It’s 2018, which means the Democratic primary for NY Congressional District 11, which includes Staten Island and South Brooklyn, will be getting into gear soon!
Our first guest for the New Year is Michael DeVito Jr., a former Staff Sergeant in the Marines in addition to a non-profit director focusing on at-risk youth. In light of that, we spent alot of time with Michael looking at his congressional run through the lens of mediation and conflict resolution. We spoke in detail about how a more empathetic approach could kickstart Federal programs in transit infrastructure, pharmaceutical reform, workforce development, the green economy, and more.
In Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, our public schools are overcrowded. Lack of space, a mostly residential building stock, and little turnover… it has made the district a difficult place to build a school. There is hope, however. Our new City Councilperson-elect, Justin Brannan, campaigned on a single promise: to construct a new school in Bay Ridge or Dyker Heights within his first term. Can it be done?
In our newest studio episode, we dig deep into the weeds of educational policy and school construction with some guidance from our newest Radio Free Bay Ridge team member, Erik Shell. With Erik’s help, we’ll look at the demographics data that reinforces our need for a new school, counter some myths and raise some warning flags about co-location and charter schools claiming they can solve overcrowding, and discuss our most pressing and time-sensitive issue: finding space for the school. We are also joined in the studio by our City Councilperson-elect, Justin Brannan, who will give us a behind-the-scenes look at how he’s advocating for a new school and how he intends to keep his promise for a new school within four years.
Welcome to our series on Congressional Contenders for the Democratic primary nomination in NY Congressional District 11! Currently held by Rep. Dan Donovan (R) there is a wide field of challengers – and we’re here to bring you discussions with each and every one of them.
Our first guest is Major Boyd Melson, US Army Reserves, who recently withdrew from the race to volunteer for deployment to the Middle East – but met with us to discuss spinal cord injuries, stem cell research, the opioid epidemic, his non-profit work, and some of the problems in today’s politics. It’s the perfect starter to our series on the candidates vying for your primary vote in June 2018.
Breaking News: Listen to the very end of the show for our first Radio Free Bay Ridge exclusive…Boyd Melson tells us who he’s endorsing now that he’s out of the race!
Today we look at how Bay Ridge nativism affects the neighborhood discourse (and thus, our politics). We’ll interview former and current Bay Ridge residents, as well as political candidates, to see what they think. We’ll explore different ways of looking at Bay Ridge based on where and when you were born. Does an emphasis on birthplace and/or residency drown out and discourage other voices and opinions? Does an idea have to start in our neighborhood to be of value or improve our lives?
In short, does local nativism make Bay Ridge more — or less (and we’re betting you can guess which side we’re on) — welcoming? And given that, how does this phenomenon manifest in our politics, and how can we work to counter (or eliminate) it?
As part of his ongoing whistle-stop tour of the district, Rep. Dan Donovan appeared at David A. Boody High School in Gravesend, Brooklyn. There, a gathering of about 15-20 constituents were able to ask him questions on a variety of issues.
During his discussions, there were a number of issues that arose where information provided was either not complete or may require additional context. During the podcast, you’ll hear this signified by a soft “ding”. Below are the “footnotes”, so to speak, that we believe will help you take greater benefit from the recording.
This week, three very intelligent women break down the City Council Debates for Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and Bath Beach. If the analysis sparks your interest, or you find yourself asking, “Did he really SAY that?!”, go back and check out the Xavarian and AAANY debates. Also, feel free to pour yourself a glass (or several) and check out our CC43 Debate Drinking Game.
We’re working on our second studio episode (and wow is it ever a doozy), but in the meantime, Bay Ridge’s three candidates for city council have taken part in another debate, this time focusing on progressive issues including immigration reform, police accountability, and equality. They also fielded questions from the audience.
If you were at the last City Council debate, held at Xavarian high school – or if you’ve listened to the full, uncut audio we posted the next morning, we’ve got something you might enjoy.
Inspired by some of the incredible, ludicrious, repetitive and downright scary things we heard last Tuesday, Radio Free Bay Ridge has prepared the following drinking game for your debate-listening pleasure.
Depending on your choice of beverage, you could end up unbelievably hydrated, or seriously inebriated.
Play responsibly and in accordance with your local laws, and leave ideas for additional rules in the comments!
If you missed it on Tuesday, here’s your chance! We’ve recorded the entire City Council debate between Justin Brannan, John Quaglione, and Bob Capano, and posted it here for your listening pleasure. You can also check out our Live Tweet over on Twitter at @RadioFreeBR.
One of our goals is to help our neighbors make their voices heard.
If you have a story to share about living in Bay Ridge, share it with us! You can fill out the form on the Share Your Stories page, or send us a link to a voice recording (you can even use your phone!).