Topics Raised Include Affordable Housing, Fracking, Safe Streets And More

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Committed and concerned citizens turned out at the Schomburg Center Thursday night for the first in a series of  town meetings.

CBS 2’s Maurice DuBois, WCBS 880’s Steve Scott, 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon and El Diario/La Prensa’s Marlene Peralta were on hand as Manhattan residents raised the issues that mattered most to them.

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CBS 2 News, WCBS Radio 880, 1010 WINS, El Diario/La Prensa, CUNY and Common Cause NY have teamed up to hold one meeting in each borough (click here to attend an upcoming meeting).

Topics that were raised included affordability and housing costs, fracking, charter schools, hospital access, green initiatives and more.


The purpose of the meetings is to hear directly from New York City residents the questions, concerns and issues that they would, if they could, put to politicians as we head into the upcoming elections.

“Millions of low to middle income New Yorkers bore the brunt of the global financial crisis,” said a Washington Heights resident. “What are the mayoral candidates’ plans to tackle unemployment, especially among young men of color in New York City?”

“Have you found that the candidates have addressed that or not thus far, as best you can tell?” asked DuBois.

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“In broad terms, but not really in sort of specific, sort of pipeline program, that’s New York specific. It’s just a general ‘I will pledge to create more jobs.’ We don’t know what that means.”

Linda Acer of the West Village was concerned about the installation of the Spectra pipeline, which would carry natural gas from New Jersey into lower Manhattan. Acer was concerned the pipeline would carry gas created by fracking.

“Based on the existing evidence of the danger of numerous aspects of these endeavors, I’d like to know how the next mayor is going to be handling this,” Acer asked.

“This is why it’s important that you are here tonight,” said Scott. “To hear these things from you, some new ideas we can throw their way.”

“One of the many pressing problems facing our young children is homelessness,” said Dr. John Young of Harlem. “We’re in desperate need for a residential housing program… that can meet the needs of the young people. That’s a very pressing issue.”

Click here to attend an upcoming meeting as we continue our collective listening tour around the five boroughs of New York City. The next meeting takes place June 11 at Lehman College in the Bronx. Additional meetings will be held in Brooklyn on June 18 at St. Francis College, in Queens on June 25 at the N.Y. Hall Of Science and on Staten Island on June 27 at Wagner College.

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