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Another Update from NYC

  • Subject: [cg] Another Update from NYC
  • From: "Honigman, Adam" <Adam.Honigman@Bowne.com>
  • Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 10:36:04 -0400

One of the many garden events/rallies/meetings happening next week in NYC
from the More Gardens! group.... 
Dear gardian angels, jardineros and compadres,

Much intense activity now that the ending of the T.R.O. is being discussed
by both sides, Attorney General Spitzer and the City Administration (see
below for details and updates on the political aspects of all this). Please
invite other gardeners by telephone if they don't have or use email.

This coming Tuesday night, May 14th at 6 pm, come to 250 Broadway (next to
City Hall) for a very important meeting with city officials to tell them we
hold firm on this: we fully expect them to protect ALL the gardens,
permanently. We request all gardeners who feel this way to come, let them
see our faces and hear our position, in absolute terms, with strength and
confidence. Show them we are united and won't sell out each other's gardens.
Come for all the endangered green spaces in the South Bronx, East New York
and Brownsville, the Lower East Side and East Village, Harlem, and
elsewhere; come for the kids and the elderly and the hungry and
dispossessed, and for the quiet and humble folks who just want to work in
the earth and can't make that long trip to City Hall. Show that we won't be
worn down. Please bring others with you. This will replace our semimonthly
More Gardens! meeting.

MORE EVENTS, as many as you can make:

This Saturday, May 11, barbecue and banner painting across the street from
Cabo Rojo. You all remember how to get there, right? #2 or #5 to 149th and
3rd Ave, walk up Melrose 10 blocks, turn left on 159th one block to
Courtlandt. There you will see the spirit of Cabo Rojo is still deeply
rooted, still vibrant, full of hope and determination. Cabo Rojo, like
Esperanza, like the old oak in Riverdale, like Chico Mendes, lives inside
us. The police always show, and we always show, and the people from the
community always show, and they wonder when we'll stop. So: remember to
remember every Saturday afternoon; we'll be there! Come take part with us.

Monday, May 13, 5:30 - 7 pm, meet with New York Restoration, Bloomberg's
choice for trusteeship of some of the gardens. 31 West 56th St (between 5th
and 6th Aves.), in the NY Restoration Conference Room. Ask the secretary for
the floor (I hear she's friendly).

Tuesday beginning at 10 am: a rally for Brownsville, Brooklyn gardens.
Fantasy Garden, corner of Legion and Blake. Take #1 train to Saratoga, walk
north 2 blocks to Blake, turn left, walk one block to Legion. Buses will
leave from Harlem and the Bronx. Any questions, call Helen Boykin,
718-495-4704. I'm told info is also available at www.brooklynbang.org.

DETAILS (the following is my interpretation; if I have misunderstood
anything, I take responsibility. Thus I suggest you come to the meetings
above and get fuller and more direct explanations):

Spitzer's office has been meeting with gardeners over the past year to sound
them out and prepare them for the lifting of the T.R.O. He wants to see an
end to all this. He's been asking them to consider what they are willing to
give up, suggesting they look "reasonable" and willing to compromise. AND
the judge who was so helpful in continually extending the T.R.O. has been

Bloomberg means business; that's what he does, he wheels and deals. He has
offered his version of a solution: to grant control of many of the
Greenthumb gardens (currently protected by the Feb., 2000 temporary
restraining order) to land trusts, specifically New York Restoration.
However, this offer would leave out about 1/3 to 1/2 of those gardens.
Unfortunately, we feel that the proposed legislation, "There Oughta Be a
Law," would also leave many loopholes thru which developers can slip: the
community boards would gain more power over these places (right now they
only have an advisory capacity), and if strong real estate interests sway
the voting members, we could lose gardens.

BUT as a consequence of the great outpouring of support for Cabo Rojo and
the Melrose and South Bronx gardens, we've gotten the ear of Councilmember
Jose Serrano. He has met with several garden advocates and is working on a
bill (or is it called a resolution?) called the Liveable City, to be
presented to City Council, to make ALL gardens permanent and create new
community gardens. He appeared on the steps of City Hall last month to
announce his intention. This is an amazing development, and it needs our
voices, immediately. We are working to get this piece of legislation in
front of the councilmembers, and to show them that this is the wish of the
people. It's a big order; time is of the essence. We need your help,

Hope to see you at 250 Broadway and other places. Bring friends.

Thanks! JK 

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