From Senator Daniel Squadron met with Parks groups at the BRC. Here is his follow up note (we’ve posted his City Council Testimony elsewhere on this site):
Thank you for joining our #ParksEquity forum on Wednesday evening. The conversation was substantive and important. Our shared values will continue to inform my conversations with the City to address the parks equity crisis. It was an impressive, committed, and diverse group. There were representatives from parks, large and small, in each of the five boroughs, but there were a lot of shared themes:
- There is a need for greater consistency, and a need-based system, in allocating dollars to our parks.
- The parks system must be unified and treated as a single network. Every park, including the largest conservancies, has an obligation to the entire system, in terms of expertise, education, and dollars.
- The political voice of neighborhood parks, large and small, must be a more valued component in parks equity discussions, and parks issues overall.
In addition, a number of you asked that I share the values/goals that were discussed at the January meeting. At that time, a group including the largest conservancies and the citywide advocates proposed that these five items should frame any solution to the equity crisis facing our parks.
- All neighborhoods deserve good parks; nicer parks cannot be reserved for wealthier neighborhoods.
- There needs to be a stronger, more urgent push for increased funding to operate parks.
- Outside support should be augmented and better distributed.
- Community engagement strategies and best practices should be shared.
- The parks system, as a single unified network, should be strengthened.
I’ve also included testimony (attached) that I gave at two City Council hearings this spring.
We’ll be in touch soon on next steps. In the interim, please don’t hesitate to contact me with your thoughts or questions.
Thank you again,
NY State Senator