New Yorkers Continue Fight To Keep Senior Centers Open

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There was growing alarm and plenty of fight among senior citizens Friday over plans to shut down more than one hundred senior centers in New York City.

Chanting “save our centers,” a couple hundred people staged a demonstration on the steps of City Hall to protest the cuts. Among the politicians at the rally was Councilman Lou Fidler, who summed up his feelings on the closures in one word: “nuts.”

“When government does things that are penny wise and pound foolish, that’s nuts,” he said. “We know that these centers aren’t just a place to go to play cards, they’re a vital link in the health and welfare of our seniors.”

Herbert Moore, 77, told 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks that the city’s senior centers were necessary for survival.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks speaks with seniors at the rally

“Definitely is a life saver. Without the center…people just die,” Moore said.

Assemblywoman Annette Robinson told those gathered Friday at the Mayor’s doorsteps that seniors should not be confined to their homes.

“Senior citizens must live with dignity and respect and not in isolation,” Robinson said.

Meanwhile in Bay Ridge Brooklyn, seniors who spoke to CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown said thousands depended on the centers for food, friendship and fun.

“I called [Governor Andrew] Cuomo and I told him…if I was his grandmother would he throw me out in the street,” 62-year-old Janice Schiavo asked.

Residents have even launched a new letter campaign featuring seniors sending snapshots of themselves with moving messages asking what they would do if their centers were closed.

The final budget is due April 1st and includes painful cutbacks to millions of New Yorkers – from toddlers to teachers and beyond. If the cuts are passed, the centers would begin shutting down this summer.

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  • Sick of Bloomberg

    Senior centers, schools, social services.. Thank God you all reelected Bloomturd so he could save the city. How are his billionaire and millionaire friends doing???? The same people complaining now were the same people who would never vote for the BLACK guy!!!!!! Samrt move!!

  • ronnie from morris park

    How many of these same people were taken in buses to voting places to vote for their buddy Billionaireberg. Just like all big businessmen,once they don’t need you out you go. I hope Jimmy” the wease”l Vaccas councilman from the Bronx who used his moms wants to change his third term no vote to yes in favor of Billionaireberg has her center closed. Lets see what Jimmy will does now.

  • slamdunc

    What would Bloomberg do if it was to affect his mother? He obviously does not give a dam for the older citizens of New York who are unable to fend for them selves. His heart is a large swinging brick !!!!

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