June 2014

A progressive, responsible, transparent budget for NYC

Last night, the City Council voted to approve NYC’s budget for the coming fiscal year – the result of months of hearings and negotiation.  This year’s process allowed for a more substantive and productive discussion than we have seen in years past.  The result is a budget that more effectively meets our City's pressing needs and will create opportunity for so many New Yorkers. Read more »

Reflections from a 5th grade graduation

It’s sentimental, and yet deeply true: for me, there is no better celebration of American democracy than a 5th grade public school graduation, rooted in the idea that every single student has the potential to achieve their goals, and the right to get a real opportunity to try.

If we want a democratic society – inspired by the ideals of equality, of opportunity, of fairness, of creativity, of stewardship for future generations, of commitment to the common good – a good starting place is to celebrate and recommit to what can happen in our public schools. Read more »

Bread and (Roses) Historic Signs

I enjoyed Ginia Bellafante’s takedown of Brooklyn’s “sign nostalgia” in the Times today (“Nostalgia’s Blurring Glow”), using Roland Barthes’ Mythologies essays to deconstruct the nostalgic affection that gentrified communities exhibit about the working-class past that they’ve (ok, we’ve) displaced.  While I’m proud of the work my office did this week to preserve the Kentile Floors sign letters, she offers a useful counterpoint – but also one that I think needs to be pushed a little further. Read more »