GOTHAM GAZETTE: SEARCHLIGHT 2002: District 46 JUMP TO YOUR DISTRICT
 
 

District 46
Southeast Brooklyn



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District 46 - Lewis Fidler
1402 East 64th Street, Brooklyn 11234
City Hall:(212) 788-7286
District:(718) 241-9330
Fax: (718) 241- 9316
Email: fidler@council.nyc.ny.us

Committee Assignments:
Youth Services, Chair
Finance, member
Housing & Buildings, member
Rules/Privileges & Elections, member
State & Federal Legislation, member


From the Middle East to Brooklyn's Sidewalks

Some members of the New York City Council have talked of doing away with the practice of passing resolutions. The concern is that the council's tradition of introducing and voting on measures which honor dedicated New Yorkers, celebrate community events, or call for an end to a social problem may detract from the City Council's real work. However, most of these are relatively simple to pass and take little time.

At issue are the more contentious resolutions that are meant to send a message to Albany, the White House, or even the international community about where the New York City Council stands on a particular issue. These resolutions can sometimes spark intense debate and the council can spend an awful lot of time and energy debating things that we can do little about.

Recently, the City Council voted 39-12 on a moratorium on the death penalty. We had a heated debate on it, but since it is a state issue, it had little to do with New York City. Then we spent another hour-and-a-half discussing a resolution about political prisoners -- again something we have no control over.

I often disagree strongly with the positions of my colleagues and that is fine. But I would prefer to find things that we can agree on, like rehabbing a neighborhood park. I am also concerned that some members get personally offended in these debates and it may hurt our communication when we must work together on things that we can control.

However, as long as the City Council is going to be in the business of doing these resolutions and weighing in on issues of federal or international importance, I believe that the Middle East is certainly one of those issues.

I sponsored a resolution calling for the Palestinian Authority to be thrown out of New York. The measure was initially set aside because the State Department called the council and said it felt the timing was poor. I was a bit surprised that the voice of the City Council would be felt as far away as the Middle East. But condemning suicide bombers is a no-brainer for me. Supporting Israel -- our only ally in the Middle East -- is a no-brainer. Condemning the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe is a no-brainer. And hopefully my City Council colleagues would agree that it is appropriate to pass a resolution - if we are going to be doing these things -- that condemns racism, or anti-Semitism, or homophobia where ever it occurs.

I do not vote based on polls. But I would hope -- and I know -- that these issues are important to a large number of my constituents. And it is important to me. As an American and as a Jew, I know that silence in the face of bigotry helps bigotry to grow.

These issues aside, I have learned in my first months in the City Council, that an enormous amount of my job is the budget. When Abe Beame ran for mayor, he ran on the slogan, "If you don't know the bucks, you don't know the job."

To me the most significant piece of legislation that any member of the council can work on is the city's $42 billion budget. It dominates the work of the council, not only for citywide issues, but also in my district.

I am proud of the fact that the council was able to win back $300 million in school funding. As the chair of the council's youth services committee, I am happy to say that the programs for young people fared terrifically in the recent budget process. It is one of the few areas where the city is adding money, rather than cutting. We restored nearly all of the cuts the mayor proposed. We added $10 million to the summer youth employment program that will employ 40,000 of the neediest kids in the city. We were also able to create 3,000 new day care spaces. And we have focused on issues like runaway youth and creating additional shelter space and services for homeless young people.

Some people say that 100 percent of politics is 90 percent local -- it's a kind of Yogi Berra-ism. But in my district, which is one of the largest geographically in the city -- there are many different issues. In Canarsie, the issue is closing a compost site that is supposed to be a park. It was taken over by the Sanitation Department and was supposed to be given back. In Gerritsen Beach, we worry about safe, clean uses of the waterway. But everywhere I go in my district, the common issues are education and public safety.

To date, I have been the prime author of two pieces of legislation.

The first is a bill that would reduce the time period that the city has to wait before it can take over an abandoned building. Currently, the city has to wait three years before it can seize a property where the owner has not paid taxes. I want to cut it to a year and a half. Abandoned houses constitute blight for a neighborhood they have broken windows, they are used for drug use, or sometimes they result in a fire. Not only would this measure help keep neighborhoods safer, but also it would get the property back on the tax rolls quicker and help the city.

The second piece of legislation is a bill that would require the city to pay for sidewalk damage caused by a city owned tree or amenity like a fire hydrant or a light pole. This would address something that is of concern to people in my district, particularly in Marine Park that has many big, old trees. We love those trees, but we should not saddle a homeowner with a ticket or the repair bill for something that the city owns.

I know that, first and foremost, the people of my district elected me to protect the services and programs of the community. In my first six months in office, I spent a considerable amount of time on the budget, making sure it works for the city, for Brooklyn, and for the people of my district.

Based on an interview with Councilmember Lewis Fidler. Posted July 1, 2002

Lewis A. Fidler is City Council Member-Elect from District 46.


Community Boards for District 46
Community Board No. 5
127 Pennsylvania Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11207
(718) 498-5711
Mr. Earl Williams, Chair
Mr. Walter Campbell, District Manager
Community Board No. 15
Kingborough Community College, 2001 Oriental Blvd., F. Cluster, Brooklyn, NY 11235
(718) 332-3008
Ms. Anne M. Dietrich, Chair
Ms. Paula Lupka, District Manager
Community Board No. 18
5715 Ave. H, Apt. 1D, Brooklyn, NY 11234
(718) 241-0422
Mr. Saul Needle, Chair
Ms. Dorothy Turano, District Manager



Ethnic Makeup and Political Registration


Ethnic Makeup

Political Registration



Public Schools

Elementary Schools


Middle Schools


High Schools



To find out what school district you live in, call the Board of Education at 718-935-2000 or link to Public School Reports



Police Precincts

Although many precincts cover areas solely within one City Council district, there are many which overlap with other districts. In most cases the overlap of precincts among districts is no more than a few blocks. Wherever there is overlap, we have made sure to alert you.


City Parks
Click thumbnail for larger image of parks in this district

Learn more about the condition of the city parks in your district at the New Yorkers for Parks (PDF file).



Community Gardens



Click for larger image
Find out more about community gardens from
the Council on the Environment of New York City


Historic Districts and Landmarks
Learn more about the historic districts and landmarks in this area.


The Waterfront

A
map listing suggestions for use and improvement of the waterfront in this district from the Metropolitan Waterfront
Alliance. (pdf format only)