Prospect Park

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Back to (Our) Schools

This morning, over 1 million kids (including my two) head back to New York City’s public schools.

Despite the often-contentious rhetoric surrounding education policy these days, our public schools for me remain the shining hope of American democracy: that we all work together – through government, with our tax dollars – to invest heavily in the idea that every single kid deserves an equal opportunity to learn and grow, that diversity is a core strength, that we help individuals achieve their potential through collective action, and that knowledge, ideas, and the search for truth matter. Those are not the values of the marketplace (though good education is certainly essential to a thriving economy); they are the values of democracy. Read more »