Op-Ed | Crystal’s Corner: 311 is good. We’re better.

councilmember crystal hudson
Councilmember Crystal Hudson’s office can help constituents with all kinds of issues — from housing to schools and more.
John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit

Crystal’s Corner is a monthly column written by New York City Council Member Crystal Hudson (District 35), Chair of the Committee on Aging.

I’m as local as it gets. My team and I see it all, and more: Noise complaints. Evictions. Alternate-side parking. Public safety. Sanitation. Our mission, since we’ve been in office together, is to make city government and its resources more accessible, reliable, and responsive to the needs of all our neighbors.

Consider Ms. Mobley. At ninety-six years old, she’s lived in Fort Greene for more than seven decades. After living in the same apartment all those years, she decided it was time to downsize. Moving around her home was difficult, and getting to her appointments became taxing. Yet, Ms. Mobley remains an independent woman, continuing to do the things that keep her happy, healthy, and thriving. She came to us seeking something that is too frequently denied to older New Yorkers across the five boroughs, and that is the opportunity to age in place affordably, with dignity and comfort in the city we call home.

Sadly, Ms. Mobley’s situation is not unique. Against the backdrop of a worsening housing and affordability crisis, my team handles housing cases — whether it’s working to prevent an eviction, helping tenants hold a negligent landlord accountable, or striving to ensure every single one of our neighbors has access to heat in the winter months — we see these issues every day.

Housing is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the types of cases our office handles. 

As a constituent-first office, we gain unique insights into the ways our City’s resources are falling short and garner a better understanding of how we can put forth legislation that will meaningfully improve the material conditions of all New Yorkers. And while we understand that the issues we see in our shared communities of Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights — and all of Brooklyn, more broadly — manifest themselves differently in other parts of the City, the solutions, if they’re rooted in the care and compassion we work so hard to offer our neighbors, will lift us all.

My team’s dedication to constituent services is personal. Because the issues folks come to us with are personal. Whether we’re fielding your calls or emails, responding to your DMs on social medias, or answering your questions when you visit our office or see us out on the street or at one of our events, we hope you feel the love and care with which we handle each case — whether big or small. 

This city can be daunting, and it’s easy to get lost in the myriad of agencies. So, let us handle them. That’s our role in government. Local elected office means caring for the grassroots, strengthening our public infrastructure to get you home from work and our kids to school safely and efficiently; addressing quality of life issues, like mitigating rats or finding out the cause of a disruptive sound; responding to tragedy; or celebrating achievement. We’ll be with you, always. And we will use this column in Brooklyn Paper to share resources and stories that we think might be beneficial to all. If you have anything specific you’d like us to cover, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

To contact our office with an issue, question, or concern, please email us at  District35@council.nyc.gov. You can also give us a call Monday-Thursday between 9:30 am-5:30 pm at (718) 260-9191.