Author name: Peg Johnston

Blueprint Binghamton: Our Vision

 

This is the second in a series of articles on Blueprint Binghamton, the comprehensive plan for the next 10 years. The report which is divided into many chapters, gives a snapshot of who lives here and what challenges we face. First of all, we have lost 41% of our population from 1950 to 2010– 80,674 to 47,376. The good news is that we seem to have stabilized our numbers.
There are more non-family households 52.8%, and only 26.9% of those are traditional with a husband and wife, and our family size is 2.18 persons. The population is 77.6% white, and 11.4% African-American, 4.2% Asian, and 4.4% two or more races. Our median age is 35.8 years, with 15.5% seniors, and 20.1% under 18.

And here’s a shocker: the median household income is $30,179; the poverty level is 31.2%, even as the unemployment rate is 7.1%. The median income in Broome Co is $45,856 and in NYS is $57,683. 83.6% are high school graduates and 23.5% have a Bachelor’s degree.

Of the nearly 24,000 housing units 11% are vacant, and 57% are rentals.

Given some of these challenges, citizen feedback has been remarkably hopeful. What people collectively have said they want for the future in Binghamton is a city that is thriving, healthy, alive, resilient and sustainable, and proud.

To read this section or any of the 7 mini plan chapters download it from the Blueprint Binghamton site. There is a survey attached to each mini-plan for citizen feedback and there are a series of public meetings to comment. see below.

City Of Binghamton Now Accepting Applications For Public Art Advisory Board

 

The Dept of Public Art (DPA), Citizen Action of New York, and other groups helped spread the word when the Public Art Advisory Board (then called the Public Art Commssion) was up for review at City Council Public Hearings in late December of 2013, and over 100 City residents expressed their support in under 1 week.

There were still Multiple Hearings about the board and a name change, but finally the Public Art Advisory Board / Commission was passed unanimously in Binghamton City Council on March 5th, 2014. The City of Binghamton is now officially accepting applications of people who are interested in serving on the Public Art Advisory Board! See the below press advisory for more detail. (click read more)

Blueprint binghamton : Comprehensive Plan

 

City of Binghamton To Announce Release Of Draft Comprehensive Plan
Plans Are Result Of Extensive 18-Month Community Outreach Effort

(CITY of BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) The City of Binghamton will announce the release of its draft Comprehensive Plan and Main/Court Street Corridor Plan on Monday, March 24 at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall’s 2nd Floor Art Gallery. Mayor Richard C. David will join members of City Council to announce the release. The plans are the result of an extensive 18-month community outreach effort known as Blueprint Binghamton: Forward Together.

“It’s important to raise awareness for public input in this process,” said Mayor David. “It’s important that residents voice their opinions and ideas about this plan, which will be a guiding blueprint for the growth and development of our community for years to come.”

A Comprehensive Plan is a state-mandated document that describes municipal policies and actions related to land use, neighborhoods, transportation, infrastructure, economic development and quality of life. The City’s last Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 2003.

The 2014 Comprehensive Plan is divided into seven mini-plans, including: Economic Development, Housing, Transportation, Infrastructure, Environment & Open Space, Land Use & Zoning and Community Building. Each mini-plan includes an analysis of existing conditions and summary of key issues, an overview of community input, a series of goals and objectives that relate to the overall vision of the plan and strategy recommendations and action steps to guide implementation.

The Main/Court Street Corridor Plan is a revamped zoning code for the 1.7 mile Main Street-Court Street corridor, excluding the downtown district. The new zoning code is “form-based,” focusing less on land use and density and more on size, form and placement of buildings and parking.

The proposed Code encourages mixed use development and walkability while significantly streamlining the approval process. Upon adoption of the Code, property owners and developers with find a clear, accessible set of zoning requirements.

Blueprint Binghamton was one of several initiatives funded by a $486,058 grant from the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, a federal collaboration between the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation.

The following public meetings are scheduled to collect and discuss comments on the plans:

· Monday, May 5th 6:30PM – Planning Commission Public Hearing – City Council Chambers
· Wednesday, May 7th 6:30PM – City Council Public Hearing 1 – City Council Chambers
· Monday, May 12th 5:00PM – Joint City Council & Planning Commission Session 1 – Broome County Public Library, Decker Room
· Wednesday, May 14th 5:00PM – Joint City Council & Planning Commission Session 2 – Broome County Public Library, Decker Room
· Wednesday, June 18th 6:30PM – City Council Public Hearing 2 – City Council Chambers

Man One: Mural Arts in Binghamton TUES & WED!!

