Back to Politics and Community Gardening: The Post 9/11 NYC Mayoral Election
- Subject: [cg] Back to Politics and Community Gardening: The Post 9/11 NYC Mayoral Election
- From: Adam36055@aol.com
- Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2001 12:25:24 EST
The support of the ACGA has been greatly appreciated, especially letters to
NYC daily newspapers from President Tom Tyler and other ACGA members. The
voice of the ACGA, "A respected national organization, not you crazies in
flower suits" , as an editoral page sub-editor put it, was extremely helpful
at time when papers were describing gardeners as "Garden Weazels" and our now
knighted mayor ( Mayor "Sir " Rudolph Giuliani) said that "community gardens
are a major cause of homelessness in NYC".
Maybe after the shouting & the election is over, if we can get the
other-wise quite competent Sir Rudolph to visit some of our gardens. Maybe we
can win him over ( hope springs eternal!)
However, here are the garden views of the two mayoral candidates left
" Bloombergs' Garden Policy: (on the web)
Develop a Community Garden Policy
a.The city should work with community and civic groups, such as the Trust
for Public Land and the Municipal Art Society, to evaluate all community
gardens. Not all community gardens have to be developed into affordable
housing. Not all vacant parcels are community gardens. To the extent
possible, integrate housing and community garden sites as was done
successfully at the Westside Community Garden on West 90th Street in
b.A garden trust should be established. Parcels appropriate for garden use
could be leased to
communities that would then maintain them.
Mark Greens' Community Gardens Policy:
"As Public Advocate, I cosponsored Intro 742 and 743 which: provide for
two-year leases; place a moratorium on development of existing gardens;
provide City funding for the development of gardens;
require that any development plan go through the ULURP process; and end
the practice of designating gardens as vacant space. In 1999, I also
wrote a letter to Governor Pataki, which proposed that all development plans
be required to go through the ULURP process.
As Mayor, I will work to preserve community gardens. New development
and protecting community gardens don't have to be competing goals - using
available funds to clean up brownfields, we can open up new lands for
development and leave beautiful community gardens untouched.
Note: This is a cut and paste from the NYC Cybergardens list serve that I
recieved this morning . It was sent by Cynthia ( sorry, I don't know her
last name) ,a Harlem community garden activist, whose message about the
attempted bulldozing of her garden I forwarded to you a few months ago.
News from the CYBERGARDENS mailing list
Last week Mark Green was scheduled for a press conference in the Joseph
Daniel Wilson Garden in Harlem, to make a statement on open space & community
gardens. Due to schedule delays, the press conference didn't happen. His
office however, in the person & voice of Joseph Rappaport, agreed to send us
this statement re Green's position on gardens; I quote:
You asked about Mark's position on community gardens, one that I've worked on
and think is a strong one.
It's part of a larger view of how to make the city more livable by making
open space and transportation an integral part of planning decisions, instead
of afterthoughts. That is what we have advocated in responses to surveys,
and in our own literature.
On community gardens, Mark called in 1999 for appropriate land use
reviews--which would likely protect the vast majority of gardens. He is a
co-sponsor of pending City Council legislation (intro. 742) which would
require land use review and bring community gardens under the Parks Deprtment.
Mark recognizes and has said during the campaign that there is an erroneous
perception that the need for gardens and the need for affordable housing are
in conflict with one another. His views echo that of many open space
advocates and studies, which is that the best communities include adequate
open space. He's also called for the development of more parks. especially
in open space-starved neighborhoods.
As with every administration, one challenge will be to make sure that a Green
administration holds true to these goals.
I think we've got a very good shot in this respect, in part because there
will be much more access for advocates in a
Green administration, and also because there are likely to be many
progressives in his administration. Neither have been the case under
Giuliani, as we know.
I hope this is helpful. Please contact me with any questions; feel free to
use any or all of the above in communicating with other garden activists.
--Joe Rappaport " Close Quote
Adam's two-bit analysis:
Again, I guess the slogan, "Gardeners Vote" and the 20,000 plus garden
preservation petitions colected by several community garden organizations got
the candidates attention. Community gardeners are now a "special interest".
With a planned 15% Parks budget cutback demanded by Mayor "Sir" Rudolph
Giuliani ( the current parks budget is 4/10ths of 1% of NYC's budget -
Chicago's parks budget is, by comparison, 3%) it would be foolish now to
alienate community gardeners in a close race - after all, we are the - we're
the ones who planted the 500,000 Dutch donated daffodils in NYC parks, and
supplied the bodies that the Parks 2001 organizers asked for, not the soccer
fans, baskeball players or joggers.
Both Bloomberg and Green know that volunteerism is the only thing that will
keep the parks from sliding even further into decay. There is a limit to
foundation and private money that will go to take up the slack in the current
financial environment. Community gardeners are the pool which has the skill
set to fill in the gaps that are not taken care of by skeleton park crews and
Go into any NYC park, and the volunteer people tend to be folks from our
community gardens, planting some bulbs, cleaning up, because as one lady said
by DeWitt Clinton Park on 54th & 11th avenues,," I just can't look at garbage
in an ugly rundown space, I plant bulbs now, we have something to look at in
April when we need it."
Later, got to plant some decorative kale,
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to www.communitygarden.org
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