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CANA's Letter to Mayor Jennings re: The Urban Cultural Park

March 20, 2000

Mayor Gerald D. Jennings
City Hall
Albany, New York 12207

Dear Jerry:

At CANA's March 1st meeting, I was asked to inquire about the status of your appointments to the Albany Urban Cultural Park Advisory Commission, and to urge you to make those appointments as soon as possible to enable the panel to begin its very important work. We understand that the Common Council made its appointments quite some time ago, and the resolution that established the Commission authorizes this panel to begin its work as soon as your appointees are seated.

At the same meeting Paul Bray described the potential impact on local economic conditions of promoting Albany's historic cultural heritage. In communities, such as Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC, historic resources are the cornerstones of tourism promotion efforts. Albany is more advantageously situated to capture tourism traffic than either of those two communities. A well-planned effort to promote Albany's historic resources could easily divert the traffic which now rushes past us on the thruway and the northway. Local businesses could capture some of that tourism trade. According to Paul, Albany has significantly more historic resources than either Savannah or Charleston.

Interestingly, those two southern cities have also used the historic tourism promotion angle to promote their images as communities with high qualities of life. This has helped them attract new economic development and enhance their local economies. We believe that Albany could similarly promote the livability of our neighborhoods as well as our unique historic resources. And the Urban Cultural Park offers a singular opportunity to lead that effort by coordinating the activities of the various historic sites and attractions, and providing a cohesive promotional voice. Until the UCP does this our community will not achieve its full potential. Activating the commission will allow it to develop effective local promotional efforts.

This Commission offers a no-cost opportunity for Albany to add to the current efforts at revitalization of downtown and the neighborhoods. In fact it's a key element in helping Albany become a thriving, vital city with a rich mixture of business uses in a very attractive setting. Again, we ask you to make your appoint-ments to the Commission as soon as possible. Thank you.


Marggie Skinner