Candidates on Parks

NY4P asked candidates for Comptroller, Public Advocate, Borough President, and City Council to answer a brief questionnaire about parks and open spaces in their district and citywide. We thank all those who responded – those who didn't are not listed under their election race. 

Scroll through and tap on names to reveal their answers. Find out who will be the strongest park advocate for New Yorkers and NYC as a whole!

Curious about mayoral candidates? Check out what front-running mayoral hopefuls said over at the Five Point Plan for Park Equity.

 

Comptroller
Reshma Patel

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

To improve our parks system, we need to increase funding and cuts capital costs. The proposed City Cleanup Corp will provide short-term help, but we need longer-term solutions. NYC needs to increase budgetary funding for parks to at least 1%.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

We have to build new parks in under-served communities with limited green space, improve current parks, push forward more greenways and open street initiatives, and invest in comprehensive access and maintenance of natural areas and waterfronts.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

As a member of the parks committee of my community board, I am an advocate for our parks and open spaces. As Comptroller, I would like to see our open spaces expanded to include community gardens, outdoor performances and be a place to create community.

 

 

Borough Presidents

Brooklyn

Robert Cornegy

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Greater public education campaigns, reminding persons not to litter, clean up after their dogs, etc. are needed. Enhanced enforcement. Investment in park maintenance.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Creating more park space in communities of color, including looking for creative ways to make more open space in the parts of the city such as on under-utilized parking lots, or creating High Line style spaces, or increasing Green Thumbs.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

Greater investment in upkeep, while tying in community input. They need to go hand in hand.

 

Khari Edwards

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

First things first, restore funding. I will work with members of the City Council and Mayor to restore this funding so that parks can reliably be the places for social, mental, and physical health that residents can turn to, regardless of where you live.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

The city needs to ensure that park funding is distributed equally to all communities across the city. Throughout Brooklyn, there are a growing number of vacant or underutilized lots that could be the prime site for green spaces.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Better access and walkability

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I want to see infrastructure repaired and expanded to meet the resiliency needs of the future. I want to see more community green spaces. I want to see the parks in different communities reflect the individualized community needs.

 

Mathieu Eugene

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Our parks should be safe for hardworking New Yorkers, and I have spent many years advocating for the maintenance and revitalization of our green spaces. I have allocated a significant portion of my capital budget towards improving parks conditions.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

It is important to identify the areas where there is a lack of green spaces and determine where we can work with the NYC Parks Department to transform underutilized land for public use. We can work together to reshape the landscape of Brooklyn.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades
Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

My advocacy for open spaces has always been to make sure they are safe, clean, and are able to provide an environment that is accessible to all people. I am confident that we can continue to innovate and upgrade many of our open spaces through team work.

 

Pearlene Fields

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

When elected I will advocate for more funding for parks & more collaborations with organizations like the DOE Fund. This will ensure our parks are safe & clean while providing much needed employment.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Identify underutilized open spaces. Marginalized communities need equal access to the same resources as other communities. As Borough President I will advocate for the necessary resources and work with elected officials to make this happen.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

As Borough President I would advocate for the open streets program to be expanded. I will ensure I appoint more park friendly people on community boards so they can work together with the parks dept. & other stakeholders to ensure more green space.

 

Antonio Reynoso

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

I think the most important immediate step we can take is to fully fund the budget asks made by the Play Fair campaign. Our parks staff are absolutely essential for upkeep and we need to value and support their work through the budget.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

First, we need to get creative about how to convert existing underutilized spaces into open space, such as reimagining some of our street space. Second, we need to create new space where none exists now, such as the BQ Green proposal I have advocated for.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I really want to expand open space across the borough with a focus on underserved areas. We can do this through new parks projects, as well as through smaller interventions such as opening up public school yards during non-school hours.

 

Jo Anne Simon

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

I would advocate for additional funds. The Parks Department is the first one cut, and those jobs are green jobs. 1% of the NYC budget is reasonable and should be an easier lift now, especially because COVID has taught us the importance of open space.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

We need to prioritize these communities for developing new parks. As BP, I would work closely with the parks department, local elected officials, and the community to identify new spaces that can be turned into parks and make sure that we invest.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open space

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

Perhaps one of the few good things that has come from the COVID pandemic is the recognition of our need for more open space and the opportunity to reimagine our public space. We need to expand the open streets program in the outer parts of the borough.

 

 

Manhattan

Lindsey Boylan

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

I am a career urban planner, who helped pedestrianize Broadway and improve Bryant Park. I love green space and am excited to expand it throughout the City. We must fund parks department more, and commit to hiring more staff to maintain our spaces.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Every rezoning in every neighborhood must expand green space. That is a fundamental promise of my campaign. We cannot continue to rezone and take away green spaces. I will also take away space for cars and create green space.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Better access and walkability
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I want to reduce the amount of space we give to cars and create more parks space and in street green spaces. That is why I committed to the TransAlt 25x25 plan to create vastly more green space through reducing commitment to space for cars.

 

Elizabeth Caputo

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Parks and playgrounds have been a haven during this pandemic.  As Chair of CB7 I led efforts in Central Park (car-free, pedestrian safety, Lasker Rink), Riverside Park (RP South, equity, skate park), and launched NYC's fully accessible playground.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

I believe in responsible, economically and racially informed rezoning with a focus on expanding parks and green spaces in minority communities, and taking action to convert underutilized space like parking/vacant lots into neighborhood resources.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I will focus on improving existing parks and creating more parks and public spaces across the borough, as they are the great equalizers and last truly public spaces in our City. This can only come from leadership and taking a neighborhood approach.

 

Brad Hoylman

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

I plan create BoroughSTAT, an online database to track city services, including the parks system, to ensure there is equitable and adequate attention paid to our beloved parks.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

I'm proposing a community-led planning process within my first 100 days as Borough President through 197a's. The goal would be to ensure every single community has a role in increasing access to parks, and that it is a community-driven process.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Better access and walkability
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I believe strongly in the value of open spaces and am very proud to have been able to deliver a new one to New Yorkers this year, as the NYPD moves its tow pound off of Hudson River Park's Pier 76. I would continue that work as BP.

 

Kim Watkins

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

The answer to this question is both simple and complex. We need three things: stewardship, education, and resources.
1. Stewardship - more community members involved in park ops
2. Education - students need greenspace
3. 1-2% of NYC's budget is a must

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

We must change our budget priorities. And we must STOP building on every square inch of the city. Both Kallos & Levine voted yes, last week, to developing Governors Island - why? We should open up space in vacated lots, increase roof gardens, and more!

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

• Reduce vehicular traffic by 20% - turn it into open space, plant more trees.
• Implement participatory budgeting for borough/CB's, lower voting age.
• Plant more roofs, add school gardens, increase street trees.

 

 

Queens

Donovan Richards

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

The Exec. Budget is a step forward, with a $25 million increase in funding and the City Cleanup Corps. As BP I will advocate for and fund our parks, and build on the office's tradition of funding our parks ($128m over the last six years).

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

We've made progress through the Community Parks Initiative that I supported as a Council Member. We can support the goals in the NY4P Five Point Plan. I'll leverage my role in zoning, as I did when securing $20m for parks in the Far Rockaway re-zone.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades
Better access and walkability

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I'd like every Queens resident to have clean, safe, updated, accessible green space in their neighborhood. We should increase our Parks investment, get creative about green space, and build on existing initiatives like Community Parks and Open Streets.