On March 25 AND 26th, ManOne will be in Binghamton to engage with the Binghamton and BU Communities about public art. He has just agreed to speak at a community meeting sponsored by the Dept. of Public Art on Wednesday March 26th (gather at 6:30 program at 7 pm) at the Cooperative Gallery 213 State St. Binghamton.

BU’s GEN10, whose mission is to lead innovation and creativity in our city, to change mindsets, and transform culture, is flying an urban artist from LA, Man One, into Binghamton to visit and interact with people in the community. Man One transformed downtown L.A. with the power of art, and now he wants to do the same in Binghamton!

Along with a number of other highly involved community members and organizations we will be hosting a speaking event where he will share his story and offer guidance on how to make Binghamton a better place to live, work, and enjoy. The Tuesday March 25th event will be held at 7pm in Old Union Hall on the Binghamton University Campus.

This is part of a bigger plan to put on a downtown Binghamton Mural Festival in May, with Man One as the catalyst for change. This will involve all segments of the community and the meetings he will have with residents will inform the murals we can create. For more information contact binghamtonbridge@ gmail.com.

Latino Newsletter

 

The latest edition of Broome County’s Latino Newsletter thanks to Nilsa Mariano. Download here.

Lights at Walnut Park Improve Safety

 

Funding for Lights Made Possible By New York State Community Capital Grant Secured By Assemblywoman Lupardo

Mayor Ryan: Walnut Street Park Represents What We Can Achieve When Community Partners Come Together For the Common Good

BINGHAMTON, NY—Today, Mayor Ryan, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, City Council President Teri Rennia, and community partners unveiled new improvements to Walnut Street Park, which includes the installation of lights. Walnut Street Park is part of the Design Your Own Park project, a collaboration between the Binghamton Neighborhood Project, the City of Binghamton, and the United Way of Broome County to empower neighborhoods and restore outdoor play at a citywide scale.

“I’m proud that we have taken yet another step to provide our community with a safe and thriving city park,” said Mayor Matt Ryan. “This project represents what’s possible when residents, businesses, community groups, and city hall forge a partnership and seize an opportunity to improve our community.”

The most recent improvement to Walnut Street Park includes the installation of lights, which was made possible by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, who secured a $100,000 New York State Community Capital grant. Part of that grant has gone towards covering the costs of the lights, as well as providing funding for other DYOP projects. The addition of lights at Walnut Street Park will help enhance safety in and around the park.

Abortion Stigma Busting Video Competition

 

Really…?! Abortion Stigma Busting Video Competition
Push back against anti-abortion extremism with your video!

The Abortion Care Network is sponsoring the first-ever video competition to show the world how people feel about the current climate of extreme anti-abortion legislation and societal stigma against abortion. “We are looking for all kinds of videos, from personal stories to pro choice activism, from direct calling out of anti-choice legislators to flashmob actions, as long it busts current stigma against abortion,” according to Peg Johnston, coordinator of the event. “Video is an important tool in changing attitudes and giving voice to those who have been silenced.”

The deadline is January 6th, 2014 and the registration link is http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=rrbrm5cab&oeidk=a07e880uqfe81765aa0. The link is also available on our website at http://www.abortioncarenetwork.org/news/video-competition or www.facebook.com/abortioncarenetwork .

Videos must be no longer than 3 minutes but very short videos using applications such as Vines or Instagram area also eligible. There are three $200 Judge’s Choice awards and three Honorable Mentions. $100 awards will go to the individual and $100 will go to the winner’s abortion fund of choice. Videos will be shown at Abortion Care Network’s conferences, embedded on related websites, and used for promotional purposes by ACN.

We would greatly appreciate your sharing this announcement widely.

CITY’S MAJOR PLANNING INITIATIVE, BLUEPRINT BINGHAMTON, REACHES MILESTONE AND SHIFTS TO NEW PHASE

Strategies and Ideas, Guided By Public Input, To Be Displayed At First Friday

BINGHAMTON, NY– Today, city officials announce that over the last five months, more than 4,000 city residents have been engaged through Blueprint Binghamton and provided critical feedback and thoughtful input into the city’s future. The successful citizen participation campaign provides city planners a wealth of information to help guide Blueprint Binghamton, the city’s first major update to its Comprehensive Plan in more than ten years.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the enthusiasm and insight we received from the community,” said Tarik Abdelazim,

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