Gowanus

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 »

Three shelters from the storm

Over the past week, we wrapped up operations at one hurricane evacuation shelter (John Jay High School campus), continued to provide an incredible level of compassion and support to evacuated high-needs residents in another (Park Slope Armory), and welcomed evacuated homeless veterans into a third (on West 9th Street in south Carroll Gardens).  And we continued to do all we could to help our neighbors down in Red Hook, more than 3,000 of whom are still – unacceptably – without power or heat twelve days later. Read more »

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 »

Behind the Scenes of Participatory Budgeting

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 »

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 »