Posted by: vote4claxton | January 26, 2009

MARQUEZ CLAXTON TESTIFIES AT THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL IN OPPOSITION TO THE PROPOSED NYPD IMPOUND LOT IN SPRINGFIELD GARDENS

impound-lot

Community Leaders at City Hall after testifying in opposition to the proposed NYPD Impound Lot in Springfield Gardens (photo courtesy of William McDonald)

MARQUEZ CLAXTON TESTIMONY AT CITY HALL (LANDMARKS, PUBLIC SITING AND MARITIME USES committee) -January 26, 2009

My name is Marquez Claxton and I am a longtime resident of Laurelton, Queens as well as the Public Safety chair for Community Board 13.  I am here today to register my opposition to the proposed relocation of the NYPD Vehicle Impound Lot into my community.  Please do not confuse opposition to this project with a bias against or opposition to the fine work that is done by the men and women in the NYPD on a daily basis.  Given that I am a retired NYPD Detective I have a practical understanding of the increased need of resources to support the rank and file of the NYPD.  For our community, this project has little to do with the benefiting agency and much to do with the impact on our community.  As a matter of fact, we have been pleading for an additional Police precinct for Southeast Queens for decades now and would be open to swapping an impound lot for an additional Police precinct or even the much heralded new Police Academy. 

 

Contrary to the bland references regarding this 13 acre site made by the Economic Development Corporation, this is not just a vacant lot of land but rather a portion of our community which also happens to be connected to a fragile eco-system.   Much lip service has been given by this administration of environmental justice issues yet we seem too willing to further pollute this over-developed area and possibly displace the pressured and protected wildlife.  Be mindful that we are already overwhelmed with the diesel emissions from the thousands of trucks moving in and around JFK airport, gasoline emissions from the cars that utilize the network of highways that surround this site and the airplane fuel that is misted, non-stop, over our community during take-offs and landings.  Also consider the toxic mix of all of these pollutants that makes its way into the 2.2 acres of wetlands that enjoins this 13 acre site.  You must in your decision consider the real human health and environmental toll above and beyond any sterilized presentation of facts by EDC or any fancy chart.  Consideration for our health and humanity should take immediate precedence over the need for the City to store cars.  No fancy stacking design or camouflaging landscaping can take away from the fact that a project of this nature and proportion represents significant risk to my family and neighbors. 

 

We are not a NIMBY community.  What we have hoped for and continue to ask for are projects that not only support the entire City but also enhance our quality of life.  It is not acceptable for the EDC to infer that quality of life will not be negatively affected, they must create projects that actually enhance communities like Springfield Gardens because for too long we have been treated as the tax paying stepchildren of the City.  If it brings no direct benefit to the community, we reject it.  It is time for the burden of  unpopular municipal projects to be spread evenly throughout the 5 boroughs.  

 

 

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