Garden Supporters: Elected Officials, Community Board and Parks and Community Groups
Since 2013, Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden has solicited and secured support for saving the Garden from numerous elected officials, including Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Nydia Velazquez, State Sen. Brad Hoylman, State Sen. Brian Kavanagh, Assemblymember Deborah Glick, Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, and District Leaders Vittoria Fariello, Paul Newell and Daisy Paez; Manhattan Community Board 2; 21 park and community organizations; local residents and small business owners who have written more than 10,000 letters of support; and hundreds of volunteers.
Elected officials also support developing affordable housing at an alternative site that provides five times as much housing for local seniors, a site previously promised as parkland that will not be available if the Garden is developed.
Letters From Elected Officials
- Representative Jerrold Nadler
[Jan. 20, 2016, letter to HPD]
- Representative Nydia M. Velázquez
- State Senator Brad Hoylman
[Jan. 21, 2016, letter to HPD]
- State Senator Brian Kavanagh
“As the Senator, I would oppose all efforts to build housing of any kind at Elizabeth Street Garden and reject attempts to pit our communities against each other. Lower Manhattan has neither enough open space nor enough affordable housing. We need more of both, and we shouldn’t have to choose between much needed housing and a beloved — and also much needed — community open space. I understand the great importance of community gardens as open spaces accessible to the public from my many years representing the Lower East Side, which is endowed with numerous, wonderful examples of spaces saved from development by community activism. I will join Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden’s efforts, both public and private, to save the garden. I support official designation of ESG as parkland to protect it in perpetuity and would work with the community to make that a reality. In addition, I will use my deep and longstanding relationships with the Community Board, other local elected officials, and City Hall to work toward alternative housing locations that will allow us to build affordable housing AND save the garden. I will also work with the community and my colleagues in elected office to explore litigation options. Saving Elizabeth Street Garden will be among my highest priorities as a State Senator.”
- Attorney General (former NYC Public Advocate) Letitia James
- Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick
[Oct. 6, 2016, letter to The Villager editor]
[Sept. 23, 2016, statement on RFP]
[March 2016 community update]
[Sept. 17, 2015, testimony to LMDC]
- Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou
[Sept 21, 2016, statement on saving the Garden]
- City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer
[Oct. 3, 2016, statement on the Garden]
- District Leaders Vittoria Fariello, Paul Newell and Daisy Paezl
- American Society of Landscape Architects, The New York Chapter
- 596 Acres
- Friends of Petrosino Square
- Green Below 14
- Green Guerrillas
- Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens
- Lower East Side Ecology Center
- New York City Community Garden Coalition
- Bowery Alliance of Neighbors
- Bowery Babes
- Citizens Committee for New York City
- Downtown Independent Democrats
- Elizabeth Street Block Association
- L.E.S. Dwellers
- The Municipal Art Society of New York
- NoHo Neighborhood Association
- Society for the Architecture of the City
- SoHo Alliance
- SoHo Broadway Initiative
- Tribeca Trust
Community Board 2 Resolutions
- Feb. 18, 2016: A resolution responding to a presentation from NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development and requesting a unified effort to achieve affordable housing development in Community Board 2 while preserving Elizabeth Street Garden.
The meeting was attended by about 300 people who in a show of hands indicated strong support for preserving the Garden.
- Dec. 17, 2015: A resolution to assure the best public use of three water tunnel shaft sites in the district, including supporting a substantial reduction of the amount of promised open space at one of the sites so that affordable housing and indoor recreation can be developed there, but only if community open space needs are addressed, and specifically, only if Elizabeth Street Garden is preserved as a public park.
- Aug. 20, 2015: A resolution opposing a request from NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development to Lower Manhattan Development Corporation funding for an affordable housing project at 21 Spring St., aka Elizabeth Street Garden.
- Jan. 23, 2014: A resolution urging the City to transfer Elizabeth Street Garden to NYC Department of Parks and Recreation and committing CB 2 to work with the City and elected officials to support preservation and creation of affordable housing in the district.
The public hearing was attended by 157 guests, mostly nearby neighbors, who demonstrated overwhelming and passionate support for the preservation of the Garden, while only four people spoke in favor of affordable housing at the site and one expressed concern about the safety of current sculpture installations.