Parks Platform 2013
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OVERHAUL HOW THE PARKS DEPARTMENT IS FUNDED.
1) The Parks Department should have its own discretionary capital budget.
2) The Parks Department's maintenance budget should be increased, and funding for core functions should be baselined -- meaning automatically renewed -- in its annual expense budget.
3) The Parks Department provides an essential city service and should be staffed accordingly.
INCREASE THE TRANSPARENCY AND EFFICIENCY OF THE PARKS DEPARTMENT TO ENSURE EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION OF RESOURCES.
4) The Parks Department should know the cost to maintain every City park, as well as the amount of public and private funding that supports each.
5) The Parks Department should adopt the best practices of other capital projects agencies to improve its own process.
6) Organizations in public-private partnerships with the Parks Department should report annual revenues, expenses and other critical financial information in a simple, consistent manner to be shared on the Department's website.
RESTRICT AND STRONGLY REGULATE THE PRIVATIZATION OF PARKLAND.
7) Parkland alienation should not occur unless no other land is available to serve an essential public need.
8) State and local laws regulating parkland alienation should be strengthened to require earlier and broader notification of alienation actions, and to mandate acre-for-acre replacement of lost parkland.
INTEGRATE PARKS PLANNING INTO NEIGHBORHOOD, CITYWIDE AND RESILIENCY PLANNING.
9) Parks are part of a broad network of public spaces, and City agencies should collaborate to maximize neighborhood open space and citywide environmental benefits.
10) The City should be more proactive in involving neighborhood residents in their parks, both as volunteer stewards and in planning for the future.
New Yorkers for Parks (NY4P) is the independent non-profit organization championing quality parks and open spaces for all New Yorkers in all neighborhoods. We provide the tools that help communities build better parks for better neighborhoods. For over 100 years, NY4P has advocated for all of the city's parks, beaches and playgrounds. Join us for a rally on the steps of City Hall in Manhattan on Thursday, August 15th at 11am. We will be presenting the list of endorsers, and want to show the candidates that parks are a priority for New Yorkers!
Download the full white paper of Parks Platform 2013 here.