Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Quinn, deBlasio in Bronx Snub

No show for Bronx voters in mayor’s forum

By Michael Horowitz

- Six mayoral candidates in this year's election, speaking out to a capacity crowd during a Monday-night forum in Co-op City, stressed their opposition to Mayor Michael Bloomberg's key initiatives, including his stop-and-frisk policy, programs stressing tax breaks for Manhattan-based businesses, and policies that have widened the gap between the rich and the poor in the city.
The Riverbay Corporation, the Co-op City Democratic Club, and Transportation Forward (A Co-op City group fighting for bus-service improvements) sponsored the Monday-night forum, which barred questions from the audience of more than 1,000 shareholders.

One of the most notable aspects of the forum, in which questions were submitted in advance, was the failure of the two frontrunners in the Democratic Party Primary, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and New York City Public Advocate William de Blasio, to show up.
The six candidates in the mayoral contest who showed up for the Co-op City forum --- City Comptroller John Liu, former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, former City Comptroller William Thompson, former City Councilman Sal Albanese, former Rep. Anthony Weiner, and Brooklyn minister Erick Salgado --- used the occasion to attack Bloomberg's policies in a community that is widely perceived as antagonistic to the three-term mayor.
Speaking to a standing-room-only crowd that came as a surprise to many observers, Comptroller Liu and Salgado said that they would scrap Mayor Bloomberg's stop-and frisk policy because it racially profiles black and Latino New Yorkers, while Weiner, Thompson, Carrion, and Albanese indicated that they would change the policy so that it no longer profiled minority New Yorkers as the city's criminal element. On the issue of transportation, the candidates agreed that bus service in Co-op City should be restored to the way it was three years ago, while Carrion, Thompson, and Liu expressed support for a MetroNorth rail link for the Co-op City community.
The six candidates agreed that transportation improvements in the area near the Bay Plaza shopping center should have been planned in conjunction with the expansion of the shopping center. They agreed that the Bloomberg Administration, in typical fashion, failed to adequately address the issue of road improvements that should have accompanied plans for the shopping center's major expansion, which is expected by the spring of next year.

The six candidates also agreed that City Hall hasn't done nearly enough to support youth programs in communities, like Co-op City. They suggested that one way to spur such programs would be to keep Truman High School open in the evenings so that such programs could be
started there. On the issue of Co-op City's collection of its own garbage, five of the six candidates said that they would not support giving the Riverbay Corporation a monetary benefit as a payment for doing a job that the city's Sanitation Department would otherwise have to do.
Disagreeing Rev. Salgado said that he would support giving Co-op City a real-estate-tax deduction as a consideration for the money that is needed to fund the Riverbay Corporation's garbage-collection initiative.

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