The Case For Funding:
Friends Staff in Albany to Advocate for Park Needs
New York State Capitol, Albany
On January 26, Friends' Deputy Director Matthew S. Washington testified in Albany before a joint State Senate and Assembly Committee on the Environment regarding Hudson River Park funding. Washington spoke to the committee about the need for Governor Paterson and the State Legislature to keep sufficient funding dedicated to Hudson River Park, even in times of recession and to fulfill the commitment of the Hudson River Park Act of 1998. Governor Paterson's Executive Budget released on January 19 included only $3 million for Hudson River Park construction - a 50% decrease from the previous year and insufficient for new projects to be initiated in the Park.
On February 8 and 9, Friends Executive Director A.J. Pietrantone traveled with Hudson River Park Trust President Connie Fishman to meet with key legislative leaders to make the case for additional Park funding during these financially difficult times. The two not only presented the case for further investment in public space but provided suggestions for alternative ways to finance the required capital investment for the Park in addition to the current proposal through the state's Environmental Protection Fund - which is under considerable stress from competing demands.
Without State funding, the Park risks losing matching City funding that is presently budgeted at $11 million, but will not be spent without an equal commitment from the State. Pietrantone and Fishman met with Assembly Members Glick, Rosenthal and Gottfried, and Senators Duane and Squadron who represent Hudson River Park districts, as well as other key supporters and staff from leadership and the Manhattan delegation. The meetings highlighted the need for Governor Paterson and the Legislature to keep needed funding dedicated to complete and sustain one of the State's greatest parks, which, according to our 2008 study, enhances tax revenues through increased property values, and brings much-needed tourism dollars to New York City's formerly desolate West Side waterfront.
Friends has also been making the case for strong continued funding of Hudson River Park in the press as well. Read our recent letters on the Park published in December in The New York Post , and in January in The Albany Times Union .
Contact Albany -- Insist on Enough Resources to Keep Construction Moving Forward
Let elected officials know that Hudson River Park needs their full support, now more than ever. Suggested email.
Contact NY Governor David Paterson .
Contact NY State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver .
Contact Ways and Means Chair Denney Farrell .
Contact Senate Majority Leader John Sampson .
Contact your elected representative in Albany.