Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Things We May Have Neglected To Mention

Expanding Food Access

We were so happy to hear about Costco accepting food stamps in Brooklyn stores. This was a way overdue policy, and we agree with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz that we need to extend food access services to under served areas of Brooklyn, especially in the interest of diminishing obesity and other food-related ailments within those communities.

Equality In Marriage

Our office has gotten contacted by constituents curious to know about Council Member James' position on gay marriage. Council Member James, like many politicians Statewide, feels that this is an issue that should be decided on a State level. Personally, she supports equality in marriage, and feels that sexual orientation and gender should not be factors in one's eligibility to enter into wedlock. Additionally, Tish was one of the first politicians to call the rapid spread of HIV/AIDs specifically among the MSM community in Central Brooklyn a "state of emergency." Recently, she joined LGBT activists in Crown Heights in opposition to police brutality against the LGBT community (following the beating of two lesbians- Jeannette Grey and Tiffany Jimenez- in Crown Heights).

On Atlantic Yards and The State Senate "coup"

Council Member James spoke at yesterday's Atlantic Yards community update at Lafayette Presbyterian Church, sponsored by Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn. You can read about what was said at The Atlantic Yards Report. She also touched on the recent NYS Senate "coup," speaking on the compromised political position Senate Democrats have been placed in.

Directly from Council Member James, on Frank Gehry's departure from the Atlantic Yards project

"The abandonment of Gehry's design indicates to me that Forest City Ratner has acknowledged that the scale of Atlantic Yard's is at the center of major flaws with the development. However, embracing a different design that scales-back the project does not address the inherent problems with the Atlantic Yards proposal or process, nor does it convince me that this wasn’t a quick attempt to gain support through a supposed “budget-conscious” design."

And on Dock Street project

“I support the Dock Street DUMBO project because it holds the promise of hundreds of new middle school seats for public school children in Downtown Brooklyn and surrounding communities. This project proposes to build a 300-seat public middle school in a privately funded, LEED-certified “green” residential building that will also create DUMBO’s first ever affordable housing. The developer plans to donate a significant portion of the cost of the school to the City as well – a financial contribution worth over $40 million– and has already reached out to the surrounding community regarding job opportunities and other economic development benefits. Dock Street DUMBO, with its donated middle school and affordable housing commitment is exactly the kind of smart, innovative public-private partnership needed for the future of our communities.”

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