Public land belongs to everyone, right? So why is New York State giving away prime parkland for mall construction?
A coalition of businesses has purchased a big chunk of New York's Flushing Meadows, a tract of forested parkland adjoining Flushing Bay, for all of one dollar. And the property is worth one billion dollars.
Community activists and even local politicians are understandably outraged and have tried to stop the development, citing a state law that protects parks from being despoiled for commercial uses. The mall's opponents believe that the sale of Flushing Meadows should have been put to a vote by the state legislature, and they have sued to stop construction. But Justice Manuel Mendez has thrown their lawsuit out of court.
Tell Mendez that the sale and commercial development of Flushing Meadows totally violates the public trust and that it should, at the very least, be put to a legislative vote.
Dear Justice Mendez:
We the undersigned are outraged to learn that a large portion of Flushing Meadows has been sold for development of a mall.
That land belongs to the public who have the right to enjoy fresh air, trees, and an unspoiled view of Flushing Bay. Instead, with your approval, the public's park has been sold to enrich a few developers and business people who will now benefit from building a mall at the public's expense. And these business people paid only a dollar for land that is worth a billion.
Stop cozying up to developers and do your job to protect New York's parks!