Manhattan BP Gail Brewer: ‘A different kind of politician’

Cyril Josh Barker | 4/17/2014, 2:49 p.m.

“We need to bring in people who can talk to you about your housing problem, your family problems and then you do better in school and you graduate,” she said. “I would like to have more of that, someone to talk to who is trained and everyone can go.”

Of course, when the conversations about schools comes up, charter schools enters the dialogue. Brewer took a Success Academy charter school to court that wanted to come into a high school in her district but lost. She later won a case where a middle school wanted to come in.

“There are good charter schools, but when they take a position where you kick out another school or you put those parents and those teachers in the basement some place, it’s wrong. You have to have a discussion,” she said. “You cannot have two kinds of schools in one building.”

With the new mayoral administration comes changes to the NYPD. Brewer said she’s participated for years when it come to citizens protesting against being mistreated by the police. She’s a big advocate of community policing and has seen the positive results when working with public housing residents as a councilwoman.

“Stop–and–frisk should be used only when there is a real reason to use it,” she said. “I worked a lot in NYCH, and it’s absolutely clear to me that when you have good community policing and you gain the trust of the residents, then people trust the cops.”

Some of Brewer’s latest achievements include reaching an agreement with de Blasio’s administration on reducing by half the number of families at Freedom House homeless shelter on the Upper West Side, co-sponsoring bills to protect street trees from construction and reserve spaces in public parking facilities for car-sharing program, and calling for reforms to the Landmark Preservation Commission.