I am delighted to be here this afternoon with Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Paterson, my Council Member, Margaret Chin, and Mike Nelson, the Council Member who is in charge of the waterfront of New York. I am also delighted to join my colleagues who represent Governors Island with me:
I support this agreement, because it addresses the essential issues that I - and my Lower Manhattan community - have long identified as critical to our quality of life:
One … the provision and preservation of open space and recreational space for a community where such fundamental quality-of-life park environments are rather scarce;
Two … the assurance that our community will have a voice in the administration and the planning of Governors Island, now and into the future;
And three … a consistent and reliable source of funding, so that the residents of Lower Manhattan will not have to worry each year whether the Island's facilities will be available for their children and their families.
The agreement announced this evening meets these requirements and for that reason, I commend the Mayor and the Governor for their efforts on behalf of Governors Island.
Let me also acknowledge some of the state and local leaders who have invested their time and effort to ensure that Governors Island is a "first-rate" recreational space that our growing Lower Manhattan community deserves:
The Chair of the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation (GIPEC), Avi Schick as well as GIPEC President, Leslie Koch;
The GIPEC Board of Directors, especially Liz Berger, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York, and Martha Gallo of J.P. Morgan Chase;
Julie Menin, the widely respected Chair of Community Board One;
Bob Townley, the Chair of the Community Board's Waterfront Committee, the Executive Director of Manhattan Youth, and someone who brings real vitality to our Lower Manhattan community;
And the Governors Island Alliance and its Executive Director, Rob Pirani.
Summer is coming. Governors Island opens on June 5th. It is a wonderful place to be. Bring a camera and take a picture of the Downtown skyline. It is one of the more beautiful things to see in Manhattan.
Thank you, Mayor and thank you, Governor, for helping to make this day a reality.