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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

  • Help end world hunger
  • Saturday, August 22, 2009

    Brooklyn, NY Focus: Gowanus Canal, Candidates, Clubs and Co-ops

    From the 33rd City Council District: Doug Biviano Resorts to Lies

    I am rather disappointed in this. Although I endorsed Jo Anne Simon in this race, I had high hopes for Biviano in future elections. But it looks like he is going to ruin his chances even for future political success. Hopefully he will come to his senses before it is too late.

    Josh Skaller (39th City Council Candidate) on Paterson's Comments on the Superfund

    Josh Skaller, candidate for the 39th City Council district, was one of the leaders in supporting Obama's EPA and Superfund status to finally clean up the Gowanus Canal. Josh's campaign has issued this statement regarding Governor Paterson's recent comments on the Gowanus Canal:

    Statement from City Council Candidate Josh Skaller (D-39th District) Regarding Governor Paterson's Remarks on the Proposed EPA Superfund Designation of the Gowanus Canal

    "The Gowanus Canal has been polluted for as long as anyone can remember. At long last, it looked like we might be headed toward a solution through an EPA Superfund designation - but now our governor, like so many other would-be leaders, has buckled under pressure from a developer-loving mayor. I'm disappointed to see such indecisiveness when it appears we may be finally on the cusp of achieving what everyone wants: a clean Gowanus Canal.

    "Governor Paterson has not knocked on thousands of doors in Carroll Gardens, but I have - and it is clear the community supports Superfund status. A Superfund designation is a call for real action after years of broken promises. It is not a perfect solution, but it's the best way to make sure the Canal gets the clean-up needed before we can build along its banks.

    "New York owes the people who live along the Canal -- and New York owes their children and grandchildren. We owe them a clean Canal. If we wait for the City to finally act, people may get sick, just like with Love Canal, and I can't stand on the sideline while that happens. I am the only candidate in this race to come out early in support of the Superfund designation. As a City Council Member, I won't back down in the face of politicians more concerned with developer contributions than good policy."

    Paterson, one of the most unpopular governors in the US, seems out of touch with the issue. Let me list the organizations and individuals who support Superfund status for the Canal (list from SUPERFUND GOWANUS):

    * United States Environmental Protection Agency
    * New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
    * The Army Corps of Engineers
    * New York State Senator Daniel Squadron
    * New York State Senator Velmanette Montgomery
    * Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman
    * Riverkeeper
    * The Sierra Club
    * Columbia University’s Urban Design Lab
    * Friends of Greater Gowanus (FROGG)
    * Carroll Gardens Coalition for Respectful Development (CG CORD)
    * Friends of Bond
    * Park Slope Civic Council
    * Park Slope Neighbors
    * The Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy
    * The Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats
    * Democracy for NYC

    To me that is a very, very impressive list. Army Corps of Engineers, Sierra Club and Columbia University's Urban Design Lab all agree with Josh on this. Governor Paterson is opposing the experts, our local elected representatives, and the community. No wonder he is so unpopular!

    For more information, go to the Superfund Gowanus website.

    Brooklyn has some GREAT candidates running this year that really deserve your support. We also have several excellent political organizations that need your help fighting the deep-rooted corruption that we find in Brooklyn. And, for those who want high quality, excellent food at cheap prices, at the bottom of this page I list three local food co-ops: Park Slope, Flatbush and the new Bay Ridge Food Co-ops.


    33rd City Council District: Jo Anne Simon. You can read my detailed rundown of this race here. Jo Anne has been endorsed by Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, 504 Democrats, and Lambda Independent Democrats. Her main opponent is a lackey of party boss Vito Lopez and is anti-reform. Here is an interesting article on Jo Anne Simon and Judge Sotomayor

    Jo Anne Simon has been endorsed by many people and organizations I respect, including Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez, State Senators Eric Adams and Velmanette Montgomery, City Councilmember Letitia James, Assembly members Joan Millman and Jim Brennan, Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, LAMBDA Independent Democrats, NYC Community Council and 504 Democrats.

    35th City Council District: Letitia James wholeheartedly. An amazing woman! She has two mediocre challengers, but no one can stop this excellent woman! Here is a video of Tish at a Rally for Democracy NYC:

    36th City Council District: There are two candidates I have heard good things about. Saquan Jones and Mark Winston Griffith. I am not endorsing in this race, but I do recommend people check out both of these two gentleman and give the one you prefer some support.

