Rename the Donald J. Trump State Park to the Pete Seeger State Park
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Regardless of political party affiliation, the Donald J. Trump State Parks in Yorktown and Putnam Valley, NY, have been riddled with controversy long before they became parks and long before Trump chose to run for President of the United States.
From the day they were dedicated, the Donald J. Trump Park(s) have drawn sharp criticism from not only the citizens of New York State, but from the people living in the towns where the parks are located. In those two towns, the name Donald J. Trump is not celebrated. The communities fought the billionaire developer long and hard to prevent not one, but two, elite golf courses within miles of one another. The golf courses would have burdened private water wells and each had the potential to damage New York City's drinking water because they sat in the New York City Water Basin area. Donald J. Trump and his team of attorneys were aggressive, ruthless and rude in his campaign to turn those large blocks of land into golf courses. When it became obvious he was losing, he and his team vowed to hurt those who spoke out against the project and who successfully blocked its development plan. He did as he promised and took the property off the tax rolls of both towns by way of turning the land over to the state as parkland. The result was that both towns suffered a loss of tax revenue. That was fine with the local folks because the people of the state could use this land freely, or so they thought.
Donald J. Trump is not well liked in this area. Even his "gift" was orchestrated to maximize his tax breaks. Many even question the value he placed on the property when taking that break, yet the State of New York honored him by naming the parks after him.
Naming a park after a living person, especially one of wealth and power reminds one of how dictators name parks after themselves. Our NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services has a naming policy that should be adopted by all state and local governments. It reads:
- 6. Parks, features and facilities must not be named after living people (except for facility names currently already recognized by the local community). They may only be named after a deceased person to commemorate a person who contributed significantly to the park or locality in which the facility is situated, such as an explorer, scientist or conservationist, or an Aboriginal person known from the park’s locality. Prior ownership of the land is not in itself grounds for the application of the owner's name to a park or facility.
Recently, we lost Pete Seeger an American folk singer, activist born in Patterson NY and who had a dedication to this region. He was heavily involved in protecting the Hudson River and our green space by bringing the human community together to protect, respect and enjoy our environment. We cannot think of a better person more deserving of having a state park named after him than Pete Seeger.
Please join with us, not only by supporting BILL NO S06298 (the same as) A08645, but also by renaming these two parks the Pete Seeger State Park.
The People for the Pete Seeger State Park
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