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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Statement from Ken Biberaj, Candidate for CIty Council, District 6

West Side City Council Candidate Responds to City’s Plan for Demolition and
Redevelopment of P.S. 191 and P.S. 199

New York City (April 3, 2013)- Democratic City Council Candidate (6th district - Upper West Side), Ken Biberaj, issued a statement about the news that the City is entertaining plans to tear down P.S. 191 and P.S. 199.  It was recently reported that the Department of Education had requested proposals to demolish P.S. 191, P.S. 199, and a school on the Upper East Side and replace them with high-rise apartments and new schools on the ground level.  The initial report came as a shock to our neighborhood.  While more details continue to emerge about the plan, our students, parents, and community deserve full involvement in this process.
“Like many on the Upper West Side, I have serious concerns about the plan to demolish P.S. 191 and P.S. 199 and that the community was not approached at the outset.  Public education in our neighborhood is reaching a crisis point and while we have a desperate need for more quality seats for our growing family population, it has to be balanced with over development on the West Side” said City Council candidate Ken Biberaj.  “Any plan to rebuild these schools within a new development must be done in a responsible and transparent way. The community must be involved in the decisions that are made so that we ensure that if there is a development it creates additional school seats, provides affordable housing and addresses the serious concerns about increased density. Far too much development has taken place over the years on the UWS without our community getting enough in return. This practice needs to stop. “

“The Upper West Side needs renewed energy to fight for our community,” Ken continued. “While I am open to creative plans that utilize City space in a way to raise revenue and make positive contributions to communities, it must be done with the highest level of scrutiny to make sure that plans make sense for the neighborhood and it’s residents. I will continue to monitor this issue and work to ensure that voice of the community is heard.”                             
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Ken Biberaj is a Democratic candidate for City Council on the Upper West Side. It will be an open seat for the first time in 12 years as current Councilmember, Gale Brewer, has reached her term limit. Ken currently works as Vice President of the Russian Tea Room and has a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, as well as a J.D. from NY Law School. Prior to joining the real estate firm that owns the Russian Tea Room, he served as the Research Director in Florida for John Kerry’s presidential campaign. For more information:

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