Monday, August 28, 2023
Cloudy. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 76 degrees.
Our calendar has lots of local events! Click on the link or the lady in the upper righthand corner to check.
Update: 3:45 p.m.: After publishing the below request for federal assistance with the ongoing migrant crisis, WSR received a news release from the nonprofit Partnership for New York City, linking to an “Open Letter to the President & Congressional Leaders from Concerned Business Leaders Regarding the Asylum-Seekers Humanitarian Crisis.” Signed by 114 top NYC business leaders, the letter begins, “We write to support the request made by New York Governor Hochul for federal funding for educational, housing, security, and health care services to offset the costs that local and state governments are incurring with limited federal aid.” They also ask for expedited work permits for migrants. You can read their entire letter here. The Rag’s story follows.
By Carol Tannenhauser
Though it’s complicated, I am proud of New York City’s characteristic response to the migrant crisis. Since June, 2022, we have taken in more than 100,000 people; sheltered and fed them; collected clothing, necessities, and toys for them; provided social services; and enrolled their children in school. Yes, there were setbacks and screwups. And, yes, we complained and bickered among ourselves, but we did it — with little help from the federal government.
Why, I wonder, when the city has already spent $5 billion on the migrant crisis and expects that to reach $12 billion over the next three years, has the federal government given us only $145 million, according to The New York Times? Last week, Gov. Kathy Hochul wrote politely in a letter to President Biden that, “while the state appreciates the $145 million contribution…this allotment of funds is insufficient.”
Why did it take “many, many, many months,” according to the governor in Gothamist, for the feds to “tentatively” agree to let the state use Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, which is administered by the National Park Service, to erect a 1,000-bed tent facility for migrants? This after the city has come up with countless places to shelter them, including two recently opened tent cities, one provided by the state.
Why has no one from the federal government expressed, if not gratitude, support and admiration for the city’s response to a situation created at the federal level, which we are helping mightily to mitigate? How about a shout out?
Better yet, can you spare a billion?
Next Monday is Labor Day. Barring any unforeseen contingencies that frequently arise, West Side Rag is planning to take the day off.
See you in September!
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