NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Brooklyn residents gathered Thursday night at Brooklyn Central Library to discuss mayoral election issues, in the third of five town meeting events with a panel of local reporters.
CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell, and New York Daily News City Hall Bureau Chief Jillian Jorgensen were on the podium as residents took turns raising questions they wanted to put to the candidates for mayor, comptroller and public advocate.
The first question came from Jim Vogel, of Park Slope, who asked what can be done about gerrymandering, which is when lawmakers redraw districts.
A woman from APA VOICE, a non-partisan group aimed at increasing civic engagement in Asian American community, asked how the mayoral candidates will secure adequate funding for these communities.
Next, a woman from Windsor Terrace, wondered whether the candidates are paying attention to federal changes to worker safety regulations, and how they might affect New Yorkers.
She was followed by another woman from East Flatbush who asked if the candidates have any plans to address residential noise, like traffic and honking horns.
Juliette Louis said, despite having a college degree, she and her daughter can’t find employment. She wanted to know what more she can do. She also asked about housing and why landlords aren’t being held accountable for problematic properties.
Another woman who lives near Sea Gate, Coney Island, asked about the city’s hurricane preparedness plans. She worried the recent repairs don’t go far enough to protect against another major storm like Sandy, especially on one side of the island.
Matthew Mead brought up Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to provide free tuition at state colleges. He raised concerns about the criteria that states a student must attend full time. Mead also asked about the closing of Rikers Island jail, and said he thinks it’s unfair to continue imprisoning people who cannot afford to pay bail.
Gary Shelton followed up, saying the free tuition program comes with a lot of strings that need to be made more clear. He also asked about New York State’s “Blindfold Law,” which withholds information like police reports or witness statements from defense attorneys.
A woman, named Karen Yau, who works with the New York Immigration Coalition, wanted to know what the mayor is going to do to secure quality legal services for immigrants, specifically those with the hardest cases, like criminal backgrounds.
A Park Slope resident, who works with students in East Flatbush, said she’s concerned about the level of lead in schools’ pipes. She said she and her fellow staff members bring their own bottled water for the children, which is paid for out of their own pockets.
Dr. Susan Lerner, of Common Cause, asked why there aren’t traffic cops enforcing traffic laws around bus lanes in her Fort Greene neighborhood. She said the city should do more to improve safety and ease congestion.
A man named David asked what more the mayor can do to push back against the state on voting rights.
A young man from Sheepshead Bay wondered how we can get more people involved and engaged in politics.
Another man from Sheepshead Bay came to the microphone and said he’s given up on government — from the federal to state and local levels. He called for a reversal of the Citizen’s United ruling.
Future meetings are scheduled for:
• Wednesday, June 28, at the Langston Hughes Auditorium at the Schomburg Center, at 515 Malcolm X Blvd. in Manhattan;
• Thursday, June 29, at the recital hall at the College of Staten Island, at 2800 Victory Blvd. in Staten Island.
All meetings are scheduled for 7 p.m. To RSVP, see cbsnewyork.com/2017nycdebates.