NYC Ferry Press Conference
Our President Richard Khuzami was pleased to be invited to participate in a Press Conference with Mayor Bill DeBlasio to celebrate the new direct ferry service between Astoria and the Upper East Side.
Other speakers included Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, NYC Councilman Ben Kallos, EDC Ferry Director James Wong, and of course our own Claudia Cogar, President of the Astoria Houses Residents Association.
For more information on the proceedings, please see amMY and for Spanish language ny1noticias. The Mayor’s office has provided a video of the proceedings. You can watch Mr. Khuzami’s remarks that start at the 12-minute mark of the video.
This is an extremely important chapter in the revitalization of Old Astoria. This cradle of Western Queens had suffered for many years as a victim of redlining: not allowing investment for the growth and development of our neighborhood. A transit, food, services, and educational desert, we have made great strides, and look forward to continued improvements in our quality of life.
As an example, one of NYC’s finest parks, Astoria Park, designated an Anchor Park by Mayor DeBlasio, is undergoing a 30 million-dollar renovation.
We are, like Queens, extremely diverse. And the Ferry is universal: It will improve everyone’s life.
When they say “a rising sea lifts all ships”, is especially relevant to the ferry service, much more than when applied to taxes and finances.
Thousands of community members have advocated for this direct upper east side service since 2018. Through Petitions, Surveys, Neighborhood Meetings, direct interaction with the EDC and Hornblower, and social media we were able to get our message across.
This was all done in partnership with the Astoria Houses Residents Association, Urban Upbound, plus institutions such as Socrates Sculpture Park, Noguchi Museum, and our Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Councilman Costa Constantinides and the Community Board.
Both communities, Western Queens and the Upper East Side, will be able to benefit from the exchange of talent and opportunity on either side with increased opportunities in jobs, housing, cultural and recreational activities, healthcare, retail, and education. This is a great low-density mode of transit at a time New Yorkers are concerned about getting to work, school, and medical appointments safely.
And the tying our neighborhoods and Boroughs together only strengthens NYC as a whole!
On behalf of OANA and all the other advocate groups who fought so hard, we want to thank Mayor De Blasio and EDC for listening to the needs of NYers.
Our own Mark Goldberg of AVS Production Company shot a video, and we will share it as soon as it is edited (By Billy Chrissochos).
Now that the ferry is up and running, we would like to hear from anyone on how this new service will make their life easier…Please comment!