City Council to NYC Department of Education: “It’s October, and it’s still #TooHotToLearn!”

New DOE/SCA Report Fails to Provide Useful Information or a Plan to Get Air Conditioners in Schools as Temperatures Continue to Rise

Council Members Turn to Parents, Students, and Teachers to Crowdsource Data on A/Cs in Schools: 

City Hall, N.Y. – As temperatures are projected to reach 82 degrees in New York City today, City Council Members Brad Lander, Margaret Chin, Daniel Dromm, and Julissa Ferreras-Copeland criticized a new report from the NYC Department of Education and School Construction Authority on air conditioning in schools for failing to provide useful data, and for the lack of planning to install A/Cs in NYC public schools where it is too hot to learn.

The report (attachment available for download here) was required by the City Council as a term and condition in the FY 16-17 budget, passed in June. At the time, the DOE and SCA expressed a willingness to work with the Council on a plan to install air conditioning in schools that need it. The first step was to identify and prioritize the schools most in need.

Unfortunately, the report fails to provide critical information. It identifies 17% of schools with full air-conditioning, and 5% of schools (90 schools) that lack A/C entirely. However, 78% of schools (1,590) are simply identified as “Partial A/C” -- which means only that they have at least 1 A/C unit in the building -- without any information about how many classrooms, auditoriums, gyms, or cafeterias remain to be covered. Meanwhile, just 4 schools are currently having A/Cs installed. Read more »

Community Meeting on Revised Plan for 5th Ave Key Food

You are invited to a community meeting to learn about the revised proposal for the 5th Avenue Key Food at 120 5th Avenue in Park Slope. On Tuesday November 1 at 6:30 pm, a group of community organizations and elected officials will present the results of our months-long negotiation with the developer, Avery Hall Investments (AHI). Come ask questions, share your feedback, and get involved: Read more »

Community Board 6 meeting on Citi Bike expansion next Thursday

It’s no secret that the recent expansion of Citi Bike to our community has brought out strong feelings.

Many of you have told me how thrilled you are about the expansion, and that the bikes have become part of your daily commute, or a good new way to run errands and get around our neighborhoods.

Others have shared with me your deep unhappiness with the bikes and stations that have appeared on your blocks, with the loss of parking and other impacts.

No matter how you feel about the issue, I want to let you know that Community Board 6 will be hosting a public hearing on the Citi Bike expansion next week, on Thursday, October 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the 78th Precinct station house at 65 6th Avenue (details here & below). Read more »

Statement on Citi Bike/Bike-share in Community Board 6

The expansion of Citi Bike to Community Board 6 has brought passionate responses. In my office, we’ve heard a lot: both from people who are thrilled, and have become regular users – and from people who are deeply unhappy (either with a particular station near them, or with bike-share as a whole).

It’s no secret that I’m a supporter of Citi Bike, and worked hard to make sure that bike-share expanded to our neighborhoods this year. I believe it is a valuable piece of public infrastructure that gives people a useful and convenient new transit option.   Read more »

Preparing for the Yom Kippur fast -- some public t'shuvah

Like every year, I’m preparing for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur by focusing on t’shuvah – seeking forgiveness for the things I’ve done wrong over the past year, and also redemption and return to my better, truer, less damaged self.

Like every year, I will focus on my personal wrongdoings, as there are certainly many of those. Over the next 36 hours, I’ll be scrutinizing my own shortcomings, and seeking forgiveness from family, friends, loved ones, co-workers, and others whom I have harmed – knowingly or inadvertently – over the past year.

But this year, I’m feeling the need to engage in some public t’shuvah as well. Our political dialogue have been so badly warped in this election season, that it feels like the public sphere itself has been poisoned. I can’t think of any place where t’shuvah is so badly needed right now.

So, in that spirit, I want to seek your forgiveness for my shortcomings and wrongdoings in public office this past year. Read more »

Prospect Park is going to the dogs…

For pups across Brooklyn, this summer was a “ruff” one, when their popular swimming spot at Dog Beach was closed for renovations. But thanks to the fantastic in-house design team at the Prospect Park Alliance, Dog Beach is back ahead of schedule and, looking quite “fetching.”

This Saturday morning, we’re joining dog lovers from all over our neighborhoods to “unleash” Prospect Park’s newly renovated Dog Beach. Read more »

Save the Date: Kick-Off of Gowanus Neighborhood Planning Process

Over the past three years, neighborhood leaders, community groups, elected officials, and hundreds of you have come together to envision a sustainable, livable, and inclusive future for the area around the Gowanus Canal. The "Bridging Gowanus" community planning process has laid a solid foundation of thoughtful, community-led planning and strong public action to shape our neighborhood.

Now, beginning this fall, the NYC Department of City Planning (DCP) will convene a series of conversations in our community—to build upon our work together though Bridging Gowanus, and develop plans for the future of the area. On Thursday October 27, DCP will host a kick-off meeting for the Gowanus neighborhood planning study: 

Kick-Off Meeting: Gowanus Neighborhood Planning Study
with the NYC Department of City Planning
Thursday October 27th at 6:30 pm
PS 32 – 317 Hoyt St, at Union St
More information here  (under “How can I get involved?”) Read more »

Testimony from Jennifer DeLuca submitted to the City Council Hearing on Small Businesses (Zoning and Incentives)

The following is testimony submitted from Jennifer DeLuca to the New York City Council's Committee on Small Business regarding "City Hall Oversight - Zoning and incentives for promoting retail diversity and preserving neighborhood character":

Your favorite small businesses

Our small businesses are a real treasure of our communities. They are a big part of our daily lives, the places where we see our neighbors, and so much of what make our neighborhoods feel like home.

More than 130 people took the time to tell us about thier favorite “mom and pops” -- including long-time favorites like the Community Bookstore, Brancaccio’s Foodshop, Clay Pot, D’Amico’s Coffee, Leopoldi’s Hardware, Lion in the Sun, and so many more.

We’ve put them all on the map below.

Happy local shopping!

Read more »

Keeping our favorite small businesses on the map

Thanks to all of you who responded to my email last week about your favorite small businesses in our community and what we can do to help them continue to thrive -- in advance of our City Council hearing on the topic last Friday.

More than 130 of you took the time to tell us about your favorite “mom and pops” -- including long-time favorites like the Community Bookstore, Brancaccio’s Foodshop, Clay Pot, D’Amico’s Coffee, Leopoldi’s Hardware, Lion in the Sun, and so many more. We’ve put them all on this map. Happy local shopping!

We’re lucky to live in a community with such a thriving, diverse, and unique retail scene. But we know these businesses face daunting challenges, especially during a time of rising rents and online shopping.

So we also really appreciated the ideas you sent for preserving retail diversity and supporting small businesses. Read more »

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