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.

Giving The People What They Want in Brooklyn: Participation

Curbed
01/27/2012

Brooklyn residents have an idea for you to consider. Hundreds and hundreds of ideas. Brooklyn Councilman Brad Lander has open-sourced his constituent services. Rather than sit back and field complaints and requests from constituents and then respond on a case-by-case basis, Lander is experimenting with participatory budgeting, which seeks out residents' priorities that they want their elected representative to fight for. Read more »

Democracy is Inspiring

Participatory budgeting neighborhood assembly

Last fall, as part of our new participatory budgeting initiative, we asked for your ideas for projects that would improve our neighborhoods. Nearly 1,000 of you answered the call and offered your ideas – from subway station improvements, to new community spaces, to upgrades to local playgrounds. You can view all of the ideas people submitted here.

Since then, a team of 100 community volunteers have been working in seven “budget delegate” committees to research and evaluate these ideas, to figure out which ones are feasible, and determine how much they would cost.

They are now working to put together the ballot – at the end of March, you will be able to vote on which projects will get funded. Read more »

2011 Annual Report

Over the past year, people in NYC and around the globe have called for government that is more accountable to the people. I’ve worked to achieve a high standard of accountability – in that spirit I’m pleased to share this annual report on what we accomplished in 2011, what we learned, and what we’re hoping to do in the year to come. You can view the report below, download it, or explore our interactive map of accomplishments from the past year.

 

Lander Hydrofracking Comments

Comments to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s
Draft SGEIS on Hydraulic Fracturing
January 9, 2012 

New York State Must Do Much More to Protect New York City Drinking Water

The proposed DEC rules for hydraulic fracturing (aka “hydrofracking”) place New Yorkers’ water supply in severe jeopardy.  In particular, the tunnels and adqueducts that carry the water for 16 million people are threatened by hydrofracking operations under the proposed rules.  Far stronger restrictions are necessary to insure the safety of our water, one of the true fundamentals of life in our region. Read more »

Budget delegates for the Parks and Recreation committee get real

Photo of JC Martinez-Sifre

Participatory Budgeting update from JC Martinez-Sifre of the Parks and Recreation Committee:

The reality is beginning to set in for budget delegates engaged in Councilmember Brad Lander's initiative to make participatory budgeting a functional reality in his district.

“I think we’re all beginning to understand how big a process this is going to be,” said Budget Delegate, Michael Hickey of Kensington. The delegates, if they weren't already aware, are coming to understand that this is not going to be a brief exercise in spending a million dollars of public funds. Read more »

Of Dumpster Pools and Solar Panels: Checking In on NYC’s Participatory Budgeting Project

Channel 13 WNET
12/12/2011

Participatory budgeting, an experiment in democratic engagement that launched in New York City this fall, allows citizens to suggest how their tax dollars should be spent, and then to vote on the proposed ideas.

Hundreds of people in the districts of the four  Council members involved — Brad LanderJumaane WilliamsMelissa Mark-Viverito and Eric Ulrich — attended public assemblies over the past few months to share their ideas on how to spend approximately $1 million per district in capital funds. The proposals are now being considered by volunteer committees and will be put to a vote this spring. Read more »

New Program Lets Taxpayers Do More than Gripe About City Spending

Gotham Gazette
12/02/2011

From the Occupy protestors to millions expressing disgust with debt ceiling debacle, many American are angry about how the government spends money,. something most of them have little control over outside the polling booth. Now, four New York City Council members are trying to change this and give residents a direct say in where the funding goes, at least on a local level.

"I walk down my street every day, wishing I could do something about the conditions," said Ali Abdul Rahman, a resident of Brooklyn’s 39th district, who is getting the opportunity to do some budget . "Well, now there is." Read more »

Participatory Budgeting delegate committees get to work

PB budget delegate training

Participatory Budgeting update from Maggie Tobin of the Streets & Sidewalks Committee:

Monday evening, November 6th, the budget delegates from the 39th District all met at P.S. 230 in Kensington to kick off the long and arduous (but truly fun and fascinating!) process of deciding how we would like to spend a million dollars from Councilmember Brad Lander’s discretionary funds in our collective community. It was a very interesting evening, especially because I met so many new people from all over the district, each with wonderful ideas on how we can improve our neighborhoods. Read more »

Audio: Participatory Budgeting

The Brian Lehrer Show
10/21/2011

Brad Lander, Brooklyn City Councilman (D-39), and Melissa Mark-Viverito, city council member representing East Harlem and parts of the Bronx and Upper West Side, and member of the council's Progressive Caucus, discuss their new plan to involve constituents in budget allocation.

Read more »