Who Benefits? Clayton Patterson Demands Answers Regarding Liquor Over-Saturation on the Lower East Side

Posted on: March 16th, 2015 at 1:35 pm by

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One of the earlier LES Dwellers’ street campaigns, October 2012

The following letter was written by Clayton Patterson, and directed toward local politicians, including Community Board 3.

Yes, enough is enough with the bars and liquor licenses.

Why does this part of the community need so many drinking establishments? We have lived through much abuse as our area has been turned into an alcohol theme park. Who benefits from this plague of drunks? Not the locals who live here, that is for sure.

We have been more than disappointed with how our politicians have sold us out. Sold us out on many issues dealing with large amounts of new corporate money. Much of the money that does not stay in the community. Most of this new money does not support local businesses. So who benefits from this new money?

We have witnessed our politicians screaming down the constituents as they try to talk them into selling off parking lots so luxury apartments can be built in place of parking, or spreading lies about a resident whose just claims about the illegal cement being used in construction for a luxury zone-busting hotel being built on their block (Orchard Hell Building). It turns out the resident (remember LOCO?) was right and the community got more noise damage as the hotel spent months tearing down the illegal cement. Meanwhile the resident, because of a local politicians lies and vicious gossip, was forced out of the community.

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Artist Marco decorating Hell Building plywood, August 2009

Or when the old Provident Loan bank on the corner of Houston and Essex, across the street from an elementary school on one side of the building, and a bar on the other side, and against much protest from the community, obtained a liquor license anyway. One activists had tied the new owner to coke dealing in Florida. They got the license and the community got shootings, stabbings, drug dealing, fights in the street, strippers, and so on.

Or who benefits from the fact that that just about all of the small successful businesses have been forced out and replaced by bars that could pay the higher rents? Bars that brought in fights, kids dying from drug over doses, vomit, and noise, noise, and more noise. Who benefits from this sell out? Not the people who live here. How can our politicians justify this sell out?

We lost most of our community services and got bars. Few in the community benefit from the bars, and most of the community quality of life is destroyed. There has been much debate about why our politicians would be so in favor of something that is so destructive to the community.

How many drinking choices do outside the community people need to have? How many drunks do we need? How much of the cops’ time needs to be spent dealing with issues related to drunks? Another factor is the youth have started to migrate towards Brooklyn. There is nothing to do in this community other than drink. After a while it is obvious, even to my dog, that the whole plan is stupid. Future historians are going to have fun sorting out this stupidity.

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Walking past the horse shit on Orchard St., August 2013

Who benefits?

Why so many bars? No real answer has come to the surface, but we are starting to see local politicians go to jail over crime that involves selling out their job.

Maybe someone on Community Board 3 or the State Liquor Authority can answer the question: why so many bars?

From the community point of view enough is enough.

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