Prospect Park

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 »

A city budget we can be proud of

The City Council and Mayor Bloomberg reached an agreement this week on New York City’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget – one that invests in our kids and preserves funding for vital public services.

The City’s $68.7 billion budget is a statement of our priorities, and I am proud that those priorities reflect a deep belief in education (public schools continue to be the largest item by far), in core public services and infrastructure that make sure we have safe and vibrant communities, and in a strong safety net for those who need it (young, old, and in-between).

I’m also excited that, for the first time, the City’s budget includes items that you selected, through participatory budgeting. The seven items – totaling $1 million – that more than 2,200 of you voted for in March are being officially adopted as part of the City’s capital budget this week … and we’re launching a new webpage to keep you posted on their progress. Read more »

Running (and organizing) for our schools

What a blast! Last Sunday, hundreds of kids, parents, and teachers from more tha

What a blast! Last Sunday, hundreds of kids, parents, and teachers from more than three dozen schools came out for the Fifth Annual Brooklyn PTA 5k Run for Schools. Donations are still coming in, but we already know that the race raised more than $10,000 for the first time! Read more »

Remarks upon receiving Landmarks Conservancy Award

New York City Councilmember Brad Lander
Chair, New York City Council’s Landmarks Subcommittee
Remarks for Landmarks Conservancy’s Lucy G. Moses Award
Wednesday, April 26, 2012 Read more »

Video: Smart growth stories

Smart Growth America
04/25/2012

Where does change come from? Who comes up with the ideas and proposals needed to reinvigorate neighborhoods?

Ask New York City Councilmember Brad Lander and he’ll tell you.

“The community.”

Read more »

What does it mean to put students first?

Sign up for the PTA 5k and help fundraise for Brooklyn PTAs.


 

More than just about anything else we do in New York City government, our public schools reflect a shared commitment to our city’s future. For me, our schools are a place of real civic magic, where our kids learn to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders, writers, engineers, teachers, and citizens. I love spending time in classrooms, at after-school arts programs, and at PTA meetings.

So I’m proud to again be a sponsor of the Brooklyn PTA 5k run, on Sunday, April 29th at 9 AM, in which students, parents, teachers, principals, and friends come together to raise money collectively for our schools. I hope you’ll register now to join us this year. This is one of the few events I’m aware of anywhere in the city where PTAs raise money together, across schools, with an eye toward equity.

Please sign-up today. Read more »

The Voters Speak: Yes to Bathrooms

New York Times
04/06/2012

The bathrooms won.

Last week’s Metropolitan cover article, “Putting In Their 2 Cents,” chronicled an experiment in participatory budgeting, in which residents of each of four City Council districts decided how to spend roughly $1 million of their council member’s budgets for neighborhood improvements. Voting on the proposals ended last Sunday, and votes were tallied last week. Read more »

Audio: Participatory Budgeting Winners

The Brian Lehrer Show
04/03/2012

Four city council districts let constituents decide how to allocate some funds. Brad LanderBrooklyn City Councilman (D 39), and Alexa Kasdan, director of research and policy for the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center, review the results. Plus Christine Petro, Windsor Terrace resident, and George Sanchez, Cobble Hill resident, talk about their projects that received funding.  Read more »

And the winning projects are …

residents wait to vote at Windsor Terrace Library

Wow! This weekend, more than 2,200 of you came out and took part in what the New York Times called “revolutionary civics in action” – NYC’s first experiment with a new form of hyper-local democracy, participatory budgeting.

I was deeply heartened by the energy that so many of you have put in since we launched the effort last fall, attending brainstorming meetings, joining delegate committees, and voting on the final slate of projects.

And now, I am proud to announce the winning projects from the vote:

  1. Renovation of two dysfunctional bathrooms at PS 124 ($150,000, 958 votes)
  2. Innovative community composting system near Gowanus Canal to turn 1 ton/day of food waste into soil ($165,000, 919 votes)
  3. Planting 100 new trees on blocks throughout the district with few or no trees ($100,000, 767 votes)
  4. New technology for PS 130 and PS 154 ($140,000, 758 votes)
  5. Repairing Prospect Park pedestrian paths to prevent flooding, and adding trash cans in the park ($205,000, 648 votes)
  6. Repairs and safety improvements at the dangerous Prospect Expressway/Church Avenue pedestrian crossing ($200,000, 606 votes)
  7. New books and equipment for the Kensington public library to enhance the branch’s use for meetings, storytelling, rehearsals, and small performances promoting Kensington's cultural diversity ($80,000, 582 votes)