The following news release popped up on State Senator Daniel Squadron's web site today:
"Senator Squadron Brings SLA Chair Rosen and CEO Mead to 25th Senate District for Nightlife Discussion with Community"
It went on to explain he invited the new chairman of the State Liquor Authority (SLA), Dennis Rosen, and other SLA officials to meet yesterday with a group of political and community leaders. They included City Councilmember Rosie Mendez, Margaret Chin (CD1 Democratic nominee), members of several community boards and representatives of neighborhood advocacy groups.
According to the release, "the discussion, proposed by Senator Squadron this summer during the
State Senate's confirmation process, provided a forum for community
leaders to speak directly with SLA leadership about community concerns
regarding nightlife, including overcrowding of bars, high noise levels,
and other quality of life issues."
Squadron said, “I organized this meeting because I know how important it is that the
top-level leaders of the SLA hear directly from our community about the
unique challenges we face. When I voted to confirm Chairman Rosen, I
made it clear how important it is that he make understanding community
concerns a priority. Last night’s meeting was an important step towards
the SLA showing a true commitment to engaging with the community, and I
look forward to continuing to work with Chairman Rosen and the
community to facilitate an ongoing dialogue.”
Rosen expressed a commitment to having an open dialogue with community members, something that has not always occurred in the past. He said, "streamlining application procedures and providing communities with a
voice in the process are not mutually exclusive. Working together, we
can make informed licensing decisions, intelligent enforcement actions,
and safer communities."
The release included statements from several of the participants who attended the meeting.
Councilmember Mendez: "The residents of my district know all too well that bars and
restaurants add to the community's vibrancy and attractiveness, but
these establishments have to be well run and well regulated. The new
administration at the SLA must understand the concerns of the citizens
who live in a district where nightlife establishments proliferate…"
Margaret Chin: "I appreciate the Senator inviting me to participate in yesterday's
informative and interesting meeting. I was impressed by the candor of
the conversation, and look forward to making real progress for our
communities on the quality of life issues we all face every day (and
mostly every night)."
Community Board 3 Chair Dominic Pisciotta:" I hope the proposed changes presented by the SLA officials are
successful and will benefit both residents and license holders over the
next year. Continuing this dialogue will help the Community Boards
effecitvely deal with complex licensing issues and thus allow us to
better serve the residents and applicants who make up our community,"
Sean Sweeney of the Soho Alliance was also at the meeting. He said, "we respectfully urge the chair and the commissioners to tour the
hotspots one evening to witness if the public interest has been served
by past SLA decisions regarding the 500-Foot Law.”
The release said Squadron and Mendez plan to hold a town hall meeting with SLA officials and interested residents. We'll let you know when we have those details.