Is there a broken drinking fountain in your park? No wheelchair ramps? A consistent problem with trash or broken glass? This page is designed to help you advocate for better parks, playgrounds and beaches in your community.
What does it mean to advocate?
Advocacy is the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal.
If your issue requires more attention, NY4P recommends you follow these steps for action:
Step One: Letter to an Agency
Say your park needs new sidewalks. This is the kind of work that is supervised by the borough offices of the Parks Department. A letter to the Borough Commissioner regarding the situation is a good first step. Curb your desire to write a letter to the top person and start with your borough leadership -- the people in the field know more about what is going on every day, so it makes sense.
In the letter you should:
Step Two: Letter to Community Boards
By the power of the City Charter, Community Boards are empowered to act as an official channel between citizens and their city government. Community Board District Managers are paid staff charged with managing the Community Board’s daily affairs. By contacting the District Manager, you are making your park’s problem an official problem of the Community Board and elevating the problem to a complaint. In informing the Community Board you should:
Step Three: Letter to Elected Officials
Most issues can be taken care of through the city’s 311 service, requests to the Parks Department or help from the Community Board District Manager. When all else fails, however, or when your issue will require public funding, a letter to your elected officials is the next step.
Send your letter to your City Council Member, the Borough President or the Public Advocate. If you have time, it is best to send to all three at the same time, with a CC on the bottom of the page to let them know that you have reached out to all relevant elected officials. A letter to an elected official, like a letter to a commissioner, should be concise and courteous. You may want to mention that you have spoken with the Parks Department and the Community Board already and are looking for further help. Try to arrange a site tour with the staff members.
To find out who your elected officials are, visit myciti.org.
To set up a meeting with NY4P and your Council Member, contact , NY4P’s Government and Community Affairs Associate.
To support NY4P’s advocacy efforts, click here.