Kensington

The Participation Doesn't End at the Vote

Parks Department and budget delegates meet to discuss tree locations

Participatory Budgeting Update from Alix Fellman of the Parks & Recreation Committee

This time last year the people of our district came together for our first Participatory Budgeting vote, and selected seven projects to improve our community. One of the winning projects (the one I worked on) proposed to plant 100 trees on the most barren streets of our neighborhoods.

Over the past year the volunteer budget delegates from our district have been working with Parks Department staff and Councilmember Lander to get the trees off the drawing board and onto our streets. In the past month things have moved forward quickly, showing that the participation doesn't stop at the ballot box. We have been able to stay involved with implementing the project, making sure that the community’s vision is represented in the final product. Read more »

Class at PS 230, Who Tried Out PB

Kensington BK
12/21/2012

When you start thinking about making your community better while you’re in the 5th grade, you’re a terrific person in our book. Which is why we salute Class 5-215 at PS 230, who were so inspired by Councilman Brad Lander’s participatory budgeting project that they tried it out in their own classroom. The students: Read more »

Councilmembers Call for “Bus Clocks” at NYC Bus Stops

It’s an age-old question, “Where’s my bus?”

Today, City Councilmembers, joined by transit advocates and riders, introduced a resolution calling on city agencies to install “bus clocks” at bus stops across the city. Bus clocks give real-time bus arrival information using digital displays, so that riders know how far away their bus is. New York is behind other cities, including Washington, DC, Albany, and Syracuse, where bus clocks are already in use. Read more »

Remembering Jon Kest, a lifelong fighter for justice

I’m thinking very powerfully today about Jon Kest, who passed away last night after a months-long battle with cancer (and just a month after the heart-rending loss of his daughter Jessie Streich-Kest who was killed during Hurricane Sandy). When I first moved to New York City 20 years ago, one of my first job interviews was with Jon, for a position as an organizer with ACORN. While I didn’t wind up in that job, I’ve been deeply honored to be following Jon’s lead in struggles for justice for two decades. Read more »

Giving thanks for "courtesy, gentleness and goodness beyond description"

Over the past month, we’ve had stark reminders of how much most of us have to be grateful for. Our homes and our health. Our families and our neighborhoods. Heat and power and food to eat. Our safety, and indeed our very lives.

We’ve seen – far too dramatically and close to home – how fragile those things can be, and we’ve been reminded not to take them for granted. Read more »

Signs of recovery

It took more than two weeks, but most of our neighbors in Red Hook finally have power, and more and more public housing buildings are getting their heat restored each day. Residents are rightfully angry that it took this long - and there will be a time soon to look at what happened, what should have been done differently, who’s accountable for it, and what we need to learn for the future. But I’m sure glad to see the progress. Read more »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Beyond Words

Two of the people killed by Hurricane Sandy were two young Brooklynites, Jessie Streich-Kest (24) and Jacob Vogelman (23) – both young people of extraordinary values and bright promise.  I cannot find any way to understand or explain their loss, or really even begin to grieve.  I’m so deeply sad and angry.  But I at least want to take a minute to honor their memory, let you know a little bit about them, and share the funeral and memorial/tribute arrangements. Read more »