1999 Letter – Year in Review

December 1999

Dear Friend,

TIME’S UP is a nonprofit, volunteer-run environmental organization working on some of New York City’s environmental issues, such as improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gases. You may be familiar with us if you have attended one of our nonpolluting and educational events for bike riders and skaters.

In the coming year TIME’S UP plans to broaden the calendar of events, as well as to continue working 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 community. 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 just a few of the many campaigns TIME’S UP has worked on in 1999:

  • Community Gardens: You may have heard that this year Bette Midler and the Trust for Public Land saved over 100 community gardens from the City’s auction block. But the real fight started at the grassroots level, with community gardeners and activists. A new group that we collaborated with, More Gardens, was instrumental in infusing the battle with new energy. TIME’S UP has been working with community gardeners for over five years. This year we have shown educational videos on the plight of the gardens (one video was even shown on Japanese television). But the fight is not over–there are over 550 gardens still being threatened with destruction.
  • Critical Mass: Critical Mass is an international event, held in over 100 cities around the world. This campaign has been very powerful in using direct action education to raise public awareness that streets are not just for cars. In many cities Critical Mass has influenced policy makers to change their view on infrastructure and the connection between public space, pedestrians, and cyclists. Attendance for Critical Mass events in New York has fluctuated. The Earth Day and the Halloween Critical Mass rides were both incredibly successful. In 2000 the time of the ride will change to coincide with the rides all around the world: the last Friday of every month, meeting at Union Square Park at 7 pm sharp. 
  • 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 with Reclaim the Streets since its inception. There have been four Reclaim the Streets events in New York City to date. This event is growing around the world, and it demonstrates the extraordinary potential for change. 
  • Memorial Stenciling: In 1997, TIME’S UP helped start a Memorial Stenciling campaign to draw attention to both the negative impact the automobile has had on the environment and to pedestrian fatalities due to cars. Recently a new group, Right of Way, has been inspired to champion this event and conduct extensive research on statistics. TIME’S UP members have done stenciling in Amsterdam and in California. 
  • Ecological Tours: This year TIME’S UP has continued to work with the Green Apple Map–and has added the Cherry Tree Association, a Bronx community organization–in providing educational “green” bike tours to such areas as the South Bronx and Lower Manhattan. These rides are both fun and educational, and come complete with a route map with detailed information on each stop. TIME’S UP will continue to work with the Green Apple Map and the Cherry Tree Association on these great events in the future. 
  • Educational and Multimedia Events: TIME’S UP has expanded its educational lectures with the introduction of video. These lectures, along with photography shows, video screenings and our all-popular multimedia presentations, have been shown in venues ranging from school classrooms to nightclubs. Our trip to Bike Summer in California included a multimedia show that was so inspirational that after our departure additional campaigns were begun and their Memorial Stenciling campaign stepped up, with the influence of California TIME’S UP members. In the future we look forward to having more educational trips and multimedia road shows. 

As environmental concerns increase, public awareness and education are critical. TIME’S UP has been an active supporter and educator for these environmental concerns 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, a 501c3 organization (contributions can be mailed to us at P.O. Box 2030, NY, NY 10009). We welcome your support at any level. All money received will go directly toward educational campaigns and will make our work possible in the future.

Thank you in advance for your interest and support.

Bill Di Paola

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Year-End Summaries