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Morning Spew

Where Is the 1 Percent for Parks That Mayor Adams Promised?

Parks have not recovered from a COVID downturn in staffing, and conditions are set to get worse.

Two people play ping pong in the park.

(Hell Gate)

When Eric Adams ran for mayor in 2021, he promised to allocate one percent of the total City budget to the Parks Department. Shortly after he took office in 2022, he repeated this pledge. "Parks are not a luxury, it's a necessity," Adams said.

But Adams has governed as if parks are a luxury, and the rolling 15 percent budget cuts he proposed earlier this year would mean $75 million less for the Parks Department, an agency that is already struggling to meet its basic obligations to New Yorkers, and has fewer staff than it did before the pandemic began.

According to the most recent Mayor's Management Report, the Parks Department is heading in the wrong direction on its most important metric: "Parks rated acceptable for overall condition." In 2019, this figure was 90 percent; currently it is 87 percent, with a "goal" of 85 percent next fiscal year—it's as if City Hall knows that things will get worse before they get better.

On Wednesday at 1 p.m., the 115-year-old organization New Yorkers for Parks, along with the union for the Parks workers, DC 37, and other advocacy groups, will rally outside City Hall to call on the mayor and City lawmakers to stop the bleeding at the Parks Department.

"The administration had expressed continued commitment to one percent for Parks. But these increasing budget cuts to one of the most critical agencies that has been serving the city over the last three years during two major crises—COVID and the migrant crisis—is devastating," Adam Ganser, the executive director of New Yorkers for Parks, said in a press release. "We are overdue for the kind of investment our parks and green spaces need in order to be a 21st century park system. We don’t need 15 percent budget cuts. New Yorkers deserve one percent of the city budget to go to their parks." 

Please click on more than one percent of these links:

  • The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear a challenge to New York's concealed carry gun laws, thanks to the eminently reasonable and magnanimous judgment of Justice Clarence Thomas, who is a chill guy who likes to have fun, and whose decision here is living proof that the Supreme Court can moderate itself and does not need any sort of Congressional oversight to temper a supposed lurch to the far-right.
  • Construction workers Francisco Reyes and Fernando Lagunas Pereira died while moving dirt at JFK Airport in April. OSHA just ruled that a Bronx firm failed to keep them safe.
  • The mayor conceded that perhaps his trip to Mexico and South America was utterly pointless but also, he made clear, who cares?
  • Sam Bankman-Fried's onetime girlfriend and business associate testified that the crypto genius directed her to do crimes.
  • Despite letters from Michael K. Williams's friends and loved ones pleading for leniency, another drug dealer involved in the actor's overdose death received a five-year sentence, and the War on Drugs is alive and well.
  • Affordable housing (well, "affordable housing") got the green light to go up at Ground Zero.
  • "What Congress can learn from the IDC"... lol, OK Politico.
  • George Santos is facing even more criminal charges, including felony credit card fraud.
  • Daniel Penny's defense team is claiming that they have at least four witnesses that will testify that they feared for their lives before Penny fatally choked Jordan Neely on a subway train this past spring.
  • And finally, would you pay almost $700,000 for an apartment that has two bathrooms that are connected by a door in one of the showers?
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