Community Archive

Nomiki Konst, Dawn Smalls and Ben Yee at Solidarity Space

From left to right: Nomiki Konst, Ben Yee, and Dawn Smalls. Photo by Daniel Hetteix.

During the 2019 polar vortex, three Public Advocate candidates braved the cold to meet with Bay Ridge residents. Nomiki Konst, Ben Yee, and Dawn Smalls were joined by moderator Ross Barkan at Solidarity Space. The candidates outlined their platform, traded some barbs early on, and answered numerous questions from residents.

In our estimation, this was one of the most entertaining of the Public Advocate’s events hosted by Solidarity Space, and the three-person format kept things lively, if a little unweildly. The event went over-time, clocking in at an hour and twenty minutes, but covered a wide range of issues. Topics included decriminalizing sex work, climate change, congestion pricing, and Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). Have a listen, check out our analysis below, or watch Solidarity Space’s full live stream of the event!

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Community Archive

Melissa Mark-Viverito at Solidarity Space

Left to right: Ross Barkan, Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Kadia Goba. Photo courtesy Melissa Mark-Viverito for Public Advocate.

At A Glance

  • Solidarity Space and Bklyner are hosting a number of in-depth forums for the Public Advocate.
  • Former City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who represented the South Bronx and East Harlem, discussed her record and qualifications.
  • The MTA and public transit was a focal point for the candidate.
  • Questions from residents focused on affordable housing, education, climate change, and gender equality.

Continuing their successful Public Advocates series, Solidarity Space recently hosted former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. For about an hour, the Public Advocate candidate outlined her proposals and took questions from Bay Ridge residents. Solidarity Space founder Ross Barkan and Bklyner journalist Kadia Goba moderated.

There was a strong focus throughout the night on the MTA and public transit, which made sense considering that Mark-Viverito’s party line in the upcoming election is “Fix the MTA”. Residents however focused their attention to affordable housing, climate change, and education. You can check out the full livestream over at Solidarity Space’s Twitter account.

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Community Archive

Danny O'Donnell at Solidarity Space

Left to right: Ross Barkan, Danny O’Donnell and Kadia Goba. Photo: Solidarity Space

At A Glance

  • Solidarity Space and Bklyner are hosting a number of in-depth forums for the Public Advocate.
  • Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell, from Manhattan Valley, Morningside Heights and the Upper West Side joined residents for a conversation about his values, experience, and vision for the office of Public Advocate.
  • O’Donnell wrote and passed the Marriage Equality Act, and would support the Public Advocate being granted subpoena power.
  • He emphatically does not want to run for Mayor.

Assemblyperson Danny O’Donnell visited Solidarity Space on January 10th, and spoke about his views on and ideas for the office of Public Advocate. Kadia Goba and Ross Barkan moderated the talk, focusing on affordable housing and Assemblyperson O’Donnell’s tactic of downzoning in order to get concessions from developers. The audience asked questions about education, climate change, justice reform, and more.

Unfortunately, both Solidarity Space’s and Radio Free Bay Ridge’s mics cut out near the end of the talk, but we have about 48 minutes of audio covering most of the session, ending with a dialog about Community Boards.

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Community Archive

Rafael Espinal at Solidarity Space

Rafael Espinal speaking at Solidarity Space
Left to Right: Ross Barkan and Rafael Espinal. Photo by Rachel Brody.

At A Glance

  • Solidarity Space and Bklyner are hosting a number of in-depth forums for the Public Advocate.
  • Councilman Rafael Espinal of Brooklyn was interviewed by Ross Barkan and Kadia Goba, and took audience questions.
  • Topics focused heavily on affordable housing and green initiatives.
  • Barkan dug into Espinal’s background with the Conservative Party and his transition to progressive politics.

Continuting with their successful Public Advocates series, Solidarity Space hosted Rafael Espinal to talk to Bay Ridge residents about his candidacy for Public Advocate. Rafael answered questions from Ross Barkan, and Kadia Goba (from Bklyner), and then took audience questions.

The conversation covered Espinal’s background of public service in East New York, as well as some thornier origins with the Conservative Party. He also emphasized his green initiatives and advocacy for community gardens. Questions focused heavily on affordable housing and the economy, with additional emphasis on education programs, hate crime legislation, and his opposition to the BDS movement. You can check out the full livestream over at Solidarity Space’s Twitter account.

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Community Archive

Jumaane Williams at Solidarity Space

Left to right: Ross Barkan, City Councilmember Jumaane Williams, and Kadia Goba. Photo by Rachel Brody.

At A Glance

  • Solidarity Space and Bklyner are hosting a number of in-depth forums for the Public Advocate.
  • Council Member Jumaane Williams, from District 45 in Brooklyn, spoke to a packed house about his life experience, qualifications, and ideas for the office of Public Advocate.
  • Williams is running to be “the People’s Advocate,” and recently ran in the 2018 State Democratic Primary for Lt. Governor.

City Councilman Jumaane Williams joined a packed Solidarity Space on January 8th, answering questions from Kadia Goba and Ross Barkan before addressing issues raised by members of the audience.

