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Date: August 3, 2010
I am pleased to learn that the Landmarks Commission has concluded that 45 Park Place will not be designated a landmarked site. I am very grateful to Chairman Robert Tierney and his colleagues for their careful and thoughtful consideration.
I am also deeply grateful to our local elected officials, Scott Stringer, Margaret Chin, Daniel Squadron, Andrew Cuomo, David Paterson, and Michael Bloomberg. Our faith community is indebted to them, and to our local community board, for their commitment to the democratic and constitutional ideals we all hold dear and which the community center we hope to create on the site will honor. We believe that Park51 will become a landmark in New York Citys cultural, social and educational life, a community center to promote the American values we all aspire towards and to realize a better city for all.
My testimony, submitted to the Commission earlier this month, sets forth my hopes and vision for the community center we would like to see built at 45 Park Place. In just over a week, Muslim New Yorkers will join friends of other faiths in welcoming the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims around the world dedicate this month to charity, service and community, ideals which I personally hold dear and which Park51 will move forward to realize.
Park 51 will be a home for all people who are yearning for understanding and healing, peace, collaboration, and interdependence. We are more determined than ever to take this opportunity, which we also see as a responsibility to our community and to our neighbors in Lower Manhattan. We are creating a new space where fresh stories of cooperation and service will reflect the living vibrancy of inter-connected communities.
It is our hope that, during this holy month, New Yorkers and Americans from all walks of life will join us in realizing our hopes and dreams for peace and happiness. The support of our partners, elected officials and friends has made this moment possible. Let us help build something that all New Yorkers - and all Americans - will be proud of.
Additionally, we appreciate the support received from the following organizations:
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, J Street, The Arab American Family Support Center, Auburn Seminary, American Jewish Committee, Cause New York, Chautauqua Institute, Congregation B'nai Jeshurun, Faith House Manhattan, Friends of the Arava Institute, Interfaith Youth Core, Intersections, Interfaith Center of New York, The Interfaith Alliance, Jewish Community Center in Manhattan, Lutheran Seafarers and International House, New York Buddhist Church, Odyssey, New Seminary, Out of Cordoba Averros and Miamonides, NY interfaith Disaster, One Voice, One Spirit, St. Bartholomew's Church, Same Difference Interfaith Alliance, The Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, Tanenbaum Center, The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, Trinity Wall Church, The Healing of the Nations Foundation, The Migration Policy Institute, Union Theological Seminary, St. Peters Church, UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, UJA Federation of New York.