Rockaway ferry service supporters came to City Hall Thursday evening to urge Mayor de Blasio to continue operating the service past it’s scheduled October cessation. Initiated in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy while the A train was out of service for months, the ferry is subsidized by the City at an annual cost of approximately $6 million. The City calculates that the subsidy is at least $25 per passenger/trip. The de Blasio administration had continued the Bloomberg administration’s short term ferry funding, but has announced that the subsidy will end in October.
The rally featured two citywide elected officials, Scott Stringer and Tish James, as well as Assembly Member Phil Goldfeder, State Senator Joe Addabbo, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Council Members Eric Ulrich and Vincent Gentile.
The Rockaway peninsula’s physical separation from the rest of the City is matched by a sense of political separation. It’s particularly so in the neighborhoods which most use the ferry, with many residents believing that City Hall is not looking out for them. Those western neighborhoods, such as Belle Harbor and Breezy Point, overwhelmingly voted for Joe Lhota in 2013 and have little in the way of a political relationship with Bill de Blasio.
de Blasio Departs:
Mayor de Blasio left City Hall during the rally, passing just behind the rally as he headed toward his car. Rallygoers took note, loudly chanting and calling out to him, but his only acknowledgment or engagement with them was a small wave as he moved past. The mayor continued talking with an aide, ignoring the chants of “no ferry, no votes.” Unfortunately for the ferry supporters, he did okay in his last election without their votes.
We spoke with New York State Senator Joe Addabbo about the mayor’s race, and particularly on how his constituents view the race. Are his constituents paying attention to the race? Do they have a clear favorite in the race? How do they view Anthony Weiner?
Addabbo’s district covers most of Rockaway and runs north through Broad Channel, Howard Beach and Ozone Park to Middle Village, Maspeth, Ridgewood and Forest Hills. Anthony Weiner’s congressional district overlapped with Addabbo’s district.
We also spoke with New York State Assembly Member Phillip Goldfeder about the mayor’s race and how his constituents view the race.
Goldfeder’s district covers most of Rockaway, Broad Channel, Howard Beach and Ozone Park. Like Addabbo, his district overlaps with Anthony Weiner’s former congressional district.
New York State Assembly Member Phil Goldfeder, who represents Sandy-battered Rockaway, spent several days in tornado-ravaged Moore, Oklahoma this week. We spoke with Goldfeder just after he returned to Rockaway this morning.
In this Report from Rockaway, we visit Belle Harbor, Rockaway Park and Arverne and talk with Congressman Gregory Meeks, New York State Assembly member Phillip Goldfeder and New York City Council member Jimmy Van Bramer.
In our conversations, we discuss a still-unfolding potential hospital crisis, recovery efforts by the Queens Library for it’s heavily damaged Rockaway branches and one elected official’s personal experience as the water rose on the night Sandy hit.
This is our 4th Report from Rockaway. You can view our earlier reports here, here and here.
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