How much pressure does it take to pull the plug on the political machine and find the ethical hearts of political hacks? Even the Defund Police mass movement with so much support couldn’t get the City Council to do what it should do.
That meant that mobilizing our Lower East Side and East Village neighborhood to #SaveEastRiverPark wouldn’t have much impact.
Dozens of impassioned pleas to Defund the East Side Coastal Resiliency plan received no support from anyone on the City Council. That is because, some City Council Members told us, they practice deferral–they give deference to the Council Member whose district a project is in. The park is in City Council Member Carlina Rivera’s district.
The budget vote was June 30. The ESCR is intact and of course the police are still intact.
Rivera voted against the budget and is receiving praise for a principled stance. But she continues to support the East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) plan that will demolish all of East River Park and not bring the neighborhood flood control for many years. She could have forced change to the plan and insisted on flood control project that would not destroy the park.
Unfortunately, her one symbolic act of voting against the budget will not bring back East River Park. Sixty percent of it will be closed off in Sept., and the bulldozers will start demolition, including 1,000 mature trees, in November.
In June, we discussed a protest July 4 to plant little flags, display banners and demonstrate. Right now that doesn’t seem strategic. There’s nothing we can ask for that is obtainable at the moment. What can we do?
• Sue for alienation. That is ongoing. And slow going.
• Investigae the possibility of a federal or state environmental lawsuit.
• Work for incremental change—not trashing the compost yard and the Lower East Side Ecology Center, for instance. Reinstating the building of a park on Pier 42. Free ferries to Gov. Island from Corlears Hook.
• Other ideas?
We aren’t giving up.
If you are interested in becoming part of the ongoing discussions about what’s happening and what we can do, consider joining Slack.. If we can get our community talking there, that would be add to our effectiveness:
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Here are city officials. Share your thoughts with them. Don’t let them forget that they are destroying the most wonderful park in our wonderful but very crowded neighborhood:
CALL EMAIL and/or Tweet:
Carlina Rivera, City Council Member, East Village
212 677 1077
Margaret Chin, City Council Member, Lower East Side
Keith Powers. City Council Member, Stuyvesant Town area
Daniel Dromm, Chair Of The Council Finance Committee
This committee is responsible for reviewing and modifying the City budget.
212-788-7066 or 718-803-6373
Vanessa Gibson, Chair Of The Finance Committee’s Subcommittee On Capital Budget And Finance
718-588-7500 or 212-788-6856
Donovan Richards, Chair Of The Committee On Public Safety
212-788-7216 or 718-471-7014
Speaker Corey Johnson, Speaker Of The Council
He is a Mayor hopeful
212-564-7757 or 212-788-7210
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams
He is a Mayor hopeful
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams
Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President
Scott M. Stringer, NYC Comptroller
Mayor De Blasio does not have a public email address.
Call 311 to leave a message.
Send messages through their direct contact pages on the NYC government website: https://tinyurl.com/deblasioemail
DIRECTORY OF ALL COUNCIL MEMBER EMAILS/PHONE NUMBERS
Directory link: https://council.nyc.gov/districts/