MIDTOWN — The new members of Midtown's community board want to use their influence to create and protect more parkland in one of the busiest parts of the city.
Six members were just appointed to Community Board 5 this week, and several said that creating more greenspace in the district was a high priority.
"There's very little space and there's complaints that there's nowhere to sit outside during lunch, there's no place to relax," said Alexis Saba, 29, an attorney at Paul Hastings. "You really do spend most of your day in this area that you work, so I just kind of want to make it a more peaceful place."
Jessica Borowick, 31, got her first taste of the board by attending its Parks Committee after work. A former legislative analyst for the city's Health Department, she grew fascinated with the diversity of issues and interests in the district, which runs from 14th Street to 59th Street.
"There's so many people mixing in this district in so many ways, it's pretty amazing," she said. "There's so many great public spaces too — the way they get used is an interest of mine."
Joshua Bocian, a lobbyist with Manatt, also joined the board hoping to expand park space, and is fascinated by the proposed rezoning of East Midtown, which would allow huge new skyscrapers to be built in the area. The proposal was fast-tracked by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but put on hold by the City Council in November after CB5 said it needed more time to be fleshed out.
"It needs as much major public review and input as possible," said Bocian, 40. "When you're doing something this big, you want to get it right."
Other new CB5 members include Nancy Hang, William Heyer and Edward Kalafarski.
The members were appointed by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.