November news that will linger: BP’s top stories of the month, feat. elections, infrastructure, transportation and plans for a Coney Island casino

hakeem jeffries, coney island and iwen chu in november top stories
November was a big news month in Brooklyn— elections shook up the local political scene, Hakeem Jeffries was named House Minority Leader, and big changes are coming to Coney Island.
Photos courtesy Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech/Getty Images/Iwen Chu

We’re past Thanksgiving and Brooklynites are looking forward, toward the rest of the holiday season and the promise of a brand-new year. But, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories we wrote in November.

The midterm elections brought some big changes to local politics, and, just weeks later, Brooklyn Congressmember Hakeem Jeffries was elected House Minority Leader. Coney Island took the spotlight last month, with big plans for local infrastructure being made – and cancelled, and pathways for renewable energy will soon open in Kings County. Here are the stories that will impact Brooklyn long past New Years’ Day: 

Small but mighty ‘Red Wave’ comes for longtime Democrats in southern Brooklyn

max rose campaign signs after red wave defeat
Democrat Max Rose conceded his election less than an hour after polls closed, one of several southern Brooklyn Democrats to lose to Republicans on a challenging election night. Photo by Paul Frangipane

Brooklyn Republicans celebrated as the Red Wave topped a handful of Democrats in southern Brooklyn. The jewel in the conservative crown is Nicole Malliotakis, the borough’s only congressional Republican, who handily won re-election in NY-11, the city’s only swing district, but three Democratic incumbents in the state Assembly lost to their Republican challengers.

Iwen Chu elected first Asian woman state Senator in New York, will represent first Asian-majority Senate district

More than a week after the midterm elections, Iwen Chu — the Democratic Party and Working Families Party candidate who started making waves last April by collecting signatures from more than 5,400 prospective constituents — finally declared victory in the nail-bitingly close race, defeating Republican challenger Vito LaBella by just a few hundred votes. Chu will represent a new Asian-majority senate district, which was created by the arduous redistricting process this year. 

BQE to close for three weekends next year for ’emergency repairs’

The BQE’s triple cantilever section. Photo by Susan De Vries

Sections of the BQE’s crumbling triple cantilever will be closed for three weekends between March and October next year while “emergency repairs” are made to areas around Clark Street, Grace Court and the Joralemon Street garage, said a representative of the city’s Department of Transportation. The DOT has determined the sections being tackled during these closures are the most in need of repair, and the fixes should extend their lifetime by 10 to 15 years.

On heels of bid for House speaker, protestors call for Jeffries to be a ‘climate leader’

protest outside jeffries office
New York climate activists protested outside of Congressmember Hakeem Jeffries’ Brooklyn office Tuesday, calling on the presumed pick for House Minority Leader to take definitive action against climate change. Screenshot/Livestream

Brooklyn Congressmember Hakeem Jeffries was quickly named the frontrunner to become the House Minority Leader after former Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she would be stepping down — and climate activists were quick to raise concerns about what they called his “weak record on climate action.”

“It is essential that congressional leadership at least entertain solutions commensurate with the challenges we face,” said organizers with Food & Water Watch. “Rep. Jeffries should show the courage and leadership on the climate and support the Green New Deal.”

‘We deserve a ferry’: Plans for Coney Island ferry shipwrecked by EDC

Plans for a Coney Island ferry were officially shipwrecked
Plans for a Coney Island ferry were officially shipwrecked by the EDC last month. Neither the Coney Island Creek or oceanside routes are viable, the agency has found. File photo by Jessica Parks

Plans for a Coney Island ferry have been cast to sea for the foreseeable future. The creek-side option — selected for its seemingly simple construction, according to an Economic Development Corporation spokesperson — was met by opposition from local residents, and eventually hit a snag after construction began in 2021. The agency then explored the possibility of an oceanside ferry — but that route isn’t quite feasible, at least for now. 

First leg of Con Edison’s ‘Reliable Clean City’ projects halfway done in Queens; construction underway in Brooklyn and Staten Island

small wind turbine before con edison reliable clean city project
Con Edison is halfway done with its “Reliable Clean City” project in Queens, and will soon move on to Brooklyn and Staten Island. The projects will increase transmission capability and will eventually carry renewable energy to the outer boroughs. Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

By 2025, Con Ed expects to complete components of the Reliable Clean City projects, that will connect power plants in Gowanus, Park Slope, and Staten Island. Together, the roughly $800 million projects will add about 900 megawatts of transmission capability in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Entertainment giants partner with local developer in bid to open a Coney Island casino

coney island casino
Three casino licenses are up for grabs in downstate New York, and three entertainment giants have partnered with Thor Equities to launch a bid to bring one to Coney Island. Getty Images

Saratoga Casino Holdings, the Chickasaw Nation, and Legends have joined Thor Equities bid for a “comprehensive casino, hotel, and entertainment proposal” in Coney Island as the state prepares to issue three new casino licenses in downstate New York. Not everyone in Coney Island is convinced the potential casino will really benefit the neighborhood, which relies heavily on seasonal tourism to drive its local economy.