Brian L. Gotlieb at home in Trump Village.
©Mark D Phillips
BIOGRAPHY OF CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE BRIAN L. GOTLIEB
The product of a single parent family, Brian L. Gotlieb credits his late mother, Myrna, with teaching him the importance of helping others and being active in the community.
In 1995, Brian L. Gotlieb created Shorefront Toys for Tots in his mother's memory. To date, the organization has distributed toys, games, clothing, books and puzzles to more than 27,000 children in our community.
As a Member of Community School Board 21, Brian L. Gotlieb focused on the issues of child safety and providing our children with a learning environment conducive to maximizing their potential. To that end he:
- Worked with Congressman Anthony D. Weiner to secure a $4.96 million Magnet School Grant for District 21’s students;
- Led the fight to provide District 21's schools with additional school safety officers and secured the assignment of crossing guards and the installation of traffic calming devices at dangerous intersections;
- Hosted an ongoing series of Child Safety Programs providing parents with free copies of their children's fingerprints along with Polaroid pictures of their children to present to law enforcement personnel in an emergency; and,
- Initiated district-wide reading programs with the Brooklyn Cyclones and Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park.
Appointed to Community Board 13 in 1999, Brian L. Gotlieb was elected by his fellow Members to serve as their Chairman from 2002 through 2006. Widely praised for his fairness and even handed approach, Gotlieb created the Board's Economic Development and Affordable Housing committees in anticipation of the upcoming redevelopment of Coney Island. Brian L. Gotlieb has also been an outspoken critic of the NYC Parks Department's failure to repair and maintain the Riegelmann Boardwalk and recruit and deploy lifeguards along the entire length of Coney Island's beaches. He fought to have Coney Island designated as a No-Fly Zone to protect community residents and beach goers from low flying planes. And, he worked with local elected officials to address the needs and concerns of community residents. In December of 2008, Gotlieb was named to succeed his late friend, Sara Lee McWhite, as Chairman of the Board’s Education, Library and Youth Services Committee. In this role, he has spoken out on the issues of charter schools; the future of John Dewey High School; the re-zoning of Community School District 21; school funding; mayoral control of our public schools; the effects of PCBs in public schools; and, providing needy students with free or reduced fare Metrocards. Gotlieb, who serves as a member of the Community Advisory Board of the High School of Sports Management has also endorsed the creation of the Coney Island Career & Technical Education High School, a small school initiative, where students would earn a high school Regents diploma while receiving vocational training and credits towards their associates and/or bachelor degrees. Since 2005, Brian L. Gotlieb has taught students how to prepare for the New York State Notary Public Examination and partnered with various community based organizations to provide free or low cost New York State Notary Public Exam Preparation Courses.
Left Photo: Brian L. Gotlieb 's Family (left to right): Brian's mother (Myrna Gotlieb); his maternal grandparents (Benjamin and Rae Lichtenberg); and, uncle, Herbert Lichtenberg.
Right Photo: Wedding photo of Brian's maternal grandparents, Benjamin and Rae Lichtenberg.
A Past-President of Brighton-Atlantic Unit #1671 of B'nai B'rith, Brian L. Gotlieb has been an active Project Hope volunteer and has worked with fellow members to help thousands of Jewish poor celebrate Passover and Chanukah. As a member of the Amethyst Women's Project's Board of Directors, Brian L. Gotlieb helped provide much needed services to thousands of Coney Island and south Brooklyn residents who are victims of substance abuse, domestic violence and/or HIV/AIDS. These services include: community educational training; short and long-term treatment referrals; on-site rapid HIV/AIDS testing; pre and post HIV/AIDS test counseling; domestic violence intervention and support services; and, various support and empowerment groups. Brian L. Gotlieb opposes the City of New York's plan to construct a Marine Waste Transfer Station (MWTS) at the site of the former Southwest Incinerator complex. Gotlieb, who has testified at multiple hearings on the subject, believes that the MWTS poses a great risk to the health of the surrounding community and southern Brooklyn; the MWTS should not be constructed in the heart of a heavily populated community with high numbers of senior citizens and children; the City of New York has failed to demonstrate that the construction and operation of the MWTS will be environmentally safe or that there will be sufficient oversight; and, the City of New York has not outlined what steps will be taken to mitigate the fact that the MWTS is to be constructed in a flood zone or what steps will be taken to communicate with community residents in the event of an emergency.
