Kensington

Protecting Workers in the “Gig” Economy

More and more workers here in Brooklyn (and far beyond) are being paid “by the gig” – freelance graphic designers, writers, and film producers, Uber drivers, Handy.com cleaners, day laborers, and many more.

In plenty of cases, freelancing and “gig” work makes sense. It can allow consumers to arrange for on-demand services in ways not possible before, allow workers to set flexible work hours or earn extra money, and generate new economic activity.

But there’s a very real dark side. Freelance workers too often get cheated out of the wages and fees they are owed. Day laborers get misclassified and denied their rights as employees. Uber drivers lack the right to organize and collectively bargain with their corporate employer. Working by-the-gig provides much less job security than a traditional career – and it almost never provides health insurance, paid sick days, paid family leave, workforce development, or retirement security.

We urgently need creative thinking, new models, and some new laws to provide for worker protection and security in the emerging economy. Read more »

Your Neighborhood Needs You!

Our 5th year of Participatory Budgeting NYC (PBNYC) is about to kick off, and we need your help! 

The PBNYC process gives New Yorkers the power to decide how to spend tax dollars in our neighborhoods. If you’re not familiar with PBNYC, here’s how it works: Read more »

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:

Read more »

Moving Forward with Pedestrian Safety Changes in Kensington and Windsor Terrace

We've been hard at work improving pedestrian safety in Kensington and Windsor Terrace. Here are some of the most significant improvements from the summer: Read more »

Op Ed: In Defense of Plazas, from Times Square to Brownsville

As posted in Gotham Gazette:

by Brad Lander, Daniel Dromm, & Laura Hansen

Police Commissioner Bratton's suggestion to remove the Times Square plazas in order to rid them of desnudas is not just about the future of one of the world's best public spaces. This regressive response could undermine a policy that has transformed New York's public realm.

Pedestrian plazas are an inexpensive, effective way to advance Mayor de Blasio's agenda for a more equitable city, addressing the essential tenets of his admirable OneNYC Plan. They improve public safety, promote health and wellness, cultivate arts and culture, create new open space (30 acres so far), and generate economic activity. Miles away from the crowds on 42nd Street, dozens of New York City neighborhoods have embraced their plazas and the civic benefits they deliver. Read more »

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 »

A safer Caton Avenue & Albemarle Road –> and more changes on the way

Back in January, hundreds of community members filled the PS 130 auditorium to address longstanding concerns about pedestrian safety in Kensington and Windsor Terrace – concerns made all the more pressing by the tragic death of a teenager, Mohammed Naiem Uddin, just a few weeks before. At the January meeting, the NYC Department of Transportation presented a comprehensive plan to enhance safety in the area. Since then, we have been steadily pushing forward to make sure Kensington and Windsor Terrace get the safety improvements that students, seniors, families, and all of us need.

To keep you up to date about DOT’s progress, my office has created the K/WT Street Safety Tracker on our website, which allows you to see the status of each of the elements in their plan. We’ve already taken some major steps forward together. I encourage you to check out the many improvements planned for our area. Read more »

Kensington and Windsor Terrace Street Safety Tracker

Check the status of street safety improvements in Kensington and Windsor Terrace on the map below, or scroll down to the chart below see the status of improvements listed by project.  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 »

Talk Kensington’s parks, plazas, streets—and more

There are some great projects in the works for Kensington this summer – improved parks, plazas, streets and more. I’m writing with updates on a few of these projects, as well as an invitation to join me at a Brooklyn Community Board 12 meeting next week.

On Tuesday night, come make your voice heard at the Brooklyn Community Board 12 meeting in Kensington. Community boards are composed of fifty local volunteers, who work closely with government agencies to help New York City neighborhoods thrive. Kensington is part of Brooklyn Community Board 12, which also covers Borough Park and parts of Midwood. I encourage you to come out and share your ideas for ways Kensington could be better served by New York City government. Read more »