Our 5 Questions with the District 39 candidates continues, today featuring Green Party candidate David Pechefsky.
What neighborhood do you live in, and what do you like most about it?
I live with my wife and two daughters in Park Slope – we’ve been in the Slope about 15 years. I like walking down the block and bumping into friends and neighbors and chatting with the local store owners and people who work in the stores. We have access to so many great cultural opportunities (museums, films etc.), and parks, libraries, and playgrounds that a big city has to offer and yet there is also a good sense of community.
Where are you originally from, and how does it compare to Brooklyn?
I was born in Manhattan but grew up mostly in Patchogue, out on Long Island. It’s hard to compare because I’ve lived in New York City for the last 20 years and your experience of places as a kid and an adult are very different. Much of Long Island’s natural beauty has been degraded by shopping malls and car culture. Brooklyn is incredibly diverse and culturally rich compared to the Long Island I knew growing up.
How do you, personally, contribute to your community?
I am active in the community in several ways – a member of the Park Slope Greens, the Park Slope food coop, and a non-board member of the CB 6 Economic Development Committee, as well being involved in my daughters’ schooling.
One of the things I have done in the community that I feel proudest of was helping to organize parents and children to testify at City Hall to save the Prospect Park Zoo when it was in danger of closing in 2002 due to budget cuts.
I also believe that running for City Council is a way of contributing to the community. It’s important that we engage in local politics. We need a city government that is going to be truly responsive to the needs and aspirations of communities and that uses our resources in ways that are both environmentally and economically sustainable. After 12 years inside city government I am convinced that to achieve this we need the kind of principled, independent voice that a Green party candidate like me can provide.
If you could change one thing in your neighborhood, what would it be?
It’s difficult to choose just “one thing” – as great as our neighborhoods are there are several things that could be changed for the better. I would like to see the Atlantic Yards site developed as beautiful public open space and a mix of housing types, small businesses, and small scale manufacturing – not a sports a arena, towers, big office spaces, and chain stores. I believe this could still happen.
What is your favorite restaurant/hangout?
I don’t do much hanging out other than with my family. For that, I like JJ Byrne Park, especially the farmer’s market on Sunday. My favorite restaurant used to be El Rey De Los Castillos de Jaguar on Flatbush and 7th – now unhappily from my perspective a Duane Reade.