    Josh Skaller for City Council.

    Josh Skaller is a good friend and a brilliant individual. His integrity and honesty are unmatched, and that is something Brooklyn politics desperately needs. He would be an excellent addition to the City Council.

    "Josh has always fought for fiscal responsibility and the progressive solutions needed to reform city government"

    --Jim Dean
    Chair of Democracy For America (DFA)

    Video of Howard Dean (Jim Dean's brother) endorsing Josh Skaller:

    Josh has also been endorsed by Assemblyman Jim Brennan, State Senator Eric Adams, Civil Rights attorney (and Public Advocate candidate) Norman Siegel, Joint Council 16, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Teamsters Locals 111, 202, 237, 295, 851 and 854, New York Metro Area Postal Union, APWU, AFL-CIO, SEIU, Special Officers and Guards, Local 177SEIU, Special Officers and Guards, Local 177, Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, Democracy for New York City, Democracy for America, The New York Community Council, Carroll Gardens Coalition for Respectful Development, and Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus.

    Josh has been a strong voice against Ratner's plan for Atlantic Yards, as well as other unchecked and unwise development projects, believing environmental sustainability is the key to our prosperity. He advocates a stronger community voice in development decisions and making affordable housing a priority in its own right rather than as simply a bone developers throw the city in exchange for massive subsidies and tax breaks.

    Josh was the first of the candidates running in this district to take the position of cleaning up Brooklyn’s toxic Gowanus Canal before development progresses. Most other candidates followed his lead with varying degrees of reluctance. You can read a bit more about this issue here (complete with some disgusting pictures my wife took of the canal).

    Here's Josh Skaller Speaking Up for Giving REAL Power to the Parents

    40th City Council District: Rock Hackshaw. He is a fellow blogger and his knowledge of Brooklyn politics is amazing. I differ with this guy on some issues. But I know him and his honesty and integrity are exceptional and I think he would be an excellent City Councilman. Since he is running against a guy who lies about being a doctor and is as strange and squirrely as you can get, Rock would be a very welcome change. Rock Hackshaw is one of the best people running this year and I strongly urge people to support him. If you want honesty in government, THIS GUY is the number one person to deliver honesty.

    45th City Council District: Two candidates I like. First Terry Hinds. I have three people giving very good recommendations for this guy. But I also think Rod Daley is good and represents a chance to get another educator on the city council.


    Recycling of plastics not accepted in the city recycling can be done at the Park Slope Food Co-op at 782 Union Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues)

    Bring clean, dry plastic to the Coop's sidewalk during monthly recycling hours. We close up promptly. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to the collection end time to allow for inspection and sorting of your plastic:

    2nd Sat., 10 AM-2 PM
    3rd Thur., 7 PM-9 PM
    Last Sun., 10 AM-2 PM.

    As of 2/16/09 and until further notice, we collect....

    * #1 and #6 transparent plastics (Labels OK. Mouth is wide or wider than the body, meaning NOT bottles.)
    * #5 plastic tubs, cups & specifically marked lids and caps. Must be especially clean and dry. (Discard any with paper labels, or cut the labels off.)
    * Plastic film and bubble wrap. 100% transparent only -- must be able to see through the plastic. No colored or opaque. No paper labels. Minimal writing OK.

    All the above must be brought to the Coop CLEAN AND DRY.

    Note: We are no longer accepting #2 or #4 type plastics.

    These changes result from a significant decline in the worldwide market for recyclable materials that has affected recycling programs everywhere. Please be patient and cooperate with us as we adjust to these changes, as well as to any further changes that may be necessary.

    We are currently updating our literature and will make new fliers available as soon as possible. Or, contact us at plasticrecycling@foodcoop.com.

    And on a related note, you can help increase the demand for recycled plastic products by shopping through these companies that specialize in recycled plastic products (including lumber!!).

    Friends & Residents of Greater Gowanus (FROGG)

    We are a community based grass-roots organization advocating for environmentally sound community planning for the Gowanus Canal neighborhoods.

    The Gowanus Canal is a very unique resource for our community and all of New York. It has long historal significant as a pre-industrial and industrial transportation waterway in addition to playing a significant roll in the Battle of Brooklyn. This natural tidal estuary connects our urban world to the waters that surround us and opens our city to the natural habitat it was built upon. Even today, it provides an open sky, early industrial/estuary landscape that can not be matched anywhere in our city.

