Exploring Local Politics

I went to two supposedly top private schools, Spence and Dalton, for middle school and high school, respectively, and for all the pep talks they give you about how you can make a difference in the world, they never tell you specifically how easy it is to go to these local meetings, which are open to the public, and voice your opinion.

Tonight, the discussion was to narrow down possible locations for a green market on The Upper East Side. At the March meeting there will be a deciding vote- I’m not sure if I can vote yet- I think I need to register first as a public member of the committee or board first.

Unfortunately, since it was my first time at one of these meetings I was a little camera-shy (like gunshy- as in shy to TAKE pictures, not be in them) but I did manage to take two.

Left to right: Glenn McAnanama (moderator of Upper Green Side on Meetup.com), City Councilmember Jessica Lappin.

I only got up the nerve to take a picture with no flash after the meeting ended. Obviously I asked permission to take the previous photograph.

City Councilmember Jessica Lappin was present and spoke in favor of using a space in St. Stephen Hungarian Parish and School on East 82nd St. and had a letter of support from Father Angelo of that Church. I had the impression that her comments and her reading of Father Angelo’s letter lent some optimism to the prospect of this green market actually being realized. The back and forth bickering between the attendees about many different locations became more focused and a few people added comments about the beauty of St. Stephen’s as a location. It was either Councilmember Lappin herself, or Father Angelo in his letter, who mentioned the fact that many elderly people who attend the church live in that neighborhood and cannot travel far so a market right there would benefit them.

I guess there was some prior discussion and veto of a location at Carl Shurz Park. Glenn McAnanama (pictured above) made a speech which turned passionate when he stated something along the lines of “Carl Shurz park belongs to the people, not just to those adjacent to it. This is not Gramercy, you do not have a key to Carl Shurz Park.”

This actually led to the only clapping during the meeting, but not much else since it seems Carl Shurz Park had already been decided against.

My reason for trying to learn more about how local politics work is that the mysterious “they” added a no left turn side at a certain intersection in Williamsburg. The police wait by it and ticket people who haven’t noticed the new sign and now you have to go several blocks out of the way to get where you would go if you took that left. I wanted to find out if it was put there for legitimate reasons or if not, how to get it removed. But then I got sidetracked.

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Author: rebs

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