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BrooklynBornThis blog started in my head when I listened in the 90's to friends who feared Brooklyn and newcomers who blogged about BK as if it barely existed before they arrived. Brooklyn as Tabula Rasa. My blog satisfies my need to hear and air feelings of B'klyn from the people whose life experience was born here. Also I hope to provide balance to some of the revisionist historical musings I've seen how Brooklyn and her residents used to be, we're still here. If we can all live as best possible while appreciating the past and neighbors we've inherited that would be great too.

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Monday, November 5, 2012

New York Keeps Running and that's a good thing.

(Wrote this on Friday 11/ 2, had some technical issues preventing me from publishing (nothing tragic) but I stand by this even and especially in light of the type of criticism the Marathon received and it's cancellation)

Friday, Nov 2nd:

Cancelling the Marathon doesn't remove water from people's homes, lift trees off of houses and cars, repair roofs, return electricity to the hundreds of thousands without it. Deliver vital medicine to those with chronic illness or sadly raise the dead. Beat cops do not conduct disaster relief missions. Currently relief efforts are underway it's a shame that they were not there sooner, just as its
equally a shame that people who didn't take two days of evacuation orders and open shelters and near by higher ground were not willing or able to use them. Should evacuation failures be investigated and improved, definitely. Cancelling the Marathon doesn't do that. Should available resources from the marathon go to survivors I think so, should the proceeds of the marathon go to survivors, i think a chunk should at least.

Should people get booted from hotels for marathoners? Hell no! Give the runners trailers or something, they're only here for a few hours, but does cancelling an event that arguably focuses the city and to a degree the nation's focus on New York at a time when many New Yorkers need all the attention and assistance they can get, improve conditions for hurricane survivors? I don't think so.
The Marathon should be used to increase attention and aid to people in need, so regular people who've focused their lives on this event can be given the opportunity to run for something bigger than personal achievement. Let's make that happen. The Marathon has run through Harlem, Spanish Harlem & the South Bronx for 40 years and in that time child mortality rates in those areas have rivaled 3rd world nations. Economic, educational and environmental suffering has existed in those marathon run through neighborhoods for years as well. Yet there's never been a huge outcry that the marathon is being run while people suffer. Quitting the marathon doesn't miraculously fix things.

When we fall we get up. When people fall we think it's right to give compassion and we hope that compassion will be there if we ever need. I think people should be helped when they fall. all people. but when we fall we don't make progress but asking the people standing to lay down.

My two cents.
(As I was writing this word came in that the Marathon would be cancelled, the following then came to mind)

I blame Bloomberg but not for a failed response to the Hurricane. Personally I think people need to go back and look at the days preceding that terrible storm and look at what and how Bloomberg did to prepare New Yorkers of the disaster to come. There were two days of warnings that people in the flood zone (Evacuation Zone A) were in danger and needed to leave to be safe.
Shelters were opened. Evacuation instructions were given. Warnings were made.

So what do I blame Bloomberg for? His style of leader ship for more than a decade, which in and of itself is part of the problem. He broke the rules, bending them from illegal to legal for his own desire, and said it was for our betterment. He's made dozens of changes to our city, often against public opinion and ignored most grievances saying essentially it's for our betterment.

I blame Bloomberg for squandering his clout and the goodwill of New Yorkers such that anything he does is now likely to be greeted with scorn. A Mayor, a leader, who engendered good will of his constituents could have presented an event like the Marathon as a way for New Yorkers and the world (by way of the international cast of competitors) to give to the hurricane survivors. 

As of last weekend most people in outside of Staten Island wouldn't know where or how to get to Staten Island right after the disaster, or who to help. People didn't know how to reach out and some New Yorkers didn't have a direct connection to the tragedy in Staten Island, Breezy Point, Rockaway and the Lower East Side but you know what does reach Millions of New Yorkers? The marathon, which is why i feel it could'a been and could still be a way for people to help. 
On the street level it almost all volunteers, runners could have been designated as representatives for stricken communities. rest stops could have been set up as donation points, the proceeds or at least a sizable chunk could have been donated to the disaster relief.

The NFL continued with the Giant's game in New Jersey less than 20 miles from the destruction zones. They used the game to honor 1st responders, donate to the survivors and encourage more donations and awareness.

A better leader who would have been able to show and connect us to the ties that bind us as people and New Yorkers instead of stubbornly plowing ahead as our communities frayed.