NEW YORK - Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron and Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick announced legislation (S6530/A9086) requiring majority local community representation on the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) Board -- the body tasked with oversight over the neighborhood. Current law does not require any local representatives on the Authority Board.
Squadron and Glick's legislation would require that the BPCA Board have a local community member majority. The Squadron/Glick legislation ensures that the governance structure of BPCA changes to address the need for community engagement in running the vibrant residential and commercial community Battery Park City has become. Appointments to the BPCA are comprised of seven members nominated by the Governor and require approval by the State Senate. Six of the seven Board positions are due for appointment within the year.
Squadron recently organized a letter to Governor Cuomo calling for local board member appointments, joined by Congressmember Nadler, Borough President Brewer, and Councilmember Chin, a call he has long made in the State Senate when considering BPCA nominees. Assemblymember Glick also wrote to the Governor with this request. Squadron has also put forward a proposal for the City to exercise its option to take over Battery Park City to create a leadership structure with permanent local representation.
"Battery Park City has changed; the Battery Park City Authority should change with it," said State Senator Daniel Squadron. "It’s a fundamental value that communities should have a say in the decisions affecting them. Lower Manhattan residents should have that opportunity in Battery Park City. I look forward to working to pass this bill with Assemblymember Glick, and thank my local colleagues including Congressmember Nadler, Borough President Brewer, and Councilmember Chin and Community Board 1 for continuing to work towards a local voice in Battery Park City decision-making.”
“For years, the residents of Battery Park City have requested increased community representation on the board to advocate and highlight issues that are most important to residents. I am pleased to be the Assembly sponsor of this bill which would help ensure the Board's leadership reflects the community it serves. Special thanks to Senator Squadron, the sponsor in the Senate, as well as Congressman Jerry Nadler, Borough President Gale Brewer, Councilmember Margaret Chin and Community Board 1 who have all been strong advocates for the community, and with whom we have worked closely," said Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick.
"The Battery Park City Authority Board plays a significant role in the daily life of this community—which has grown in leaps and bounds since it was first conceived—and the community should have a significant role in the BPCA Board,” said Congressman Nadler. “I joined my elected colleagues in urging that the BPCA move toward majority community membership on the Board, and I applaud Senator Squadron and Assemblymember Glick for introducing legislation that would achieve that goal," said Congressman Jerry Nadler (NY-10).
"On issues ranging from recreational facilities to public safety, the Battery Park City Authority board has failed to include the Battery Park City community in its decision-making,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Building a BPCA board that is more accountable to and inclusive of the residents of this community is a worthy goal.”
“Increasing community input in the decision-making process is critical to the health of any democracy. Battery Park City is no different. This legislation to increase local representation on the Authority’s board will ultimately lead to greater transparency, accountability, and will ensure that Battery Park City continues to be a great place to live, work, and raise and a family. I thank Sen. Squadron and Assemblymember Glick for pushing this sensible legislation forward," said City Councilmember Margaret Chin.
"BPC is such a special place for the people that live there and all of NY. Oversight at the state level leads to decisions that do not fully incorporate the very residents that make BPC so special. We applaud initiatives that make BPCA more transparent and accountable at the local level," said Catherine McVay Hughes, Chair of Manhattan Community Board 1.