 

 

The Bronx

Vanessa Gibson

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Increasing public health is a priority of mine and part of achieving that feat is by cleaning and maintaining our open spaces. In 2020, I launched our Bronx Parks Cleanup efforts working with stakeholders to clean up our green spaces.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

As a City Council Member, I joined in on several different projects such as the expansion of Estella Diggs Park as well as the transformation of Grant Park. Both of these projects were aimed at creating new and improved spaces for our community to use.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I have supported additional PEP officers, Playground Associates, Park Rangers, Seasonal Workers and Youth Ambassadors to help maintain our parks. I have allocated funds for parks groups, community gardens, Green Thumbs to beautify our parks.

 

Luis Sepúlveda

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Increased funding. We need more funding to boost personnel to help keep our parks clean and fully operational. This is more important than ever given that the pandemic-related restrictions are being gradually rescinded.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Developing more green spaces that can be incorporated organically within under-served neighborhoods. Also, within reason, developing programs that would enabled majority-minority communities to access larger parks like Central Park and Van Cortlandt.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I would like to see our parks be clean and modernized to accommodate evolving tastes and concerns of the residents of NYC, while retaining their classic charm.

 

 

Manhattan Council Candidates

Manhattan Council 1

Susan Lee

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

What the pandemic taught us is that parks are essential to our physical, mental, social and ecological health. I am committed to increasing the Parks Department budget to ensure that parks are safe and clean for us to enjoy and use.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

I am committed to building new parks, playgrounds, and open streets in underserved communities. I strongly encourage residents to work with their local community boards to plan open streets initiatives. Everyone deserves access to green and open spaces.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

While we have the East River Park and the Hudson River Park on both sides of the district, there is a major highway at each which limits access to seniors and those with disability. I would like to see more open spaces in the middle of my district.

 

Gigi Li

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

A strong parks system requires consistent capital investment. DPR currently relies on seasonal workers, which can result in inconsistent outcomes and service delivery. In order for our City's parks to be truly accessible, we need a stable workforce.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Planning during rezonings and development projects should prioritize open space as an equity issue. We need to set aside capital funding to improve parks, particularly in low-income communities of color, and to ensure that parks are friendly for seniors.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I would be bold about the relationship between green space and climate resiliency. Communities of color are disproportionately affected by disparities around both and I would push for park space and resources to be used creatively to address this.

 

Jenny Low

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

I will fight for park equity & extend full park protection to community gardens & increase park spaces so more neighbors are living within a 10-minute walk to a park. Open streets is a good start but we need more open safe spaces.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

I want to turn dilapidated City-owned spaces into parks & open spaces for passive and active recreation, renovate more schoolyards into green & play space, and increase the number and quality of parks in communities of color.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Better access and walkability
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I will fight for park equity & extend full park protection to community gardens & increase park spaces so more neighbors are living within a 10-minute walk to a park. Open streets is a good start but we need more open safe spaces.

 

Maud Maron

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

We must invest more in park maintenance and infrastructure. This means both increasing the city budget for parks space, and also supporting and encouraging the non-profit and volunteer groups that aid our parks. We also must ensure safety in all parks.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Every neighborhood needs access to outdoor space. We must preserve existing parks and resist developing remaining green spaces. We must upgrade our infrastructure. Finally, we must invest in innovative design to expand parks, like vertical sports fields.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

In my first term, I would fight to protect all park space; see maintenance and infrastructure improved at Sara Roosevelt Park, Murry Bergtraum, and all parks relied on by downtown families; and create sports fields to meet growing downtown demand.

 

Tiffany Winbush

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

COVID-19 reconfirmed that outdoor space is vital for New Yorkers. More people using the parks resulted in less cleanliness, but we can't can't let that happen. Let's increase the number of Parks Department staffers that focus on the upkeep of parks.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Let's identify spaces within these communities that can be converted to parks and green-space and immediately divert funds to outfit those spaces. There is also unused space within NYCHA developments that we can immediately make available to residents.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

In particular in my district, there is a closed park space underneath the Brooklyn bridge. If made open to the community again, it would serve residents of Chinatown and the Financial District. We need to push to make this space accessible immediately.

 

 

Manhattan Council 2

Carlina Rivera

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

We have to earmark more funding for our Parks Department so that they can routinely ensure that our parks and open spaces are kept to the highest standards of cleanliness.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

We have to build more parks and open spaces in our city, specifically targeted in these underserved communities so that all New Yorkers can have access to the best open spaces and parks possible.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I would like to see continued and improved maintenance and cleaning of existing parks, accessibility improvements, and more resiliency components where needed. I will continue to advocate for more open space in my community for the people of District 2.

 

 

Manhattan Council 3

Leslie Boghosian Murphy

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

I am advocating for full restoration of basket collection and the reinstatement of the DSNY syringe collection unit. I also want to expand organics collection sites and include recycling baskets in all city parks.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

1) Create green roofs. We have to expand financial incentives and work with community partners to develop spaces like gardens and play areas on fully accessible roofs.
2) Tax incentives for privately owned empty lots. We are doing this in Chelsea.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Better access and walkability

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I would like to: Identify areas of need in my district via an in-depth survey; Commit to investing in sustainable and green construction materials; Solicit more resident feedback to stimulate creative ideas around fixing our parks' current deficiencies

 

Erik Bottcher

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Park cleanliness and conditions boil down to the basic issue of funding. The Parks Dept. has been starved of the resources it needs to adequately maintain the 30,000 acres of parks in our city. As a member of the Council, I will fight for this funding.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

We should relocate power plants and wastewater treatment facilities to a new Green Hub on Rikers Island. The land that would consequently be freed up should be used to enrich those neighborhoods with parks, affordable housing, and community facilities.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Better access and walkability

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

A top priority of mine is to expand Hudson River Park to its northern end. I also propose to create an accessible playground for children with disabilities and I commit to plant a tree in every empty tree pit in the 3rd District.

 

 

Manhattan Council 4

Keith Powers

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

During COVID, we really learned the value of open space as a necessity in our lives. It's critical we increase the city's budget for Parks and Sanitation to ensure that current and future parks are safe, clean, and accessible for all New Yorkers.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

In the next 4 years, we need to make a capital and space investment in parks and playgrounds. This includes transforming underused or empty lots into usable space, using new development to create open space, and expanding Open Streets to needy areas.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Better access and walkability
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

In my second term, one of my top goals is to expand access to the waterfront for recreational use along the East River. My district is one of the last remaining unusable parts of the waterfront, and I am committed to fixing any gaps in usable access.

 

 

Manhattan Council 5

Billy Freeland

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Investing in usable, equitable open space is one of my top priorities.  Among other initiatives, we need to double the Parks budget, add more parks and open spaces, and create a Director of the Public Realm to center community needs in park management.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

We need to build more parks. I echo the Trust for Public Land's calls to create 70 new parks so all NYC residents live within 10 minutes of a park, and to creatively redesign existing public lands to bring park equity to underserved neighborhoods.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Better access and walkability
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

- Improve and expand pocket parks and the Esplanade to create a contiguous public space. 
- Replace the FDR with people-focused open space that connects the East Side with the East River.
- Turn 3rd Ave. into a boulevard for walking, biking, and sitting.

