January 17, 2014 / Brooklyn news / Politics / Williamsburg / Checkin’ in with...

Antonio Reynoso replaces Diana Reyna in the 34th District Council seat after beating Vito Lopez

Reynoso starts reign taking aim at gentrification

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

It has been two weeks since Antonio Reynoso started as Williamsburg’s new councilman, taking over for term-limited Diana Reyna, who moved to a post at Borough Hall. The 30-year-old councilman, who bested disgraced former Assemblyman Vito Lopez last fall, spent six years working for Reyna and brings some youthful idealism to the office. Reynoso has spent the early days of his term getting his new staff up to speed and deciding which issues to tackle first.

At the top of his list? Gentrification.

Danielle Furfaro: What have you been up to since Jan. 1?

Antonio Reynoso: I’ve been meeting and talking with my staff mostly. Everything I know about the City Council I have to get out of my head and into theirs. I’m trying to build a strong foundation so that we can be as effective as possible.

DF: What do you plan to do in your first few months in office?

AR: I will be introducing the staff and myself to the community again. I’ll be meeting with the leaders and the police officers, anyone with relevance in this community. We want to put forth a plan that is strong, so I’m working with the staff to find out what their priorities are.

DF: What are your highest priorities?

AR: The highest priority is dealing with sustainability and displacement. Education, of course, is also a very strong and important priority. We want to triangulate between local schools and housing, to get to the core of the displacement.

DF: What are your goals for the first six months?

AR: We want to have a very proactive six months, but most of the goals, we have set for one year. We want to improve the proficiency of the school system and see more affordable housing built. It’s an organism, a living creature, nothing is set in stone. A lot of these policies will come about organically and naturally.

DF: What committees are you going to be a part of?

AR: The committees have not been chosen yet. I have to decide which ones I want to be on. Right now, everyone is focused on getting the budget done.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reasonable discourse

Definitions from OED says:
What do the words "displacement", "organically" and "naturally" actually mean in this interview?
Jan. 17, 2014, 5:59 am
bkmanhatman from neubruklyn says:
basically this going to be adhoc. But his primary focus will be housing and education and trying sustain long time residents in the area get a piece of the growth.
Jan. 17, 2014, 8:25 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
I supported him, I voted for him, I follow him on Twitter and Facebook. And I was so disappointed and dismayed to see that he went to the CB4 meeting and freeze development in Bushwick for a while--in the name of affordability!

Look, the ways you get affordability are to make a neighborhood worse so people don't want to live there or to make more housing so when people want to live there, they can. Perhaps his plan would work if it were coupled with a huge upzoning through all of CB1's area, but from what I understand, he hold the same ideas for the rest of Williamsburg.
Jan. 17, 2014, 8:38 am
K says:
Freezing development will be great for the price of my condo! Skies the limit, thanks. Seriously
Jan. 17, 2014, 11:23 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Yup. And it'll be absolutely terrible for anyone who can't bid their rent as high as 20-somethings without kids, each with a job, willing to live as roommates.

I should be on the community board in case Antonio Reynoso doesn't read the comments section of the Brooklyn Paper.
Jan. 17, 2014, 11:59 am
jacko from south willy says:
what a joke ...yes lets go backwards and bring back drugs and whores on kent ave......PLEASE ....stop already thing that ever happened to quality of life was the changes and NEW faces in this 1980's ——hole!
Jan. 18, 2014, 12:29 am
Ian from Williamsburg says:
Nice buzzwords, but government subsidized housing is not "organic." As long as we're not building more transit to the boroughs, areas like Williamsburg and Bushwick with proximity to Manhattan jobs will gentrify. This guy sounds naive and out of touch with a dynamic evolving neighborhood and a vestige of cranky embedded interests. Great cities evolve.
Jan. 18, 2014, 7:58 am
Al A. Bama from 1960s says:
Jacko from South Willy sounds like he'd fit in well with the Bull Connor crowd.
Jan. 18, 2014, 1:51 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
It's not that anyone who is against gentrification is against change, it's just the fear of being priced out after being there for generations before it became a popular hot spot.
Jan. 18, 2014, 3:36 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
I sympathize with the fear of being priced out. However, halting new development is not going to solve that problem. It's going to make it much worse.
Jan. 18, 2014, 8:13 pm
Jane from Un-disclosed location says:
He is clearly a racist and thinks that people she be judged by how much money they make. Nice that you decided to label the largest new contigent Of your neighborhood as a "problem". It's xenophobic, biggoted and absurd. Learn to live together with people who are different than you.
Imagine if this was in reverse? Oh we must do something to stop poorer people from moving here and changing the character Of this neighborhood? It's the same thing.
Jan. 19, 2014, 7:11 am
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
My problem with the anti gentrification crowd is that the term "gentrification" has a racial meaning to many of them. To them, only gentrification by whites is inherently evil. However, I can guarantee that these Al Sharpton types would be applauding gentrification by blacks and or Latinos. In such an instance, there would be no outcry as the composition of the neighborhoods, at least on the surface, would not have changed. But this guy better be careful. Many of the newcomers that are moving gentrification forward, which hes trying to reduce, are his constituents and they've moved not the neighborhood precisely because of changes brought about, in part, due to gentrification.
Jan. 19, 2014, 2:21 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Jane, most will just call what you said a communist takeover especially when it will involve public housing for them.
Jan. 19, 2014, 3:20 pm
"Interloper" from Kent Ave says:
Bashing development, gentrification and white people on a de-facto basis seem like a popular campaign strategy...good luck.

I'm sure that things will be a lot better when they make a push for more "affordable" housing aka housing projects, throughout the neighborhood. I imagine he feels that crime adds to the charm of the neighborhood...

People like this need to just go away. Progress and development have done nothing but better the community at large. If you want to go back to the days where Bedford Ave was known to many as "Needle Ave" by all means feel free to move to Brownsville where you'll fit in nicely.
Jan. 21, 2014, 1:36 pm
Grendel from Ole Williamsburgh says:
If ya can't afford to live in Williamsburg, then move out!~
Jan. 21, 2014, 6:55 pm
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
It seems like his whole spiel is about undoing what we've done for Williamsburg. Well, he certainly has his work cut out for him. Shazzam baby. Abracadabra.
Jan. 22, 2014, 2:30 am
b from Greenpoint says:
Gentrification is not the trouble. Tree-lined streets & improved quality of life are positive changes.

Progressive tenant protections are needed.

Actual vacancy rates need to be more clearly monitored.

A polarized economy is the point of contention.

A better understanding of overpopulation is very much needed.
Jan. 22, 2014, 5:09 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!