Over two weeks ago, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer sent Mayor de Blasio a letter asking him to respond to issues raised in detailed public comments the Task Force for a Safe School submitted on behalf of P.S. 163 in May. This was after the school community repeatedly reached out with our concerns, and after more than 1,100 people signed our Change.org petition asking the Mayor to protect our children.
The Mayor needs to hear from ALL of us NOW. Please take just five minutes to call his office (212 788 3000). After you've made the call, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form on our website and let us know how the call went.
Let him know that you are counting on him to do everything in his power to protect the safety and learning environment of P.S. 163's students, teachers and staff. The casual safety assurances of a developer are not going to protect children as young as age 3 from the hazards of high-rise construction occurring less than 50 feet from the school.
Ask him to get informed and involved and let us know how he plans to protect our children from the issues raised in our public comment letter, including months if not years of deafening noise, potentially toxic dust and a crane looming over our school. Feel free to quote Borough President Brewer herself. A few key phrases from her letter:
"[P]arents and faculty should not rely on the willingness of private developers to ascertain the impact the project will have on the school."
"A policy that provides for additional government oversight when construction is taking place next to a school is needed because the safety of children is of a major concern and is not always addressed in a proactive fashion."
"It is imperative that the studies highlighted in this letter, as well as those echoed in the testimonies to the NYSDOH during the May 2014 public hearings, are given consideration and responded to."
Borough President Brewer's full letter can be found here.
Mr. de Blasio proudly champions his credentials as a mayor who "understand[s] first hand the fundamental role parents and teachers share in educating the next generation - and of the importance of providing equal educational opportunities in all neighborhoods"* Let's make sure he lives up to his promise in ours.
The P.S. 163 Task Force for a Safe School
Don't Let Construction End Instruction at Our School
P.S. In case you missed it, our rally and the public hearings in early May got a lot of press coverage: http://www.ps163taskforce.org/in-the-news.html.