Save the Date: Planning for Resiliency and Sustainability in Gowanus

The second public meeting in the NYC Department of City Planning’s Gowanus PLACES study will focus on grounding our planning work in the critical issues of resiliency and sustainability – including the risks of flooding (from sea level rise, storm surge, and rain), the EPA’s Superfund cleanup, and what we can do to make Gowanus a model of environmental sustainability.

Gowanus PLACES Meeting on Environmental Resiliency and Sustainability
Thursday, December 8, 2016
6:30 PM
Wyckoff Gardens Community Center
280 Wyckoff St 9 (at 3rd Ave)

For the better part of two centuries, the Gowanus Canal functioned as both sewer and symbol of our country’s environmental neglect, as industrial pollution, the toxic waste of making energy through coal gasification, and combined sewer overflows (CSOs) poured into the Canal. The dissolved oxygen level in the Canal reached zero in about 1904, and stayed that way for most of the past century. Read more »

Support our immigrant neighbors with a Thanksgiving contribution

The election of Donald Trump has made this a fearful time for many of our immigrant neighbors, especially in Sunset Park and Kensington. We are committed to working closely together with these communities in the days ahead.

Together, we can make work to sure our immigrant communities feel welcomed. We can provide legal assistance, and perhaps even put ourselves on the line with them if the time comes. Big thanks to everyone who attended the Day of Unity and Solidarity in Sunset Park yesterday sponsored by Council Member Carlos Menchaca.

Here’s what you can do today: At yesterday's Unity Festival, more than 130 families signed up (for the first time) to ask for help with their Thanksgiving meal. Council Member Menchaca is working with the Center for Family Life to make sure they get the help they need. But it's going to cost $6,500, and we need to raise it right now. Read more »

Get Organized BK! #RegisterMeFirst in Solidarity with Muslims (and more!)

As our allies and friends around the City continue to organize, we want to keep you posted on urgent actions and upcoming events.

First Action of the Day: #RegisterMeFirst

President-elect Donald Trump wants to require all Muslims to register in a government database, violating civil rights and fundamental American Constitutional protections on freedom of religion. If he does, all of us – Jews, Christians, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, and everyone else – must pledge to register as Muslims on day one. #RegisterMeFirst

I urge you to join me in pledging to sign up on the first day the registry is open, whatever our religion, ethnicity, national origin, or background, by signing this petition

This Sunday (11/20): March in Solidarity with our Immigrant Neighbors Read more »

Get Organized BK! Next Steps (for today: #DumpBannon)

More than a thousand people joined together at our #GetOrganizedBK town hall on Tuesday night, to begin the transition from mourning the election results to acting on them. We committed to working together in strategic ways to resist Trump’s agenda and defend our deeply American values.

It was a powerful evening, We heard from smart, steadfast, compassionate and diverse speakers who helped us prepare for focused and sustained resistance. We took seriously what we must do to show up for New Yorkers facing hate-speech and hate-crimes welling up in our streets, subways, and schools. We cheered on inspiring young people. We built strategies to move forward with our neighbors. We sang America the Beautiful.  And we restored some of our faith in community, love, and democracy.

For those of you who weren’t able to join us (we’re sorry for the poor live-stream quality), you can watch the full event here, check out a few of the pictures and quotes here, or read about it in City Limits and BKLYNERRead more »

Follow Up Information from #GetOrganizedBK Speakers

Speaker/Organization Follow Up Information:

Here’s the follow-up information from the organizations represented at #GetOrganizedBK: Read more »

Let's Get Organized. This Tuesday Evening.

UPDATE: We've reached capacity for this event (more than 1,000 people have already RSVP'd). But you can still join us online via Facebook Live, and participate/ask questions using the website or app (details below).

Many of us are still in shock and mourning from the election result. And it will take time, both to analyze what happened, and to deal with very real fears and such deep sadness.

But we also have an obligation to roll up our sleeves and get to work: to do all we can to defend the things we know are right, to protect those who are vulnerable, to stand together in focused resistance, and to fight for the future we believe in.

Here in my district, we are doing what we can to get started. Read more »

For Veterans Day & Beyond: A Challenge

Amidst the pain and division we are feeling in the country, I am grateful for the opportunity of Veterans Day to unify in gratitude to people who have served our country. While there will be much work ahead to defend core American ideals, we honor those who have given their service and their lives for them.

From the Maryland 400, whose 240th anniversary of sacrifice we observed in August, who gave their lives in what Washington called “an hour more precious to liberty than any other,” to the wars of our generation, we owe our veterans our deep gratitude – but also something much more tangible than that.

I’m proud that NYC has established a new Department of Veterans Services, under the leadership of Ret. Brigadier General Loree Sutton.

But we’ve got a lot more to do.
Read more »

Don't Just Mourn. Organize.

Before going to sleep early this morning, I wrote (borrowing the legendary last words of union organizer Joe Hill): “Don’t Mourn. Organize.”

On a few hours sleep, I’ll amend that: Mourn. This is a nightmare, with very real consequences. But then, seriously, organize.

That’s not some polly-anish advice. Just sad and practical reality.

It was so hard to wake up and have to tell your kids the news that Donald Trump won. Far worse, of course, in families that include immigrants, Muslims, women, and other groups who were the targets of Trump’s attacks … and are now rightly worried about what the future holds. The disappointment in the eyes of our daughters was heartbreaking. And the results make us question many things about the country we thought we live in.

So a little mourning is necessary. Mourning is rooted in love and compassion for others, so it’s a good place to start.  

But not to stop.

We have an obligation to do all we can to defend the things we know are right, protect those who are vulnerable, stand together in organized resistance, and to fight for the future we believe in. Read more »

Get Out And Vote (and with enthusiasm, even)

After what seems like an eternity … Election Day is finally here.

Polls in New York are open tomorrow from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. You can use to find your polling place.

In addition to the Presidential race, don’t forget to vote in the other federal, state, and local races on the ballot (you may need to turn your ballot over for them).

If you have trouble voting … Read more »

Saving our supermarket: great news about the 5th Avenue Key Food site

Last year, our community received a real jolt, when we learned that a developer planned to demolish the 5th Avenue Key Food, North Park Slope’s main supermarket, and replace it with mixed-income housing and new retail.

Residents quickly organized, and more than 400 people turned out to make our voice heard loud and clear: we are not anti-development, but we can’t lose the only large, affordable, community supermarket in our neighborhood. After that meeting, I worked with the Fifth Avenue Committee to convene a strong stakeholder coalition of neighborhood organizations, community leaders, and elected officials – and the developer (Avery Hall Investments, or AHI) agreed to negotiate with us.

On Tuesday night, we announced the results of months of negotiations, and I think you’ll agree that it is a big win for our community: Read more »

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