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STAR OF BROOKLYN: Jeremy Laufer

JEREMY LAUFER – District Manager of Community Board 7,Chairperson of the Hamilton Avenue Marine Transfer StationCommunity Advisory Group

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: In addition to his duties at CB 7 and onthe Hamilton Avenue Marine Transfer Station Community AdvisoryGroup, Laufer also has gotten involved with the Community BasedBudgeting Citywide Task Force at the request of Councilmember BradLander. He is also affiliated with the Brooklyn-RotterdamWaterfront Exchange, a chance for the two cities to exchange ideasabout sustainable development. Currently, the group is planning agreen technologies roundtable discussion to be held in Sunset Park,to get feedback for developing a green business incubator withinSouth Brooklyn, Laufer explained.

PERSONAL: Laufer is a lifelong Brooklyn resident, other than fora few years spent out of state, attending college. He was raised inSheepshead Bay and currently resides in Mill Basin with his twodogs, an Akita chow and a pit bull. He is a confessed dog fanatic.Anyone who knows me will tell you, ‘Jeremy is pretty insane abouthis dogs,’ he said. And both for representing what he feels is anunderserved district, and in his selection of pets, Laufer admitshe has a soft spot for the longshot. I always root for theunderdog, he said. My dogs were rescue [dogs]. I’m a DetroitLions fan. He says he enjoys serving a district where he canreally make a difference.

JOB: Laufer keeps busy in his fulltime post at CB 7. Some of thecurrent issues the board is working on include the future rezoningof Eighth Avenue, the controversial continued co-location of theBrooklyn Prospect Charter School and Sunset Park High School, andan issue that has raged on since for more than 30 years — streetcleaning. Currently, Sunset Park streets are swept four times aweek, something the board is continuing to fight. Since the 70s,we’ve been trying to reduce that to twice a week, heexplained.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: As CB 7’s district manager, the mostchallenging part of his job is enacting the will of the many (oftendiscordant) board members, city officials and citizens he interactswith through the workday. The true test, he says is in his abilityto be managing or dealing with multiple people who are my bosses– remember I have 50 bosses — but also dealing with cityagencies, constituents, all who have different interests. He saysit can be difficult to take the dizzying array of differing voicesinto account. Unless my board votes on something specifically,it’s kind of a balancing act, Laufer said.

FAVORITE MEMORY: When he reflects on his accomplishments in alife spent in government, Laufer says that establishing Sunset ParkHigh School in 2009 was his greatest moment. I would say gettingthe high school built has been my proudest achievement since I’vebeen working here, he said. I’m very pleased to have played arole in that.

INSPIRATION: Laufer’s motivation comes from a rather unexpectedplace: myths. I read a great deal, and one of the things I readquite a bit is mythology, he said. I would say I get a lot ofinspiration from that. When considering the connection between hisinterest in myths and the all too real world of city government, hedoes believe there is a connection. Culturally, the importance ofcommunity and community working together [in myths and government],I’d say that’s something that comes through to me, he said.

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