Archive for the tag 'forums'

Steven Cymbrowitz (l.) and Ben Akselrod (r.)

With two weeks to go before the September 9 primary elections, the Democratic candidates for the 45th Assembly District will attend a candidates night at the Manhattan Beach Community Group meeting on Wednesday.

The race is a reprise of the 2012 elections, with incumbent Steven Cymbrowitz fending off a challenge from Ben Akselrod. It’s been a particularly quiet race so far, although the candidates have traded barbs on such compelling issues as nominating petitions.

That could change during the 8:00 p.m. meeting at P.S. 195 (131 Irwin Street), where the two are both confirmed to attend and will face questions from the public about their views on various issues.

The group has hosted several debates and candidates nights for recent elections, and regularly asks tough policy questions submitted from group members and the broader public.

President Judy Baron emphasized to Sheepshead Bites that this event would be no different, and that all are invited to attend no matter where they live in the district. Questions can be submitted for consideration at the beginning of the event.

Candidates vying for the 48th City Council District participated in an unorthodox, but incredibly informational, forum last Thursday, hosted by the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association.

The learning-style forum gave local citizens the opportunity to interact directly with three City Council candidates for the 48th District: Republican David Storobin, Working Families Igor Oberman, and Democrat Chaim Deutsch. The format of the panel departed from the usual, and featured three reporters asking questions, which a citizens panel then answered as if they were the council members. The candidates then weighed in, saying how they’d approach the issue and responding to the residents’ proposals.

Moderated by City Councilman Lew Fidler, the panel touched on important concerns, including local development, parking and traffic, garbage and the revitalization of our commercial districts – the concerns residents said would guide their vote in the November 5 election.

The media panel brought together reporters from local, citywide, and New York policy publications: Michael Powell, a veteran metro reporter from the New York Times; Cristian Salazar, editor of the Gotham Gazette, a policy analysis publication; and our own Ned Berke, editor and publisher of Sheepshead Bites.

Attendance for the event filled up the Carmine Carro Community Center in Brooklyn’s Marine Park, where the event took place. Ed Jaworski, the president of the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association and organizer of the event said that the event was “an opportunity for the public, candidates for office, and current office holders to learn from citizens. It‘s a focus on citizen input, that is, bottom-up consideration.”

William Chin, one of the citizen panels, said, “It was an unbelievable turnout.” But he added that though the content was good, there weren’t many “campaignable promises.”

Storobin, Oberman, and Deutsch had dissenting opinions about what it would take to draw business to local shops, find a balance in the equitable distribution of wealth, and educate proprietors on the basics of business stability.

In fact, one of the few things the candidates did agree upon was the rejection of Bloomberg’s 16-ounce soda ban, with Storobin calling it “preposterous” and Oberman adding, “We don’t need another politician concerned about soda.”

The entire panel can be watched in the video above.

Carmine Carro Community Center

The Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association is exploring a new format for a political panel it will hold this Thursday evening that aims to generate bottom-up solutions to local problems, and urge local City Council candidates to implement them.

The panel, called “Talkin’ Politics,” will kick off at 7:30 p.m. at the Carmine Carro Community Center in Marine Park (Fillmore Avenue between Madison Place and Marine Parkway).

The panel discussion will feature three separate groups – the candidates, the media, and concerned citizens.

The media panel will includes Sheepshead Bites’ Ned Berke, the New York Times’ Michael Powell, and Gotham Gazette’s editor, Cristian Salazar.

The members of the media are tasked with asking the citizens panel about community issues and wishes, and the citizens will reply as if they were in the role of the councilman. The candidates will ask follow-up questions or make brief comments in response.

At the end of the panel, the candidates will make concluding statements regarding commitments to resolving issues raised during the forum.

Two candidates in the race for the 48th Councilmanic District – Democrat Chaim Deutsch and Republican David Storobin – will be in attendance. Working Families Party candidate Igor Oberman will not.

UPDATE (October 16, 2013): Working Families Party candidate Igor Oberman has confirmed his participation.

The leading candidates in the 48th District City Council race to replace term-limited Michael Nelson battled it out at the Manhattan Beach Jewish Center during a candidate’s forum held by the Jewish Press last week, expounding on their qualifications for the job and their proposals for improving the district.

Mixed in the melee, which included a handful of attacks on their fellow candidates, the four leading Democrats and one Republican expressed mixed support for participatory budgeting, an innovative plan implemented by some City Council members to provide a more democratic and transparent way of distributing millions of dollars of discretionary funding throughout the district.

