I will be at Central Park South, across from Grand Army Plaza (near the Plaza Hotel) at 9am with a “Display Only” Informational Stand about the Central Park Portrait Exchange and materials for an Artists in Public Spaces Phone-In. Drop by if you can.
If you can’t come by one of the four parks, or you’re not in New York City, yes!, you can still help!
Just pull out your cell phone and join the Phone-In (See below). You don’t need to live in New York to let these public officials know your opinion; visitors are big business.
Telephone numbers are listed below the talking points:
Be polite but firm when making calls. Remember that many, though not all, of the people we are calling are our potential supporters and allies.
1) Tell the person who answers the phone who you are and where you’re from. You don’t need to live in New York to let these public officials know your opinion; visitors are big business.
2) Does the public official you are calling have a position on the new Park Rules restricting artists’ free speech in public parks? What is the position? Has it been made public?
3) If they don’t know yet about the new rules, tell them: The rules significantly restrict the number of artists who can sell in the parks and will put hundreds of artists out of work and/or subject them to tickets, fines and/or arrest. NYC Local Law 33 (1982), the First Amendment and several Federal Court rulings currently allow artists to work in the parks without seeking permission. The new park rules illegally rewrite NYC laws passed by the City Council, disregard the First Amendment and ignore Federal Court Rulings. The recent denial of an artists’ request for a preliminary injunction against the new park rules is only a temporary step in a longer court battle that has not ended.
4) Tell them you love seeing artists working in the parks. It’s part of what makes New York a world city. Everyone should have easy public access to seeing and buying affordable art.
5) Tell them you strongly support the right of artists to work in the parks.
6) Tell them you are outraged that the city is putting people out of work in the middle of a recession.
7) Tell them the new Park Rules aren’t needed. If there is a problem with congestion, the city should simply enforce the current rules.
8) Ask them to directly call Mayor Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Quinn and Park Commissioner Benepe and tell them to stop enforcement of the new rules.
Parks Commissioner, Adrian Benepe. 212 360-1305
email address: Adrian.Benepe@parks.nyc.gov
Alessandro G. Olivieri, 212 360-1313
General Counsel, Department of Parks &Recreation,
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Mike Bloomberg, 17 E 79th St., New York, NY, 10021-0101
Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate for the City of New York, 212.669.7250
Christine C. Quinn, City Council Speaker, (212) 564-7757
http://council.nyc.gov/d3/html/members/home.shtml , then click “Contact Speaker Quinn”
City Council Members page:
If you live in New York City, contact your own City Council Member. If you don’t know who they are or what their number is, go to:
City Council Parks and Recreation Committee:
Elizabeth S. Crowley, 718.366.3900, District 30 Queens Democrat
Daniel Dromm, 718.803.6373, District 25 Queens Democrat
Julissa Ferreras, 718.651.1917, District 21 Queens Democrat
Vincent J. Gentile, 718.748.5222, District 43 Brooklyn Democrat:
Melissa Mark-Viverito, 212.828.9800, CHAIRPERSON District 08 Manhattan Democrat
James Vacca, 718.931.1721, District 13 Bronx Democrat
James G. Van Bramer, 718.383.9076, District 26 Queens Democrat