In the News
Re “Pier plans are honed as process comes down to wire” (news article, Dec. 12) As the Hudson River Park board of directors, chaired by Diana Taylor, prepares for an imminent vote on the development of Pier 40, the West Village must prepare itself against the possibility of a decision that will drastically alter the space we call home.
Speaking for FIERCE! (Fabulous Independent Radicals for Community Empowerment), Rickke Mananzala said he was pleased that the city had resisted the demand by residents for an 11 p.m. park curfew. Mananzala also said he doubted that crime had increased on Christopher St. any more than in other parts of the Village, and he called for an eventual reduction of the police on the street “We're glad the proposal to push L.G.B.T. youth out of the West Village has been dropped,” Mananzala said.
The Urban Justice Center works to provide legal services to homeless LGBT youth, and the Anti-Violence Center also provides critical advocacy when they are victims of crime and abuse. The LGBT Community Center's Youth Enrichment Services provides a wide variety of outreach, education, and mentoring programs, and FIERCE!, the Fabulous Independent Educated Radicals for Community Empowerment, works on the streets to protect LGBT youth from being displaced from the West Village.
Rickke Mananzala of FIERCE!, an LGBTQ youth of color organization which has actively lobbied on behalf of not limiting access to the pier, said he was happy to see city officials taking a more active role in finding a solution. "The more elected officials getting involved and active in this, the better," said Mananzala. "We are just really impressed by Christine Quinn and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s response to really recognizing this as a complicated issue that we should be working on for the quality of life of all people in the West Village, including LGBT youth as a part of that."
Residents have long complained that the often-antisocial crowds have destroyed the quality of life in the neighborhood, while FIERCE, a group representing L.G.B.T. youth, has asserted their right to be on the pier and has called for social services, which the new program appears to be offering.