 

Rebecca Lamorte

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

We must increase funding for the parks and sanitation departments, both of which will improve cleanliness and conditions. We also must advance infrastructure repairs on parks to improve accessibility, public restrooms, seating, playgrounds and more.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

I propose increasing the number of smaller, neighborhood pocket parks to improve access to parks. I'd also like to create more community gardens, urban farms and green roofs which will also increase access to outdoor green space.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Better access and walkability

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I would like to increase the amount of open space by creating pocket parks as a part of new development, improve our existing parks and the East River Esplanade, protect the Open Streets created during COVID-19, and create more community gardens.

 

Julie Menin

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

If elected, I will be committed to the city-wide improvement of existing parks, the establishment of pedestrian plazas and medians, the repurposing of free streetside parking spaces, green roofing, and establishing a continuous East River waterfront.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

We must invest in building more parks and breaking the logjam of delayed funding and maintenance due to the Parks Dept's arcane procurement process. I will hold the Parks Dept's feet to the fire to build and maintain parks in a timely and equitable way.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I'm committed to implementing a continuous East River waterfront and much-needed repairs on the East River Esplanade. I will work on adding community gardens and replacing asphalt with absorptive surfaces and more greenery and dynamic green spaces.

 

Kim Moscaritolo

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Currently NYC spends less than 1% of its budget on parks.  As Council Member, I will fight for more funding for our parks and open spaces. We must push for dedicated funding streams and ensure that concessions revenue is invested directly in our parks.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

We must demand true park equity, by strategically allocating resources to parks where the need is greatest. I also support requiring large park conservancies to dedicate a portion of their revenue to resource-starved parks in the city.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

We must repair portions of the East River Esplanade that have literally crumbled due to years of disinvestment. We must expand the use of waterfront parks, enforce rules around Privately Owned Public Spaces, and ensure park equity throughout the district.

 

Tricia Shimamura

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

As Co-Chair of the Parks & Waterfront Committee for Community Board 8, I know the dire need to end budget cuts for NYC Parks and instead provide the necessary resources to maintain existing green spaces and create new parks in underserved communities.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

We must dramatically increase parks and open space, especially for communities of color.  We must hold developers accountable for increasing strain on parks, expand green streets & open streets, and center community stakeholders in planning processes.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Better access and walkability
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

The Upper East Side has some of the least amount of open space per resident population. I'm committed to creating a community garden, increasing green streets, increasing investment in the East River Esplanade, and reimagining Ruppert and John Jay Parks.

 

Chris Sosa

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

I support committing 1-2% of our City budget to parks. I'll also work to clarify the procedures of the Capital Division, which will increase parks expansion and maintenance. We need to commit to big and bold green projects for the next generation.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

All new parks should be located in areas that are historically underserved by the Parks Department. Allowing community leaders to spearhead expansion efforts will be a key facet of my push to increase BIPOC access to clean and beautiful green spaces.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Better access and walkability
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

The East River Esplanade is desperately in need of maintenance and modernization. I will fight for funding to improve its infrastructure and fight to improve safety and maintenance of our local parks, including John Jay and Ruppert.

 

 

Manhattan Council 6

Gale Brewer

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Parks safe & accessible to all; equitable funds of 1% + of city budget for Parks Dept; streamline capital parks budget; upgrade & staff restrooms in parks; I was first to propose Public Realm Czar to coordinate 25 agencies involved with public space; Volunteer support

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Open all school yards when schools are closed; create green streets with programming; $ for opening community gardens more hours; $ for park programs; more athletic fields for public schools; prioritize space acquisition for parks in underserved communities, especially with new buildings

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

Address capital needs; NYCHA green space & play areas to be safer & include veg gardens; increase maintenance & reimagine the Broadway Malls as a green lung; make parks equally safe for bikes & pedestrians; all new developments to include truly public park space

 

David Gold

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

In my district, the state of the parks is fortunately much better than it was when I was a kid in the neighborhood in the 1970s. The key is investment at a level that reflects the importance of parks to the life of New Yorkers – which I support City-wide.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

I support New Yorkers for Parks' Five Point Plan for Park Equity.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

My district is blessed with two of NYC's great parks and many smaller ones. For those, I'd prioritize maintenance and (especially for Riverside Park) climate resiliency. Other districts' residents also deserve more green space and park maintenance.

 

Jeffrey Omura

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Invest in our parks, at least 1% of our City budget, as opposed to .6%; demand transparency and efficiency from the Parks Department, in planning, design, and decision-making; expand the number of Park Rangers, Patrol Officers, and maintenance staff.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

More park/playground construction in underserved communities; invest in programs like The Million Trees Project, and enhance our urban forest; expand and preserve waterfront parks, build coastal resilience, and serve communities vulnerable to inundation.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

Permanent Open Streets; pedestrianize Broadway, 72nd, and 96th St with green space, bike lanes, & priority busways; safer bikeways in Riverside Park; live performance on Lincoln Center's plaza spilling into the neighborhood.

 

 

Manhattan Council 7

Marti Allen-Cummings

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Our city budget is 1% to parks - we must increase the budget, fund our parks and sanitation and provide more open space and access across the city while empowering community voices.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

While expanding our budget & park space we must invest in low income communities giving equitable resources & services. Your zip should not dictate your access to our parks. Parks and environmental justice are intersectional with racial justice.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Better access and walkability
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I would like to see our open spaces expand in our District by working with the community, CBOs, and the people whose lives are impacted. This must be community led in coalition to provide more parks and open spaces.

 

Daniel Cohen

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

I support the NY4P plan now to fully fund our parks. I would like to help create more "Friends of" groups - I am part of one (Friends of Morningside Park) and started another (Friends of Anibal Aviles Playground) and it makes a difference.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Some areas could BECOME parks (like our waterfront) and others are near areas that could be rezoned into parkland in exchange for increasing the density around it – such as what NYC did in downtown Brooklyn to create Willoughby Square Park.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades
Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I love open streets! It is currently on Amsterdam between 96-110, and I would make it permanent on warm weather season weekends. But that is only one portion of the district, and I would seek to expand it into the upper part of the district as well.

 

Maria Ordoñez

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

To improve our parks system citywide we must ensure greater accessibility, infrastructure improvements, coordinate with students, grassroots groups, and environmental groups to ensure that we are taking care of our local parks. 

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

All New Yorkers deserve access to clean parks, through a model of co-governance. We must focus on expanding open spaces such as community gardens and make parks more accessible by abiding by ADA accessibility guidelines.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

In my term, I would hope to improve the accessibility of open spaces to people in communities of color. We should center the community in these open spaces by providing space for local small businesses, local groups, and creating a stronger community.

 

Raymond Sanchez

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

We need to make Morningside Park and others better lit, safer and more accessible to seniors.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

We have several options, including but not limited to activate rooftops into greenspaces. I would also look at City owned and or controlled parcels to create more parks. We should also mandate NYCEDC require it as part of their RFP process.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Better access and walkability

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I would like to see Columbia University provide more green space for the public.

 

 

Manhattan Council 8

Diana Ayala

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

We have to invest in our parks and work with the parks department. In the last few years I have invested in green spaces for seniors and for children.  We have invested in building new parks, and fixing and maintaining old parks.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

I have already been working with our government to ensure that we have more parks and green spaces for communities in need. I will continue to fight to assure that our communities are not left behind.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I would like to see more spaces for our seniors and safer cleaner spaces for our children.