From questions about NYCHA to addressing concerns about schools and testing, take the time to listen to Williams’ forum with our progressive neighbors at the link above, or watch Solidarity Space’s livestreamed video on Twitter.

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Episode 20

The Bay Ridge 5th Avenue BID

At A Glance

  • We interviewed Amanda Zenteno, the Executive Director of the Bay Ridge 5th Avenue BID.
  • The BID provides many services, such as sanitation, security, events, networking, and marketing.
  • We dig into some of the problems merchants face, opportunities they can take advantage of, and dispel a few persistent myths about the local economy.

Bay Ridge is teeming with commercial possibilities, and is home to three major shopping avenues in close proximity. Today we’ll learn what it takes to help them flourish. We sat down with Amanda Zenteno, the Executive Director of the Bay Ridge 5th Avenue BID, or Business Improvement District.

We’ll cover what a BID does and how it’s organized, and what services it provides to the businesses it serves. We also talk about keeping commercial corridors clean and dispelling misconceptions about vacant storefronts. Support your local businesses and have a listen!

Subscribe to Radio Free Bay Ridge: iTunes / Google Play / Stitcher / Pocket Casts / Radio Public / Podbean / Castbox

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Episode 19

Happy New Year, Bay Ridge!

At A Glance

  • Check out the results of our favorite episode of 2018 poll!
  • Sneak preview our upcoming episodes.”
  • Our favorite moments of 2018 and what 2019 might have in store.

Welcome to 2019 and happy New Year, Bay Ridge! While we’re busy updating our elected representatives page and nursing our hangovers, we threw together a short episode for you. Chill out with us in our newly renovated studio as we reflect back on 2018, and look forward to 2019! Plus, Rachel will reveal the results of our latest poll! What were your favorite episodes? What were ours? Find out, and get a sneak peek into the episodes we have planned for 2019!

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It's true - Radio Free Bay Ridge merch!

If you’ve been following us on Twitter, you may have noticed a link to a CafePress account claiming to be selling authorized Radio Free Bay Ridge swag. Your eyes do not deceive you – our holiday merch shop is live! It includes a bunch of fun stuff, including things we’ve been using for the past year but have been previously been only available to our volunteers and guests, like t-shirts and studio mugs!

So for a limited time only – probably till the end of December, though you never know – we’re giving YOU – our listeners and neighbors – the chance to take a tiny piece of the podcast with you in your daily life.

We’d like to be clear: this is not a fundraiser. We’re not making more than a couple bucks (tops) on each sale. Any money we receive from the sale of this merch will be put towards offsetting some of the costs encountered by our all-volunteer staff in the production of this podcast.

Also, a new mailing list!

We’re also announcing the launch of our Radio Free Bay Ridge Mailing List! Sign up so we can send Radio Free Bay Ridge community update emails straight to your inbox!

Episode 18

Owl's Head Park Walking Tour

A map of the Owl's Head Walking Tour

At A Glance

  • Our first audio walking tour.
  • Subscribe to the podcast with a mobile device and listen to this episode in Owl’s Head Park
  • Start at 67th Street and Colonial Road.

Why the heck is it actually called Owl’s Head? Find out! Today we partnered with Hey Ridge editor and local historian Henry Stewart to bring you an Owl’s Head Park walking tour. In fact, we think it’s actually the first audio walking tour of Bay Ridge… ever! This 15-minute guided episode is meant to be played on-site at Owl’s Head, at the entrance on 67th Street and Colonial Road. You’ll explore the history of the park, from the pre-colonial era up until today.

We’ll separate the myth from the fact about the name “Owl’s Head”, of course. But did you know the origins of the nearby street names? Do you know who exactly Senator Street named after? Together we’ll walk past where once a grand mansion and castle-like tower once stood, as well as learn about the odd tastes of the man who occupied the grounds. There’s weapons arsenals, gangland shootings, tragic deaths, and development deals gone sour. Henry will also discuss the original designs for the park and what was lost to time. Most importantly, we’ll be out enjoying one of Bay Ridge’s most beautiful parks!

Let us know what you think about the episode, and whether we should do more of them! And in case you don’t get Radio Free Bay Ridge on your phone, be sure to check out the subscription links below.

Subscribe to Radio Free Bay Ridge: iTunes / Google Play / Stitcher / Pocket Casts / Radio Public / Podbean / Castbox

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Election Night Live

SD22 Election Night Live Results

2018 SD22 Election Results by ED

About The Results

  • Thanks for joining us! We’ve stopped updating our results tonight. The results are accurate to the unofficial Board of Elections results.
  • Golden is demanding a count of absentees, though we don’t see a scenario where they will break in his favor. Congratulations to Senator Elect Gounardes.
  • If you have problems viewing the map, you can view the map here as well.

On Election Day 2018, we covered the election live! By popular demand, we decided to focus on the SD22 race between Martin Golden and Andrew Gounardes. We updated a live map that showed the district-by-district results as they came in. You can check out the full interactive map below, which we’ve kept for posterity.

You can also check out our election night live-tweet thread to relive the moment!

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