Three of the five Democrats – Theresa Scavo, Igor Oberman and Chaim Deutsch – expressed explicit support for participatory budgeting when asked about the need for reform to the process, while the fourth Democrat, Ari Kagan, and the lone Republican, David Storobin, suggested that they would continue to oversee distribution of discretionary funds without holding public meetings, the core characteristic of participatory budgeting.

Read their positions on participatory budgeting, and find out what else happened at the forum.

The following is a press release from the offices of State Senator Marty Golden:

buildbackState Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I) today has announced a series  of  new  measures  his  office  is  taking  to assist residents and business  owners  who  suffered  damage due to Superstorm Sandy.  Following last  week’s announcement from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, creating the New York  City  Build  It Back Grant program, Senator Golden is teaming up with both  Neighborhood Improvement Association and The Mayor’s Housing Recovery Office  in  order  to give direct assistance in with grant applications and helping to provide more detailed information.

Starting this week and continuing throughout the application period,  State Senator  Golden and the Neighborhood Improvement Association are sponsoring office  hours  at  2738 Gerritsen Avenue to assist residents in filling out the City’s new Sandy grant program application “Build it Back.”  The office will be open:

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday from 2pm – 5pm
Tuesday from 2pm – 7pm

On  Sunday,  June  23rd,  from  12pm to 4pm, Senator Golden and the Mayor’s Housing  Recovery  Office  are  hosting  a  Forum at PS 277 located at 2529 Gerritsen  Avenue.   Multiple agencies will be answering questions on Sandy grants and issues.

“The reason why I ran for public office was to be a public servant. Helping my  constituents is the most important part of my job as State Senator, and to be able to provide those most in need following the storm is not only my responsibility, but the right thing to do,” said Senator Golden.  “I invite all  who  have  been  effected  by  Sandy to visit my office, or attend the forum, to get more information and fill out a grant application.”

For  more  information  on  both the Forum and help with grant applications please call 718-238-6044.

The Turkish Cultural Center of Brooklyn’s forum on anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, originally scheduled for this afternoon, has been postponed.

A new date has yet to be selected.

On the upside, the organization’s director has told Sheepshead Bites they’ll be using the time between now and the rescheduled forum to tweak the program, taking feedback from Sheepshead Bites’ commenters into consideration.

The group said they hope to add a local a rabbi to the program, as well as possibly split it into two events – one in the afternoon for students, and one later in the day for adults.

More information will be posted as the group firms up its plans.

From our friends at the Turkish Cultural Center of Brooklyn:

Councilman Lew Fidler will host a Home Owners Forum this Thursday, March 24 at 7 p.m. at the Glenwood Senior Center at 5701 Avenue H, between East 57th and East 58th Streets.

Representatives from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development will be in attendance and Councilman Jumaane Williams will also be guest speaking.

Some topics for discussion will include housing codes, building permits, water conservation, foreclosure prevention and other important issues.

Forget the parties. Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this Thursday with a symposium on civic activism, not back-patting and balloons.

The group is cobbling together one of the largest and most influential forums on grassroots affairs that Southern Brooklyn has ever seen organized by a civic group. It will feature two panels – one on challenges to grassroots activism, the other on local media – packed with 10 members of Brooklyn’s journalism, academic, activism, and non-profit worlds.

“Obviously, a public affairs forum of this scope is unusual and ambitious for a neighborhood civic group to put together,” said Ed Jaworski, president of MMHCA. “But, we wanted to try to do something of wide significance, since civic activism and community journalism are vital to the life of a community and voices being heard. We hope this is an opportunity to learn about and prepare for upcoming challenges, even seeing apparent small, local issues as part of bigger pictures.”

There’s no shortage of notables to fill the panels, either. Norman Siegel, former director of the NY Civil Liberties Union; Erik Engquist, the politics editor of Crain’s NY Business; Mary Ann Giordano, the deputy metro editor of the NY Times; and Gersh Kuntzman of the Brooklyn Paper/Courier-Life are just some of those that will be discussing issues at the heart of local activism and media.

In our humble opinion, this is a must-attend event for all in the area. We believe that many civic groups and concerned residents across the city are losing their effectiveness as the tools for grassroots activism evolves. MMHCA’s event is a spectacular initiative to help educate residents on giving voice to local issues and learning to organize effectively in a new era of communication.

For many, attending this symposium may be a first step to reforming New York City’s top-down government into a grassroots-driven network of local communities.

View event details, the planned agenda and a list of panelists.

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