 

 

Manhattan Council 9

Pierre Gooding

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

In Harlem, there was an initiative by the De Blasio administration to remove trash cans during my first run for City Council in 2017, which I vehemently opposed.  We need to reverse course here and create a citywide policy that mandates zero litter seen.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Especially over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic access to needed outdoor resources such as parks and school playgrounds was limited to non-existent. I will write policy and vote in favor of more parks in Harlem/NYC as well as opening our school yards.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I want a commitment to efficient and effective use of our currently underutilized open spaces in Harlem, including our parks, school yards, and streets. The parks need to be safe and clean, our school yards need to be open and our streets accessible.

 

Mario Rosser

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

We have to spend more of our public funds on maintaining the conditions of our public spaces in Harlem.  And we have to empower our community to keep our parks clean and safe. The more families and local businesses are involved, the better.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

I want to work with partners to bring more air-purifying vegetation to the district both in public places and in residential and commercial buildings. We can also grow vertically, not just street level.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Better access and walkability

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I want to prioritize a community-wide approach to integrating natural protective barriers into our resiliency planning as we continue to take the steps to make us more ready to face and rebound climate change.

 

 

The Bronx Council Candidates

Bronx Special Council 15

Troy Blackwell

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Environmental justice is a racial justice issue and NYC deserves a new green deal. I support restoring curbside organics recycling, increasing funding for the sanitation department, and renovating 100 parks in communities hit hardest by COVID-19.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

In order to increase access to parks: I propose to increase the city parks budget, build new parks and playgrounds in under-resourced communities, and enhance access to community gardens for New Yorkers in communities that lack parks and open spaces.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I support more investment in community open spaces including community gardens and tree planting initiatives. During COVID, community gardens helped address food insecurity, which is why I want to use discretionary funds to help facilitate these programs.

 

 

Bronx Council 18

Michael Beltzer

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

We need to increase funding parks and we can start by using some of the money from defunding the police. We should also be getting funds and stewardship from nearby development, which can be built into community based plans. We could keep our park.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

No one should be more than a 10 minute walk from a park. We need to fully plan our communities to make that a reality. We also need to reclaim excess street space and make it green. We should also remove major highways and convert to parks and housing.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I would like for major parks to be surrounded by bike lanes and to have open borders. We should also be removing parking around open spaces and creating active uses around them.

 

 

Queens Council Candidates

Queens Council 19

Richard Lee

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

As Budget Director for the Queens Borough President, I've overseen nearly $150 million in park funding. We must continue investing in parks to ensure they are climate resilient, and have updated infrastructure to keep them clean, safe, and usable for all.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Lack of access is often due to by proximity or lack of public transportation. All major parks should be accessible by public transit. As Council Member, I will push for a community-based transportation redesign to ensure the network makes sense.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades
Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I will expand on my work as Budget Director by continuing improvements to our parks in CD 19. It's imperative that we invest in our parks to improve resiliency and protect ecological diversity so the spaces are usable for years to come.

 

Vickie Paladino

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

First we need adequate funding for the upkeep and improvement of these spaces, and second there absolutely must be a police presence to keep them safe for community use. We must enforce vagrancy and quality-of-life laws to help accomplish this.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Access to public green spaces is crucial for the mental health and wellbeing of all New Yorkers. To this end I would support funding additional land zoning for parks, as well as public-private partnerships to develop the land rapidly and economically.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

In my district, our first priority must be public safety. Our public parks used to be safe at all hours, however recently that safety has declined. We need to prioritize its restoration immediately. Beyond that, we also need infrastructure upgrades.

 

Austin Shafran

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

We should increase funding for park maintenance and repairs, and establish an "adopt-a-park" program where private companies can get tax credits for agreeing to cover construction, repair, and upkeep costs.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

We should reform Parks Capital Division's process for design focused on construction of new parks in communities of color more and have a more efficient decision-making process for capital projects and have a real estate tax to pay for new construction.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

We should expand access to natural areas by connecting land through trails, parkland extensions and greenways connecting park space. And we should establish a dedicated tax for funding parks.

 

 

Queens Council 20

John Choe

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

We should increase the Parks Department's operating and capital budget! Other big cities spend 1% to 2% of their budgets on parks. NYC spends around 0.6%. We could also encourage more volunteer clean up work, and create a bigger summer job program.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Empty or underutilized lots should be turned into parks in districts with little open space. More school yards should be publicly accessible when not in use by schools. Green spaces around other public buildings should more accessible.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Better access and walkability
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

The Flushing Waterfront should be a beautiful open public space, accessible to the public with entry points for kayaks and other recreational uses; the Creek should also be cleaned and planted with reeds to protect its complex ecology and watershed.

 

 

Queens Council 22

Evie Hantzopoulos

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

We must fully, consistently fund and staff our parks, and have more trash cans in our parks and city. We must also update and improve parks' infrastructure to ensure they are truly accessible for all New Yorkers.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Stopping NYCHA infilling and selling parks land, factoring green spaces into all public planning, ensuring equitable funding for parks that improves areas that lack resources, and requiring truly public, accessible green space for large-scale upzonings.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Better access and walkability

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I'd like Luyster Creek restored as a public waterfront green space, Sitting Area on Hoyt Ave as an educational garden, and more open streets. We must save Big Reuse and other composting sites, and rezone some public land for community agriculture.

 

 

Queens Council 23

Sanjeev Jindal

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

I will work alongside advocacy groups and city agencies to ensure that New Yorkers have access to clean air, water, and green spaces.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

I will work tirelessly to ensure the protection of our city's parks both in my district and beyond. Access to green spaces are critical to the physical and mental health of our communities.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades
Better access and walkability

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

All New Yorkers deserve access to parks, waterfronts, and natural areas so they can experience nature within our bustling metropolis. Our communities deserve to be healthy, which means having spaces free of pollution.

 

Jaslin Kaur

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Fund community-centered job creation programs to provide community sanitation services from waste collection to urban farming. Re-establish funding for GrowNYC and other sanitation programs that conduct outreach and provide educational programming.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Establish broadband WiFi access throughout parks. Shift from armed NYPD presence to far safer nonviolent staffing at public parks. Fully fund the City's Summer Youth Employment Program to compensate students for participating in parks programming.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

Remove fences around public parks through programs like Parks without Borders, provide 24 hour access in open spaces, and expand programming to support more youth-centered activities in public parks, like Alley Pond Park, from carnivals to sports.

 

Debra Markell

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

It's essential that our parks are kept clean & we maintain parks conditions. During this pandemic our open space is crucial to NYC's long term recovery. We must ensure that funding is put into place to hire people to clean our parks regularly.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Increasing access to our parks is vital to NYC's long term future. We must look at locations Citywide where new parks can be built and or expanded. We also must build partnerships with other agencies and organizations to bring more people into our parks.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

There are 2 locations that I would make a priority. First is the Queens Farm Museum. There is land around the museum that could be purchased to expand the Museum. The second location is the Creedmoore Facility. We should turn part of that into a park.

