Kavanagh, Gallagher Call for Only 1 Year Contract for 'Smorgasburg' or Other Vendor at Marsha P. Johnson Park, Pending Park Design

MPJ State Park
On April 9, 2021, Senator Kavanagh and Assemblymember Emily Gallagher wrote to the State Parks Department urging them to provide for only a one-year term for the Open Food Market Concession in Marsha P. Johnson State Park, rather than a five-year to nine-year term proposed in a current RFP. The text of the letter is below; the original may be viewed via the link above.

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April 9, 2021

Via Email

Commissioner Erik Kulleseid 
NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12207

Dear Commissioner Kulleseid:

Thank you for your generosity of time, openness, and flexibility as we have collectively navigated the process of redesigning and re-thinking Marsha P. Johnson State Park.  We are pleased that your office is engaging deeply with the community and has committed to centering the ideas of the Black trans community and of Williamsburg and Greenpoint residents.  

We write regarding the RFP for the Open Food Market Concession that is currently open for applications.  Per the meeting with your office, local District Leaders, and numerous community advocates on March 29, we would like to restate our wish to ensure that any contract awarded pursuant to this RFP would be for a one-year term, rather than the five-year term with a possibility to extend for four additional years that the RFP currently contemplates.  

Given the undeniably tumultuous rollout of the proposal to renovate the park, and the remaining questions regarding what the physical space will be able to accommodate (since the design is still not final), a term of five to nine years does not seem reasonable.  A one-year term will allow us to provide the business that is awarded the contract an opportunity to recover financially after a difficult year, while leaving open the possibility of revisiting what would be the best fit for a longer term, based on the needs of the community and the mission of Marsha P. Johnson State Park. 

Based on all of these considerations, we request that you amend the RFP to provide for a one-year term with no extension or otherwise award a contract for no more than one-year. 

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss this matter, please feel free to reach out to either of us directly, or via Eliana Cohen in Senator Kavanagh’s office at 212-298-5565 or ecohen@nysenate.gov or Andrew Epstien in Assemblymember Gallagher’s office at 718-383-7474 or epsteina@nyassembly.gov

Sincerely,

Senator Brian Kavanagh
Assemblymember Emily Gallagher

cc:     Leslie Wright, NYC Regional Director, New York State Parks Department
          Phil Capenegro, Chair, Brooklyn Community Board 1 Parks Committee 
​          Kristina Naplatarski, District Leader, AD 50
​          Emile Bazile, District Leader, AD 50
​          Felice Kirby, Brooklyn Allied Bars & Restaurants
​          Dave Rosen, Brooklyn Allied Bars & Restaurants
​          Anthony Buissereth, North Brooklyn Waterfront Coalition
​          Lisa Bloodgood, North Brooklyn Waterfront Coalition 
​          Jane Pool, Stop The Plastic Park Group