Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Council Member Robert Cornegy, pictured last year while introducing a bill that a rep for Cornegy recently insisted isn’t dead (Photos by Sabina Mollot)
By Sabina Mollot
Recently, a couple of City Council members proposed ideas on ways to combat “high rent blight” and promote retail diversity, or at least, keep the city from completely getting overtaken by chains.
This was at a hearing where the council members’ ideas, such as putting legislative restrictions on chain stores and imposing penalties on landlords who warehouse storefronts, were shot down by city planners.
According to the planners, as Town & Village previously reported, many stores that appear to be chains are actually individually owned franchises and as for lengthy retail vacancies, sometimes, the planners argued, they are not necessarily intentional on the part of property owners.
Meanwhile, a few legislators, including Council Member Robert Cornegy, the small business committee chair who’d chaired the aforementioned hearing on September 30, have come up with some legislative ideas to deal with the problem already.
The following is an open letter to Michael Paul Carey, executive director, Office of Citywide Event Coordination & Management at the Office of the Mayor, from the president of the Tilden Democratic Club.
Dear Mr. Carey,
I write to you on behalf of the Samuel J. Tilden Democratic Club and other concerned citizens of New York City concerning the proposed changes in the street fair rules. It is our view that these proposed changes will only serve to restrict New Yorkers’ access to all of the many benefits the street fairs provide.
The Samuel J. Tilden Democratic Club has taken a booth at the Third Avenue Fair for over 25 years. As a result of our participation, we raised approximately $300,000, which was donated to very worthy community groups which included senior programs, libraries, shelter programs, homeless programs, hospital clothing rooms, art and literacy programs, cancer programs, music programs and programs for the disabled youth and adults among others.
The residents of Community Board Six are direct recipients of our street fair driven donations. Over 90 percent of the licensed street vendors live in New York City. New York City residents directly benefit by being vendors and consumers at the fair.