 


Queens Council 25

Shekar Krishnan

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

We should fully fund the parks and create more equitable public open and green spaces. Involve community groups and orgs in adopting, improving, and maintaining spaces, and hold the parks department accountable for thorough and timely maintenance.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

We should build pocket parks, open streets, and pedestrian plazas and also beautify and restore medians, and creatively utilize existing structures such as rooftops and unused infrastructure like bridges/railways. Community input should lead the process.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Better access and walkability
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

We need far more open space in Jackson Heights & Elmhurst – this is a critical issue of equity. With community input, I will work to expand and improve open green spaces in our community that are accessible to all.

 

Manuel Perez

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Increased funding for our parks is needed for proper staffing and maintenance, and I would ensure  that the city budget treats these funds as a critical public health matter for many residents. requiring community participation and support.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

All District 25 neighbors should have easy access to parks and recreational spaces and I will work with the community and its non profits to create new spaces for pocket parks and pocket gardens open to all.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

Expanded. I want every community in my district to have its own open space or park available, and maintained both by the Parks department and the community itself. Recreational spaces for our youth and young adults will also be a priority for me.

 

Alfonso Quiroz

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Over the past year, we have seen mutual aid & community organizational grow tremendously. Our Parks Dept should partner with volunteers, individuals and non-profits to set up regular park cleanup days so people feel invested in their communities.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

In the coming years, the new City Council should conduct a study on Parks access, especially for minority residents. All new capital should be prioritized to underserved neighborhoods and expanding green space as a whole in densely built neighborhoods.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

Jackson Heights and Elmhurst residents are thankful for the access to green space in Queens, but as growing families make homes here, we can always do with more. This includes creating a dog run in our community and restoring all public school playgrounds.

 

Carolyn Tran

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

We need to allocate more funding for Parks Dept in order to maintain and improve our parks. We should also allocate funds for community groups and non-profits to adopt parks in order to build more community ownership over our green spaces.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

This is true for 11372 in our district. We have some of the least green space in the whole city, only one medium-sized park, and no big parks. We need to work with the community to find lots, streets, and other places we can create green space.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Better access and walkability
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades 

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I support the open street in Jackson Heights, one of the longest in the city. I would work with the local community in order to address concerns around accessibility and process. I also want to see a similar open street in Elmhurst.

 

 

Queens Council 26

Amit Singh Bagga

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

I do not support any budget that does not include a budget expansion for our conservation workers. Our Parks workers must be fully resourced to be able to complete their jobs without the expectation of significant overtime for inadequate pay.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

We must invest in more open space. Parks not only provide greenspace for residents, but also improve air quality in the area, further impacting BIPOC communities already suffering from reduced air quality.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

COVID-19 has laid bare the need to reimagine the use of our public streets, and it is critical that we build community efforts in sustaining our Open Streets programs. We must also ensure that all parks are consistently welcoming and accessible for all.

 

Denise Keehan-Smith

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

I will support creating a Director of the Public Realm to oversee our park conditions, commit to supporting 1% of the city budget for maintenance and operations, and I would also support and install regularly-scheduled volunteer-led park cleanups.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

I will support the TPL's park equity initiative to create more parks by advocating for increased city funding to convert space in empty lots and railyards into parks, and ensure new development projects throughout the district include open green space.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I will support the Blissville Greenway proposal creating a pedestrian & bicycle path from the Kosciuszko Bridge to Dutch Kills, create waterfront access to Newtown Creek using the Vernon Blvd Bulkhead, & advocate for green space in new housing projects.

 

Badrun Khan

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Dedicating just 1% of the city budget to parks would mean more money for them to pay for sanitation efforts and other improvements. As we come out of this pandemic, it will be more important than ever to maintain clean and welcoming parks.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

We need to continue to support the Community Parks Initiative (CPI) to improve historically under-invested parks in neighborhoods where the need is greatest, through capital investments, park programming, and operating support.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I would like to see recreational access to the waterfront expanded. I also feel it would be good for the city to invest in infrastructure to better protect the waterfront from the impacts of climate change.

 

Hailie Kim

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

First, grow the City Clean Up Corps. Many positions are hired for 8 months when parks are used 12 months/yr.  This gives consistent care & employment stability. Second, increase capital investments in parks that don't have public/private partnerships.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

A well-designed and democratic comprehensive citywide plan that prioritizes public interest (need for parks in black/brown/AAPI neighborhoods)over developers would allow us to determine NOW what NYC will look like in 10 years.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

The expansion of Open Culture NYC into more streets would bring music, dance, and art to communities. At the same time providing artists with much needed rehearsal and performance space. Space that is typically unaffordable.

 

Jesse Laymon

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

We need a major investment in new personnel to support our parks. I've proposed a Jobs Guarantee for young New Yorkers, and one way I'd make good on that promise is by creating thousands of (term-limited, not permanent career) positions at Parks.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

I've proposed street reclamation from cars for people, and I think the key streets to target are those that can become linear parks in underserved neighborhoods, and long gateways to parks. In LIC, I think 41 Ave, through Queensbridge NYCHA is an example.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Better access and walkability
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

We need to seize space from cars and reallocated it to all the other uses our community needs, including open space for recreation and play.

 

Sultan Maruf

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

1. We must enforce strict guidelines for keeping the park clean
2. Schools should encourage kids to clean the park through volunteer services
3. Door-to-Door campaign for park cleaning volunteer and keeping park clean

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

1. Free Bus rides to the park from local neighborhood for specific days.
2. Planting fruit trees. It is always an attractive activity to pick the fruits from trees.
3. Flower planting events
4. Lower events' price
5. Others with the recommendation

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

1. Getting proper recommendation from the park advocates
2. Within few blocks, we must allocate open spaces for the park
3. Better public donation features where park donors will get more tax break

 

 

Queens Council 27

Rene Hill

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

There is little to no outreach to the community on park changes. More PEPs are needed. If an organization has a license to oversee a Public Park, then if they do not maintain the park then their agreement must be terminated. Transparent agreements.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

I would increase access to parks by making unkept lots, a green space.  I would also make the school yards neighborhood friendly.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I would like to see our open spaces made green, cleaned up and properly maintained. There are extra spaces around our LIRR stations. That land can be beautified for a more pleasant park like surrounding. We need more green and less over development in NYC.

 

Al-Hassan Kanu

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Parks need to receive funding from the city to sustain their cleanliness. It will take partnerships from the city and community members to ensure our parks are kept clean.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Start with jointly-operated school playgrounds available afterschool hours & weekends. Identify spaces not used during school days & designate & make suitable for community use.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

More programmatic opportunities in parks open longer, adding lights to allow eve recreational uses, more play equipment for younger residents, including pre-school ages. Engage community in discussions on parks and playground improvements.

 

 

Queens Council 29

David Aronov

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

We need to invest more money into programs and budgets that have been slashed over the last few years. Increasing maintenance hours and personnel is the first step. We need to reprioritize our parks department and our parks staff in our city's budget now.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

This must be a two-pronged approach. Not only do we need to ensure there are affordable and easily accessible transportation options for all of our parks, but we also must invest in creating more parks and green spaces in our underserved communities.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

We need to allocate more funding to not only beautify and restore parks that have been neglected but must also look to neglected spaces as new areas which can be transformed into parks for communities across the district, such as the QueensWay.

