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.

Responding to Gowanus Canal Flooding

Many neighbors have reached out to our office over the course of the last week with concerns about flooding near the Gowanus Canal during Hurricane Sandy. As you may know, Councilmember Lander has been in communication with EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck and NYC Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland, who responded quickly and committed to work together conduct any sampling needed to address potential issues of toxicity created by the flooding. Read more »

Hurricane Recovery: Ways to Help Sunday

Here are some ways you can help out with hurricane relief efforts today (Sunday, November 4) at the two evacuation shelters in Park Slope, in Coney Island, and in Red Hook:

Read more »

Update on Gowanus Canal flooding issues

A number of constituents have reached out to my office regarding flooding of the Gowanus Canal. The Canal breached its banks in many places at high tide this morning. In all likelihood, it will flood significantly higher at high tide tonight (around 8:30 PM, as the storm is reaching its worst) and possibly tomorrow morning (around 9:00 AM).

I have communicated with EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck and NYC Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland. Thanks to both of them for making the time, and communicating quickly (with each other, and with me) about our concerns at the canal. 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 »

Big Trouble in Little Gowanus?

Carroll Gardens Patch
09/18/2012

A block-wide rental building has been proposed at the old Toll Brothers project site that would nearly double the number of residential units and rise, at its highest point, to 12 stories. All this, with seemingly little input from community officials despite sitting on top of a Superfund site. 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 »

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 »

Call for Better Gowanus Cleanup Coordination

Statement from Councilmember Lander on his call for Better Coordination of Gowanus Cleanup

“This is a critical moment for achieving the long-desired cleanup of the Gowanus Canal – not only the highly toxic sediment at the bottom, covered by the EPA’s Superfund process, which I strongly support, but also better water quality, reducing combined sewer overflows (CSOs), stopping the contamination still flowing from the manufactured-gas plant sites, and improving the canal’s bulkheads and shorelines. Taken individually, addressing each of these domains is important but incomplete. Taken together, they can be more than the sum of their parts: they can transform the Gowanus Canal from a toxic environment into a sustainable community resource for decades to come.

So it is critical that all three levels of government work together productively, in a comprehensive, coordinated, thoughtfully-sequenced process. That’s why I am calling on the NYC Department of Environmental Protection to accelerate its “Long Term Control Plan” for CSOs – currently not due until 2015, after Superfund remediation decisions are made – and on the US EPA, NYS DEC, and NYC DEP to better coordinate their separate processes. I’m grateful that the Brooklyn Community Board 6 Public Safety, Environmental Protection, Permits & Licenses Committee voted last night to support this effort. Together, we can achieve a once-in-a-generation cleanup of the Gowanus Canal, polluted so deeply over the past two centuries. Let’s work together to do it.” Read more »

Apply for Teen Battle Chef 2012

This summer (2012), the Office of Councilmember Brad Lander and Family Cook Productions will once again be bringing the Teen Battle Chef program to the Kensington/Windsor Terrace area. Over eight training sessions, the students in the program will learn food preparation and cooking, with an emphasis healthy, nutritious food. This hands-on culinary training program empowers youth to challenge themselves and develop leadership, teamwork, and culinary skills as well as gain nutrition knowledge and a new appreciation for diverse, healthy and sustainably-produced food. Read more »