Why Mayor Bloomberg Wants Redesign of Washington Sq Park/NYC

Where to start about NYC Mayor Bloomberg…?

Because of the mainstream media’s general lack of greater scrutiny of Mayor Bloomberg’s actions, the Mayor has almost succeeded in pulling the wool over the eyes of our city.

His initiatives include: taking over control of schools (non-stop ‘testing’) – and then cutting funding from them, privatizing our public parks, eliminating recycling(until activists got on his case, along with the NYC Comptroller), issuing non-stop Tax breaks to billionaire developers and corporations & misusing confiscations through eminent domain so that our city is basically owned by corporate interests and besieged by “luxury” housing. The list goes on and on.

I’m sure if I met Mayor Bloomberg, I’d find him slightly engaging. But we’re not at a society ball. We’re on the precipice of WHAT OUR CITY IS GOING TO LOOK LIKE for the NEXT 30 YEARS and drastic changes are being made with his finger on all the triggers. I could coexist with him if he’d keep on his side of the room. I’d stay on mine. Unfortunately, he OWNS the room. So what then?

Mayor Bloomberg’s imprint is stamped all over what is happening at Washington Square Park. From the complicity of the City Council members (specifically Speaker Christine Quinn and Council Member Alan Gerson – it’s Gerson’s district), to the Landmarks Preservation Commission to the Arts Commission to the Community Board. However, despite the Mayor’s control and wishes, even the local Community Board voted against the Washington Square Park “renovation,” albeit on the third try. Yet, from NYU to the “Tisch Fountain,” Mayor Bloomberg’s privatization agenda looms large.

The “renovation” of Washington Square Park is Bloomberg’s “pet project.” Why? Because Washington Square Park is the antithesis of his vision of New York City — a freewheeling cacophanous non-permitted jumble of free speech, free music, free performance, free political debate – and police cameras all over the place. Washington Square Park houses more surveillance cameras per square foot than any other 9 acre area in NYC. Bloomberg has made no proposal to remove or reduce the surveillance, only the public activities they are surveiling.

Mayor Bloomberg’s lifeline is being a CEO of a corporation. He can pretend he gets this whole democracy ‘thing’ (while buying his way into it) — but that’s a farce.

Gawker recently covered what it’s really like to work at Bloomberg L.P., the corporation he founded, and how astonishing it is that the appalling conditions there have not merited more coverage (instead .. it’s as if he liberated City Hall by banishment of walls and dividers!). Read about this here: The Other Reason Mayor Mike Couldn’t Run

7 thoughts on “Why Mayor Bloomberg Wants Redesign of Washington Sq Park/NYC

  1. The mayor wants to “redesign” Washington Square Park for his best buddies, the no. 1 real estate magnate NYU who will benefit the most from this unwanted wasteful money spent on what the mayor and supporters call “improvements” that shut us off from the park.

    I confronted the mayor on the John Gambling show and you can find the archive link on my blog http://www.suzannahbtroy.blogspot.com where he calls NYU a godsend after I pointed out that NYU had mega dormed the East Village to death and evictions rise with all these mega dorms, condos and glittery hotels that reflect a history destroyed and a community no longer welcome.

    NYU benefits the most from these unwanted “improvements” and that is why the mayor is pushing this destructive wasteful renovation that further deprives people and pets from enjoying the park. Sad because they are poor run down parks that need improving but Washington Square Park wasn’t one of them.

  2. It is my experience that public parks, open lands and such, should only be run by the public. When it is run by an individual and cohorts, be it even a council, it is doomed to be run to death and obviously no longer public domains. When an individual decides that something built and established in earlier centuries, need to be moved or removed, it is clear that the persons involved have little to no respect for the culture or needs of the residents. The people need a strong, loud voice to protect their villages, towns and cities against such disrespectful beings.

  3. Colin,

    It’s true. Here in the U.S., esp in NYC, it’s incredible how the historical aspect of some things is just pushed aside by those in ‘power.’ If left in the hands of the people, the “public,” this would never have happened, this dramatic redesign of Washington Square.

    You are right when you say — “when an individual decides that something built and established in earlier centuries, need to be moved or removed, it is clear that the persons involved have little to no respect for the culture or needs of the residents.” – that’s exactly what happened here.

    best,
    Cathryn.

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