Carroll Gardens

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 »

Lander report: Call it the B61 bomber

Residents boarding the B61 bus
Brooklyn Paper
11/07/2011

The main bus out of transportation-starved Red Hook arrives too late or doesn’t stop at all, according to a scathing new report.

Fewer than half of the buses on the B61 line — which runs from Red Hook to Downtown via Park Slope — arrived on time during “peak hours” and the rest showed up at least three minutes early or late, according to an exhaustive survey put together by Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) and dozens of volunteers.

Many of the buses were too crowded, arrived erratically, or were bunched up with other buses. Read more »

Next Bus Please: Improving the B61 Bus

Release of B61 report

At a press conference at the 4th Avenue-9th Street bus stop in Park Slope, Council Member Brad Lander, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Council Member Sara M. González, transit advocates, and local bus riders unveiled the report Next Bus Please: Improving the B61 Bus, to address growing frustration over the B61 bus.

The report finds that less than half — only 43%— of B61 buses arrive in an acceptable timeframe during rush hour. The report lays out nine cost-effective ways to improve the bus line to help riders connect to subway lines and commute to work faster, including keeping lights green for buses at key intersections, installing countdown clocks in bus shelters and adding more buses at peak hours. 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 Transit Committee Seeks Best Projects for Scarce Funds

Transit committee meeting

Participatory Budgeting update from Sara Nordmann of the Transit Committee:

The Transit Committee of District 39‘s Participatory Budgeting Initiative met on Nov. 16th at PS 230 for our first real gathering as a group.

That evening, Bill Henderson, the Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee (PCAC) to the MTA, discussed with us the feasibility issues concerning the project proposals submitted during the community-meeting process. He emphasized that even small projects cost much, much more than us regular folks would expect, particularly when they involve interrupting regular transit service. Read more »

Testimony opposing proposed charter school in IS 293 in Cobble Hill

Statement from City Councilmember Brad Lander in opposition to the proposed co-location of a Success Academy Charter School at IS 293 in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

(prepared for November 29, 2011 hearing)

Read more »