As budgets are cut, advocates push for continued free lunch


New York City Council Members, along with food and public education advocates, called today for the restoration of proposed cuts to NYC’s School Food program, so that low-income kids don’t go hungry, and all kids have healthy choices. In particular, council members and advocates called for the restoration of $3 million to prevent the elimination of nearly 100 schools from the Universal School Meals program, which insures that all kids in predominantly low-income schools receive free lunches, and has been shown to improve health, nutrition, and academic achievement. “A strong public school food program - with universal free meals in low-income schools, and healthy food choices for all kids — is essential to keeping kids healthy and making sure they can learn,” said Councilmember Brad Lander. “This is a small investment in our children’s future when considering the vast improvement in academic performance and overall well-being it promotes.” Read more »

Video: Brad Lander Rallies for Neighborhood Firehouse

Kensington Prospect

Councilmember Brad Lander joined Matthew Eugene, who represents the other side of Coney Island Avenue in a rally last week to protest the closure of the Cortelyou road firehouse, which serves folks on both sides of Coney Island Avenue. Read more »

Taxing Wall Street Would Ease Budget Cuts

Gotham Gazette

Councilmember Lander and his Progressive Caucus Co-Chair, Councilmember Mark-Viverito, have a piece in the Gotham Gazette on the New York City Budget and potential revenue-raising options. Read more »

Marty: How about ‘Adopt-a-Pool’?

Brooklyn Paper

The Parks Department has said that it needs to close the Double-D pool as part of a $2.6-million cut in the agency’s $23.2-million “recreation services” budget. Lander suggested that the wealthiest New Yorkers — he specified “hedge fund managers” — need to pay more in taxes. “We need to ask for just a little more for those most able to pay,” he said, adding that the city opened 11 public pools during the Great Depression. Read more »

NYC Councilmembers Meet With ACS Commissioner About Priority 7 Vouchers

Yeshiva World News

The four Councilmembers leading the effort to restore Priorty 7 vouchers met with ACS Commissioner John Mattingly and his top staff in what was described as a “frank” conversation on the implications of the proposed elimination of the vouchers from this year’s budget. Councilmembers David Greenfield (D-Boro Park), Brad Lander (D-Park Slope), Steve Levin (D-Williamsburg) and Letitia James (D-Crown Heights) spent over an hour on Friday afternoon meeting at the headquarters of the Administration for Child Services in Manhattan. Read more »

Save free and healthy school lunches for thousands of kids!

The "Universal School Meals" program currently ensures that tens of thousands of school age kids do not go hungry during the school day. Under the program, participating schools are able to offer students a free lunch regardless of their income, residency, or citizenship status. This ensures that all needy kids receive access to healthy meals and reduces the amount of paperwork that burdens parents and administrators.

Please join me in asking Mayor Bloomberg to make sure that low-income kids are not left behind.

Columbia Waterfront Update

Dear Columbia Waterfront Neighbors: I wanted to share with you some quick updates on a few neighborhood issues that affect the area along the Columbia Street Waterfront:

Seniors Enjoy Free Walking at Park Slope Armory

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Starting on Wednesday, June 16, the YMCA Sports Complex at the Park Slope Armory will open its doors for Senior Citizens to enjoy free walking time on their beautiful indoor 200-meter track. The free program will run Monday and Wednesday mornings from 9 to 10 a.m. The June kick-off for the program allows for participants to get inside from the heat and the free walking time will continue year-round.

New York City Budget Update

As you have been hearing, this is an exceptionally difficult year for New York's budget (at both the City and State levels). I want to take a moment to update you on the situation at the City level - and to let you know what my colleagues and I are doing to protect vital public services, and how you can get involved.

Elected Officials, City, Clash Over Living Wage Study-to-Be

New York Observer

Tensions are rising over living wage. The Bloomberg administration's plan to study the effects of living wage laws came under attack today from a set of Council members and City Comptroller John Liu, who called the effort a "sham." In addition, nine Council members wrote a letter to Economic Development Corporation president Seth Pinsky asking him to take a more objective approach, given that the Bloomberg administration has repeatedly voiced opposition to many living wage requirements. "I welcome informative data that helps us make decisions, but given that the city has already indicated that it is skeptical of this policy, how can we be confident that the study will be objective and independent?" Councilman Brad Lander said today via phone. Read more »

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