Governor Andy Cuomo, activating the pressure point for his observational ability.
The consternation by some, which consists of the 40% who view him unfavorably including the author of this site, might have to acknowledge the recent acts by Governor “Mario’s Son” Cuomo as evidence of his ability to take proactive responses and action to address the distressing demands of his constituents.
Even if it is motivated by being confronted by the irrepressible Marcia Kramer and his pathetic reoccurring and costly to the citizenry feud with Mayor “Big Slow” de Blasio.
Take a recent report covering a complaint of a Metro-North commuter and the unsanitary conditions of the train cars seats:
Needless to say, it was a bit encouraging. Too bad following this terribly brief report, the MTA reverted back to their daily routines of futility and neglect, as witnessed by thousands of commuters as bus stops still contained snow piles and elevated platforms in the outer boroughs were covered with sheets of ice and frozen snow, conditions more preferably to polar bears if they currently had it.
And since the Governor, who is wholly responsible for the MTA and the upkeep and running of it, as shown that he can wield his authority when he has to, maybe he can tell the contractor hired to renovated and rebuild the Lefferts Blvd. A line station to do some thorough cleaning also. Because as repeatedly documented here, it has been a feathered rat outhouse for the past year and half and possibly poses a bigger health risk than the grimy cushioned seats on the metro-north. Here’s a compilation of from autumn and early winter last and this year:
And this is from a few days ago:
As Ms. Kramer attests, it seems that the only way this gets any attention is to guilt Andy to submission in person. Of course after hearing a response coated with feigned concern and condescension and a lame statement by an MTA spokesperson. But what’s been going on in this station in Southeast Queens is utter bullshit and unacceptable. And should be rectified pronto and cleaning up this eyesore and obvious health hazard shouldn’t have to wait for this modernization to be complete. Which is late again, being that the first quarter of the year is almost up in a few weeks.
The Governor, in the proverbial zone, also noticed something striking, that there is still poverty and a dearth of crucial services in the borough of Brooklyn
Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined a $1.4 billion initiative on Thursday that aims to transform Central Brooklyn, long one of the most troubled areas in the city.
Central Brooklyn includes Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Bushwick and Crown Heights, neighborhoods that struggle chronically with poverty, crime, poor health and low educational achievement.
The initiative, dubbed “Vital Brooklyn” would target and invest in eight areas in an integrated manner, Cuomo said. The largest chunks of the $1.4 billion would be spent on improving community health services ($700 million) and affordable housing ($563 million).
The remaining $166 million would be spent on increasing access to open spaces and recreation, assuring access to healthy food, resiliency, economic development and job creation, youth education and development and community violence prevention.
Cuomo said that the state’s former piecemeal approach to Central Brooklyn had proven ineffective.
(No shit Sherlock, emphasis mine)
“We are going to employ a new holistic plan that will bring health and wellness to one of the most disadvantaged parts of the state,” Cuomo told the approving crowd that included Central Brooklyn officials and union members from TWU and 1199SEIU health care workers.
“Every New Yorker deserves to live in a safe neighborhood with access to jobs, health care, affordable housing, green spaces and healthy food, but you can’t address one of these without addressing them all,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo told elected officials that while the state would provide the funding, they would have to provide the leadership and bring in the community, spread over ten Assembly districts. Districts would choose from a menu of options.
“You can’t impose anything on the community,” he said.
Cuomo also warned officials that it would not be easy to convince Albany, which will deal with the budget on April 1, to invest in the plan.
“Be ready for war when we go back” to Albany, he said.
In outlining his “Vital Brooklyn” plans at Medgar Evers College, Cuomo said Brooklyn lawmakers should prepare for a war in Albany as they try to shepherd the funding past colleagues from other regions of the state who might try to poke holes in the plan. But, the governor contends that $1.4 billion in spending now is money better spent than on dysfunction down the road.
“You want to talk about expensive: $50,000 a year to keep a person in prison, that is expensive,” Cuomo said, noting that tuition at Harvard University is cheaper. “Drug abuse is expensive. New York Police Department of 50,000 policemen, that’s expensive to keep people safe. Murder is expensive. It is dysfunction that is expensive.”
“I would much rather invest early on, prevent the problem in the first place, than pay for the manifestation of it later on,” he added.
The plan covers key themes state officials believe can make struggling communities more vibrant, including the creation and improvement of open green spaces, construction of affordable housing, promotion of violence prevention initiatives like midnight basketball, promotion of healthy food programs and improvement of connections between upstate food growers and downstate consumers.
