The Republicans are coming here to celebrate their
agenda. But what is that agenda as it
affects New York City?
The Republicans are going to cut federal subsidies for
housing for poor people -- Section 8 housing -- which
very seriously affects New York because we have such a
high percentage of people in rental housing.
They are going to put limits on how long people can
stay in public housing. New York's public housing is a
success -- one of the few public housing programs in
the country that is. Why? Because people do not have
to move out of public housing if they succeed. They
can stay and make a community. The Republicans are
determined to destroy that community by requiring that
The Republican agenda includes spending billions of
dollars for the Iraq folly, money that could otherwise
go toward urban development. The Republican agenda
includes no funding -- zero funding -- for its No
Child Left Behind for our schools. This sounds great:
We are going to leave no child behind, but not get
any money to do it.
Tax cuts for the wealthy soak up money that might
otherwise have gone for social needs. New York is
one of the cities that take people who come from other
countries and turn them into Americans, a job we
perform for the rest of the country. And we do a
very good job of it. But that requires money for the
social accommodations that have to be made.
The Republicans have cut lead-paint programs. How can
you cut programs that try to reduce the number of
children who are harmed by the presence of lead where
they live or go to school?
The Patriot Act hit particularly hard in a city filled
with immigrants from all over the world. The
Republicans actually defend the notion that I -- or
anyone else -- could walk out onto the street, get
arrested for no reason with no explanation given and
be held on the president's say-so that this person is
an enemy of our country or is conspiring with enemies
of our country. No lawyers, no family knows, no public
disclosure as to the location of that person --
forever. It is like the Middle Ages. It is like
Richard the Lionhearted coming back from his crusade
and being held in a dungeon. It is incredible that
anyone could, number one, do this and, number two,
An attack is underway on the great labor
accomplishments of making work a dignified activity
and providing workers with the benefits that they get
from organized labor. The push to move Americans jobs
to countries where workers earn less money and have
fewer protections undermines the gains U.S. workers
This summer, the Republicans are coming to New York to
celebrate this agenda in our front yard. Imagine that
a family that has insulted and abused another family
has a picnic in the family's front yard. That is what
they are doing to New York. It adds insult to injury
-- injury that is substantive and plentiful.
There is another New York -- beyond Radio City Music
Hall, beyond Broadway, beyond Yankee Stadium.
Councilmember Bill Perkins plans to invite the
Republicans to come and view that New York. To view
the New York of the homeless intake center. To see an
emergency room in one of our city hospitals at about 3
o'clock in the morning. To see an overcrowded
classroom with a teacher trying to teach kids who
speak eight different languages to function as a group
-- without any help from No Child Left Behind. To
see a drug rehab program with people who are trying to
rebuild their lives with precious little help.
We are being invaded by people who have come to
celebrate an agenda that attacks us. It is insulting.
I think we should tell them that.>
Ed Sullivan is a former member of the New York State
Assembly from Manhattan.
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