The quest to name a Lower East Side corner named in honor of the Beastie Boys came to an unceremonious end Tuesday night.
Community Board 3 rejected LeRoy McCarthy's petition at a meeting Tuesday night to have the intersection of Ludlow and Rivingston Streets co-named "Beastie Boys Square," the corner that served as the setting for the cover of the group's 1989 album, Paul's Boutique. The board voted 24 to 1 (with 1 abstention) to decline McCarthy's application.
McCarthy, who wasn't present at the meeting, had earlier agreed to withdraw his application and present it in February after obtaining the 500 required signatures from members of the community. And this, McCarthy explained, was exactly why he wasn't at last night's meeting: "I was scheduled to resubmit [the petition] to the transportation committee at a later date when I got the new required resident signatures," adding that he had "already [gotten] 200 since January 14th."
During a 90-minute meeting two weeks ago, McCarthy's petition was met with skepticism from members of the community board regarding whether or not the Beastie Boys satisfied the requirements for co-naming. These included an honoree being deceased, no less than 15 years of community involvement and the support of the community.
In other words: They shut down Beastie Boys Square before it could even have a chance to be fairly voted on.
In addition to being told to secure more community signatures [as you can see in the video above], McCarthy revealed to DNAinfo that he received an email from the board last week informing him that the proposal would be included in next month's transportation committee agenda.
In other words: They shut down Beastie Boys Square before it could even have a chance to be voted on, in full.
Chairwoman Gigi Li told DNAinfo that the full board voted because a number of members agreed that McCarthy's application would never meet the requirements. "My decision was based on the fact that it did not meet the criteria and the fact that previously our most recent group of co-namings held each application to the high standard of meeting every single criteria we set out for co-namings," she said.
Li added that, although the Jan. 14 resolution clearly states that McCarthy's application was withdrawn, "pending" was, in her words, a more accurate description of the situation.
And this somehow allowed the full board to vote without McCarthy even there, and shut Beastie Boys Square down.
According to McCarthy, the vote was held wrongfully. "They didn't want any supporters of Beastie Boys Square at that the full board meeting last night," he explained. He also alleged that "[the opposite of] what was agreed to at the January 14th committee meeting" was done "when there was no one there to hold them to honorable standard practices."
In a letter obtained by Complex News to Gigi Li and the CB3 Transportation Committee (with Manhattan Borough President Gail Brewer copied on it), CB3 member Chad Marlow blasted the process by which the Beastie Boys Square application was voted down, writing that there "is simply no evidence that runs contrary to the assertion that the application was withdrawn."
When reached by phone to discuss the dispute, Marlow, referencing Gigi Li's statements to DNA Info, explained: "It can’t be the opinion of the chair of the board that 'it's not what we say to applicants, it’s what we secretly mean.' That’s her opinion on the record. That’s literally the position that she took."
"They didn't want any supporters of Beastie Boys Square at that the full board meeting last night," McCarthy explained.
Despite the disappointing news, McCarthy will continue to fight for hip-hop's place in New York City's landscape. "I've connected with the Manhattan Borough President's office to see what recourse I have in this situation," he said. Furthermore, he added that he'd also reach out to Mayor de Blasio's office if need be.
When contacted for comment by Complex, a media representative for CB3 explained in a statement that "[CB3 member David Crane] explained procedural implications of vote options as is expected of committee chair."
Crane did not immediately respond to a request for comment made through CB3's media representative. We'll update this story here if he does.
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