Brooklyn, NY Focus
My friend Chris Owens is running for the combined position of State Committee and District Leader in the 52nd Assembly District (Note: Brooklyn is fairly unique in combining these two positions into one). Chris' theme is: "Stop The Corruption! End The Dysfunction!" From his website:
Chris is a public school graduate as well as a public school parent. He has an M.P.A. from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School, a B.A. in Sociology from Harvard University, having graduated from the Bronx High School of Science. Professionally, Chris has worked with low-income populations in need of quality health care and better public education.
Chris Owens has been a musician, a politician, an activist arrested protesting police brutality and the closing of NYFD Engine Company 104, an organizer, an Air America Radio host, and a fighter against Atlantic Yards and for sensible development. Chris has been involved with numerous organizations, community initiatives and election campaigns. For his community work, Chris Owens has received honors from People for the American Way and the Brooklyn Children's Museum, amongst others. Chris Owens is the most qualified candidate to serve as our Democratic State Committee member.
Today, the Kings County Democratic machine wants to control votes and endorsements in our Assembly District and the County Leader is running candidates to make that happen. Unfortunately, a history of judicial corruption and unethical behavior distinguishes the current Party leadership.
Chris Owens, however, is defending our district. The Owens campaign is supported by City Council member Letitia James, retired Congressman Major Owens, Park Slope activist Eric McClure, Boerum Hill community leader Sandy Balboza, former Community School Board 15 President Marsha Borenstein, musician Dan Zanes, FUREE activist and Wyckoff Gardens resident Beverly Corbin, Atlantic Yards hero Daniel Goldstein, the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats (CBID) and the Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn (LID), amongst others.
Chris is a liberal and reform Democrat from way back:
Chris Owens' goal is to make Brooklyn's Democratic Party a fair and transparent organization -- and, therefore, a more inspirational organization for voters. Chris believes that the Democratic Party can be transformational for America and for Brooklyn -- but it takes alot of work. Chris was an early supporter of the 2008 Democratic nominee for President, Barack Obama, and an early supporter of Howard Dean (2004), Al Gore (2000), Tom Harkin (1992), Rev. Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988, and Ted Kennedy (1980). At the local level, Chris has supported legislative and judicial candidates who pledge to move political reforms forward...
A major theme of Chris Owens' political activities has been to increase the participation of lower-income communities in the political process. In the early 1990s, Chris led the statewide reform wing of the Democratic Party - the NYS New Democratic Coalition - opposing rules that restrict ballot access, and fighting improve the process of selecting judges, fighting for same-day voter registration and for campaign finance reform (including caps on media spending), and fighting against conflicts of interest. In 1999, Chris received the Good Guy Award from the Brooklyn Women's Political Caucus for his political work.
From 1996 through 2003, Chris served on the Political Action Committee of NARAL Pro Choice NY, protecting a woman's right to choose by educating policy makers and providing political support for pro-choice candidates. He is the only African American male to have served in this position. In 1999, Chris Owens engaged in civil disobedience and was arrested protesting the murder of Amadou Diallou. He was also arrested in 2003 at Engine Company 204, protesting the closing of six firehouses in New York City -- four of which were in Brooklyn.
This is a small race that most people will ignore, yet it is also one of the most important for reforming local politics. And it means that YOUR vote and YOUR effort will make a big difference. The candidate being run by the Vito Lopez machine (Williamson) has huge amounts of money to buy this election. Chris Owens' is depending on grassroots and reform clubs (like Lambda Independent Democrats and Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats) to win this. Please check out his website and give him some of your time and/or money.
VELMANETTE MONTGOMERY FOR STATE SENATE:
Velmanette Montgomery is one of the very few truely effective, liberal and reform-minded State Senators in the state. She is without a doubt one of the best. She has led the fight on MANY issues including sex education in schools, civil liberties for all, and fighting for communities against Bloomberg/Markowitz driven overdevelopment. She has sponsored many bills, and many of them have become laws. She has a summary of laws that she has sponsored on her campaign website (I think it is not up to date since I think there is at least one law not included, but it gives an idea of her legislative record).
Here is Velmanette speaking out against Eminent Domain Abuse (Jacob and I were at the back of the audience that day):
Here's Velmanette speak out on the Rockefeller Drug Laws:
Senator Montgomery's opponent is largely funded (and well-funded!) by people connected with the hedge fund industry because they don't like her opposition to sacrificing our regular schools for charter schools. She is not against charter schools but she opposed making them a backdoor way of privatizing our school system...and hedge fund managers WANT privatization of our schools. In fact every opponent she has had since I can remember has been put up by some kind of big business interest or another who doesn't like her liberal and reform politics and her effectiveness in getting things done. I think you can see why I consider her one of the most valuable of State Senators.
Pardon Me for Asking
NO LAND GRAB
Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn
Duffield St. Underground
Brooklyn Streets, Carroll Gardens
Reform the NY State Senate:
I have put together a NY State Senate Act Blue Page that targets some key State Senate races, including two Bronx races. These are ones where I have some insight into the candidates. I am open to more suggestions for races to target. I ask you to pick one or two of these races and give even $5-10 if you can. If we win even just three of these seats, it will make a difference in Albany.
BROOKLYN CULTURE: Proteus Gowanus
543 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215
THURS & FRIDAYS, 3-6 pm
SAT & SUNDAYS, 12-6 pm
I wrote about this once before, but I really think it deserves more exposure. It is a great art space in an under-utilized, under visited area. From their website:
Proteus Gowanus is an interdisciplinary gallery and reading room housed in a former 1900 box factory located centrally among several vibrant Brooklyn communities. Proteus Gowanus is named after both the Greek sea god who could change form and the neighboring Gowanus Canal, a changing post-industrial waterfront area with a thriving artistic community and a history dating back to the Revolutionary War and earlier.
