Lander Named “Social Justice Hero”
The Nation just named Brad Lander one of “Today’s Social Justice Heroes.” The magazine looked at progressive leaders across the country, winnowing the list down to eight reformers/crusaders/movers-and-shakers who, as writer Peter Dreier puts it, “challenge the powerful and mobilize the masses.” And notably, Lander’s the only elected government official on the list, which includes union organizers, human rights activists, and environmental reformers — but not a single fellow politician.
Here’s what they have to say:
Since his election to the New York City Council in 2009, Brad Lander has become a master at inside/outside organizing, using his office to encourage grassroots mobilization. Lander served for a decade as executive director of the Fifth Avenue Committee, a Brooklyn nonprofit, which garnered national recognition for its combination of community organizing and community development. Lander then spent six years as director of the Pratt Center for Community Development, helping groups organize for neighborhood improvement. He led a successful campaign to create New York City’s inclusionary zoning program, which requires developers to set aside 20 percent of their units for low- and moderate-income families and to pay building service workers a living wage.
On the council Lander has led the fight for a living-wage law, community involvement in budgeting, affordable housing and an inspector general’s office to monitor the NYPD. A co-founder of the council’s progressive caucus, Lander, 43, helped catalyze a group of activists and academics to formulate One City/ One Future, a progressive manifesto for economic development
Lander’s in pretty spectacular company — the other honorees are:
Angelica Salas (Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles)
Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins (Green for All)
Lucas Benitez (Coalition of Immokalee Workers)
Ai-Jen Poo (Domestic Workers United)
Paty Castellanos (Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy)
Teresa Cheng (United Students Against Sweatshops)
George Goehl (National People’s Action)
The full article is behind the Nation’s paywall here, but if you’re not a subscriber, you can check it out at the magazine’s international syndicate here.
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