Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Julie Menin who is expected to run for Manhattan Borough President in 2013 have both joined the chorus of voices decrying Mayor Michael Bloomberg's decison to hold the New York City Marathon despite the fact that a great number of city residents are still without, power, food, water and the ability to get to work.
Bloomberg has defended the decision saying that police and other city workers will be available because there will be no work-week traffic to contend with. â€śThis city is a city where we have to go on,â€ť he said.
Here is Stringer's statement:
First of all, I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo for their strong leadership in helping our City recover from a devastating storm. And I certainly understand and respect the mayorâ€™s desire to show that we are a resilient City.
But New York has experienced a tragedy of historic proportions. New Yorkers in Staten Island, the Rockaways, Coney Island and Lower Manhattan are struggling to keep body and soul together, deprived of basic essentials as temperatures drop.
For this reason, and after significant deliberation, I believe we should postpone and re-schedule the New York City Marathon in order to focus all of the City's resources on the crucial task of helping our neighbors recover from this disaster. New Yorkers deserve nothing less than to know that the entire government is focused solely on returning the City and their region back to normalcy.
The next several days will test the mettle of our city's infrastructure, its residents and its government. We will come back stronger than ever - but only then can the marathon be an event that all New Yorkers can celebrate."
Menin issued this statement:
The Cityâ€™s decision to move forward with the NYC Marathon while we are still in the early stages of recovery from the devastation of Sandy is misguided. The events of the last few days â€“ including hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers without access to any food, water or electricity for almost four days make clear that the public safety and logistical resources needed for the organization and supervision of the Marathon are more urgently needed fulfilling the basic needs of vulnerable New Yorkers. I witnessed thousands of New Yorkers today without food and water in my community, many needing medical assistance and numerous small businesses who need help pumping water out of their businesses.
The Marathon should be rescheduled by at least a week, so that City resources can be dedicated to the urgent work of recovery. The Marathonâ€™s economic benefits â€“ and its symbolic importance as evidence of our resilience â€“ are important. But they cannot stand before getting food, water and essential supplies to affected neighborhoods across the City, from mine in lower Manhattan to devastated parts of Staten Island and South Brooklyn. Runners will understand; our communities must come first.
Photo of Scott Stringer courtesy of Stringer For NY