The Environment

The importance of thinking globally and acting locally has never been more apparent. New York City and each of our communities must help lead the way on climate change, and toward a more sustainable way of living. At the community level, creating new parks and greenways, supporting the cause of environmental justice, promoting better transit and alternative modes of transportation, and greening our homes and businesses are just some of the ways we can help make New York one of the most sustainable cities in the world.

Unveiling the PB ballot

Which projects will get your vote? The 2013 Participatory Budgeting ballot is here, with great projects that will invest in building a better neighborhood for us to share.

And next week, we will be kicking off the Participatory Budgeting Vote, with early voting Tuesday through Thursday and voting locations in your neighborhood on Saturday and Sunday (April 6th and 7th). The projects that get the most votes will be funded in this year’s City budget. Read more »

New Computers and Pedestrian Safety on Carroll Gardens Budget List

DNA Info
03/21/2013

COBBLE HILL AND CARROLL GARDENS — Renovated school bathrooms and new computers at Carroll Gardens Library  are some of the projects that could become a reality through City Councilman Brad Lander’s participatory budget program.

The program allows the community decide how to spend $1 million of Lander’s discretionary budget for public improvements.

Last fall, the several local committees brainstormed over ideas and narrowed them down based on use, feasibility and expense, since each project has a $500,000 limit. Read more »

Park Slope Pitches Composting and School Upgrades for Budget Wish List

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03/22/2013

PARK SLOPE — Film buffs, nature lovers, and tree huggers could all have a reason to cheer about this year's round of City Councilman Brad Lander's participatory budgeting program.

Projects that could benefit all three groups were on display Thursday night at Lander's participatory budgeting expo, where locals made pitches about how they'd like to spend $1 million in taxpayer money on neighborhood improvements. Read more »

The Participation Doesn't End at the Vote

Parks Department and budget delegates meet to discuss tree locations

Participatory Budgeting Update from Alix Fellman of the Parks & Recreation Committee

This time last year the people of our district came together for our first Participatory Budgeting vote, and selected seven projects to improve our community. One of the winning projects (the one I worked on) proposed to plant 100 trees on the most barren streets of our neighborhoods.

Over the past year the volunteer budget delegates from our district have been working with Parks Department staff and Councilmember Lander to get the trees off the drawing board and onto our streets. In the past month things have moved forward quickly, showing that the participation doesn't stop at the ballot box. We have been able to stay involved with implementing the project, making sure that the community’s vision is represented in the final product. Read more »

EPA’s Proposed Plan for the Gowanus Canal

Preliminary Statement on the EPA’s Proposed Plan for the Gowanus Canal

January 23, 2013

For so many years, cleaning up the Gowanus Canal has been an abiding priority of this community, and I am very pleased to see that day getting closer.

Thank you to the EPA team – especially Judith Enck, Walter Mugdan, Christos Tsiamis, and Natalie Loney – for your diligent work on this project, to the many partners in government who have been pushing for a Gowanus cleanup, and to so many community advocates who have been working tirelessly to get to this point. Read more »

Join me at the EPA's Gowanus Canal cleanup meeting tonight (or tomorrow)

EPA inspects Gowanus after Hurricane Sandy

Cleaning up the deeply polluted Gowanus Canal has long been a priority of this community, and I am pleased to report that we are getting closer to that goal. The canal was designated a Superfund site by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2010, and the EPA has now issued its Proposed Plan for cleaning up the Gowanus Canal. Read more »

Signs of recovery

It took more than two weeks, but most of our neighbors in Red Hook finally have power, and more and more public housing buildings are getting their heat restored each day. Residents are rightfully angry that it took this long - and there will be a time soon to look at what happened, what should have been done differently, who’s accountable for it, and what we need to learn for the future. But I’m sure glad to see the progress. Read more »

Gowanus: Cleaning up and looking forward

When I visited Gowanus as Hurricane Sandy first made landfall, I saw the canal rising over its banks, flooding neighboring streets, and approaching businesses and homes.

Like many of you, I was very concerned. The cleanup of the Gowanus Canal has long been a priority of this community and thanks to the efforts of local advocates, the canal is now an EPA Superfund Site. The flooding we saw during Hurricane Sandy made it clear why it is so important for us to continue to push for a comprehensive, forward-looking cleanup plan. Read more »

Behind the Scenes of Participatory Budgeting in District 39

By Rachel Fine of the Participatory Budgeting District Committee 

As a District Committee member, I have been focusing on getting the word out about participatory budgeting and engaging our district’s diverse communities in this process. Although the past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity getting ready for the neighborhood assemblies, our outreach efforts have targeted a number of communities. Read more »

EPA results of post-Sandy tests in Gowanus

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, many neighbors who live and work in Gowanus have reached out to my office with concerns about the impact of flooding near the canal. Since the arrival of the storm, Councilmember Lander has been in communication with EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck and NYC Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland. Both responded quickly and committed to work together to conduct any sampling needed to address potential issues of toxicity created by the flooding. Read more »