Sunset Park parents are gearing up for an important town hall meeting with Chancellor Carmen Fariña. The meeting, which will be help on Tuesday, November 24 at 6:30 p.m. at P.S. 516 (4222 Fourth Avenue) will focus on several issues and concerns for District 15.
To prep for the big meeting, around 30 local parents gathered at the CFL Municipal ID Building, 345 43rd Street, discussing ideas, voicing concerns and making posters on Saturday, November 21.
According to parent and Community Board 7 member Jovita Sosa, residents will present more than 1,000 signatures at the meeting from neighbors demanding that Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña build the long-promised new schools needed to alleviate severe overcrowding in the neighborhood.
“The purpose of the get-together was to organize and plan for Chancellor Farina’s visit. In attendance was a lovely intergenerational mix of neighbors coming together for this important cause,” Sosa said, noting that organizations such as CEC 15, Class Size Matters, Voces Ciudadanas, Friends of Sunset Park and Concerned Parents of Sunset Park, as well as Sunset Park Read & Play Groups were in attendance. “Many parents and staff from P.S. 169, the largest school in Sunset Park with approximately 1,700 students, were present,” she added.
Maria Roca, founder of Friends of Sunset Park, was also in attendance and shared Sosa’s concerns about the future of the neighborhood’s quality of education, adding that the number of hotels being built in the area is hurting the situation.
“There continues to be hyper construction and development activity in Sunset. However, that has, in great part, resulted in a proliferation of ‘hot sheets’ hotels built as-of-right thanks to a loophole in the New York City M1-2 Zoning text — the perfect example being the Sunny 39 Hotel at 517 39th Street,” she said. “Why is the construction of de facto brothels being facilitated while we’re being told that there are no available properties for schools?”
Sosa added that it is vital that parents attend the meeting so their voices can be heard. “We invite and encourage everyone in Sunset Park to attend this meeting. Construction and development are rampant around us,” she said. “We need to make sure our children are also taken into consideration.”