The Brad Lander era has officially begun.
Surrounded by his family, supporters and colleagues, Councilmember Brad Lander (D-Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Windsor Terrace, Borough Park) took the oath of office at the Prospect Park Picnic House Sunday in a ceremonial gesture to celebrate the beginning of his new career in public service.
In his speech, Lander cited three challenges that his district faces: recovering from the economic crisis while preserving neighborhoods, preserving and strengthening schools, subways and parks, and renewing the public’s faith in local government.
“I believe that the solution begins in building partnerships between government and the public, that insist both on real results, and on democratic engagement,” said Lander. “This balancing act takes longer, to be sure. Quality systems to measure accountability take discipline and data. Meaningful democratic engagement takes patience and openness. The combination is all too rare.”
Lander thanked his former political rivals, Bob Zuckerman, Josh Skaller and Joseph Nardiello, who attended the ceremony, and ended his speech with a note of optimism, sharing a story about his son, Marek, celebrating the opening of the Brooklyn Armory.
“In an essay he wrote last week about the opening of the Prospect Park Armory, a fantastic new community resource, my son Marek wrote the following: ‘The best part of the Armory is the location and the community it’s in. The location of the Armory is very good because it is very near my house. The community it’s in is great, because everyone likes to help with this kind of thing,’” said Lander. “At a time of harsh budgets and scarce funds, there is one resource that is vast: the creative, collective energy of the people in this room, the people in our community, the people of this city.”
A veritable who’s who of Brooklyn politics, including Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York), Reps. Anthony Weiner (D-Sheepshead Bay), Jerrold Nadler (D-Red Hook) Yvette Clark (D-Park Slope), and Nydia Velazquez (D-Williamsburg), Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, HPD Commissioner Rafael Cestero, Borough Presidents Marty Markowitz (D-Brooklyn) and Scott Stringer (D-Manhattan), Assemblymember Joan Millman (D-Boerum Hill) and Councilmembers Letitia James (D-Fort Greene), Steve Levin (D-Williamsburg), Gail Brewer (D-Upper West Side), and Jumaane Williams (D-Flatbush) attended Lander’s installation, one of a half-dozen parties throughout the city this past weekend.
Many public officials echoed praise that Lander was well-prepared to take on the challenges of the office and that he had been doing the work of a public servant while at the Pratt Center for Community Development and the Fifth Avenue Committee in Brooklyn.
Afterwards, they wished Lander well, noshed on some tomato and mushroom bruschetta, and traded notes for attending the next Council installation, for Jumaane Williams, in two weeks.