Kensington

Safer Streets in Kensington & Windsor Terrace

Last Thursday night, our community came together for a well-attended meeting on long-standing concerns about pedestrian safety in Windsor Terrace and Kensington – concerns made all-the-more pressing by the tragic death of Mohammad Naiem Uddin in November. 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 »

Next steps toward Kensington/Windsor Terrace Street Safety

Last week, many of us joined memorial services for Mohammad Naiem Uddin, who was killed in a hit-and-run incident at E. 7th Street & Caton Avenue. As our community came together for the Uddin family (you can make a contribution to support the family, organized by the PS 130 PTA), the call for action was clear: we must do all we can to make sure this does not happen again.

I’m writing to let you know the steps we are taking – to honor Naiem’s memory – toward safer streets in Kensington/Windsor Terrace and beyond:

Read more »

Steps Forward Toward More Diverse Schools

Last spring, our community held a forum at John Jay Educational Campus to address issues of segregation in our public schools – and to look at what steps we can take toward schools that better reflect the diversity of our city. Sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education, we learned that New York’s schools are the most segregated in the country. But we also learned that schools, districts (especially District 1, 3, and 13), and advocates across New York City are working hard to make change.

At that meeting, the District 15 Community Education Council (who co-sponsored the event with Council Member Carlos Menchaca and me) announced its new CEC 15 Resolution on Diversity. That resolution called on the DOE to prioritize diversity, especially when establishing the admissions policy for new schools.

So I’m pleased to report that this week, we made a small but meaningful step forward. The DOE agreed to an admissions plan – suggested by the community – for the new “PS/IS 437” (in Kensington) that will strengthen diversity, include a new middle school, and promote collaboration.

Read more »

What to know before it snows

If weather predictions are correct, we are in for a lot of snow this evening and tomorrow. I wanted to share what I know about city services to help you prepare.

My staff has been in communication with the Sanitation garages in our district. They have begun salting our streets and are preparing to plow once the snow starts. When many of us will be at home and warm, Sanitation and many other City workers will be on the streets keeping us safe. Thank you to each of them. Read more »

A safer Albemarle Road

You asked. They listened.

The stretch of Albemarle Road in Kensington (between Ocean Parkway & McDonald Avenue) is a big safety concern for our community. Speeding is prevalent, putting pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers at risk. This year alone, there have been ten crashes on this corridor, including a two-car collision at East 2nd Street just last week.

After a year of community advocacy, I am happy to announce that New York City Department of Transportation has put forward a plan to improve safety along the street. Read more »

What We're Thankful For

It’s easy to be cynical about Thanksgiving – to get lost in excesses of turkey and pumpkin pie and “black Friday” consumerism.  The holiday’s history is complicated (as my daughter, who is studying Westward Expansion, keeps reminding me), rooted in a moment when our young country was disenfranchising Native Americans who were already here. Read more »

We want your ideas

Two years ago, we tried something new. New Yorkers were given the power to decide how to spend tax dollars on projects in their neighborhood.

That idea, Participatory Budgeting, has been a huge success. Thousands of neighbors have given ideas, joined committees to develop proposals, and come out to vote. Based on your votes, we’ve funded 15 projects. And, even more importantly, we’ve seen a new excitement for local democracy. The New York Times called it “revolutionary civics in action.” And now participatory budgeting has spread to nine City Council districts across the city. Read more »

A big week at City Hall

It’s been an exciting week at City Hall, and I wanted to let you know some of what we’ve been up to.

Community Safety Act
Yesterday, we had a momentous vote to overturn Mayor Bloomberg’s veto of the Community Safety Act. This legislation, of which I am a lead co-sponsor (along with my friend and colleague, Council Member Jumaane Williams), will create an NYPD Inspector General (just plain good government) and strengthen the City’s ban on discriminatory policing. The stronger ban will be truly enforceable and will cover all New Yorkers, including LGBTQ residents, immigrants, and the homeless. Read more »