 

Aleda Gagarin

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

- Invest a minimum of 1% of our city budget on our parks, putting us on par with other major US cities.
- Create a director of the public realm to oversee open space.
- Increase number of staff to oversee park improvements.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

- Build new parks in underserved communities using creative models such as the pavement to playground model.
- Fight luxury rezonings in low-income neighborhoods that take away public land/waterfront access.
- Expand open streets and make them permanent.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Better access and walkability
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

- Fully implement the Queensway plan to convert 3.5 miles of abandoned tracks into a park.
- Finish Queens Boulevard.
- Expand Open Streets on Austin Street and through out the district.

 

Eliseo Labayen

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

We must increase the budget for NYC Parks. Currently funding is less than 0.6% of our annual budget. If elected, I commit to increasing that funding to 1-2% of our annual budget going forward.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

In my district, I am a stanch supporter of getting phase 1 of the Queensway started which will bring open/green space to historically underserved communities not just in my district but across central Queens.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

In my term I want to see increased funding for the overdue maintenance and cleanliness of Forest Park, MacDonald Park, and Flushing Meadows Corona Park. We need to get phase 1 of the Queensway started and create better access to our existing parks.

 

Douglas Shapiro

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

The next administration must prioritize parks funding and sanitation funding. In Forest Hills, jungle gym equipment for our kids is long overdue to be replaced, and Forest Park must remain a peaceful bastion of recreation.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

NYC must commit to a transparent procurement and construction process. Capital projects including libraries CAN be done much faster and cheaper to meet international standards.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

Forest Park must receive more and lighting so folks feel safe walking there at night. Flushing Meadow park must receive capital improvements to fix its drainage issue(s).

 

 

Queens Council 30

Robert Holden

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

For far too long our parks have been neglected in cleaning and maintenance of parks. As a member of the Parks Committee, I have been an advocate for increased funding and infrastructure to our most vital resource, our parks.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Every New Yorker deserves to have access to a park, and that should be a priority for every elected official who serves in City Hall. The underserved communities need City Hall to provide the necessary funds for parks now.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades 

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

Since taking office, I have put in much capital funding into the parks in my district. Park projects are expensive and often not completed on time. I am a lifelong advocate of expanding open spaces and park access.

 

 

Queens Special Council 31

Nicole Lee

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Sustainable Development Code's mission is to assist in the environmental preservation of communities as the population increases and they explain how mixed-use zoning could preserve open space and natural resources and would benefit the NY4P goal.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Proper zoning so that parks are strategically placed near transit to provide greater accessibility to parks and creating parks on top of establishments such as schools or community centers in densely populated areas.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I'd like to see local open space infrastructures and playgrounds be upgraded, more greenery, monuments, water fountains, trash cans, park patrol, and spacing for picnics and barbecues dependent on park size.

 

 

Queens Council 32

Kaled Alamarie

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

We cannot cut our parks budget and then spend $75,000 on robotic police dogs. We need to invest in our people, not in terminators. To lead the world in ethics, equity, and well-being, we must increase our parks budget to 2.3% at the minimum.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

As a lifelong resident of Ozone Park, I am well-acquainted with this embarrassing yet unsurprising fact and am committed to getting the Queensway and Project Underway actualized during my first term as a council person.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Better access and walkability

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I want there to be clean and safe green spaces within a one mile walking distance of every New Yorker. As stated above, I have prioritized working together with the Friends of the Queensway to move forward and build the Metropolitan Hub of the Queensway.

 

Felicia Singh

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

We must invest in sanitation to ensure equitable cleanliness in parks across the city. This not only includes additional personnel and trash cans, but solidifying our parks' infrastructure. This also provides community jobs for our neighbors.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

The way our city builds and creates space shows who we believe truly deserves the space. We need to allocate funds to our parks department who assist with the maintenance of free and open spaces and turn underutilized public spaces  into green spaces.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

We must utilize all open space on the shoreline to create safe and clean recreational spaces. Parks should be a part of our environmental resiliency plans through planting more trees, installing solar panels for light at night, and practicing composting.

 

 

Brooklyn Council Candidates

Brooklyn Council 33

Elizabeth Adams

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

D33 has urgent and historic park needs. We need clean air, and green space with more than 1% funding for parks and we should support/empower local neighborhood groups for maintenance. I'd help expand access to open space where parks aren't available.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

I would push for equitable community planning around public space and seize opportunities for expanded access. We need to support and fund BQGreen. Now is the time to build a network of connection between green spaces needed citywide and safe corridors.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Better access and walkability
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

Our communities are owed 3 parks that need to be built. I would also push to expand greenspace access with new parks under the Pulaski and Williamsburg bridges and street end parks, along with the acquisition of land on Newtown Creek.

 

Toba Potosky

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

As co-founder of the Cadman Park Conservancy, we conduct regular community clean-ups. We can engage our schools on a seasonal basis and offer college credit, scholarships, and apprentice opportunities to all grades citywide.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

We can seek unused city-owned property in and around communities of color to create more open spaces. Legislatively we can create a density scale to keep residences and parks in balance.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Better access and walkability

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I would expand the Parks Without borders program to include the Korean War Veterans Plaza. I would create a 5K running track from Borough Hall - to Brooklyn Bridge Park - up Atlantic Ave. I would consider open spaces for Old Fulton Street.

 

Lincoln Restler

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

I'll fight to maintain existing spaces and create additional spaces in communities that don't have enough of them. We need to get serious about reversing cuts and committing at least 1% of the City's budget to the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

We need long term plans to add open space for underserved communities. We should use Open Streets programs to create ad hoc open spaces and should be finding ways to streamline the capital process and integrate open space into existing capital projects.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Better access and walkability
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

For 15 years, Bushwick Inlet Park & Box Street Park have been stuck in bureaucratic purgatory. We need a Council Member who will help conduct aggressive campaigns in partnership with community organizations and members to get our promised parks built.

 

Benjamin Solotaire

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

It does come down to funding most of the time. We need to prioritize funding for parks. There are a lot of priorities we need to have but open spaces and our parks are something that everyone benefits from, once we expand access and create more parks.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

We need to change our priorities from the development of land to equitable land use. Parks and open spaces increase the attractiveness of a neighborhood and provide many health and welfare benefits. And they can be all types and sizes, passive and active.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Better access and walkability

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

In NB, we need to have Bushwick Inlet Park finished. It will provide much needed space and activities to so many. Many waterfront esplanades will come online and we need to keep oversight of those. We have many local capital projects to get done.

 

 

Brooklyn Council 35

Michael Hollingsworth

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Grow our maintenance workforce; create a Director of the Public realm; increase Parks’ expense and capital budgets; allow Parks to collect concessions revenue; enact a Citywide public space master plan; and fully fund regular capital needs assessments.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Build & protect parks, playgrounds, greenways, & gardens in under-resourced communities; maintain natural areas & invest in climate resilience; facilitate participatory budgeting & community empowerment methods; create a citywide urban agriculture plan

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

Increase parkland across the district, especially in CD-3; increase the number of community gardens in CD-9; facilitate stewardship, especially in CDs 6, 8, & 9; improve infrastructure, especially in CD-2; protect BBG from development and municipalize it

 

Deirdre Levy

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

I believe that we need to empower our communities to invest in the upkeep and utilization of our parks. Our city must commit to at least 1 percent of its budget to ensuring that there is a strong investment in our parks.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

I believe that we should increase access to parks by engaging community members to identify their needs and wants from green space. As a special education teacher, I believe in education programs to help empower the community.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Better access and walkability

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

There are a lot of great ideas for open spaces and parks, but I believe those ideas should be spoken with the community to identify their needs and wants.

