2000 Letter - Year in Review

December 2000

Dear Friend,

TIME'S UP is a non-profit, volunteer-run environmental organization working on some of New York City's toughest environmental issues, such as improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gases. You may be familiar with us if you have participated in one of our non-polluting rides for cyclists and skaters, or one of our multimedia events.

In the coming year, TIME'S UP will broaden its calendar of events, as well as continue our work with the many eco-friendly groups with which we've become associated. These cross-community environmental collaborations reinforce our collective efforts and, in turn, strengthen our voice as advocates for a healthier NYC.  Along with our direct action campaigns, we've been expanding our educational role, working with teachers both in classrooms and on ecological tours. Listed below are a few of the many campaigns we have worked on in 2000.

  • Critical Mass: Thanks to your participation, this has been the best year yet for New York City's Critical Mass. Critical Mass is an international event, held at the same time each month in over 100 cities around the world. Critical Mass has proven to be very powerful in using direct action education to raise public awareness about the environment and the damage wreaked by cars. While Critical Mass is not led by any one group or person, this year we have tripled attendance using themes, workshops, and after-ride events. Our hard work has paid off! With your continued help and participation, we hope to continue building Critical Mass in 2001, leading to more balanced use of NYC's public space. 
  • Community Gardens: For the last two years TIME'S UP has been collaborating with the More Gardens Coalition in a battle to save all community gardens. Our intense standoff at La Esperanza Community Garden, which was threatened by bulldozers, included a 24-hour/7 day a week encampment of the garden during the winter months. Our efforts resulted in tremendous community support and media attention.  The high visibility brought about by our actions caused State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to take on the issue.  In fact, at the same time 31 people were being dragged out and arrested, the gardens were being represented in court by Spitzer. As it stands now, 173 front-line gardens are protected under a temporary restraining order.  However, this decision is continually challenged by the City and could be overturned at any time.  We must stay ready.  In 2001 we will continue promoting awareness of the gardens, and be at the forefront of the struggle. 
  • Reclaim the Streets: Reclaim the Streets resembles Critical Mass in its international scope and its focus on public space and related issues. TIME'S UP has been working on Reclaim the Streets since its inception in NYC because it has been instrumental in getting a younger crowd involved in environmental and public space issues. In turn, it has also helped revive activism in New York through its dancing-in-the-streets actions.
  • Ecological Tours: TIME'S UP has continued to work with the Green Apple Map and the Cherry Tree Association which provide educational "green" bike tours to such areas as the South Bronx and Lower Manhattan. These rides are both fun and ecological, and come complete with a route map with detailed information about each site along the way. This year, we added the Blue Apple Ride, which educates participants about waterfront issues, and helps keep up the pressure on greenway construction and waterfront access. We are very excited about developing all of these eco-rides further in 2001.
  • Educational and Multimedia events: This year we have reached an all time high in showing videos in venues ranging from school classrooms to neighborhood festivals. There has been great enthusiasm for change after the WTO protest in Seattle, so we are now producing short videos so people can take them on their own road shows. Two are now available: Greatest Hits NYC, which contains 5 different environmental direct action events, and one on the IMF/World Bank protest in Prague. Video production is time consuming and expensive, but has the potential to reach and impact a very wide audience. Our website also reaches out 24/7, and we receive daily e-mails from people excited by the images and events spotlighted. These media projects help people get involved locally and globally.As environmental concerns increase, public awareness and education are critical. TIME'S UP has been an active supporter and educator on these issues for over ten years. Our efforts, however, are often limited by the financial struggles that TIME'S UP endures. Planning, publicizing and producing environmental events and campaigns are worthwhile and important, but costly. We invite you to make a commitment toward your environment and the future of this planet by making a tax-deductible donation to TIME'S UP.  Please complete the enclosed response envelope, or use a credit card and the "join time's up" button at www.times-up.org.  We welcome your support at any level.  All money received will go directly toward educational campaigns and will make our work possible in the coming year.Thank you in advance for your interest and support.

    Sincerely,

    Bill Di Paola
    Director

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