Rich Playground, Poor Playground

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Vito Lopez’s Complex Legacy

Friday, December 13th, 2013

On a once-neglected plot in Bushwick, Brooklyn, there’s a quiet neighborhood of homes. The decayed former brownfield site of the Rheingold brewery now boasts 58 affordable duplexes, four three-family homes and 30 condominiums that are also 100 percent affordable, along with 88 co-op units and 272 subsidized apartments. A spot that embodied the neighborhood’s plagued landscape now has a tidy neighborhood of houses built in a Dutch style and a brick senior center on the ground floor of apartments with solar panels on the roof.

The neighborhood turned around through the political muscle of Vito Lopez, a fallen Brooklyn giant. He resigned as chairman of the Brooklyn Democrats in August of 2012 and gave up his long-held State Assembly seat in May after sexual harassment allegations—like the night he grabbed a female staffer’s hand in a bar and counted to 60 while looking the stricken young woman in the eye, according to a state ethics committee report.

Lopez lost a City Council race this fall after a career in which he had turned a remote and notorious area of Brooklyn into the home base of a political empire by helping the needy and mobilizing his beneficiaries. The ethnic politics of Williamsburg and the harassment allegations took down the leader of the Kings County Democrats. Yet Lopez also cemented a lasting legacy through the brick and mortar housing now present in the former vacant lots of Bushwick.


NYCity Snapshot: How Can the New Mayor Help You?

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Split Ballot For Disabled Voters

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

Ballot-marking devices have helped people vote independently, but some disabled voters say poll workers don’t know how to use them.

“Poll workers are not adequately trained on how to set up or use the machines,” says Julia Pinover, an attorney for Disability Rights Advocates, an organization that protects civil rights of disabled people. “So when people show up to vote and unfortunately the poll workers won’t have the requisite information about how the ballot-marking devices function.”

Families Rally for Detainees

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Free Food for the Furloughed

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Shutdown Shuts Out Vendors

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Veterans Fight for Benefits

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

Real Estate PAC Lands Some Wins

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013