Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, State Senator Daniel Squadron, and Councilwoman Margaret Chin responded to the successful steps being taken by both the City and Occupy Wall Street (OWS) to ameliorate the serious quality-of-life and safety issues near the demonstrations and, in particular, today's announcement that OWS has secured off-site 24-hour access bathrooms.
They issued the following joint statement:
"We are pleased that, on the heels of the City responding to our calls to remove excessive barricades, there has been significant progress on one of the other pressing quality-of-life issues: improved bathroom access.
"OWS states that it has secured access to a loading dock area connected to 52 Broadway and has obtained three portable bathrooms to install there, with a trained security guard 24-hours-a-day. We appreciate their attention to this issue.
"We reiterate our call on the City to take a "zero-tolerance' approach to public urination and other such behavior, and to enforce laws prohibiting excessive noise.
"The fact that both the City and OWS are making progress in addressing serious quality-of-life issues signals that there is a path for solving these and other emerging concerns. We strongly encourage the parties to continue to communicate and we ask that the park remain open and accessible for emergency personnel.
"As we have said before, these concerns must be solved but cannot be used as a pretext for the violation of First Amendment rights."