Friday, November 2, 2012

A City Divided

There is a big controversy brewing in New York City right now. This Sunday is the ING NYC Marathon, and surprisingly Mayor Bloomberg has not postponed it. In fact, he has encouraged it. The tensions in the city are raw right now from dealing with the aftermath of the Hurricane and many of the residents have expressed concern about hosting a marathon while the city is recovering from the storm. This is a photo of the entrance of the Verrazano bridge on the Staten Island side where the marathon starts. Staten Island was the most affected borough in the New York City area. More residents died in Staten Island, more houses collapsed and flooded, then all of the 5 boroughs.  As a former resident of Staten Island, seeing the destruction breaks my heart.
The debate about the marathon is due to the fact that some residents in New York City area are still without power, heat, running water. Hosting a marathon requires city resources such as police, EMTs, volunteers to oversee the race. All of these which could be redirected to help with the hurricane relief. Many bridges such as the Verrazano are closed to allow for the thousands of runners, bridges that should be open to allow for storm relief assistance. Generators are being brought in for the marathon that should or could be used for shelters or hospitals that are running out of power. Hotel rooms throughout the city are at capacity because of the thousands of runners and press that are pouring into  the city, but some residents who lost their homes can't even book a hotel room because they are being turned away by hotels. As much as I love this city that I live in, it's decisions like these that makes me wonder where our priorities are.

I understand that those who are for the marathon say that it will bring needed revenue into the city, but the city and it's first responders are already taxed beyond belief. Mayor Bloomberg said it brings back a sense of normalcy. Normalcy? Does he live in the same city as I do? What residents of this city feel like cheering for runners, when there are so many people in need right now? Can't they postpone the marathon a week?

Personally,  I've never been so ashamed at all the NYC politicians that are allowing the NYC Marathon to go on as planned this Sunday. There are families still without power, running water, fresh drinking water, running out of food, without a home and yet, it's important for us New Yorkers to host the world so they can run throughout our city. Runners, take a good look as you cross the 5 boroughs and look at all the destroyed homes, especially the ones still under water. NYC politicians, not only have you lost my respect, you have LOST my vote. (end rant)
Here are some articles about the debate. What's your take on this issue?

UPDATE: The news just announced that the Mayor decided to cancel the marathon.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad they canceled it until things are a little better in the city


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