So now the state recognizes the persistent and perennial blight and plight of the residency of this massive enclave. Which going by the towns targeted is actually larger in capacity and density than the recent tony and former affordable areas in the western coastal areas of the borough.
And you bet that the long suffering citizenry of these towns are skeptical at the intent of Governor 2020, with justified concerns of fear and anger of the obvious prospect of gentrification. Government sponsored gentrification.
Residents in central Brooklyn met the announcement with a mix of elation and skepticism. Parents who keep their children mostly inside for safety warily embraced it. Others worried about the potential for gentrification, leading to the displacement of the area’s mostly black and Latino residents.
“Why now? You had all these times to make these changes, now Brooklyn is a hot spot — everyone wants a piece of it,” Ms. Vieira said. “If you want to make it better for the community, why 2017? The community has been the way it has been since the ’70’s
In East New York, Dayon Hopkins, 28, walked with his cousin, Troy Millhouse, 7, along Fountain Avenue, scooping wet snow off the hood of parked cars and slinging snowballs at each other.
Mr. Hopkins, who used to live in Bedford-Stuyvesant until rising rents forced him to move farther east, said Mr. Cuomo’s initiative, known as Vital Brooklyn, sounded like a prelude to more gentrification and a forced exodus of current residents.
“They’ll take this right here,” said Mr. Hopkins, pointing to a building facade across the street, “And put a glass door, a brick wall on one side of the hallway, and now it’s a loft” he said. “And now it costs way more than people are making around these parts.”
He continued: “And I understand: It does get nicer. But where’s everybody else going to go? Down south? Where are we going to go?”
(I am always wondering about that too, my theory is that the predator developers and our spineless sellout elected’s want to push the rent-burdened as far east to the Atlantic Ocean off Montauk Point)
Andy’s big presentation happens to jibe with actual and disturbing development that is happening right now in East New York by the Broadway Junction and elevated train stations, as it seen rents rise and reviled hipster sightings, thanks to and enabled by Mayor de Faustio’s target genesis AQZ plan for the district, . Granted it expands more, but it needs a bigger push from the Assembly upstate. So possibly this plan and project will not manifest and it’s just another superficial presentation by our bloviating governor. But he has been on a roll lately with his fast tracking of the Tappan Zee and Kociosko Bridge replacements and the grand opening and craft brew cocktail new year’s eve party on the 2nd avenue subway line. A result of his slightly dictatorial style of legislating upstate.
One cannot argue about the allocations and programs in this proposal. Targeting affordable housing, healthy food access, park spaces (confusing since there are many parks in the area, and recent stats show that green spaces don’t guarantee safety and security), resiliency focusing on renewable energy, education, violence prevention (night basketball, a fave but slightly effective program by his dad), and health care. It’s just if the same perennially suffering residents will still be around to use and enjoy them. And if anything, it’s a crass insult to even name this superficial business conference posing as a sincere government proposal Vital. Like it’s a barren wasteland without signs of life or viable businesses, like the small businesses our elected officials like to praise so much. Like the people that already lived there now don’t matter enough to get prior attention. It’s like how developers and electeds like to constantly refer to vibrancy to bolster or even impose projects on towns they are targeting.
It’s still a real shame and a coincidence that improvements and necessities only come when someplace gets sudden cachet. Especially the case of Vital Brooklyn, or soon to be known as Brooklynland presented by Spectrum/ Citibank/ WeWork , for it’s been blessed and plagued with this label of coolness for at least a decade at the expense of thousands, possibly a bulk of the 60,000 currently homeless.
It’s like the Governor got inspired by this tax payer funded philanthropy by the lack of hipster sightings, pretentious restaurants and bars, superfluous cafes, and last but not least, luxury towers in places like Brownsville and Canarsie.
But mostly this could be just another undermining of his nemesis in City Hall. Which is getting old by the second and seems as genuine as feud between professional wrestlers.
All the surviving citizenry, the true residents of this part of Brooklyn, have to do is stay informed, organize and remain vigilant. Take a cue from the residents of Crown Heights, who are getting bombarded with combined gentrification and homeless placements from oblivious city planners. For any plan, no matter how progressive, is to be thoroughly scrutinized and vetted, for there are jackals that still have to profit immensely no matter the cause. And Andy should know from recent prior experience with the Buffalo Billion mess. And as shown, criminal embarrassments like that will not deter him at all.
Which confirms his continuing inability and even unwillingness to notice things, mostly the obvious.