Compared to three-term, self-funding, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration have a far more transactional relationship with backers. Many donors are seeking and expecting business benefits if they help promote the current mayor’s policy agenda, according to a story in Politico New York.
The mayor has so far raised $3,870,000 from unions and developers, among others, who donate to a nonprofit de Blasio set up in December 2013 to promote his agenda, called The Campaign for One New York. (The group is not subject to the rules of the Campaign Finance Board, either, and contributors often donate anonymously.)
Linda Sarsour — the Brooklyn-born Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York — has her sights set on a future City Council bid, borough presidency, and eventual Mayorship of an independent Brooklyn, according to a mostly gushing profile in this weekend’s New York Times.
Sarsour has been involved with the city’s politics since joining the Arab American Association in 2001. In the years since, she’s fought the Police Department’s systematic spying on members of New York’s Muslim population, and worked on improving immigration policy, boosting voter registration, fighting Islamophobia and, most recently, advocating and organizing for the Black Lives Matter movement.
In addition to enumerating Sarsour’s many accomplishments, the article reads like a love-letter to her Brooklyn bonafides. Below are Sarsour’s top seven Brooklyn credentials as featured by Times political writer Alan Feuer, in reverse order.
If you’ve got a landlord from hell, you’re invited to speak out tonight and Thursday at a pair of town hall meetings held by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and veteran civil rights attorney Norman Siegel.
The goal of the “Tenant Harassment Hearings” goes beyond letting aggravated tenants vent — the idea is to identify Brooklyn’s worst landlords and spur criminal investigations and lawsuits.
“We’re not waiting for tenants to reach the end of their rope, we’re getting proactive,” said Adams in announcing the hearings last month. Adams — pictured above with Siegel (left) and tenant advocates — linked the hearings to the city’s affordable housing crunch, and noted that tenant harassment complaints in housing court have almost doubled since 2011. (more…)
Editor’s Note: Hi I’m Barbara, new Editor here at Brownstoner. This is my first post. We’ll be sharing the rest of our new lineup soon.
Yesterday’s Make It In Brooklyn Innovation Summit started with a bang. And a few surprise blasts from a full marching band. But the real show was seeing real estate bigs David and Jed Walentas of Two Trees and Bruce Ratner and Maryanne Gilmartin of Forest City Ratner share the stage in chummy conversation.
During the Q&A, we asked Ratner how he felt about having Hillary Clinton as a tenant at 1 Pierrepont Plaza, a building he built way back in 1987. His answer: “I was honored. I was sort of surprised. I’m delighted. No matter what my politics are.” (more…)
Commenter Pig Three has started an interesting discussion in the Forum about a supposed new NYPD policy to give drug dealers over 40 a free pass.
A New York Post story about the policy doesn’t say a word about the Mayor, but Pig Three blames the administration. Replies in the Forum evaluate de Blasio’s record on everything from universal pre-K to Vision Zero. Here’s the question:
Earlier this month residents in seven Brooklyn city council districts had the opportunity to vote on whether or not to fund a large number of projects using money allocated by the city to each district. The process, known as participatory budgeting, is designed to give citizens more of a voice in how city funds are spent. And now council members representing three of those Brooklyn districts have announced the results of the vote.
In District 39, which runs from the Columbia Street Waterfront, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens through to Park Slope, Kensington and Windsor Terrace, eight projects were funded, including $150,000 for greening Union Street and 9th Street, $250,00 for building a story telling garden at the Park Slope Library (pictured above) and $200,000 for draining a chronically muddy path in Prospect Park. A full list of projects approved by voters in district 39 can be accessed here.
Mayor de Blasio will propose building a new subway line running under Utica Avenue in a speech today about sustainability, according a report in Capital New York. The avenue, currently served by the B46 bus, is “one of the densest areas in the city not directly served by the subway,” said a draft of the speech quoted by Capital New York.
The B46 bus currently runs along Utica from Marine Park up through East Flatbush and then through east Bed Stuy on Malcolm X Boulevard to Williamsburg near Marcy Avenue and Broadway. A story in the Daily News said it’s all posturing and will never happen.
Brooklyn City Council members Brad Lander and Stephen Levin have joined with the Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and one other City Council member in sponsoring a bill that would speed the landmark review process. The process would move online with a public database showing all actions taken by the Landmark Preservation Commission and the ability to submit applications for landmarks online, according to a story in The Real Deal.
The bill would also require the LPC to respond more quickly, with a 90-day limit for feedback on applications for individual landmarks and 180 days for proposed historic districts. “Unresolved” cases would have to be jettisoned after five years. (more…)
Former US Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has chosen Brooklyn as home base for her campaign for the presidency. Although she has yet to announce her official candidacy, her team just leased two full floors at 1 Pierrepont Plaza in Brooklyn Heights.
The move, which was first reported by Politico, follows months of speculation about where Clinton would base her campaign.
Her new neighbors include the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York and a branch of Morgan Stanley. Forest City Ratner is the landlord.
Brooklyn preservationists and Brownstoner readers were among the activists who turned out to protest the Mayor’s plan to wipe out existing height caps in Brooklyn’s historic row-house neighborhoods. (more…)
Mayor de Blasio’s housing plan won’t bring affordable units to low-income areas but it will destroy the character of the most expensive neighborhoods in Brooklyn, said housing experts — including real estate execs — in a Wall Street Journal article yesterday. Here are the deets:
*In low-income areas such as East New York, no one is building market-rate housing now and no one will build market-rate housing in the future, even if the mayor succeeds with his plan to upzone the area to allow bigger and taller buildings, because the math just doesn’t pencil out.
*Meanwhile, the mayor’s plan would work beautifully in higher-income areas such as Park Slope and Williamsburg — except that Bloomberg-mandated “contextual zoning” height caps make it impossible.
Mayor de Blasio is pushing to wipe out those hard-won height caps with a “text amendment” to the building zoning code (as we mentioned in yesterday’s article about the zoning controversy in Prospect Lefferts Gardens). If he succeeds, new buildings and additions 15 to 30 percent higher than what is allowed now will quickly sprout throughout Brooklyn’s most expensive and tony areas and beyond, from Cobble Hill, Park Slope, Williamsburg, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bed Stuy, Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens — anywhere land is expensive and prices and rents support luxury development. (more…)
After a year of drama and disruption, last night’s Community Board 9 meeting was relatively sane and productive, but the highly anticipated vote on the controversial letter to City Planning to request a zoning study of Prospect Lefferts Gardens did not happen. Here is what did happen:
*The letter was sent back to the land-use committee for a vote because the previous vote turned out to be invalid. People were voting who weren’t actually members of the committee, and the vote was taken after the meeting had already been adjourned, which is against the rules. We were expecting a presentation on the land-use committee’s recommendation, but perhaps because the matter was sent back to committee for a vote, there was none.
*Acting chair Laura Imperiale and MTOPP leader and activist Alicia Boyd agreed on something: Now there is a new threat to the existing character of the neighborhood — and all neighborhoods in Brooklyn and New York City. A “text amendment” to the building code, buried in Mayor de Blasio’s “Zoning for Quality and Affordability” plan, would effectively wipe out hard-won height limits in “contextual zoning neighborhoods,” allowing new development 20 to 30 percent higher across the board. The board has two weeks to comment.
Also, City Planning plans to meet on the topic today at 4 pm at Spector Hall at 22 Reade Street in Manhattan. A community rally is scheduled to take place before the meeting, at 3 pm at City Hall.
*MTOPP has asked the D.A. to investigate Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams (more…)