 

 

Brooklyn Council 36

Tahirah Moore

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

We must halt the City's underinvestment in parks to hire maintenance and programming staff at fair wages. We need capital improvements at existing facilities, like I did at St. John Rec Center and Von King Park, and increase BIPOCs access to green space.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

I will work with the people of my district to identify sites for new parks, facilities needing improvement and protect existing green spaces so that Black and brown people can experience the physical and mental health benefits of nature.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

Parks in Black and brown neighborhoods are seen as "crime hotspots." Overpolicing prevents some Black and brown people from enjoying NYC's parks. Public safety reform will help create a more positive relationship between BIPOC people and nature.

 

Chi Ossé

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

The broad answer is funding. Public parks are the single greatest quality-of-life enhancer in any city, and it is time for our spending to match that reality. I want to see more municipal spending parks, creating jobs and helping all New Yorkers.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

The issue is twofold: quantity and access. Regarding quantity, I support devoting municipal spending toward purchasing and developing vacant lots and other spaces into local parks and gardens. Secondly, we have to invest more in all public transit.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

In addition to increased funding for cleaning and maintenance, I believe that the public space of parks can be expanded by making permanent the open-streets program, so that gathering and festivals can regularly spill into all human-oriented space.

 

 

Brooklyn Council 38

Jacqui Painter

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

As a NYC Parks Super Steward for many years, this is an issue that's really important to me. More receptacles is not the only answer, but also investing in community care programs like the Stewardship – which also brings communities closer to greenspace.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Most often it is the BIPOC, immigrant, and public housing communities who are cut off from access to green space and parks. We need to prioritize access with pedestrian walkways, bike lanes, and free programming to ensure accessibility.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Better access and walkability
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

We must invest and expand parks and urban gardens and farms. More access to the waterfront for frontline communities, more GreenThumb gardens, let the Brooklyn Greenway into Sunset Park, and invest in replant trees that has been cut down from construction.

 

Cesar Zuniga

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Our parks and open spaces became our safe havens during this pandemic. We need to expand funding for park services, improve and encourage volunteerism and park stewards and create opportunities for broad education around our public parks.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Whenever and wherever possible, we need to find creative opportunities ways to expand access to parks, and green space particularly in communities like Sunset Park. We need to also invest in the open streets program, which creates open spaces right now.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

Our parks have a high rate of usage so I would like to see our infrastructure upgraded, including fields, entrances, facilities, playgrounds, walkways, and perhaps even creating an outdoor entertainment area for public gatherings and events.

 

 

Brooklyn Council 39

Shahana Hanif

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

I will create a Neighborhood Stewardship Initiative, which will create new green union jobs for park maintenance & cleanliness, and hire residents to ensure parks & open streets remain truly open with clear barricades, signage, no police presence.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers? 

In D39 I created Avenue C Plaza, a once empty lot into a vibrant community space for immigrant women, families to enjoy. I want to create more open spaces, allocate funds to arts organizations to activate spaces with positive, inclusive programming.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Better access and walkability
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

All New Yorkers should be within a 5 minute walk of a public park. I will partner with local cultural organizations to activate parks & public spaces throughout the district, through vibrant public programming and community town halls.

 

Justin Krebs

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Our budget reflects our values. In the early 2000s I helped drive New Yorkers for Parks' incredible campaigns to demand 1% of the budget be allocated to parks – you need real expense spending to maintain vibrant, safe, accessible green and open spaces.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

We need more open space, period. That means advocating for open space as part of any rezoning and investing in our transportation infrastructure, from bikes to bus lanes, to make existing spaces more accessible.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Better access and walkability

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I'd invest in open streets in every neighborhood, innovative use of empty and underused spaces to create new plazas, community gardens and pocket parks, and I'd prioritize making every traffic triangle a public sitting area or functional playground.

 

Doug Schneider

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Our parks are invaluable resources and the parks' budget should reflect this. We need to fund more staff and better equipment and we need to prioritize capital investments in parks in unserved and underserved communities.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Lack of green space in these communities has ramifications from climate change to personal health. NYC must proactively increase the amount of green spaces in these communities & must increasing green space must be part of all development plans.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

We are very lucky in the 39th CD to have Prospect Park, the crown jewel of NYC Parks. But it is a large district and many of our other parks in the district need significant upgrades. We must also embrace more and more open streets.

 

Brandon West

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

I support a $58m investment in maintenance and operations.  As open space has become more critical for recreation and health during the pandemic, and as many New Yorkers have lost work, this is a win-win. Let's keep our parks clean and create more jobs.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Many D39 residents are close to Prospect Park, yet nearby CB12 has below-average open space. I support a comprehensive planning framework to balance citywide needs with neighborhood priorities. Equitable access to parks will be a critical component.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Better access and walkability
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I will prioritize creating new open spaces in the underserved parts of my district, creating safe access to Prospect Park for pedestrians and cyclists, and ensuring youth programs and maintenance and operations are fully funded.

 

 

Brooklyn Council 40

Harriet Hines

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

I'm founder and president of Parade Grounds Friends of Parks. I know conditions and cleanliness are at a historic low so I decided to do something about it on a very visceral level. I will also fight for funding and resources!

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Ironically most of Ditmas Park is more than a mile away from Prospect Park! I'll help look for un-developed lots in my district to create more greenspace, and create more crossings across Parkside so the Park is more accessible to our area.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Better access and walkability

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

"Porch concerts" are a gem that came out of Covid. I'd like to see small open spaces dotted throughout the city where Parks and Arts can work together. Cool greenspaces to relax, and also spaces for performing and other kinds of art.

 

Rita Joseph

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

In the short term, we need more funds to hire workers to maintain parks. In the long term, we need to ensure that all neighborhoods have access to parks and that those parks are properly equipped, with benches and public restrooms, and maintained.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

The current lack of accessibility to parks in BIPOC communities is†unacceptable. We must build and fund more parks, even if they're small, by reclaiming green spaces across the city, with a focus on historically-underserved communities.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I would like more access to green spaces in my district, by creating new parks and by making it safer and easier to access nearby parks. I believe more park space makes neighborhoods safer, happier, and healthier.

 

Edwin Raymond

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Increase funding for the Parks and Recreation budget by at least $42 million, prioritize funding for Fair Funding for Parks, Parks Equity Initiative, hire Director of the Public Realm position, and build stronger relationships with community stakeholders.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Strict time frames on providing parks in areas, typically low to moderate income neighborhoods, where they do not have ready access to the community, accessible and affordable transit options, system to automatically distribute free metro-cards for K-12.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Better access and walkability

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

Prioritization of Open Streets, restoration of the seasonal staff budget for maintenance and operations workers, implement projects that utilize empty spaces to create urban green spaces throughout District 40, raise percentage of 1% of city parks to 7%.

