stephen levin

Submit your Last Minute input on Transportation in North BK!

rendering of a bioswale
Rendering of a Bioswale via NYC DEP

The NYC Department of Transportation is getting ready to release the results of a Transportation Study for Brooklyn Community Board 1 (That’s us)!  The study, focusing on issues like street design, traffic flow, public safety and environmental impact, was funded by Councilman Stephen Levin’s office. While North Brooklyn residents have already contributed over 400 unique comments and concerns to the study, Levin’s office is now inviting community members to submit last minute input “to make sure this process reflects everyone’s voices.”

The North Brooklyn streetscape is not the first to be surveyed by the NYC DOT. For example, the department assessed conditions on Jay Street in 2016. Past studies like this one have analyzed existing issues on the street, then offered solutions based on public input, so your ideas are essential to the process.  Continue reading

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On the Waterfront and Off the Leash — The Hook-up (10/11)

Cruising on Newtown Creek. Via Freeport Princess
Conservationists Cruising on Newtown Creek. Via Freeport Princess

Greenpointers have been watching the changing East River Waterfront. A community development meeting on Wednesday allowed residents to hear from developers, and voice their concerns about on-going construction projects in North Brooklyn. While the luxury towers seem to leave a lot of Greenpointers out in the cold, this week The Brooklyn Eagle toured Level BK, in Williamsburg, offering a look inside.

Elsewhere on the waterfront, Newtown Creek Stakeholders took to the waterway for a cruise aboard the Freeport Princess. Business owners, residents, environmentalists, government representatives were all on board.

Transmitter Park is one of the great gems of the Greenpoint waterfront, but the oasis has turned terrifying for pet owners. A shaggy, unleashed, black dog has brutally attacked several other dogs in the park without cause or warning.  Continue reading

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Notes from Wednesday’s Community Development Meeting

Rendering of 21 India Street via Corcoran
Rendering of 21 India Street via Corcoran

On Wednesday, Greenpoint residents came together at the Polish and Slavic Center (176 Java Street) for a community development meeting organized by Councilman Stephen Levin. The meeting promised information about how new construction along the waterfront, will impact Greenpoint.

Representatives from Greenpoint Landing, The Greenpoint (21 India Street) and Heritage Equity Partners (25 Kent) presented the most recent developments regarding their on-gong construction projects, and took questions from community members. Then community organizations took the floor to discuss their recent work. Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, the Department of Environmental Conservation, Curb Your Litter, and Evergreen all turned out to detail their ongoing efforts on behalf of Greenpoint. Here are notes from the 2 hour meeting:

Continue reading

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Democrat Stephen Levin Wins City Council Race in a Landslide

Councilman Stephen Levin
Councilman Stephen Levin

Democratic City Council Member Stephen Levin was re-elected to represent Greenpoint and the rest of the 33rd District on the New York City Council this Tuesday, November 7th. Levin received more than 18,600 votes, or over eighty-eight percent of the ballots cast. His opponent was a native Greenpointer, Victoria Cambranes, a novice politician who received some two thousand seven hundred votes, or about eleven percent of the vote. Cambranes cut into Levin’s victory total in 2013 when Levin received over ninety-one percent of the vote. Cambranes attracted some support because of her Polish and Latina background, but still fell far short of the very popular Levin.

Part of the reason for the Levin landslide was his success in getting the city to buy the land for Bushwick Inlet Park. In announcing the purchase of the land, Mayor De Blasio, an ally of Levin’s, spoke of Levin being a tireless gadfly in advocating for the purchase of the park. Levin was also instrumental in gaining more than seventeen million dollars in funding for the park.  Continue reading

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Rezoning, Renovating and Revving up for Election Day — The Hook-up (11/3)

A rendering for the Pfzier Rezoning Plan
A rendering for the Pfzier Rezoning Plan, via NewYorkYimby

Yesterday, when Joe Rickets, the billionaire founder of TD Ameritrade, who owned DNAinfo and Gothamist shut down those sites – putting 115 people out of work – following the reporters’ vote to unionize, we got another reminder of how easily a powerful individual can wantonly affect the lives of so many people according to his whims.

Powerful business interests have been flexing their muscles here in Greenpoint, too. Both the waterfront development firm Greenpoint Landing Associates, and the pharmaceutical conglomerate Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) scored some good press this week by making grants to the local community. Greenpoint Landing Associates donated $250,000 to the Greenpoint YMCA (99 Meserole Ave) to renovate the gym, fitness room and spin center. PhRMA pledged $2,000 to P.S. 34 Oliver H. Perry Elementary to support the school’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.  Continue reading

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Participatory Budgeting Meetings Tonight & Next Week (9/20 & 9/27)

For the past few years, City Council Member Stephen Levin has allowed the residents of District 33 to decide how to allocate at least $1 million of discretionary funds. And it’s time to submit ideas for next year! Need some inspiration? Here are winning ideas from other districts (26, 34, 35, 36, and 39). Or you can help Stephen Levin and his team brainstorm ideas at one of the upcoming neighborhood meetings!