    With extensive urban Brownfields and an Aquatic Brownfield standing, we work to see this water way brought back to life with water quality standards that sincerely meet state standards for fishable and contact use; not only for the community but also for local wildlife.

    For more information: FROGGcommunity@earthlink.net


    Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats is a community-based Democratic club. CBID has fought for reform and progressive causes since 1968. As a Brooklyn-based Club, we have been instrumental in the election of many candidates for public office. Much of this success was a result of our question-and-answer forums with prospective candidates as well as our extensive on-the-street contact with our constituents.

    Staunchly opposed to political corruption, we are proud of our independence and our commitment to progressive reform in city, state and national politics. We are a vehicle for citizen empowerment and making government more accountable to our neighborhoods.

    We meet monthly, usually the fourth Thursday evening of the month in the basement of the Park Slope United Methodist Church, on the corner of 6th ave and 8th street, at 7:30pm. All are welcome.

    New Kings Democrats (”NKD”) is a new, grassroots organization in Kings County (Brooklyn), New York whose primary mission is to recruit and prepare individuals to run for Kings County Democratic Committee. NKD hopes to achieve the goal of an inclusionary and participatory democracy by making it easy for individuals to run for local, elected office. NKD will serve as a training ground for individuals seeking higher office, and hopes to build and nurture a new group of Brooklyn Democratic leaders.

    Democracy for NYC in Brooklyn:

    Democracy for New York City (DFNYC) is a volunteer-driven non-profit politicalaction committee. We are part of a national coalition of local groups committed to the ideals espoused by Democracy for America, the organization founded by Howard Dean.

    We work both locally and nationally to ensure that fiscally-responsible and socially-progressive candidates win elections at all levels of government. We develop innovative ways to advocate for the issues that matter to our members and promote legislation which has a positive effect in our communities. We engage people in the political process and give them the tools to organize, communicate, mobilize, and enact change on the local, state, and national level.

    Currently there is only one Brooklyn chapter:

    Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn - Meets First Wednesday of every month. 7:00pm, Wyckoff-Bennett Homestead 1669 E. 22nd St. with host Annette Mont and Estelle Glasser.


    An informal, inclusive progressive social group. Raise your spirits
    while you raise your glass, and share ideas while you share a pitcher.
    Drinking Liberally gives like-minded, left-leaning individuals a place
    to talk politics. You don't need to be a policy expert and this isn't a
    book club - just come and learn from peers, trade jokes, vent
    frustration and hang out in an environment where it's not taboo to talk

    Park Slope
    * Second Wednesday of each month, 7:30-10:00 pm
    * Commonwealth, 497 5th Ave (at 12th Street)
    * Hosted by Anthony Accurso, Emilie Harkin and Emily Farris, parkslope (at) drinkingliberally.org


    New Food Co-op Coming to Brooklyn: (info sent to me by a reader)

    They are not active yet, but their website is: http://www.foodcoopbayridge.com

    They are recruiting new members and looking to open summer/fall 2010.

    For more info, and if you want to get in at the start, you can email ( fcbrmembership@gmail.com ), call ( 347-247-8172 ) or follow them on Twitter (twitter.com/thefoodcoop) or on Facebook.

    Park Slope Food Co-op
    782 Union Street
    Brooklyn, New York 11215
    Phone: (718) 622-0560
    FAX: (718) 622-5685

    This is the largest Food Co-op in America. Joy and I are members (as are City Council Candidates Ken Baer and Josh Skaller). Low prices and high quality even if it can be a bit inconvenient at times.

    Flatbush Food Cooperative
    1318 Cortelyou Road
    Brooklyn, New York 11226
    Phone: (718) 284-9717
    FAX: (718) 284-9719

    Established in 1976, and located on Cortelyou Road in the heart of Victorian Flatbush since 1985, Flatbush Food Coop is a community-owned, full-service natural foods store specializing in organic products. We are committed to serving the diverse community in which we are situated, and beyond, by providing goods and services that promote personal and environmental well-being. Like the 300 food coops across the nation with which we are affiliated, we are open to all—it is not necessary to be a member to shop. By joining the Coop, however, you become a joint owner of our business and are able to take additional savings on your purchases. There are opportunities for varying degrees of involvement in the coop, and our member-owners are able to influence the direction of our organization. We are particularly proud that the dozens of ethnic groups in Brooklyn’s most diverse neighborhood are reflected in our staff, our close to 3,000 members, and countless shoppers.


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