Earlier this week, a Manhattan federal judge decided that Mayor de Blasio will not be disjoined from a lawsuit concerning lead-paint poisoning of residents of New York City’s public housing. According to the New York Post: “Judge William Pauley ruled that de Blasio must face the suit alleging that NYCHA poisoned children through repeated failures to fix dangerous lead-paint conditions in its apartments- and then lied to federal regulators about required inspections.”
The New York Post also states that the other defendants in the lawsuit include: NYC’s deputy mayors, the former New York City Public Housing’s Chairwoman, who resigned in 2017 due to the lead-paint cover-up fiasco, and other city officials and ex-NYCHA employees.
On April 5, 2018, New York City Mayor, Bill De Blasio and his wife Chirlaine McCray, appeared on The Breakfast Club, a New York based morning radio show. The syndicated radio show is popular among New Yorkers, and the youth demographic. Their interviews have garnered millions of views on You Tube.
During the almost hour-long Breakfast Club interview, the mayor and the first lady talked politics, and about a bevy of issues affecting New Yorkers. I watched the You Tube video of the interview on the edge of my seat, hoping to hear the mayor address the city’s record-breaking homelessness issue. However, during the interview, the word “homeless” never came up. I was surprised that the issue was not mentioned at all.
All any New Yorker has to do is ride the subway, especially at night, to get a good visual on how out of control the homelessness problem is in New York City. In addition to this, news sources across the country are constantly reporting on New York City’s current homeless problem surpassing the levels of homelessness during The Great Depression.
The Breakfast Club morning show is a huge platform in New York. It was an opportunity for the mayor to speak to a large audience of New Yorkers about the things that concern them daily. Why was the issue of homelessness COMPLETELY ignored?
The mayor and the first lady, and the radio show’s three hosts didn’t mention NYC’s housing crisis, the record-breaking homeless statistics, or gentrification once during the entire interview. The word “housing” was never even uttered.
I was sitting there watching like:
How does the city’s mayor go on arguably one of the city’s biggest communication platforms and fail to address such an important topic?
-The Homeless New Yorker
In a recent New York Daily News editorial, NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio stated the following:
“Wherever I go, I meet folks who are doing everything right- working hard, making a decent salary and trying to build a better life. In the New York I moved to 40 years ago, that was enough to feel economically secure.
The city had a lot of problems back then, but finding an affordable place to live wasn’t one of them.
It would have been hard to imagine a city where more than half of our people spend more on rent than they can afford, where entire neighborhoods slip out of reach of working families, where even people we once considered solidly middle class ask themselves: Can we still afford to live here?
Well, let me be clear: It’s New York that can’t afford to lose people like you.
This has to be a place where seniors, veterans, working families and the middle class can all afford to live. Otherwise, it’s not New York anymore.” -NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio
I’m particularly concerned with how knowledgeable politicians who have been tasked with solving social problems are when it comes to the issue of homelessness. I am particularly concerned about this when it comes to New York City; not only because it is my hometown, but because it has exceeded Great Depression levels of homelessness, and local politicos are expressing exasperation when it comes to dealing with this issue. (CLICK HERE to read about NYC’s mayor’s expressed exasperation.”)
In a recent ABC News report on homelessness, the New York City governor’s statements regarding the homeless problem does not convey confidence that he is knowledgeable regarding the nuances of the issue. When asked to address the issue of homeless people using the public train system as a place to sleep, the governor reportedly said the following: “Let’s get real. Let’s get the homeless the help they need. Shelters, mental health, job training et cetera. Second, the New York City Transit Authority is owned by the city and policed by the NYPD. The NYPD used to do this. They need to do this again.”
Based on the aforementioned quote attributed to Governor Cuomo, I wonder if the governor is aware of, or has considered, the following:
• Many people who are “street homeless” are avoiding the city’s dangerous, drug-riddled shelters like the plague.
• Many homeless people don’t need “job training,” or “mental health” assistance. Many of the homeless are employed people whose employment is only threatened by being homeless and living in one of the city’s homeless shelters. I wonder if the governor, and other city politicos, are aware of how homeless shelter protocols, and conditions, threaten so many homeless people’s employment.
• How would NYPD be able to tell the difference between some of the people who are sleeping on the train because they are homeless, and people who are on their way home and have fell asleep on the train after a long day? There are stereotypes about what a homeless person looks like. There are some people who may be deemed perfectly coiffed and groomed who are homeless and sleeping on the train. In the governor’s eyes, does the well-groomed homeless have a right to sleep on the train while the less-groomed homeless don’t? Does the governor suggest that NYPD officers approach anyone on the train who has their eyes shut and ask them if they are homeless, or on their way home; and then expel them from the train based on their answer?
We clearly need politicians who are not so far removed from the issues the city’s citizens are facing. We also need politicos who dedicate, and assemble. the proper brain power to grapple with serious issues.
Homeless New Yorker
Being that Mayor De Blasio is the incumbent mayoral candidate in a political race where he, arguably, does not have any viable opponents, I am deeply interested in what he has to say regarding the state of homelessness in New York City. It is likely that his vision and actions will loom largely over this issue over the next four years.
The mayor recently stated the following regarding homelessness to the New York Daily News: “Obviously, I am not happy with where we stand on homelessness…We did that wrong and I take full responsibility for taking so long to put together a holistic plan. That’s on me and my team. To end homelessness in New York City, I don’t know how and when that happens…On homelessness, I think we’re talking about a long war and people should be honest about that.”
The aforementioned quote is troubling to me because it expresses a lack of confidence and know-how in dealing with the homeless crisis that has exploded in New York City. I also find this quote troubling because the homeless crisis is referred to as a “long war.” The last societal issue that was framed as a war, the “war on drugs,” was a losing proposition and continues to be so decades later. I hope this will not be true of the homeless crisis too.
Homeless New Yorker
NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio spoke with the New York Daily News about his first term in office as mayor, and his hopes for the future of the city. He reportedly stated that he has regrets regarding the manner in which his administration handled to homeless crisis.
He is quoted in the New York Daily News as stating the following regarding his strategies for grappling with the city’s unprecedented homelessness quagmire: “Obviously, I am not happy with where we stand on homelessness…We did that wrong and I take full responsibility for taking so long to put together a holistic plan. That’s on me and my team. To end homelessness in New York City, I don’t know how and when that happens…On homelessness, I think we’re talking about a long war and people should be honest about that.”