep getting better. Read more »

An Inspector General for the Police

New York Times Editorial
10/12/2012

Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York is firmly opposed to a bill pending in the City Council that would make the nation’s largest police department subject to oversight by an inspector general with broad powers to review departmental policies — including controversial policies that involve stop-and-frisk tactics. Inspectors general are a common feature in other city divisions, in federal agencies like the F.B.I. and C.I.A., and in police departments in Los Angeles and elsewhere. Read more »

Inspector General for NYPD, New York Law Journal

By Eric Lane, interim dean and professor of public law and public service at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.

10-11-2012

Throughout American history, public stress over security has resulted in aggressive law enforcement practices, often to the detriment of the constitutional rights of Americans. I met this dynamic head-on in the mid-1970s when I was counsel to the New York Assembly's task force investigating the state police's collection of dossiers on 500,000 New Yorkers who were not suspected of any criminal acts. This should have come as no surprise: during this same period, the Senate Church Committee's hearings revealed the FBI had kept files on a million innocent Americans and tried to disrupt the civil rights movement. Read more »

Self-government's appeal

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
10/03/2012

So who knows our neighborhood needs better than we do? A rhetorical question, of course, but one that gets at the heart of a City Council initiative called Participatory Budgeting.

In 2011-2012, Brad Lander was one of four NYC Councilmembers leading their districts in a program first hatched in Brazil and launched in this country in Chicago. The success of the actions taken in NYC’s four forward-thinking districts led to the program’s doubling—eight councilmembers, representing over one million New Yorkers, have dedicated a total of at least $10 million in NYC discretionary capital funds for the 2012-2013 program. It is we, the constituents, who decide how the money is spent. Read more »

Participatory Budgeting is Back

One year ago, we started an experiment: to give New Yorkers the power to decide how to spend $1 million of their tax dollars on projects in the neighborhood.

That experiment, Participatory Budgeting, was a huge success. Over 3,000 people participated, we received nearly a thousand ideas for projects in the community, and our small voting sites were overwhelmed with eager residents wanting to be part of what the New York Times called “revolutionary civics in action.” The seven projects with the most votes – projects for local schools, libraries, parks, and streets – received City funding and are moving forward.

Now we are starting again, with another $1 million and your great ideas. Read more »

Watch out! Safety on the Brooklyn Bridge walkway

If you’ve walked or biked over the Brooklyn Bridge on a nice day (or just seen the auto insurance commercial featuring bikes dodging an animated gecko on the bridge), you know that the New York landmark is just too crowded for everyone to use it safely.

The elevated path is home to 4,000 pedestrians and 3,100 bicyclists each day according to the Department of Transportation. Although the path is a key part of our city’s bicycle infrastructure and an iconic tourist destination, the limited space cannot accommodate the huge numbers of pedestrians and cyclists. Read more »

Let's expand Brooklyn Bridge's Elevated Path

Today, Councilmembers Brad Lander, Margaret Chin, and Stephen Levin, joined by transportation advocates, announced a proposal to double the width of the Brooklyn Bridge elevated path, a popular tourist destination and bike route for many commuters (proposal attached). On many days, the path is filled beyond capacity, creating an unsafe situation for both pedestrians and cyclists. The councilmembers also announced a competition to design the new path. Read more »

Here's The Plan For An Expanded Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian And Bike Path

Gothamist
08/07/2012

Earlier this morning, Councilmembers Brad Lander, Margaret Chin, and Stephen Levin unveiled a proposal to expand the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian and cycling path, which is such a crowded mess that many cyclists simply refuse to bike over it. Their plan is to create a tangible partition (not just the worthless painted line that's currently in place) to separate cyclists and pedestrians, and to triple the amount of pedestrian walking space. The goal of the expansion is to "make the commute safe, accessible, and enjoyable for pedestrians, cyclists and joggers alike."  Read more »

Drivers Get Away With Murder In NYC, But New Laws Could Finally Change That

Gothamist
08/25/2012

A broad coalition of City Councilmembers who rarely see eye-to-eye on the same issue came together today in an attempt to reform the NYPD's appalling handling of accident investigations. "The NYPD's crash investigation system is fatally flawed," Councilmember Brad Lander said at a City Hall press conference this morning. "40% of the time when someone is killed, nobody even gets a traffic ticket." Indeed, a shocking City Council hearing in February found that the city's Accident Investigation Squad [AIS] will only investigate accidents in which the victim dies or seems likely to die. Read more »

After Accidents and Lawsuits, More Money for Tree Care

New York Times
07/05/2012

After years of declining budgets for the care of New York City’s street trees, city officials and lawmakers more than doubled the amount for the fiscal year that began this week.

The City Council, working with the mayor’s office, added $2 million for tree pruning to the $1.45 million in Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s proposed budget. The extra money was part of $30 million worth of last-minute restorations to the parks department’s budget, including money to keep open four public pools and to pay for seasonal park staff members. Read more »