2001 Letter - Year in Review
Congratulations! With your help, TIME'S UP! coordinated over eighty events in NYC's five boroughs this year. All of these events have promoted respect for the environment and the New York community. Highlights this year include expanding into Brooklyn with a monthly Moonlight Ride through Prospect Park and helping turn an abandoned lot in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood into a community garden.
This coming year will be TIME'S UP!'s 15th year; we are proud of our achievements, particularly in these trying times. TIME'S UP! has worked hard to help build an environmentally sustainable New York City, with cleaner calmer streets. And, as you know if you've been to one of our events, we have a good time while doing it!
As the United States faces increased threats to our civil liberties and environment, the work of organizations such as TIME'S UP! is more important than ever. TIME'S UP! is run on a shoestring budget solely by volunteers. We have been able to achieve so much with so little toward our goal of helping people become actively involved in improving the quality of life in NYC. Below please find some of the activities we initiated, promoted and coordinated in 2001.
- Promoting Cycling and Skating: For 15 years TIME'S UP! has been promoting alternative, non-polluting healthy forms of transportation. You may be familiar with our Calendar of Events for Cyclists and Skaters, which over the course of a year offers many different events--everything from fun rides out to Coney Island amusement park to educational evenings to direct action aimed at getting the cars out of Central Park. Our events take place year-round, aimed at promoting cycling and protecting both skaters and cyclists' rights. Every year there are more New Yorkers using human-powered transportation, thanks to these efforts.
- Public Space: In cities all over America, public spaces are being lost to privatization. New York in particular is being hit very hard. In our park system we see more fences, more private enterprises, more rules and even a new law that prohibits twenty people from assembling without a permit. Our streets, of course, are dominated by car culture. Even our water may soon be privatized. In the coming year we need to take action to ensure that the city's greenways are completed on schedule, and that when they are finished they remain open and fully accessible. For years TIME'S UP! has supported a community-based environmental perspective on public space, and helped defend it from corporate takeover. Campaigns such as Critical Mass and Reclaim the Streets, in which TIME'S UP! members play a pivotal role, continue to send a strong message.
- Critical Mass: The monthly Critical Mass has become one of NYC's most spectacular and fun events, with a clear message about balancing the use of our streets and sharing space among pedestrians, bikes, and cars. While TIME'S UP! does not lead or control the route for this event, for over five years we have been helping with publicity, themes, and after-Ride events. This year's rides have attracted so many participants (often 500 plus!) that we have been able to lend a helping hand to other causes, including:
- The Rainforest Ride, coordinated with the local group Rainforest Relief. This ride publicized the city's use of endangered lumber and concluded with a party on the Staten Island ferry with the Hungry Marching Band.
- The Community Gardens Ride, where the goal was to create a symbolic metamorphosis of NYC's public space. We worked with the group More Gardens to build a ten bike-long caterpillar, which was inaugurated during the ride.
- The Manhattan Bridge Bike Path Ride. After we sent out press releases about its long-overdue opening and generating a lot of pressure, the City relented and opened the Manhattan Bridge Bike Path two days before the Critical Mass. It's now used daily by hundreds of people. This successful action demonstrated how Critical Mass rides can help attain specific goals.
- Greening of NYC: In 2001, TIME'S UP! worked with the community and the Trust For Public Land to turn an abandoned lot into a community garden in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. We plan to resume this effort in the spring, and to convert more abandoned but usable space into new community gardens. Thanks to the efforts of many concerned groups and individuals, and continued direct action, the restraining order that protects 173 front line gardens in NYC's poorer communities is still standing. However, that order is temporary and we will keep awareness of garden issues in the forefront.
- Continued Activities: TIME'S UP! continues to conduct a number of ongoing activities, including ecological tours in the South Bronx, on the Lower East Side, and around New York City's waterfront. We also make educational presentations at schools and other public events, during which we often screen videos produced by our volunteers.
The work of groups such as TIME'S UP! contributes to making New York the great city that it is. We hope that our efforts and the renewed interest in making this city sustainable will continue to grow, especially now, when faced with threats to public space and the environment. But our efforts can only move forward with your support, both active and financial. TIME'S UP! is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, and your donations are tax-deductible according to the law. Please remember TIME'S UP! when you are making your year-end contributions.
With your help we can build a more peaceful, more sustainable world, starting with our city. You can make a secure donation by credit card or check. Checks can be made payable to "TIME'S UP!"
Thank you in advance for your interest and support.
Bill Di Paola
Director, TIME'S UP!
P.O. Box 2030
New York, NY 10009