1) Victories you helped win!:
- The state canceled the thermoplastic mural that was to cover an acre of concrete
- The state dropped their 8- and 10-foot foam-board flowers with 10-foot metal and plastic spires
- The state cut its plan to cement over the park by two-thirds of an acre of cement
- The state agreed to public design sessions for the park. (More on those Public Design Workshops below.)
2) What still needs your help!
Urgent: We discovered that on March 2 the state put out a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the open food-court fair (known as Smorgasburg) for the use, explicitly, of BOTH slabs by a private company for NINE YEARS (a four-year license with a five-year automatic extension). The license had previously been seasonal. The state set the proposal deadline at March 31, with a decision to be announced in April. The Community Board 1 resolution specifically called on the state to recall this RFP until it could be discussed with the community and other stakeholders. The state has ignored that CB1 request. We urge you to call State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid and the local elected officials, to express your feelings about the duration of the contract and its impact on park use.
State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid 518-474-0443
State Senator Brian Kavanagh 718-875-1517
Assembly Member Emily Gallagher 718-383-7474
Council Member Stephen Levin 718-872-5200
Or email simultaneously with CB1 cc’d:
Erik.Kulleseid@parks.ny.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, cc: email@example.com
The state has announced Public Design Workshops for the park at the park. We need you there! And your friends, neighbors, LGBTQ+ allies, environmentalists, horticulturists, educators–you get the idea–everyone! These dates are coming up fast!!! Tell your artist, activist, designer, landscape architect, urban planner, historian associates to begin thinking of what would make the best park and what would be the greatest tribute to Marsha P. Johnson and her allies. Please look at these dates and schedule now to attend as many as you can. Please spread the word.
Initial public listening session:
Wednesday, March 31 – 10 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 7 pm.
Saturday, April 3 – 10 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 7 pm.
Public design review:
Tuesday, April 20 – 10 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 7 pm.
Saturday, April 24 – 10 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 7 pm.
Final public review:
Saturday, May 1 – 10 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 7 pm.
We have brought to the state’s attention the fact that many people will have trouble attending in person and we are fighting to win other ways for concerned stakeholders to participate. We will update you on that progress, but meanwhile, start planning on how you, or someone who can represent your views, will be there.
[Note: New York State Parks has stated that the design sessions will be geared only towards input on commemorative design and interpretive elements. The rest of the park has been precluded from these discussions. The Community Board resolution and the family of Marsha P. Johnson have called for input on the entire park design, not only the tribute to Marsha P. Johnson. Please call on the Parks Commissioner to open the whole park to a public design process. But we also point out that Marsha P. Johnson loved real flowers. Community residents spent decades fighting for green space along the Williamsburg waterfront. Allow your imagination to consider these ideas.]
3) The State restarted construction at the park on March 18 without resolving the concerns of CB1 or the Marsha P. Johnson family and allies. Stop the Plastic Park sent this response on March 19 to State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid.
As always, we are grateful for your care and good work. We look forward to your ideas for the park. If you have anything to share, please email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!