Participatory budgeting has been going on in New York City for seven years now with District 33 joining during the second year. In short, “Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget.” Yes, voters directly decide which of the proposed projects they feel should be funded and the popular vote wins. Projects are funded until the available money runs out. Earlier this year, 3,789 turned out to vote with the winners including bus clocks along the B62/B32 bus routes; a STEAM Lab for Samuel Dupont Elementary School/P.S. 31 (75 Meserole St); and upgraded electrical wiring at Monitor School/P.S. 110 (124 Monitor St). Continue reading

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Have Your Voice Heard With Participatory Budgeting

Real Money, Real Power: Participatory Budgeting from PBP on Vimeo.

Cycle 7 of NYC’s Participatory Budgeting initiative has begun! And Council Member Stephen Levin is riding high after Cycle 6’s success in District 33. “Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget.” That is, you directly decide which of the proposed projects you feel should be funded and the popular vote wins. Projects are funded until the available money runs out. That funding comes directly from our district’s “discretionary funds” budget. Council Member Levin put aside $1.5 million for us last cycle and he’s doing it again this time.

Community members meet with District 33 Participatory Budgeting Coordinator Benjamin Solotaire last year.

Earlier this year, 3,789 people voted on which projects submitted by the community they would like funded. The winning projects include bus clocks with live, up-to-date arrival times at 12 stops along the B62/B32 bus routes; a STEAM Lab for Samuel Dupont Elementary School/P.S. 31 (75 Meserole St); and upgraded electrical wiring at Monitor School/P.S. 110 (124 Monitor St). With Cycle 7 ready to begin, there are a few ways to get involved. One is to submit your project idea–here are some winning ideas from other districts (26, 34, 35, 36, and 39). It’s an opportunity to get creative and really think outside of the box. What would make our community better for everyone? To begin that process, you can email District 33’s Participatory Budgeting Director Benjamin Solotaire ([email protected]). Or you can show up at 6:30pm tonight for the first Participatory Budgeting meeting at our district office, 410 Atlantic Avenue. Later on this year there will be opportunities to present your project to the Participatory Budgeting Committee with the top projects being voted on next spring. Here’s your chance to make a difference in the District 33 community.

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Artists And Art Friends Unite: Loft Law Rally Tomorrow Night!

Rally for a Better Loft Law | Thursday May 25 | 7-9pm
@ San Damiano Mission | 85 N 15th St

If you know any North Brooklyn artists in live/work spaces, you probably know someone who is affected by the Loft Law. Artists and creatives are being pushed out of many NYC neighborhoods, including our own Greenpoint and Williamsburg, and luckily you can support the local art community to help artists stay put. On Thursday evening, all are welcome to join tenants, artists, elected officials and housing advocates to show support for the 2017 Loft Law “Clean-Up” Bill. Speakers will include state and local elected officials, loft lawyers, artists and tenant advocates.

RSVP on Facebook Continue reading

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It’s Time for the Annual Participatory Budget Vote! (3/25 – 4/2)

Real Money, Real Power: Participatory Budgeting from PBP on Vimeo.

Cycle 6 of the annual Participatory Budget voting begins Saturday, March 25th, and goes until Sunday, April 2nd. “Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget.” Our City Councilman, Stephen Levin, chose to give us the voice on how to spend our tax dollars. In this vote, you have the opportunity to vote for as many as five project proposals; funding is granted based on which proposals receive the most votes and our district’s annual discretionary fund budget. The vote is open to anyone over the age of 14 who lives within our district (33), and this year, we can vote online! Of the 15 projects this year, here are the ones proposed for Greenpoint and Williamsburg: Continue reading

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Q&A With Stephen Levin on Tuesday, January 10th At Pete’s Candy Store

Stephen Levin
Stephen Levin

Join new local podcast The Hook next Tuesday, January 10 at 7pm at Pete’s Candy Store for their inaugural episode of a new, live, one-on-one talk show. The first episode will kick off with NYC City Council member Stephen Levin for an intriguing sit-down with questions like:

“Is there hope in politics?”
“Are there other cities you are envious of, politically?”
“What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?”
And… “When you played bass for an indie- rock darling of college-radio, named after a $10 toy synthesizer, was it awesome?”

Levin is one of the city council’s youngest members and part of the 33rd District which includes Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Recently, Levin was a key player in the city’s acquisition of the final parcel of land to complete Bushwick Inlet Park, a victory which took years of hard work and collaboration between residents and local government. Though, it should be noted that the process isn’t over, and we still have a long way to go until the day we see the park fully realized on our waterfront land.

According to The Hook, it is “a new political speakeasy, in which people of idealistic distinction are interviewed before a live audience, with ample space for interaction, surprise, and discovery. Moderated by former Open City Dialogues host Jamie Hook in the venerable back-room of Pete’s Candy Store, The Hook is an experiment in the politics of the local, an incubator for new community ideas, and a subscriber to the notion that all you have to do to belong is participate. Join us!”

Audience members will have ample opportunity to ask questions and participate, so bring your best inquiries for a chance to find out what’s what from a local politician in this era of political uncertainty.

The Hook at Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer Street)
7-9pm, Tuesday January 10th

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