Our Plan to Support Arts, Culture & Public Spaces
As your City Council Member, I will fight for equitable investment in the places and people that make our city a vibrant, livable, culturally rich, economic powerhouse:
Support our City’s diverse arts and cultural institutions, artists, and workers, and arts education.
Invest in our public library systems to provide opportunities for learning, connecting to critical services, and creating digital equity.
Ensure that City parks and green spaces of all sizes are well-maintained, safe, and equitably funded.
Read more below...
When I think of what makes New York City truly special, I think of our parks, museums, theaters, and libraries. As New Yorkers, we know that these spaces, and the people who bring them to life, are more than just tourist attractions—they are integral to our communities and our economy. Our parks and green spaces bring a welcome break from our crowded apartments and noisy streets, and provide a safe place for our children to play. Museums and galleries, performance venues, street art, and cultural spaces engage our diverse residents in vibrant cultural expression. Libraries provide a place where all New Yorkers can gain knowledge, connect to critical services, and access digital tools and skills.
The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the arts and entertainment sector, forcing cultural institutions of all sizes and forms of expression to provide reduced services or shut down entirely. These organizations are not just critical creative outlets, they are economic powerhouses. In 2017 the creative economy employed almost 300,000 people, generating $110 billion dollars, 13% of the City’s total economic output.
The last year has upended life for artists and those employed in the creative economy, who are struggling to pay rent and other basic necessities. It took months before freelancers were able to receive unemployment compensation through New York State. At the same time, the crisis has left far too many New Yorkers in this sector without adequate health care.
Parks and public green spaces are necessary now more than ever; however, the Department of Parks and Recreation’s (DPR) budget has been continuously cut for decades. Today, the DPR’s budget accounts for just 0.6% of New York City’s entire budget. District 11 is fortunate to have beautiful parks and green spaces, large and small. Yet left neglected, we’ve seen how our parks can quickly fall into disrepair. These spaces need consistent and careful attention in order to flourish as safe and beautifying community spaces. Parks are also important for public safety: they provide well-lit communal areas, and can even reduce crime.
To build back better, we need to invest in our arts and cultural sector, and public spaces like parks and libraries, as the essential services they are.
As your City Council Member, I will fight for equitable investment in the places and people that make our city a vibrant, livable, culturally rich, economic powerhouse.
Support our City’s diverse arts and cultural institutions, artists, and workers, and arts education:
Ensure that arts and culture recovery initiatives target not only larger institutions, but smaller venues, museums, and community cultural spaces that serve communities of color, and those who work in this sector.
Advocate for the continuation of the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program and the inclusion of artists and freelancers.
Prioritize funding for school and community-based arts education.
Invest in our public library systems to provide opportunities for learning, connecting to critical services, and creating digital equity:
Fight for capital funds to upgrade and expand libraries in our district.
Increase funding for the NYC Digital Inclusion and Literacy Initiative, and explore how franchise revenue can support this fund.
Expand and upgrade public computer centers managed by the City’s library systems.
Prioritize library and senior center connections, giving older New Yorkers easy access to digital resources and other media.
Ensure that City parks and green spaces of all sizes are well-maintained, safe, and equitably funded:
Increase funding for park maintenance staffing and equipment.
Ensure that funding for parks is equitable throughout the city, providing support for smaller neighborhood parks and green spaces, as well as the City’s large parks.
Increase public safety by ensuring that parks in our district are adequately lit at night.