Prospect Park

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 »

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 »