Dear Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Chair on Parks and Recreation Mark Levine and City Council Members:
Thank you very much for increasing the Parks Department budget by $27 million. I am submitting a written testimony via email to urge the City Council to continue to work with the Mayor to bring that increase back to the budget.
Our parks have been underfunded for so long and while the City has been adding parkland over the years they have not been increasing the budget.
New York City Parks are the heart of the city. They clearly distinguish us from many other American cites. They boost the local economy and civic pride of our city and neighborhoods. New York City parks were conceived as special places where all sections of society could enter free of charge to relax, unwind, and exercise. In our parks we are neither rich nor poor: We are New Yorkers.
We are living in an increasingly build-up environment. Today, our need for parks has come full circle. Our parks create playgrounds, fresh air and provide opportunities for sport, art, culture, ecology, and the necessary biodiversity future cities need to survive climatic changes. They are just as important today as they were in the 19th century.
Please bring back that increase to the budget. We should aspire to continue this timeless heritage for our future generations.
The NYC Parks' Executive Budget hearing took place on May 28, 2014 but there was no public comment period at that hearing. However, on Friday June 6 at 2pm, members of the public can testify on the whole city budget (this will not be Parks specific). The hearing will held by the Finance Committee at 3:30 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall.