Wednesday, October 19

Councilman Daniel Garondnick: the Masonic District

City councilman Daniel R Garodnick, was born in raised on the East Side, and elected to the New York City Council on November 8, 2005.  Located in the East Village and the Lower East Side, Garondnick’s district is known as the 4th Manhattan Masonic District.
With a background in education advocacy and civil rights, Garodnick was a representative for the Partnership of New York City in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit.  Before he joined the city council, Garodnick was the director of New York Civil Rights Coalition's "Unlearning Stereotypes: Civil Rights and Race Relations Programs" in 42 different public schools in Manhattan.  Here he taught students non-violent ways to fight back against racial discriminations and how to use government to affect social change.  Additionally, Garodnick represented 13 same-sex couples in search of marriage equality in the state of New York and sought and received funding to rebuild African-American churches in Georgia and Virginia burned by racially-motivated arson.
            Within Garodnick’s first year in council, the New York Times praised him for being a “champion of smarter redevelopment along the East River and a fighter for increased funding for the city’s public school students.”  In just one year of being on the Council, Garodnick had established himself as the head-front in the fight for more affordable housing in Manhattan.  With a $4.5 billion tenant-backed bid, Garondnick’s first sign of success what his purchase of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.
            Latley, Garondnick has been working on the increase of food venders at the city’s street fairs.  Responding to a Daily News report about the three “street fair kinds” who run two-thirds of the city’s fairs, Garondnick said:
“There’s a value to lettering pedestrians take over the streets, but there should be more for residents than row after row of vendors selling the same thing”
            Proposing a package of bills in and effort to force the fairs to change their acts, Garodnick’s bills requires all street fairs to draw at least 20% of their venders from the local community.  Any fair operators who exceeded the 20% minimum would receive a discount on city fees.
            In addition, the bills aim to improve the way the city announces street closers, and outlines a program to test fairs with booths running down the cent of the street.
            “We’ve got to ask ourselves what we’re getting out of big corporate street fairs,” Garodnick told the Daily News, “and unfortunately, the answer is not enough.”

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