News

Testimony for Brooklyn Bridge Park Alternative to Housing Hearing

November 30, 2010

Thank you to the Subcommittee on Alternatives to Housing for this opportunity to provide testimony, and to everyone who has come out tonight on this important issue.

As we saw this past summer at Pier 1 and Pier 6, decades of work to secure a park on the waterfront in our community has begun to pay off. Brooklyn Bridge Park is already an extraordinary open space and recreational resources for New Yorkers, and I look forward to working with all the stakeholders to help realize its full potential in the years ahead. Read more »

Progressive Caucus Applauds Study by Center for American Progress on the Benefits of Higher Wage Standards

Press release
12/01/2010

New York, NY - Members of the New York City Council Progressive Caucus hailed today’s release by the Center for American Progress of “Creating Good Jobs in Our Communities: How Higher Wage Standards Affect Economic Development and Employment.” The Progressive Caucus welcomed the study’s findings, and called for passage of two key pieces of legislation to insure that taxpayer-funded subsidies in New York City are used to create good jobs. The study is available here.  Read more »

NYC Needs a Responsible Banking Act

Huffington Post
11/30/2010

Go to the Huffington Post website to read the full post

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I had the chance to see Inside Job – Charles Ferguson's stinging indictment of the financial sector surrounding the global financial crisis of 2008. It left me angry once again about how the explosion of predatory lending, combined with all the wrong incentives in the financial sector, stripped millions of families of their life savings, led to the financial meltdown, and cost millions of jobs around the world.  And also disappointed about how little real financial reform there has been since then, and how bleak the outlook for meaningful change in Washington is right now.

At the local level, though, we have the opportunity to take a meaningful step forward.  A NYC Responsible Banking Act would require banks that want to make money by holding on to the City of New York's cash to put forward a new generation of strategic plans and reports for how they are meeting the credit needs of our communities.

Read more »

Shop local this holiday season

7th Ave. Park Slope

I hope you had a safe and happy Thanksgiving with friends and loved ones. In addition to a great meal with family, my daughter Rosa and I had the chance to deliver Thanksgiving meals to some homebound seniors, and to remember just how grateful we are for our many blessings.

One of the many things that I'm thankful for in our neighborhoods are our local, independent businesses. As the holiday shopping season begins, I hope you'll do as much of it as you can with small businesses here in Brooklyn. Read more »

Brad and Edward Norton Honor National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award Winners

Brad and Edward NortonNew York City Councilmembers Brad Lander, Letitia James and Jimmy Van Bramer were joined at today's Stated Council meeting by two-time Academy Award−nominated actor Edward Norton to recognize this year’s NYC−based National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award winners. Heart of Brooklyn, which is a partnership between the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, Prospect Park, and Prospect Park Zoo and Global Action Project Global, are two of just fifteen organizations nationwide to receive this prestigious annual award from the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH). Read more »

NYC Schools: Democratic Public Education, or Corporate Widget-Maker?

Huffington Post
11/11/2010

Mike Bloomberg's nomination of Cathie Black as schools chancellor is not only a bad personnel move. It is a symbol of a critical choice we are facing: Are our public schools a place to educate well−rounded citizens for the New York City of tomorrow? Or are they the junior academy of corporate America, oriented around test-taking and the bottom line? Read more »

Serious Fire in Park Slope

As some of you may have heard, unfortunately there was a serious fire on 5th Ave and 17th Street yesterday afternoon. This fire caused major damage to 615 5th Ave, 617 5th Ave, 619 5th Ave and 255 17th Street. Fortunately, all the apartments were empty at the time of the fire and no residents were injured, but two firefighters did sustain minor injuries. My thoughts are with them for a speedy recovery, and I know the whole neighborhood extends our gratitude for their bravery. Read more »

Truck stop on Columbia Street pleases locals

A truck drives down Columbia Street
Brooklyn Paper
11/09/2010

Columbia Street residents are thrilled that the beverage trucks that once plied their quiet street have been re-routed onto the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway, bringing to an end a familiar controversy in which locals wrestled with the growing port on the waterfront.

“Phoenix and the Teamsters were willing to adopt a solution that really costs them some money,” said Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope), who was involved in negotiations with the beverage company. “It does add a meaningful amount of time to each of those [truck drivers’] shifts.”

Lander said that several permanent routes are being considered for the trucks once the reconstruction of Van Brunt Street is completed, including keeping the trucks on the BQE, having them travel within the port, or managing the times trucks are allowed to travel on Columbia Street. Read more »

It could be your bubbe or zayde: how we can make Fort Hamilton Parkway safer for everyone

Hamodia
11/05/2010

On December 31st, 2009, a 74-year-old woman was killed when she was hit by a truck while she was crossing Fort Hamilton Parkway at 49th Street in Borough Park. In April of this year, a 55-year-old was killed crossing Fort Hamilton just a few blocks away.  Several other pedestrians have been struck by cars nearby. Back in 2008, when a car collision at Fort Hamilton and 44th Street killed two people, a local resident called it the “corner of death.”  

So when the NYC Department of Transportation came out to Community Board 12 back in June to tell us about their plans to install a few pedestrian islands at key intersections along Fort Hamilton Parkway – as part of their “safe routes for seniors” program – I thought it made sense to try to save the next senior citizen from getting killed. Borough Park has a high concentration of seniors, and we’ve seen too many of them hit by cars in recent years.

Read more »

Fifth Avenue Committee Personal Finance Workshops

Fifth Avenue Committee logo

The Fifth Avenue Committee will be holding two workshops on personal finance in the coming weeks that we feel may be of interest to the community. Both workshops will be presented in English and Spanish. Read more »

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