A Vision for the Future of Brooklyn Politics in Marine Park

Neighbors and representatives of local government gathered in the back room of Legends Bar in Marine Park for a workshop facilitated by the Vision Project to imagine the future of the Brooklyn Democratic Party. This workshop was co-hosted by Gina Napolitano and South Brooklyn Progressive Network, and NY Assemblywoman Jamie Williams attended, along with Councilmember Mark Treyger’s Chief of Staff, Anna Scaife. The other participants were a diverse group, including longtime residents of the neighborhood and recent arrivals.

Participants paired up with someone they didn’t know to discuss their responses to the Vision questionnaire, and then Vision facilitators Melissa Gradel and Sara Wee guided the group in sharing insights from their pair discussions. Some values that many participants identified as important were Inclusion, Honesty, Listening, and Integrity. The group listed some of their ideal leaders, ranging from global, spiritual icons like Mother Theresa to the most local examples--one participant’s supervisor at her job.


The discussion progressed to how residents can contribute to better local politics, and how leaders should collaborate and connect with the people they represent. It concluded with participants expressing their hopes for what local politics should be ten years in the future. These visions included: justice for immigrants and people of color, equal representation for women and minorities, more responsive and dedicated leaders, and full participation in elections. It’s not easy to summarize such a wide-ranging discussion in one sentence, but the group arrived at “The Democratic Party should pave the way through participation, listening, and empathic engagement.”

All the questionnaires and discussion summaries from this workshop will be collected and analyzed for discussion in a Vision Summit, once the Vision Project has reached a large sample of the diverse communities of Brooklyn. Contact us if you know a community group we should partner with, or if you want to learn more.