The BroadsheetDAILY – 02/04/22 – The Local Lower Manhattan Newspaper – Battery Park City Neighborhood Association to Host Online Meeting to Discuss Urgent Concerns

The Battery Park City Neighborhood Association (BPCNA) will host an online meeting Sunday evening (February 6) where residents can discuss a wide range of issues that have become acute areas of community concern.

The grassroots organization grew out of the success of last summer’s Pause the Saws protest movement, which stopped then-Governor Andrew Cuomo from cutting down trees in Rockefeller Park to make way for an essential worker monument project.

“It’s amazing that such a difficult time turned into a bonding experience,” says BPCNA Board Member Laurie Sheindlin. “It also shed light on the incredible community we have here – passionate, resourceful and sophisticated.”

Among the concerns the meeting will address are impending land rent increases, which threaten to drive many condominium owners out of their homes. BPCNA member Barbara Ireland notes that “our goal is to educate the neighborhood, both tenants and landlords, on why ground rent is an important factor in property affordability and value. When they see the numbers, it will inspire action.

Ms. Ireland adds: “Since the 1980s, Battery Park City has been one of the best places to live and raise a family in New York. We believe the pending land lease escalations pose a threat to the continued attractiveness and accessibility of the neighborhood for everyday New Yorkers. We have worked hard with our local, state and community leaders to combat this threat and protect the neighborhood. »

Another topic that will be in focus on Sunday evening is governance by the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA), the state agency that oversees the community. Amy Van Buskirk, a member of the Neighborhood Association, observed that “governance in Battery Park City is largely influenced by an outdated 50-year-old law. In 1968, when the Authority was created, it was given the mandate to develop a thriving community from a devastated area that was, literally, nothing but water and dilapidated piers, without a single resident. More than half a century later, the infrastructure is complete and the goal of a thriving community has been achieved, thanks in large part to the many residents who have lived and worked here for over 30 years.

She adds, “It is time for our Governor and the State Legislature to update the law and change the governance of the Authority, so that residents make up a majority of its seven-member council. In the language of democracy, we seek fair representation. We want nothing more than representatives who live in the community and understand our values ​​in education, culture, environment, local businesses and housing. These are the same reasons New York passed a law granting this right to those who live in a similarly styled community on Roosevelt Island. For the past half century, the community of Battery Park City has earned and deserves the same right.

BPCNA member Britni Erez said, “2022 is a pivotal election year for Battery Park City, especially with the proposed legislative redistricting plan. We mobilize our efforts to educate and inform the community, as well as candidates, about the pressing issues in our neighborhood.

She also notes that “the community represents a powerful and organized bloc of several thousand voters. The BPCNA will organize membership campaigns and seek volunteers for various sub-committees, such as governance, resilience, community building and land rent.

“The BPCNA grew out of the grassroots Pause the Saws movement,” concludes Ms. Sheindlin. “We are now planning a one year anniversary celebration, for this month of June 2022. We will surely remember last year’s protest and the big victory. But more importantly, we hope to continue our momentum to find solutions to long-standing issues. »

All Battery Park City residents are invited to participate in Sunday’s online meeting, which begins at 9:00 p.m. The session can be accessed through Zoom.us, with meeting ID 944 3031 1514 and passcode 202122. For more information, please browse: BPCNA.org

Matthew Fenton

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