I'm about to call a NYC agency -- what do I say?
You'll need the identifying information about the lot you are interested in handy - the Block and Lot number is crucial; the address, if the lot has one, is also nice.
This site gives you contact information for the person for each piece of vacant public land who we think has the ability to tell you it's status. Sometimes our sleuthing is off -- or sometimes people change jobs. When you call, start by asking if they are the person you should speak to about a vacant property in your neighborhood. If they're not, ask who is (and remember to tell us: firstname.lastname@example.org).
If they are, tell them you are calling from a neighborhood organization. Describe the lot, how long it's been empty. Give the Block and Lot number and maybe the address. Ask if the agency has any plans for it. Ask about a timeline.
Make sure you get the email of the person who you are talking to. Follow up with a note and copy email@example.com. Then add a note you describing what you learned on the phone to the page for the lot you are calling about so that we can all learn from your experience.