Pass Legislation in NYC to Get Rid of Harmful Abandoned Buildings

Pass Legislation in NYC to Get Rid of Harmful Abandoned Buildings

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Cruz Warshaw started this petition to Robert Cornegy and

I am an eighth-grade student from the Talented and Gifted School for Young Scholars and a resident in Spanish Harlem. Currently, one of our main projects is to identify an environmental issue in our neighborhood and try to find a solution or make steps toward resolving it. In Spanish Harlem and many other neighborhoods in New York City, there are plenty of privately-owned vacant and abandoned properties. Though they are properly boarded up and not directly harming anyone, they are still a major issue. These buildings leach toxic compounds like mercury, asbestos, and petroleum into the water and into the air. Additionally, they provide a safe breeding ground for rats and other pests and contribute to the infestation problem here in New York.

Abandoned and vacant buildings also hold a lot of great potential that is not being used for the benefit of the people. If they were to be cleaned up and renovated, they could become new apartments, restaurants, stores, businesses, recreation centers, and even house rooftop gardens. These additions to any neighborhood would also hold great potential, as they could bring the community together and even lead to healthier lifestyles all around if the gardens were to be used to grow affordable, local, organic food or if the spaces were used to build gyms or other health-promoting centers. They would also create job opportunities and open up space for more families to live in Spanish Harlem. Lastly, bringing the buildings up to modern code would get rid of the pollution that comes from them on a daily basis and would reduce the amount of infestation citywide.

The list of reasons for why these buildings should be used goes on and on endlessly. However, after decades of being shut down, these buildings have not yet been opened. This is exactly why it is necessary to create and sign this petition to get legislation passed that will mandate that any building that has been vacant for a certain number of years will need to be turned over to the city's authority. It will then be sold only to a person who has proof of a sufficient amount of funding and the plan and initiative to use the building within an appropriate amount of time. Legislation like this could easily create a better, healthier, more functional city and would aid in solving some of the issues it is already dealing with (housing, infestation, etc.).

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