The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated issues of inequality in New York City, leaving our most underserved communities with fewer resources than ever before. Now more than ever, New Yorkers, and especially our students and teachers, deserve free access to the enrichment, education, culture, and escape of the Park Education Campus [PEC] institutions.
The PEC institutions are part of a City-funded, public-private partnership [PPP] and have taken advantage of this global tragedy to further their denial of New Yorkers’ right to free access. New Yorkers were and continue to be forced to reserve tickets online to safely schedule visits. Yet only full price tickets can be purchased online, in effect breaching New Yorkers’ right to “free access” – the quintessential exchange for PEC institutions’ $701.2 MILLION in free rent concession. [see PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP, PEC INSTITUTIONS, FINANCIAL ANALYSIS and LAWS.]
The majority of New Yorkers most impacted by COVID-19’s inequalities are from low-income to middle-income wage earners, and we must insist now that our City leaders require the PEC custodians benefiting from rent-free use of park land and public buildings, to meet their original incorporating and economic purposes and prioritize New Yorkers’ free access rights to the arts, culture and education.
As was the original intention of the PPP, it is critically important for New Yorkers to SIGN FA’S PETITION NOW! to insist that these institutions, who receive $1 BILLION in direct and indirect subsidies annually, be used as “aids” to our city’s children and citizens by becoming extensions of adult education and city schools, especially as we grapple with the uncertainty and learning loss associated with the pandemic[see PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP, PEC INSTITUTIONS, FINANCIAL ANALYSIS and LAWS.]