Columbia Waterfront

Welcome Back to School

It’s a big day for NYC families as 1 million kids head back to school – including mine, who are starting 7th and 11th grade today (incredible how fast the years go, since it was just yesterday they were starting pre-K).

We’re starting off the school year with a lot of good things going on in our schools:

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Wondering what happened to that project?

I’ve worked hard to bring more transparency to the New York City budget process each year. Thanks to Participatory Budgeting NYC, you can weigh in on the City Capital projects you want to see.  Thanks to new rules that I championed, and that the City Council adopted last year, you can get more information than ever about all the projects we fund.

However, once City Capital projects are funded, it’s still not easy to keep track of project timelines and see when winning projects get finished.

That’s why I’m excited to tell you about our new Capital Projects Tracker, an online map and database that allows you to see the status of every project I’ve funded since first taking office in 2010. Read more »

Help Citi Bike Expand to Our Neighborhood

Since Citi Bike launched in 2013, many of you have been asking the same question: When is it coming to our neighborhood?

I’m pleased to report that we’ve got an answer: 2016.

Next year, Citi Bike will be expanding into Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Park Slope, and Red Hook. And right now, you’ve got a chance to help identify good locations for the bike-share stations (or places you don’t think a station would make sense). Read more »

A Few Thoughts on the "Zoning for Quality and Affordability" Plan

I've heard from many of you about the NYC Department of City Planning’s “Zoning for Quality and Affordability” (ZQA) text amendment proposal. The Park Slope Civic Council and other civic and preservation organizations have also shared their opinions with me, and asked me to take a position on the proposal.

Most of the attention in the civic and preservation communities has focused on the element of this proposal that would allow height increases of 5’ to 15’ in contextual districts, with no requirement of affordable, senior, or supportive housing. Read more »

Results are in…PBNYC Project Winners!

During Participatory Budgeting (“PBNYC”) voting week close to 2,700 people showed up to take part in expanding democracy and supporting our neighborhood.

Residents from across our district turned out by the hundreds to vote at schools and community spaces and at pop-up locations in parks and plazas. We held polling places at senior centers, the mosques in Kensington, the Little League Parade, and Mayor de Blasio even dropped by PS 282 in Park Slope to cast his vote. Best of all, we opened up the process to 14 year olds this year too!

Without further delay, the 2015 winning Participatory Budgeting projects are … Read more »

Connecting Brooklyn to Governors Island

Governors Island has become a great NYC destination – with magnificent parks, historic forts and buildings, a vibrant arts and culture scene, the Harbor School (a NYC public high school), and some delicious food – right in the heart of New York Harbor. Last summer, for the first time ever, the island remained open 7 days a week.

Unfortunately, for most Brooklynites, it still wasn’t very accessible. If you want to change that, please sign our petition.   Read more »

Participatory Budgeting – Our Biggest Year Yet

If your neighbors gave you $1.5 million dollars, what would you change about your neighborhood? Safer streets and sidewalks? Subway station upgrades? Improvements to one of our much-loved parks or public libraries?It’s almost your time to decide.Over the last several months, your neighbors have been considering these questions. Our volunteer “budget delegates” have reviewed hundreds of ideas that you suggested and put together a slate of a dozen potential projects. Now, we’re turning it over to you to decide which ones will be funded and implemented in our neighborhoods.This year I’m increasing my commitment to “participatory budgeting” from $1 million to $1.5 million – more funds than ever before. But the process only works if you take part.So make sure you pledge to vote in this year’s election, between April 14th and April 19th. Read more »

Holding Reckless Drivers Accountable

Across our neighborhoods, we’ve witnessed too many tragedies where reckless drivers have killed or seriously injured neighbors and loved ones. The three young teens who were students at MS 51 (Sammy Cohen-Eckstein, Joie Sellers, and Mohammed Naiem Uddin) are not the only pedestrians killed in our district over the past few years. Others have been seniors, workers at local businesses, and young people just starting their careers.

We’ve made a lot of progress since Mayor de Blasio launched “Vision Zero” last year. Pedestrian deaths in 2014 were the lowest in a century. But there’s still a long way to go, toward our goal of a city without senseless traffic deaths. Read more »

Council Member Brad Lander, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson and Street Safety Advocates Announce Driver Accountability Task Force

Council Member Brad Lander, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson and Street Safety Advocates Announce Driver Accountability Task Force

Elected Officials Partner with Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets to Improve Prosecution of New Vision Zero Laws in Brooklyn

BROOKLYN, NY – New York City Council Member Brad Lander and Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson in partnership with Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets, announced the creation of a Driver Accountability Task Force for the Borough of Brooklyn. The task force is the first of its kind in New York City. Read more »

Dark days, and brighter ones

The waning days of 2014 have been dark ones for New York City. The killing of Detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu made real the worst imaginable fears for those who put their safety on the line to serve our communities. Reactions to their murders highlighted tensions among New Yorkers – around how we understand the challenges of public safety and policing – and have risked setting us against ourselves.

Just a few weeks earlier, here in the 39th Council District, we lost 14-year-old Mohammad Naiem Uddin in a traffic crash that reminded us that our efforts to improve traffic safety and reduce speeding have not yet done enough.

Still, as the year turns, I remain truly grateful for what we’ve done together. Democracy can be messy, even painful. We don’t all agree on how to understand the problems, and certainly not on the solutions. But I am genuinely glad about what we’ve achieved together in New York City in 2014. While much of the rest of the country is stuck in a place of political polarization, we have moved forward in tangible ways to make lives better for many New Yorkers. Read more »