Brian L. Gotlieb's involvement on the issue of the redevelopment of Coney Island goes well beyond his creation of Community Board 13's Economic Development committee. Believing that Coney Island did not need any more vacant lots and that Astroland Amusement Park should not be rushed into history, Gotlieb initiated a successful petition drive that collected more than 10,000 signatures calling for the park to remain open. On September 9, 2007, community and elected leaders joined Gotlieb at a rally calling for the negotiation of a new lease that would allow Astroland to remain open for the 2008 season. Brian L. Gotlieb was a leading critic of the plans that were proposed for the redevelopment of Coney Island as they failed to address the needs and concerns of the entire community. To that end, Gotlieb joined with multiple community and labor leaders to create "CI CLEAR" (Community and Labor Empowerment Alliance for Redevelopment), an organization designed to ensure that community residents are given the opportunity to have careers rather than temporary jobs without benefits; are provided with an active voice with which to participate in the redevelopment process; and, are able to continue living in their own community, rather than being forced to move. Brian L. Gotlieb has also called for the establishment of an enforceable Community Benefits Agreement to ensure that promises made to community residents with regard to the redevelopment process will be kept. In anticipation of the new housing and commercial spaces that will be constructed as part of the redevelopment process, Brian L. Gotlieb has joined with Urban Neighborhood Services, Inc. to provide residents with Financial Planning Workshops and Seminars. These workshops and seminars are designed to help people repair and restore their credit rating so that they can be in a better position – financially speaking – to remain in Coney Island and purchase one or more of the new housing or commercial units.
Brian L. Gotlieb maintains close relationships with civic and religious organizations throughout the Shorefront community and is a member of the Friends of Kaiser Park, Coney Island Neighborhood Improvement Organization, Coney Island Generation Gap (CIGG) and the Coney Island Coalition Against Violence (CICAV). He has also served and represented his neighbors as a member of the Board of Directors in Section 4 of Trump Village, on Temple Beth Abraham's Board of Trustees, as an Executive Board Member of the 60th Precinct Community Council, and, as a member of Sheepshead Lodge #501 of the Knights of Pythias.
Brian L. Gotlieb, who is a graduate of the Rabbi Harry Halpern Day School and Midwood High School, received his BA from New York University, MA from the University of Florida and JD from New York Law School. As a student at the Rabbi Halpern Day School and its Talmud Torah High School division, Gotlieb packed and delivered Passover packages to aid needy senior citizens - a tradition he continued through his involvement with B’nai Brith’s Project Hope. As President of New York Law School's Jewish Law Students Association, Gotlieb moderated a symposium entitled "Jews in American Politics," which reviewed the role of the Jewish community in electoral politics.
Professionally, Brian L. Gotlieb is an attorney who currently serves as an Associate with the law firm of Gerber & Gerber, PLLC. As Congressman, and former New York City Councilman, Anthony D. Weiner's Deputy Chief of Staff and Brooklyn District Director, Brian L. Gotlieb was primarily responsible for supervising the intake and resolution of constituent concerns and helping constituents expedite the resolution of problems they experienced with various government agencies.
In recognition of his service to the community, Gotlieb has received the: “2011 Appreciation Award” from Rosia Wyche, former District Chair, Brooklyn South COP’s; High School of Sports Management’s “2010 Thanksgiving Share Community Service Award;” Brighton Neighborhood Association’s “2010 Community Service Award;” Urban Neighborhood Services, Inc.’s “2009 Community Service Award;” District 21 Community Education Council's "2007 Community Service Award;" Brighton Neighborhood Association's "2002 Community Service Award;" North Bay Estates Tenant Association's "2002 Community Service Award;" Kids For Life USA's "2000 Community Service Award;" the Bensonhurst West End Community Council's "1999 Community Service Award;" Brighton-Atlantic Unit #1671 of B'nai B'rith's "1999 Youth Services Award;" and the Brighton Beach Head Start "1998 Volunteer of the Year" Award.