Senator Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside) applauded the announcement of a new budget deal that would save the twenty firehouses throughout New York City that were targeted for closure in Mayor Bloomberg’s original budget plan. The list of firehouses included Engine 306 in Bayside.
After originally learning about the proposed closure, Avella and Braunstein immediately organized an emergency rally in front of the firehouse with community leaders, UFOA President Al Hagan, Community Board 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece and over a hundred area residents to protest the planned closure.
“I am glad to hear the Mayor and the leadership in the City Council were able to come to an agreement that would save Engine 306,” stated Avella. “However, I find it disgraceful that the Mayor would threaten the safety of communities like Bayside in order to gain concessions in the budget process. Bartering with residents’ safety is irresponsible and dangerous governing and, unfortunately, the Bloomberg administration has turned it into a habit.”
"I want to thank the residents of Northeast Queens for banding together to let Mayor Bloomberg know that we would not accept the closure of Engine 306," stated Braunstein. "It was outrageous for the Mayor to even propose closing 20 firehouses in New York City and thankfully our voices have been heard. Moving forward, we must continue to work together to ensure that our community gets the resources and services that we deserve."
The week after their rally, Avella and Braunstein continued to apply pressure to the Mayor and City Council as they joined the Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York and 15,000 demonstrators who crossed the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall to protest the third consecutive year that the City Council was faced with the proposed closure of fire companies.