Battle Cry: Save the Y!

Since I last wrote about the possible plan to close the Albany YMCA on Washington Avenue, the place of my membership for over a quarter century, there have been some interesting developments.

The Times Union had a front page story YMCA’S PLIGHT STOKES EMOTIONS. The subtitle was “Albany site’s possible closing sparks accusation that organization is ‘abandoning’ its urban roots — a claim CEO hotly disputes”. Of course, disputing something, even hotly, doesn’t make it less true. That article and the previous piece led to at least three published letters, here and here and here in support of keeping the facility open. Also one current Y member accusing Y management of WILLFUL NEGLECT, a characterization I’m not willing to dispute. See also the Metroland piece.

But I do have a modicum of hope that I did not have before. The mayor’s representative has indicated the city’s desire to save the Y, and that’s nice. However, that’s not what gotten me stoked. I’m excited about the movement of ordinary citizens rallying over this issue through petitions at the Y and, interestingly, through Facebook; it is the Save the ALBANY YMCA Facebook group whose logo I have appropriated.

There are some specific strategies that seem viable to me in this battle. One will be a letter campaign to the national organization, I suspect, questioning the Capital District’s commitment to a core element of the Y mission, serving the urban community. I’m sure I’ll learn more when I attend the
Tuesday, JANUARY 5 at 6 pm