Tag Archives: League of Women Voters

Community Boards: A Vicious Circle

Ira B. Harkavy

Ira Harkavy, Florence Nathanson, Esther Lopato and Helen Henkin were community board members back in the day when board membership meant more than echoing the mayor’s priorities or being ignored.

The three women are gone; Harkavy, who quit as chairman of Brooklyn Community Board 14 to run for the bench, is retired from a long and respected judicial career during which he inspired a Hollywood film by sentencing a landlord to live in his own tenement.

All of them were “plugged in” (Harkavy, for example, concurrently led CB14, the Madison Jewish Center, the Brooklyn College campus foundation and alumni association, the Brooklyn College Hillel House, and the Midwood Development Corporation); all adhered to the highest ethical standards; all commanded respect and all used their formidable intellectual and moral powers to ensure that City Hall paid attention to the needs of Flatbush and Midwood, the neighborhoods their board comprised. Continue reading

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DOE: A Gap in the City Charter

Adrienne Kivelson

Arguably, the speaker who got the closest attention from the staff of the New York City Charter Revision Commission at Monday night’s public hearing in Queens was Adrienne Kivelson, City Affairs Chair of the League of Women Voters of the City of New York.

Ms. Kivelson identified a glaring gap in the City Charter: the document’s failure to recognize the Department of Education as a mayoral agency, despite the control over DOE the state legislature granted to the mayor in 2002, and renewed in 2009. Proposing that the commission “codify the Department of Education in the City Charter,” Ms. Kivelson called for the agency “to be subject to the same oversight and accountability imposed on every other Mayoral agency. Continue reading