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Recap: Intersections Speaker Series with Councilmember Rivera

Joined by constituents and local businesses, New York City Councilmember Carlina Rivera was the honored guest at the Intersections Speaker Series breakfast hosted jointly by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and the Union Square Partnership on Thursday, March 29th.

The event, held at Almond Restaurant in Flatiron, opened with remarks from Jennifer Brown, Executive Director of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership, and Jennifer Falk, Executive Director of the Union Square Partnership, followed by a discussion with Spectrum News NY1 Manhattan Reporter Michael Scotto, who asked questions that were crowdsourced before to the event. Following the discussion on local issues, attendees had the opportunity to ask questions and learn about initiatives directly from the Councilmember.

Councilmember Rivera addressed various community concerns, including expressing support for small, independent businesses. The majority of businesses within Union Square and Flatiron are small and locally-owned. Councilmember Rivera highlighted the role government can play through zoning and legislation to help small businesses thrive, and highlighted ways the City can improve existing programs by better marketing services to help mom-and-pop businesses compete with large chain and online retailers.

On the impending L train closure and its impact on local residents, businesses, and employees, the Councilmember continues to meet with the MTA and the NYC Department of Transportation to help mitigate the congestion impacts caused by the temporary shutdown. Among her top concerns are the plan’s use of diesel buses along the corridor and its impact on air quality and the health and quality of life for residents and businesses.

Both the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and the Union Square Partnership manage public spaces in their respective districts. Michael Scotto asked Councilmember Rivera about the Flatiron Public Plazas and Broadway Plaza and her thoughts on making the spaces, both nearly a decade old, into permanent public space. “I’m all for activating public spaces,” Councilmember Rivera said, noting how public plazas provide respite in an overcrowded city. “I think it’s a great idea, and that is why this relationship with the Union Square Partnership and the Flatiron BID has been very important to me.”

Finally, as co-chair of the Women’s Caucus, Councilmember Rivera shared her efforts to increase gender diversity in the New York City Council. Her stated goal is to increase the number of women representing New Yorkers to 21 by the year 2021, and emphasized her commitment to meet, identify, and mentor women to run for office.

“Business Improvement Districts provide crucial services and it’s always beneficial to hear directly from our elected officials so we can work together to better serve the people who live, work and visit our neighborhoods,” said Jennifer Brown, Executive Director of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership. “We are grateful to Councilmember Rivera for sharing her vision with her Flatiron and Union Square constituents.”

“Meeting with various stakeholders of Council District 2 – residents, small business owners, and people who work here – is one of the best parts of being an elected official. I was excited to join the Union Square Partnership and Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership for this broad and diverse discussion street safety, supporting small, local businesses, and how we can work together to improve our quality of life,” said Councilmember Rivera.

The Councilmember urged everyone to stay in touch by following her on Twitter (@CarlinaRivera where she encourages Direct Messages), sending an email, or by calling her office at (212) 677-1077.

 

Photo Credit: Liz Ligon

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