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.

When a Building Collapse Makes You Grateful

Early Monday morning, disaster struck at 241 Carroll Street (between Court and Smith Street), when the building’s exterior wall collapsed. Miraculously, no one was seriously hurt. The owners, tenants, and neighbors have been remarkably resilient in the face of a disaster. And the response from City employees – at the Department of Buildings, Housing Preservation & Development (who will oversee demolition), the Fire Department, the NYPD, and the Office of Emergency Management – has been truly impressive. Read more »

A city budget we can be proud of

The City Council and Mayor Bloomberg reached an agreement this week on New York City’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget – one that invests in our kids and preserves funding for vital public services.

The City’s $68.7 billion budget is a statement of our priorities, and I am proud that those priorities reflect a deep belief in education (public schools continue to be the largest item by far), in core public services and infrastructure that make sure we have safe and vibrant communities, and in a strong safety net for those who need it (young, old, and in-between).

I’m also excited that, for the first time, the City’s budget includes items that you selected, through participatory budgeting. The seven items – totaling $1 million – that more than 2,200 of you voted for in March are being officially adopted as part of the City’s capital budget this week … and we’re launching a new webpage to keep you posted on their progress. Read more »

Safety Improvements for 15th St. & Bartel-Pritchard Sq.

Park Slope Patch
06/19/2012

Crossing Bartel-Pritchard Square near 15th Street can be dangerous for pedestrians.

But, the Department of Transportation has a proposal for roadway changes that may make crossing near and around the traffic circle easier for pedestrians along with a bike lane for 15th Street.

Councilman Brad Lander, D-Park Slope, has been on a mission to make sure that area, which is right smack between Park Slope and Windsor Terrace, safer for all users. Read more »

Video: City Council proposes NYPD oversight

ABC News
06/13/2012

New York City Council members are introducing legislation that would create an inspector general to oversee the New York Police Department, amid criticism that the department's stop-and-frisk policy is out of control.


Read more »

An Independent Monitor for the Police Is Proposed

The New York Times
06/13/2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency have inspectors general who function as independent monitors. So do the police departments of major cities like Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as the nation’s capital. Even most New York City agencies, like the Education Department and the Housing Authority, have similar monitors.

About two dozen members of the City Council planned to introduce a bill on Wednesday that would create an office of the inspector general to monitor the police and “conduct independent reviews of the department’s policies, practices, programs and operations.”

The council members said that there has never been a more opportune time to increase oversight over so powerful an agency, especially in light of the department’s stop-and-frisk policy, surveillance of Muslim groups, questions over allegedly manipulated arrest data and other recent controversies involving the police. Read more »

A Stronger NYPD, a Safer New York

We live in the greatest city in the world, so it’s not often that I find myself wishing that we had something that exists in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, Philadelphia, but not here in New York. All of these cities have independent oversight for their police departments – which means there is someone whose job is to ensure that the police department’s operations are effective, efficient, and protect our civil liberties.

Read more »

Response to Mayor's Budget

Mayor Bloomberg’s FY13 Executive Budget:
Some Good News for Our Classrooms, Bad News for Just About Everything Else

City Councilmember Brad Lander had the following statement in response to Mayor Bloomberg’s Executive Budget:

"Mayor Bloomberg presented his FY2013 Executive Budget proposal this morning. There was some good news for our public schools, but bad news for just about everything else.

"For the first time in five years, there will not be cuts to our teaching force through attrition. Earlier this spring, my office released a report highlighting the painful impact of the loss of teachers in recent years: the number of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders in general education classrooms of 30 or more students has grown tenfold during this period (and overall class sizes are up significantly). The Mayor’s Preliminary Budget in February proposed to continue teacher attrition, projecting a loss of 2,570 teachers, which would have resulted in thousands more young kids in very large classes. I am pleased that the Mayor and the Department of Education recognized this problem, and took these cuts to our classrooms off the table. It will make a real difference in our schools.

"Unfortunately, the Mayor’s Executive Budget continues to propose devastating cuts to child care and after school programs, to our public libraries, to 20 fire companies, to senior services, and to shelter beds for runaway homeless youth. The cuts to child care and after-school are particular unacceptable: 47,000 kids will no longer have somewhere safe to go after school, on top of more than 40,000 childcare slots that have been lost in recent years (more than 60% of the slots that existed in 2009). Read more »

Audio: Participatory Budgeting Winners

The Brian Lehrer Show
04/03/2012

Four city council districts let constituents decide how to allocate some funds. Brad LanderBrooklyn City Councilman (D 39), and Alexa Kasdan, director of research and policy for the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center, review the results. Plus Christine Petro, Windsor Terrace resident, and George Sanchez, Cobble Hill resident, talk about their projects that received funding.  Read more »

And the winning projects are …

residents wait to vote at Windsor Terrace Library

Wow! This weekend, more than 2,200 of you came out and took part in what the New York Times called “revolutionary civics in action” – NYC’s first experiment with a new form of hyper-local democracy, participatory budgeting.

I was deeply heartened by the energy that so many of you have put in since we launched the effort last fall, attending brainstorming meetings, joining delegate committees, and voting on the final slate of projects.

And now, I am proud to announce the winning projects from the vote:

  1. Renovation of two dysfunctional bathrooms at PS 124 ($150,000, 958 votes)
  2. Innovative community composting system near Gowanus Canal to turn 1 ton/day of food waste into soil ($165,000, 919 votes)
  3. Planting 100 new trees on blocks throughout the district with few or no trees ($100,000, 767 votes)
  4. New technology for PS 130 and PS 154 ($140,000, 758 votes)
  5. Repairing Prospect Park pedestrian paths to prevent flooding, and adding trash cans in the park ($205,000, 648 votes)
  6. Repairs and safety improvements at the dangerous Prospect Expressway/Church Avenue pedestrian crossing ($200,000, 606 votes)
  7. New books and equipment for the Kensington public library to enhance the branch’s use for meetings, storytelling, rehearsals, and small performances promoting Kensington's cultural diversity ($80,000, 582 votes)