 

 

Brooklyn Council 45

Cyril Joseph

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

We should revive the program where community members help clean up parks, and we should invest money into paying community members to do this work. We must also hold the Parks Department accountable for better maintenance and supervision of parks.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

I would bring parks located in Black, Latinx, and Asian districts up to the level of upkeep and maintenance that parks in other districts have. I would also transform unused land in these districts into properly maintained green spaces accessible to all.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades
Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I would like to see funding provided to improve run-down and dilapidated community gardens, add running tracks and activities for community members to join in our parks, and add high-density lights and proper maintenance to all parks within my district.

 

 

Brooklyn Council 46

Gardy Brazela

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

We must have our communities invested in their own parks and green spaces, the City should sponsor Park Clean Up days by borough in each Community Board and give residents tools, resources, and access to be able to help clean up their own Parks.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

We must prioritize funding and capital upgrades to parks that serve low income and minority communities that have historically gotten less access to city funding and resources.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades
Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I would love to see greater investment in what our own residents have asked for including more green spaces on residential streets, better playgrounds, more basketball courts and more maintenance in our parks.

 

Zuri Jackson

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

I will advocate to allocate 1% of our city's budget to maintenance and operations. This looks like hiring a permanent (year-round) team of professional park experts during which more green jobs will be generated.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Advocate for equitable access to parks and open spaces by integrating them with other sectors such as affordable housing, transportation, and infrastructure.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

Invest in New York City's existing community gardens and expand the greenway network to enhance access for New Yorkers that lack parks and open spaces. Expand Open Streets into neighborhoods lacking access to parks and playgrounds.

 

Judy Newton

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

First, your need community buy in, involvement and engagement. This has to include educational awareness about the health and community benefits of our parts. Secondly, there must be some consequences for littering and other unhealthy actions.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

This is a tough one because of limited land space and availability. However, I would make sure that all projects like housing developments come with a modern park(s) build out.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades
Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

1. Expanded areas carved out or the handicapped community
2. Improved walkways
3. Senior-friendly areas
4. better maintenance and upkeep

 

 

Brooklyn Council 47

Ari Kagan

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

We need to increase Parks funding and Parks Department programming. We also need to support CBOs that host programming in our parks and help clean up our parks.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

We need to build more parks where possible, and use creative solutions where we can't just build another park. Specifically, I will fund and support plans to better utilize open spaces such as community and rooftop gardens.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades
Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks 

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I'd like every Southern Brooklynite to have easy access to a clean, green space where they can exercise and spend time with friends and family. This begins with investing in our parks, which will be one of my priorities as a Council Member.

 

 

Brooklyn Council 48

Mariya Markh

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Fund more programs& partner with schools, civics, community orgs & houses of worship in organizing neighborhood cleanups. Neighbors who participate in these programs feel more invested in their community & are less likely to litter.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Make sure that we can build more parks and do so in a timely manner. It takes many years to fund, contact, and finally build parks in NYC. We need to streamline that process. We need to utilize design/build for contracts.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades
Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I would like to see them cleaner.

 

 

Staten Island Council Candidates

Staten Island Council 49

Amoy Barnes

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Divestment is one of the greatest contributions to the disrepair of our invaluable public spaces. We must fund parks and ensure that communities that are historically divested are prioritized.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Enforcement: Privately owned public spaces are not being enforced.
Utilization/Creation: Rooftops and the space surrounding publicly owned facilities are often not used as open space.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I would like to see funding for open spaces increase! I would also love to see innovative solutions to the lack of open space including the creating of green roofs which can decrease impervious spaces that contribute to flooding/urban heating.

 

John McBeth

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Finding our parks maintenance is essential. Safe clean parks improve health outcomes, civic pride, and the quality of life in our communities. I will also encourage parks partnerships, school adoptions of parks, and public/private endeavors.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

I plan to research available land in underserved communities to promote and inspire pocket parks, public green spaces and community gardens. I will implore NYCHA to permit access to green areas, and where feasible, convert concrete to grass.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I would encourage communities to further invest in green spaces with volunteerism. I would ensure green spaces are maintained through funding, and respond to issues that affect those spaces.

 

Troy McGhie

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

Keeping parks clean is a necessity for the health, safety and well-being of all. Funding for our parks must be a budget priority, and the city must also have the capacity to work with residents willing to adopt and take care of their local parks.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

I can identify a handful of recent occasions where institutions have been willing to transfer land to the city. I would work with colleagues and constituents to identify those situations and secure funding to acquire that land for the public good.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I would work closely with our borough Parks team and local residents to identify capital needs and then work with partners in government to meet those funding needs. Working together, we can leverage discretionary funding for maximum benefit.

 

Ranti (Morounranti) Ogunleye

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

I will be a tireless advocate for investing in green infrastructure. My office will work with climate justice organizations to partner with city parks to help maintain the park but also provide programming for local community members.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Utilizing community gardens to increase knowledge on the importance of greenspace. This includes developing programming and initiatives such as community beekeeping, particularly directed towards youth, that will supplement in-school programming.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Creation of new parks and open spaces

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

The North Shore Waterfront has an abundant history of flourishing coastal neighborhoods and businesses. However, it is being underutilized with limited access. We need our government officials to give us better access to our waterfront.

 

Michael Schnall

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

The Council must ensure funding at least 1% (or greater) of the total NYC budget for NYC Parks. Second, any new capital project must have new expense funding allocated to provide for the maintenance and care to keep that new park space clean and green.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

My work in government showed me the value of open spaces in underserved communities. My Council office will audit vacant city-owned properties to create small pocket parks and community gardens, increasing access for all residents of the 49th district.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Prioritizing parks for climate resiliency
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

Expansion and improvement must be tied to community need. Politics must be removed and funding allocated for the people, with their involvement. NYC Parks must also have a separate, dedicated capital fund to address the most needy of our parks.

 

 

Staten Island Council 50

Sal Albanese

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

We need to allocate more resources to reverse parks conditions.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

We need to explore open spaces in underserved communities & convert them into parks. More parkland is important to the City's quality of life.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Ensuring safety in parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

In my district we have a great opportunity to turn open spaces decimated by Sandy into parkland. I also want to see existing parks better maintained by increasing the Parks budget.

 

 

Staten Island Council 51

Joe Borelli

Parks conditions and cleanliness are at historic lows. What can be done to improve our parks system citywide?

I have allocated additional discretionary funds from my office budget for parks maintenance and programs, and have frequently used our clean team to organize perimeter cleanups along Parks's curb lines and vacant lots.

Research shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers does not have ready access to a park and that the majority of the districts underserved by parks are majority Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. How do you propose increasing access to parks for all New Yorkers?

Thankfully most of the 51st district is within walking distance of a park property and for us, it is a bigger challenge to make the properties we have more accessible and useable. We're opening a few new parks and encourage all to come, regardless of race.

Funding for parks in NYC lags behind other major cities. Do you commit to increasing funding for maintenance and operations for NYC Parks?

Yes

Would you support the creation of a Director of the Public Realm to set the citywide parks and open space agenda and ensure collaboration across agencies?

Yes

What are the most pressing priorities for parks and open spaces in NYC?

Maintenance and cleanliness of existing parks
Creation of new parks and open spaces
Capital investments for infrastructure upgrades

How would you like to see your local open spaces expanded or improved in your term?

I'm proud of my record, and have funded the construction and creation of a dozen parks, playgrounds and fields. Stay tuned for the opening of Fairview Park next month, which will be a new large facility on the South Shore.