Speaker Quinn and elected officials also announced a Monday morning walk through Hudson River Park with downtown residents to reclaim the space for Lower Manhattan
New York, NY – Following the latest sexual assault in a New York City park, Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Council Member Margaret Chin, Council Member Julissa Ferreras, Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Member Domenic M. Recchia Jr., State Senator Daniel Squadron and elected officials today called on the Office of Management and Budget to rescind any proposed cuts in the November Financial Plan that would result in reductions in public safety in New York City.
“We’re not going to yield one blade of grass to sexual perpetrators. We’re not going to yield one street corner,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “Yesterday morning’s assault against a young woman in Hudson River Park was a vicious attack, and I commend the NYPD for their swift action in capturing the assailant. But given the recent string of recent sexual assaults in our City’s parks, it is paramount that the budgets for the NYPD and Parks Department remain untouched. Now is not the time to consider cutting the vital services we need to keep New Yorkers safe.”
On Monday morning, Speaker Quinn, elected officials and downtown residents will walk through Hudson River Park at Harrison and West Streets at 7:30 a.m. to reclaim the space for neighborhood residents and to send a message to predators that New Yorkers will not tolerate attacks in their community.
“The act which occurred in Hudson River Park is absolutely heinous and it is time that we as a City take control of what goes on in our public spaces”, said Councilman and Finance Chair Domenic M. Recchia, Jr.
“It is sickening to hear of another rape in one of our parks,” said Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, Chair of the Committee on Parks & Recreation. “We need the administration to finally prioritize funding for our parks, particularly in the area of public safety. And we need to continue to send a strong message that these incidents will absolutely not be tolerated in our city.”
“When news of a brutal rape feels like deja vu, immediate action must be taken to protect the safety of all New Yorkers,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. “Statistics show that as crimes like rape are on the rise, funding and manpower at the NYPD faces cuts. Law enforcement needs all the resources at its disposal to keep New York free of crime. The City should suspend planned cuts to the NYPD and Parks Enforcement Patrol budget for FY13. Violence and brutality of this nature have no place in the biggest, safest City in the country.”
“This most recent sexual assault is the latest in a disturbing trend. While the alleged attacker was caught, the fact that it is happening at all is problem we must combat.” said Council Julissa Member Ferreras, Chair of the Women’s Issues Committee. “My prayers are with the victim and her family as she recovers from this heinous attack. We must do more to protect women’s safety in our city’s parks and public spaces.”
The assailant’s responsible for Saturday’s assault and for the attack of an elderly woman in Central Park on September 12 both had previous records for sexual assault.
Today, Speaker Quinn and elected officials urged the State to impose the toughest sentencing and strictest monitoring possible on convicted sex offenders to keep New Yorkers safe.
“It is vital that the administration take note of travesties such as this one and realize that it would be irresponsible to cut the basic services that residents of the City desperately rely on. “Our parks should be places of peace not violence,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “This is the second rape in a lower Manhattan park this month. We cannot ignore reality, which is that cuts to police, homeless and mental health services, have made it much more likely that criminals and mentally ill individuals are on our streets. We must do everything we can to prevent those who seek to perpetrate violence against women from doing so. This means increasing police presence in our parks, on our streets, and advocating for harsher penalties for those who commit violence against women. ”
Speaker Quinn and Council Members also announced a free self-defense class to be held in Tribeca later this month. On October 7th at 2 p.m., Speaker Quinn and Council Members will participate in a free self-defense training class at the North Meadow Recreation Center in Central Park.