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The Brooklyn New Year’s Resolution Accountability Project

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Brooklynites the borough over are getting back to work with fresh ideas about what they might accomplish in the coming year. We in the newsroom like to check in with prominent community members every time calendars are being replaced to find out what self-improvement projects they are planning for the coming year, but this year we figured we would introduce some accountability to the process and check to see whether our sources followed through on their resolutions. Here’s what we found out.

Linda Mariano

Gowanus activist

Last year’s resolution

Do research, go to law school to sue developers, get a better cellphone, and get over fear of technology.

How she did

“Well I didn’t go to law schoo.”

As for the phone:

“I still haven’t done that. Every time I planned to go out and get a new phone it would snow two feet, and I haven’t really considered it lately. I’m really just fine with my little old flip-flop phone. Looks like I’m not very good at following my resolutions.”

This year’s resolutions

“We have to respond to [the community planning initiative] Bridging Gowanus, so I’ve started on a draft of that response. I also have to work on a draft to the Department of Environmental Conservation about the Lightstone development.”

Eric McClure

Park Slope road-safety activist

Last year’s resolution

Reduce traffic deaths to further Mayor DeBlasio’s Vision Zero initiative, which aims to make them zero by 2024

How he did

“I would say I had a pretty aspirational goal last year. I don’t know if you want a letter grade, but maybe a B or a B+? Some significant headway has been made in the road to Vision Zero, but we have a long trek ahead of us.”

This year’s resolution

“The collective effort to reduce the default speed limit was a major victory, and some aspects of Vision Zero policy are moving ahead, but far too many people are being killed on our streets, and that’s something for which we need to redouble our efforts in 2015. I think the 78th Precinct has been exemplary in the way they have embraced Vision Zero policy, from taking guerilla protected bike lanes and having the Department of Transportation install a permanent bike lane, to installing a bike corral next to the precinct to driving enforcement, I think they have set a really great example for the entire NYPD.”

Paul Basile

President, Gowanus Alliance

Last year’s resolution

“Find ways to make our community, cleaner, safer, more productive and different from other communities that succumb to greed and filtered life!”

How he did

“Our mission at the Gowanus Alliance has been on track. We’ve been involved with several different organizations and leaders finding ways to increase jobs and find affordable ways to work with government so business can have a future in Gowanus.”

This year’s resolutions

“That’s what we’re committed to doing, and that’s what will continue, along with keeping manufacturing healthy and growing in the neighborhood, especially with all the conversations about affordable housing and residential rezoning and all the other stresses. One thing this coming year will be [opposing] the parole office that was dumped on our heads with no community input.”

Craig Hammerman

District Manager, Community Board 6 (Carroll Gardens)

Last year’s resolutions

Buy American, use less packaging, conserve resources, and invest in people.

How he did

“I think I’m on the right track doing all of those things very mindfully, and I think they’re still very relevant and important.”

This year’s resolutions

“I had a fourth, which is a perpetual one: pet more dogs and smile at more babies. And I’ve been keeping up with that as well.”

Dick Zigun

Self-proclaimed Mayor, Coney Island

Last year’s resolution

“To exaggerate Coney Island’s charms less — while I personally enjoy Coney Island’s charms more!”

How he did

“I went swimming a couple times, and I rode the new Thunderbolt roller coaster.”

This year’s resolutions

“This year, my challenge is to take advantage of our art center [Coney Island USA] now having heat and air-conditioning. We want to do more activities year-round. In February, we’ll use the center for a Black History celebration.”

Tesa Wilson

President, District 14 Community Education Council (Williamsburg)

Last year’s resolution

Enhance parent engagement, get the Parent-Teacher Association and parents’ council going, and introduce multicultural programming.

How she did

Our multicultural initiative has sprung into a diversity task force. We are working deeply in that area, talking to principals and parents about how to diversify our schools. We need programs so that the new families moving in find our schools more attractive and think they would rather send their kids to Manhattan.”

No word on parent engagement and the parents’ organizations.

This year’s resolution

“For 2015, my goal is to get our parents more politically involved. In North Carolina, they started something called Moral Mondays, where they hold sit-ins to convince the legislature to start passing laws that benefit the people instead of the corporations, and we want to start doing that here too.”

Alan Maisel

Assemblyman (D–Canarsie)

Last year’s resolution

Lose weight.

How he did

He still wants to lose weight.

This year’s resolution

Lose weight.

Theresa Scavo

Chairwoman, Community Board 15 (Sheepshead Bay)

Last year’s resolution

Diet and exercise more.

How she did

“Still working towards that. I’m on the treadmill every day working towards my 10,000 steps.”

This year’s resolutions

To eat better. I am on a strict diet.

Vincent Gentile

Councilman (D–Bay Ridge)

Last year’s resolution

Make New York a great place to live.

How he did

“In terms of our neck of the woods, I think we did very, very well this year. The renovations that we are funding in Shore Road Park and the two new dog runs — one finished and one still working — those add to the quality of life.”

This year’s resolution

“But the city as a whole has a lot of work to do. My resolution now, in light of tension we are seeing, is to work to find ways to make our racial and ethnic diversity a more positive force.”

Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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