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Preservation Lobby Day: Wednesday, May 6

lpc budget rallyJoin the Municipal Art Society and our partners in preservation advocacy for the third annual NYC Preservation Lobby Day. The rally and press conference will take place on the steps of City Hall at noon on Wednesday, May 6th, 2009. Lobby Day is an excellent opportunity to remind elected officials how preservation makes New York a more livable city. In anticipation of the elections this fall, MAS has partnered with local community groups and preservation organizations to develop a City-wide Preservation Platform, outlining a single set of concerns that will be presented to elected officials and candidates. Emphasizing how the restoration and reuse of historic buildings and building materials saves energy, money, the environment, and local economies, the inherent sustainability of preservation tops the list of 2009 platform points. The platform also highlights the role of preservation in protecting the character of New York City’s neighborhoods and strengthening the city’s tax base as an economic catalyst. The platform also calls for the protection and maintenance of religious properties, which often act as anchors in communities, providing much needed social services.And, once again, the platform stresses the importance of having a healthy and effective Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). Past preservation lobby days have been successful in increasing the budget of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, allowing the agency to re-establish a survey team and dramatically increase its survey and designation work. This year, unfortunately, all City agencies are facing cutbacks in their budgets. The LPC, however, is a small city agency with a miniscule budget compared to other City agencies. In fact, the LPC budget is less than 1/100th of 1% (or about 0.0076%) of the City’s overall expenditures and any cut in the LPC’s budget would have a disproportionately large detrimental effect on this small agency. In addition to joining us on Wednesday, May 6th at noon, please call, send a letter or email your City Council Member to extend an invitation to the rally, and ask him or her to maintain the LPC’s budget for the coming fiscal year and to support the preservation platform. (If possible, please send a copy of your correspondence to mbaldock[at]mas.org.)