Public comments for: Amendment of Street Fair Permit Rules

Comments

Comment:
SAPO has been doing a phenomenal job to the entire NYC communities and our not-for-profit organization is very grateful about it. We organize, produce, direct and present by the biggest Philippine Independence Day Parade and Street Fair outside of the native country for more than a decade. However, one of the Proposed Rules - “require that at least 50% of vendors participating in an event have a business or local presence within the same community board where the street festival or single block street” would be a tragedy for us. Considering that more than 95% of our vendors have no presence in the said same community board. Please reconsider this thoroughly as it will greatly affect not only our vendors but the huge amount of participants, consumers, sponsors and guests. We are willing to sit down, discuss and brainstorm this subject in details anytime and place at your convenience. SAPO has been doing a phenomenal job to the entire NYC communities and our not-for-profit organization is very grateful about it. We organize, produce, direct and present by the biggest Philippine Independence Day Parade and Street Fair outside of the native country for more than a decade. However, one of the Proposed Rules - “require that at least 50% of vendors participating in an event have a business or local presence within the same community board where the street festival or single block street” would be a tragedy for us. Considering that more than 95% of our vendors have no presence in the said same community board. Please reconsider this thoroughly as it will greatly affect not only our vendors but the huge amount of participants, consumers, sponsors and guests. We are willing to sit down, discuss and brainstorm this subject in details anytime and place at your convenience. Thank you so much and we look forward to getting a positive and delightful outcome for all sides.
Agency: SAPO
Comment:
Statement on NYC Street Fair Rules from Councilmember Brad Lander, 39th Council District, Brooklyn (attached)
Agency: SAPO
Comment:
Comment attached from NYC Council Member Dan Garodnick
Supporting Document:
Agency: SAPO
Comment:
I very much approve the program to reduce the number and location of street fairs in the city. The presence of street fairs in Manhattan are causes of excess air pollution from stalled traffic, delays in use of buses, and impair the use of local businesses. My wife, who cannot walk well, has had problems getting to area by bus on time because of the street fairs and their presence on major thoroughfares, for example, Lexington Av, 3rd Av and the West Side major streets.
Agency: SAPO
Comment:
Far too many fairs allotted to Manhattan - not enough altogether Manhattan should not get more than 30% of the total which should be at least 500-750. .
Agency: SAPO
Comment:
1. 50% local vendor participation is commendable, but not realistic and shuts out desirable & interesting vendors. A recommendation is to instead consider giving a priority to include in this order: 1) Local Vendors; 2) Artisans & Craftspeople; 3) Local Farmers. Local vendors & small business owners get highest priority. Next are artisans, a group that needs to reach a wide range of consumers, may not have a fixed retail address, and to sell only at street fairs near where they live or manufacture would drastically limit their sales. Fresh-farm products are a healthy and a popular contribution to street fairs. A plus is the support communities can give to our NY State farm and dairy industries, which range from Upstate NY to Long Island. 2. Limiting the number of street fairs is well intended and would be a relief to many communities and lower gridlock and traffic congestion. But the risk is that local organizations that most directly benefit the community are excluded from sponsorship. A recommendation for sponsorship of street fairs is to give priority in the following order: 1) Organizations located in the district; 2) Organizations that may not be headquartered in the district, but do significant work within that community. Grassroots, volunteer non-profit & civic organizations have few sources of funds. Street fairs become very important to their survival. Plus their work directly benefits the community they reside in. Other groups may not be headquartered in the district, but they do significant work in the area. The criteria must be based on the work in the area being truly 'significant'. The organization must have strong ties within the borders of the community.
Agency: SAPO
Comment:
Brooklyn Community Board 14 Testimony:
Agency: SAPO
Comment:
The newly proposed SAPO Rule governing Street Fairs in New York City is simply absurd, against local and ethnic communities and if approved, it will create greater fragmentation of our wonderfully diverse city. The Romanian-American Community that I represent for over two decades has had a unique festival on Broadway for the last seventeen years dedicated my native country from Eastern Europe. Our compatriots have fought and died and continued to do so in Iraq and Afghanistan shoulder to shoulder with the American troops. The United States has two military bases in Romania as the country remains the staunchest and most loyal allied in the Black Sea region and beyond. There are more native Romanian doctors in New York City than Poles, Czechs, Hungarians, Bulgarian and Ukrainians combined; more IT people, engineers, architects than other far larger nations represented in our great city and state. All that my 300,000 strong Diaspora in the York City area has is the Romania Day Festival on Broadway. This event televised five years in a row live was honored over the years by the King and the Queen of Romania, by Nadia Comaneci, tennis great Ilie Nastase, two Heads of State, two congressmen, two mayors, scores of dignitaries and diplomats and over years. It was also attend by more than half a million people since its creation. Under the proposed new SAPO ruling, the Romania Day Festival on Broadway will simply seize to exist and this will be impossible to explain to my people and community. The end of our event will have a very negative impact on the bilateral US-Romanian relations and will deal a severe blow to our community and its achievement over the last century.
Agency: SAPO
Comment:
I applaud the spirit and intent of ending the moratorium allowing new groups to host street festivals. However, the reality is that Astoria is unique in its wealth of community groups that host street fairs. Community Board One Queens currently has at least 8 multi block, long standing (20 years or better) Street Festivals sponsored by civic/ community/ merchants organizations that are the major stakeholders not only in the community but right on the district where the street festival is held. The funds garnered from the street fairs are used on the district whether it be holiday lights, streetscape improvements, sanitation, events, etc. The street festivals are also a way for us to show off our districts and attract new shoppers, visitors and businesses. We understand that multi block/ multi day events 4 in Community Board sponsored by religious institutions, will also be defined as Street Festivals and counted against the ten permits. This would bring the current total of “Street Festivals” to 12 in Community Board 1 Queens - more than the allotted total according to the proposed rules. We ask that the proposed cap per street festival, per community board be raised to 15 so that the current groups indigenous to the community and the districts could host street festivals while making room for new groups who are interested. In reference to the proposed rule that vendor participation be submitted 30 days prior, we request that this change be eliminated. . Having sponsored street fairs for more than twenty years on Steinway Street, I can attest that neither outside vendors nor local businesses sign up a month ahead of time. They are very cognizant of the impact of weather as it is a huge factor in determining the success of a street festival and are aware that the city does not permit rain dates. Most vendors and local businesses do not sign up until 5 days prior to the event, some on the day of. Thirdly while it is great to ask that 50% of the vendors come from within the local community board, this is not achievable. Our local businesses and community groups are given first crack with a reduced fee or no fee for a spot in front of their store or establishment as inducement and while they participate, it is nowhere near 50%. Rather, we request that 50% (or more) of the participating vendors have a business or local presence within New York City rather than within the local community board with the proviso that would require a certain number spaces be provided at little or no cost, as we do now, to local businesses, artists, not for profit organizations and city agencies.
Agency: SAPO
Comment:
This will decimate many small businesses like mine. It is very pricey to rent a store and many of us rely on street fairs for exposing the public to our handmade products. As to the complaint by the police, may be they can stop filling quotas by harassing street artists; if they dismantle their peddler units, stop harassing people peacefully enjoying parks after sunset and similar waste of resources, they will free up more resources to fight crime!
Agency: SAPO

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