Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz
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For the Hearing on Wide-Street Amendment
Mia and I have lived in Carroll Gardens for fourteen years: first on Woodhull Street, then on Third Place, and now on Second Place. We love this neighborhood’s lack of big box stores and big box buildings, and the many small businesses located here—including mine. All of this is under threat: high-rise apartment buildings, numerous banks, and pharmacies are proliferating because of a belief, which we think is misguided, that regulation of any sort will threaten the value of our homes and our individual liberty.
Mia and I understand these are deeply held convictions, and we honor them. But we bought our house not because we saw money in the plot underneath it or the air above it or the space behind it. We bought it because of its character, one the previous owners had lovingly fostered for twenty-nine years, and because it was in this neighborhood, was filled with books, and had a beautiful garden at the back and front. We bought it despite its off-kilter stairs and idiosyncratic electrical wiring. We firmly believe that if we care for this house, it will increase in value; just as, if we care for this neighborhood, everything around us will become more valuable—in all senses of the word. In doing this, we believe we will have a home—in all senses of that word, too.
Life and community cannot be just about speculation—or the jealous guarding of our own space. We share these streets, the light and air, as a community. That’s why we believe this amendment is important and overdue, and why we hope that others will support it, too. Thank you.