CB # 11 Press Conference on MCNYBy Jose B. Rivera
East Harlem - January 11, 2001 - Community Board # 11, local elected and community leaders held a press conference today voicing their opposition to the proposed move by the Museum of the City of New York to the Tweed Court House at 52 Chambers Street.
Deborah Quinones, chairwoman of Community Board # 11’s Cultural Affairs committee,organized the press conference. Various speakers pointed out that the Museum is the third largest tourism draw in Upper Manhattan. They also mentioned that the proposed move was planned and executed without consulting local elected officials. The accused the Mayor of being a “thief in the night trying to steal an East Harlem institution.”
Democratic District Leader Carmen Quinones had the best line of the day, “You can’t come to my community and take what is mine!”. The Mayor was the press conference’s main target. Participants voiced the following;
There was no community input or notification
The Museum must not move, it would reduce East Harlem’s participation in the Museum Mile
The action by the City administration continues to deny and exclude the cultural needs of East Harlem/El Barrio.
As cultural and tourism development are booming throughout the city, and in other areas of Upper Manhattan, we see minimal development in the East Harlem community.
Councilwoman Kathryn E. Freed, whose district would benefit from the museum’s move voiced her opposition to the move saying that her district should not benefit at the expense of another.
Blank Petitions were distributed by the event’s organizers for a petition drive to be later sent to the Mayor and City Council.
Among those present were, a representative from Congressman Rangel’s office, State Senator Olga Mendez, a representative from the Borough President’s Office, a representative from Councilman Phil Reed’s Office, Councilwoman Kathryn E. Freed (1st Councilmanic District), Democratic District Leaders Carmen Quinones, Felix Rosado, Harry Rodriguez and various Community Board # 11 members (Carmen Villegas, Edwin Marcial, Deborah Quinones).
Read the previous article on this issue
Museum of the City of New York Moving to 52 Chambers Street