For decades and decades, New York City has been a cultural melting pot where smells of ethnic foods, sights of lights and artwork, and sounds of music amongst the sirens and car horns wrap themselves in all of your senses, giving any passerby, tourist, or resident the full New York City experience. Unfortunately, as the days go by, we are falling faster and further into the hands of those who want to replace the culture of New York with money-making strategies under the false pretense of security and comfort.
The new law, supposedly taking effect May 8th (lest we do something about it) now classifies all musicians as vendors. Street musicians will now have to RENT spaces in parks to play. Vendors are considered "sellers or solicitors of donations in exchange for tangible items, such as paintings, books, or photographs," and a license will cost you about $45. Playing music on a street or park without the license may get you a summons and a $250, as enforced by Park Enforcement Patrol.
***The privatization of public space, where public ground now has to be rented in order to play music, now requires musicians to pay to play, rather than accept donations from the public. Thus, kicking the starving artists while they're down. Another story of the rich's attempt to get richer.***
There are a slew of other setbacks included in this new law, including the fact that musicians, once they have obtained their licenses, are mandated to only perform on 100 spots located throughout the city, which are signified by a medallion embedded in concrete. Also, the regulations of these medallions state that they must be at least 5 feet away from a park bench and 50 feet away from a statue.
The other issue is that there are alot more street musicians in New York City than can be confined to 100 spots. Some cities that also lack musical freedom use a daily schedule in which each musician requests to write their name and the hour they want to play everyday. Confrontations between musicians who want the same space may occur, and worse than that, people whose only income is through busking will now starve more than they already have.
Please sign now, most of the people who this is affected have no other source of income, and will starve if this law is passed!!
- Mayor Bloomberg, NYC Parks Department
Many street musicians depend on their talents in order to eat and to make ends meet. This new law that requires musicians to pay to play on city streets rather than accept donations from the public cuts much deeper than just having quiet and culture-less city streets.
You are taking away sources of income just because you cannot profit off of their talent. You are taking away another freedom that does not hurt anyone under the false pretense that this will benefit anyone besides those profitting off of our struggles.
If this law is passed, in due time, you will realize it will hurt the city more than help.
Please reconsider passing this law.
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