August 7, 2014
By Marc Bussanich
Brooklyn, NY—Workers with Build Up NYC were to give out survival kits to Brooklyn Bridge Park Board members just before a meeting on the Brooklyn Bridge Park project was to begin at Borough Hall.
They said they were passing them out to demonstrate in a light-hearted way the seriousness of climate change and the severe damage another storm like Superstorm could wreck at Brooklyn Bridge Park, which was devastated in October 2012.
According to officials with Build Up NYC, a coalition of building trades and property services workers, they were to explain during the hearing that they want the board members to conduct another environmental impact study before there is any further development at the site.
In a statement, Lenore Friedlaender, the executive director of Build Up NYC, said that the board shouldn’t be relying on an outdated environmental impact study to develop Pier 6 at the Park.
“Relying on a nearly 10-year old study is not being responsible to the future tenants of the project, city taxpayers or the community around the park. We want the [board] to get a new study done before Pier 6 gets built and we want a developer selected who will work with the community and all the stakeholders.”
In the accompanying video we interviewed Davie Ramsey, a painter and a member with Build Up NYC, who showed us exactly what the survival kit contained, including maps, matches, Life Savers, Band-Aids, paper cup telephones and a bottle of water.
We also interviewed Maria Espinal, a 9-year millwright who said she showed up to the hearing to emphasize to the Brooklyn Bridge Park board members to develop responsibly.
“There’s been a lot of development in Brooklyn, especially at the Park, and our concern is that the development going on over there isn’t necessarily happening in a responsible manner. The jobs that are created there aren’t being done in a way that will provide long-term benefits to the workers and the community,” said Espinal.
She said she hoped when she had the opportunity to testify at the hearing that the board members address the ongoing issues before the Pier 6 project is approved.
Dan Walcott, also with Build Up NYC, said he was there to testify at the hearing calling for the board to pursue responsible development. In fact, he said just before the hearing was to begin that the Department of Buildings issued a work stop order because of safety violations at the site.
“The buildings department [issued the order] because [the contractor on site] didn’t have sidewalk bridging for protection, which is yet another example of a contractor not following procedures,” said Walcott.