Despite e-mails showing some organizations are given special consideration with lighting requests, the Empire State Building is still stubbornly refusing to light up gold in honor of children with cancer.
One year ago, the Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT) received a heap of criticism and bad press for refusing to light up gold in honor of pediatric cancer awareness. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, and gold is used to remember those who suffer with such devastating illnesses.
During the media blitz last year, those running the Empire State Building’s social media accounts explained that they would only accept applications made by organizations and not individuals. They would also insist that all requests be made, not through a social media campaign, but rather through the online application process.
However, an e-mail obtained by the Mental Recession shows special consideration being given to lighting up in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, also a worthy cause, but perhaps seen by the Mayor’s Office as a chance for positive press.
James Patchett, Chief of Staff to New York City’s Deputy Mayor of Economic Development, reached out to Angela Sung Pinsky of the Real Estate Board of New York. Pinsky promised to put Patchett in touch with Tony Malkin, who serves as Chairman and CEO of the ESRT. Pinsky also said she would pass along any request for him, bypassing the online application.
Serving in the office of the Deputy Mayor means Patchett did not represent an organization when making his lighting request, and the fact that he was presumably put in touch directly with one of the ESRT partners means he was initially able to skirt the online application process altogther.
In fact, another e-mail demonstrates that Patchett spoke directly with Malkin about the lighting proposal on behalf of Rebecca Katz, a “promoter of progressive candidates and causes” according to her Twitter bio. Katz also appears to not be representing a domestic violence organization, working as a campaign strategist.