To the editor:
Thank you for the Broadsheet’s continued coverage of the effort to get more local representation on the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) Board, including Matthew Fenton’s recent “Home Rule, But By Whom?”
I appreciate that Community Board 1 is again taking up support for my bill with Assemblymembers Glick and Niou to require a community majority on the BPCA Board, as well as the support of organizations like ‘Democracy4BPC.’
Specifically, to the discussion around strategy for passage, I wanted to clarify some of the realities of Albany, and my work on this issue.
My colleagues, including leadership of all three Senate conferences, know how important this issue is to my constituents and me — because I bring it up regularly. It’s also an issue I’ve raised with the Governor and senior staff in his administration on a regular basis. In fact, anyone that has followed this issue knows that I have long voted against non-community appointments to the BPCA Board solely for that reason, and spoken extensively on the Senate floor on the importance of local appointments.
The reality is that while deference to local members on local issues would make sense, the Senate is a highly partisan body, and the Republican-controlled Majority has unilateral control over which bills do and do not come up for votes — whether a bill has the votes to pass or not. Despite that reality and being a member of the minority, I passed five bills through the Senate last year. This year, my colleagues have shown real openness to this bill, but the Senate Majority has still not allowed a vote.
Community support — CB1 resolutions, petition efforts, letters and calls to elected officials — are all important parts of making passage a reality. It is strange for a member of the community to argue otherwise. I look forward to continued conversations on work in Albany, and invite all readers to come continue that conversation at my Community Convention, on April 23rd at 2pm at Stuyvesant High.
State Senator Daniel Squadron