Sunday, September 12, 2010

Reasons I love Greenpoint- Part 19: Joe Lentol!

Joe Lentol!

headquarters of Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol

Attention Registered Democratic Brooklynites! It is super rare that I talk politics, but I have to mention this...

As you probably know, this coming Tuesday September 14th is the primary election. If you are a registered democrat, I urge you to get out this Tuesday and vote for our current Assemblyman Joe Lentol in the primary. In case you are not aware, Joe is our Democratic Assemblyman and represents the Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Fort Greene sections of Brooklyn.

Perhaps you've seen these ads in the local papers or your mailbox?

Joe Lentol

Joe Lentol

Did you look carefully to perhaps notice someone you may recognize? Someone like me? and my friend Sherry and even the Hello Kitty Cruiser?!

As a friend and supporter of Mr Lentol, I was thrilled when the super smart and lovely Amy from his office asked me to be a part of his upcoming re-election campaign! (me and Amy, at the Lentol headquarters last month-)

Me & Amy

And how could I possibly say no?! I was of course more than happy to meet with, and take a few photos with Mr Lentol for the flyer that you see above. (Thank you, Mr Lentol and your wonderful office staff!)

But you're not voting for me, you're voting for him, so let me tell you just some of the things Mr Lentol cares about and works on for us at a local level that are near and dear to my own heart:

  • Public Transportation: As mass  transit has suffered cuts Lentol has recognized the need for more  options for New York City commuters including walking, biking and  improving the existing transit. Assemblyman Lentol firmly believes in public transportation.  According  to his endorsement in the Greenpoint Gazette "Amid fare hikes and  service cuts, he offered numerous solutions to the MTA to help protect North Brooklyn’s subway and bus  service and led protests when the MTA tried  to make cuts." He is a fierce advocate for the G. (I've mentioned him in my commuting blog a few times)

    • Healthy Eating/Greenmarkets: In addition to supporting community gardens Assemblyman Lentol is a  proud supporter of Greenmarkets and other programs aiming to bring high  quality, healthy foods into neighborhoods and is escpecially interested  in programs that are linked to local growers and small farms allowing  communities here in New York City to support farmers throughout the  state.   

  • Did someone say beer?! He has also taken the locally grown concept one step farther and taken  steps to support New York State wineries and craft breweries.  He  actually created beer trails program which allows you to choose a region  of the state or city and shows you how to visit local breweries,  similar to Napa Valley's wine trails.

    • The Newtown Creek Disaster/Environmental Issues: Joe has been endorsed by the Sierra Club and League of Conservation  Voters for his environmental record.  He has helped advocate for the  Superfund status of Newtown Creek, and been a consistent voice for clean  up in the fight against the Exxon Mobil Oil Spill and the Meeker Avenue  Plume, most recently helping to bring about health studies and  obtaining vapor intrusion testing for homes near the oil spill to ensure  the homes are free from potentially dangerous chemicals related to the  spill.  
    • Filming in NY: Assemblyman Lentol instituted the film tax credit which has had the number of film and  television shows in New York triple giving more jobs to people who work  in that industry. (Personally, I love that a ton of stuff is filmed in NYC!)
    • Dog Parks & Community Gardens:He is currently  working to improve several of the dog runs in the neighborhood as well  as a number of community gardens. (I don't have a dog, but I think this is great, and important for those that do) 
    • Marriage Equality: When gay marriage first came to a vote in New York,  Assemblyman Lentol was one of the leaders in ensuring that it passed the  Assembly.  (Unfortunately, however, it still has not passed the Senate.)
    • And probably my biggest passion: BIKING! He has worked to bring more bike racks  to North Brooklyn, to bring bike lanes to bridges like the Kosciuscko  and to support the Greenway.   He has also worked, often in conjunction  with transportation alternatives, to  pass legislation in Albany that  will protect bicyclists and pedestrians alike.  Among these is the  well-known Hailey and Diego's law which Assemblyman Lentol, as Chairman  of the very prominent codes committee,  shepherded through the committee  system and to the floor for a vote.  He also worked on a law which  would mandate that drivers pass bicyclists at a safe distance and not  just swoop by them.  He helped put camaras on the fronts of buses to  speed up bus commutes by  catching those blocking bus lanes.  Most recently when sanitation  wanted to cut down ghost bikes, he stepped in to help ensure that wont  happen. (something I feel especially strongly about considering my friend Rasha who was killed on her bike and has a ghost bike on Delancey @ Bowery)
    And that's just a brief list of my own favorite things Joe supports and works on for us. But he doesn't just work on local issues - he is actually very well known for his criminal justice legislation and has done a ton of stuff in that arena also.

    He's hard working, obviously cares about the community and people he serves, and on top of that, he's a super nice guy to boot - he even took a few minutes to pose with me for a birthday photo last month in his office.

    Assemblyman Joe Lentol & Me

    So that's our Assemblyman, Joe Lentol, in a nutshell. I firmly believe we need to keep this man in office. It would benefit our district to allow him to continue doing what he's doing. Let's make that happen - get out there and vote for Mr Lentol in the primary this Tuesday so we can give him another chance to keep up the great work he does for our community.

    And thanks for everything you do, Mr Lentol! You're awesome!