Over 100 Queens Leaders Call For Senator Ramos To Support Metropolitan Park

QNS file photo

In the heart of Queens, surrounding the iconic Citi Field, lay 50 acres of vacant asphalt. A diverse group of community and business leaders within the district and throughout the borough of Queens are urging state Senator Jessica Ramos to support Metropolitan Park, a sports and entertainment park. 

The leaders that are calling on the Senator for her support of the project include 100+ signatures, most notably:

  • Helen Arteaga, Elmhurst Hospital
  • Nicole Bailey, Learning Tree STEM Arts School
  • Seth Bornstein, Queens Economic Development Corporation
  • Rosita Cali, Cali & Cali Enterprise
  • Gregory Coles, A Child’s Place Too
  • Michael De Valera, Dorie Miller Houses & Community Board 3 Member
  • Karla dos Santos, Little Friends Queens
  • Saeeda Dunston, Elmcor Youth & Adult Activities
  • Danielle Ellman, Commonpoint Queens
  • Joanna Florez, Comunidad Latinx, Inc
  • Jonathan Forgash, Queens Together
  • Larry Gallegos, Queens Community Leader
  • Yoselin Genao Estrella, Neighborhood Housing Services of Queens CDC inc
  • Alejandra Giron, Queens Women’s Chamber of Commerce
  • Tom Grech, Queens Chamber of Commerce
  • Yanna Henriquez, DASQ
  • Cheryl Jones, LaGuardia Kiwanis
  • David Kilmnick, PhD, MSW, New York LGBT Network
  • Craig Lastres, Commonpoint Queens
  • Vincent Laucella, Queens United Lions Club, Community Board 4 Member
  • Dirk McCall de Paloma, Sunnyside Shines BID*
  • Marie O’Quinn, Elmcor Senior Center
  • John Park, Four Season Uniform
  • Al Perna, Corona Community Ambulance Corps
  • Mildred Ramirez, Queens United Lions Club & Community Board 4 Member
  • Tammy Rose, Community Board 3 Member
  • Fernando Ruiz, Nixtamal Restaurant
  • Steven Sokolof, Keller Williams Realty Landmark II
  • Jose Tejada, Dominico-American Society of Queens

In a recent letter, the leaders called on the Senator to embrace this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the community and for her to act now to capture the benefits of the Metropolitan Park project. They articulated their fervent desire to see this neglected space transformed into a vibrant epicenter of economic activity and a community hub. The $8 billion privately-funded Metropolitan Park plan will create 23,000 new jobs that are desperately needed in the community, which are still recovering from the pandemic. 

They reiterated the risk of doing nothing won’t solve the current problems of unemployment, lack of green space and the issues associated with local climate challenges.

Many of these and other community leaders participated in providing feedback and input to create The Metropolitan Park plan. For the past three years, they have been actively engaged by the project’s representatives and an outreach team knocked on over 40,000 doors in the community to have conversations with their neighbors. The community outreach gained residents feedback on how they could benefit from the transformation as well as how they could participate in its future. 

The bottom-up approach is clearly evident in the resulting proposal that will create jobs, build a public park, renovate the train station, and include over $1 billion in direct community benefits.

Metropolitan Park will provide numerous opportunities for local residents to thrive. It will create thousands of good-paying, union jobs, prioritizing the hiring of local residents and contracting with local minority and women-owned businesses. A major benefit to the community will be a new public park space with athletic fields. This new greenspace will provide environmental resilience, opportunities for active recreation and passive enjoyment, and improve neighborhood connectivity with safe pedestrian walkways and new bike lanes to the waterfront and surrounding community.

All of the community leaders expressed their appreciation for the leadership of Senator Ramos and her transparency and commitment demonstrated through several town halls as well as other means of informing and engaging her constituents. 

But the most important point was communicating that the time to act is now and that Metropolitan Park is greatly needed. They ended the letter by urging Senator Ramos to support this vision to convert 50 acres of asphalt into the great destination the community needs and deserves.