Proteus Gowanus exhibitions, programs and publications are developed by a core collaborative of artists, writers and workers in other disciplines, with help from an extended community of PG correspondents. Proteus Gowanus also works reciprocally with a group of non-profit partner organizations that utilize the Proteus space and receive proceeds from sales. Proteus Gowanus incorporates the rich, interdisciplinary resources of its non-profit partners into exhibits and programs.
Some regular events at Proetus Gowanus:
Writers, readers and others are invited to join Study Hall and work in our gallery and library spaces from Mondays-Fridays, 10 am - 5 pm.
Every Thursday from 5-8 pm, the Fixers Collective meets at Proteus Gowanus. See Fixers Collective page for details and be sure to fill out the Fix Sheet. $5 donation.
Every Wednesday from 6:30-8:30 pm, the Writhing Society meets at Proteus to practice and discuss writing with constraints. $5 fee.
To join our mailing list, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
CENTRAL BROOKLYN INDEPENDENT DEMOCRATS ENDORSEMENT LIST: (from the CBID website)
CBID is the most progressive and reform club in Brooklyn, so their endorsements are quite meaningful (though I don't always agree with them 100%).
Upset Win for Sean Coffey for Attorney General for Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats Endorsement
12th Congressional District
10th Congressional District
18th State Senate District
20th State Senate District
44th Assembly District
52nd Assembly District
44th AD Male District Leader
44th AD Female District Leader
52nd AD Male District Leader
52nd AD Female District Leader
Jo Anne Simon
For more information on these candidates as well as their opponents, please check out the questionnaires CBID requires candidates to fill out to be considered for endorsement.
Lambda Independent Democrats Endorsements: LID is the biggest and strongest LGBT organization in Brooklyn. Here are their endorsements for 2010:
United States Senate:
NY State Comptroller:
NY State Attorney General:
U.S. House (8th Congressional Dist.):
U.S. House (10th Congressional Dist.):
U.S. House (11th Congressional Dist.):
U.S. House (12th Congressional Dist.):
Civil Court, County-wide:
Civil Court, 7th District:
Betty Joyce Williams
NY State Senate:
18 – Velmanette Montgomery
20 – Eric Adams
21 – Kevin Parker
22 – Michael DiSanto
23 – Diane Savino
25 – Daniel Squadron
27 – Igor Oberman (Dropped out)
NY State Assembly:
44 – Jim Brennan
46 – Alec Brook-Krasny
52 – Joan Millman
55 – William Boyland
57 – Hakeem Jeffries
District Leader/State Committee:
41 Male – Lew Fidler
44 Female – Lori Citron Knipel
44 Male – Jacob Gold
50 Male – Lincoln Restler
52 Female – Jo Anne Simon
52 Male – Chris Owens
57 Female – Olanike Alabi
57 Male – Walter Moseley
60 Male – Ralph Perfetto
New Kings Democrats Endorsements: NKD are newcomers to the block and are an outgrowth of the Obama campaign in Brooklyn. Here are their local Brooklyn endorsements:
U.S. Congress- District 12: Nydia Velazquez
New York State Senate- District 25: Daniel Squadron
New York State Assembly- District 52: Joan Millman
Female State Committee District Leader- District 50: Kate Zidar
Male State Committee District Leader- District 50: Lincoln Restler
Female State Committee District Leader- District 52: Jo Anne Simon
Female State Committee District Leader- District 53: Barbara Medina
Male State Committee District Leader- District 53: Esteban Duran
KEEP WAL-MART OUT OF NYC:
Bloomerg wants to help Wal-Mart open up in NYC even though Wal-Mart has been shown to deliberately destroy small businesses, use illegal immigrant labor paying them slave wages, and treating their workers badly.
I don't mind big chain stores. I like IKEA and CostCo and Trader Joe's in particular. But Wal-Mart has been shown to be bad for communities they open up in.
Wal-Mart has a gender discrimination suit against them still active: Meet the Woman Behind the Walmart Gender Discrimination Suit
Learn about Wal-Mart’s Dismal Record on Worker and Customer Safety (PDF)
Wal-Mart's Wage and Hour Violations (PDF)
HELP STOP WAL-MART AND BLOOMBERG FROM RUINING NYC
Go here to find out more. Bloomberg is a lost cause, but write NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Comptroller John Liu and tell them to stop Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart and Bloomberg are anti-union, anti-small business and anti-community. Let's get our Public Advocate and Comptroller fighting for us!
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.
Drinking Liberally Downtown Brooklyn:
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
# When? First and Third Tuesday of each month, 7:00 pm
# Where? 4th Avenue Pub, 76 4th Avenue
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
PLASTIC RECYCLING IN BROOKLYN:
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.
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 email@example.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!!).
BROOKLYN REFORM DEMOCRATIC ORGANIZATIONS:
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.
FOOD CO-OPS IN BROOKLYN:
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 fall 2010.
For more info, and if you want to get in at the start, you can email ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), call ( 347-247-8172 ) or follow them on Twitter (twitter.com/thefoodcoop) or on Facebook.
You can also attend New Member meetings to find out more:
Bay Ridge Library
(73rd St & Ridge)
1st Tuesday of each month, 6:30pm
3rd Saturday of each month, 10:30am
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. 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.