When we started this group a few months back to advocate for a new school to be started in Downtown Brooklyn, we expected that it might be a difficult sell to the local politicians. Well it turns out that we have an important ally in the cause, Councilman Steven Levin who represents most of neighborhood.
I met with councilman Levin last Wednesday, soon after he received our letter, to talk through some of the issues. It turns out that the issue of a new school for Downtown Brooklyn is high on his priority list and according to him, he has raised the issue with the DOE and city planning in recent weeks. His stated goal to me in the meeting is to get a new public school started in the neighborhood by 2014. He said that he had also spoken with Councilwoman Letitia James about the issue and she was in favor of it (at least in passing), which is also very good news. Between them, they represent all of DoBro. For those who haven’t heard, Tish James is likely running for the position of Public Advocate in the next city election.
Mr. Levin has suggested that I come speak at a city council committee hearing regarding the reduction of parking minimums in Downtown Brooklyn that would be a boon to developers. It would would be a good chance to raise the issue of the lack of an elementary school in the neighborhood amid the continuing building boom. I’ll report what happens.
Next year is election year. We need to keep the pressure on our elected officials and make sure that they are not just giving us lip service, but acting on their promises to bring a new public school to the neighborhood. Hard numbers will help us demonstrate how many people support this issue. Please sign our petition and fill out the kid census. You can also email the councilman to voice your support, here is his website: http://council.nyc.gov/d33/html/members/home.shtml