Last week, I had the privilege to see a remastered print of Ken Burns’ 1981 film, Brooklyn Bridge, at the Brooklyn Museum. The documentary had me feeling all the feelings for the Bridge and the borough. But it’s not just the Great Bridge that’s been inspiring Brooklyn this week. In fact, our very own Newtown Creek has been inspiring equitable urban greening and environmental activism here in the neighborhood, and around the country. For example, the Newtown Creek Nature Walk was cited as a project for the neighborhood that avoids environmental gentrification.
Further, brothers Gary and Sam Bencheghib took to the mighty waters of Newtown Creek in their series #BroCleanBKLN. On December 2nd, the pair paddled both the Creek and Gowanus Canal to highlight pollution in Brooklyn, and advocate for cleaner waterways.
Speaking of advocacy in Brooklyn, Council Member Antonio Reynoso, who ran unopposed for a second term in the 34th district, representing parts of Williamsburg, Bushwick and Ridgewood, is deeply focused on Criminal Justice Reform. He said in an interview with Bklyner this week that The Right to Know Act, proposed legislation that would require NYPD officers to inform citizens of their rights regarding consent to search, and would would require that a record of the interaction be made, is his “top priority right now.”
And, it’s clear that in Brooklyn, some advocacy pays off! Advocates opposed to the rezoning of Brooklyn’s Broadway Triangle area, which critics charged unfairly favored large Hassidic families in the affordable housing developments, have scored a victory. The City settled a lawsuit with advocates to ensure that affordable housing in the area will be open to all those in need, of all faiths, ethnicities and backgrounds.
If you want to take your community engagement to the state level, it’s important to know that we have new representation in the State Senate. Brian Kavanagh is now our man in Albany, representing the Brooklyn waterfront from Greenpoint to Carroll Gardens as well as lower Manhattan.
And speaking of new things on the Waterfront, there’s a new site specific art installation at the Lot Radio (17 Nassau Avenue).