At last night’s mayoral candidate forum at Queens College, four Democratic candidates were asked about the City’s post-Sandy rebuilding plans, how they “would get the job done” and about options for “people whose insurance and FEMA support will not cover the expense of a new home and for whom rebuilding is not an option.”
The candidates, Sal Albanese, Bill de Blasio, John Liu and Bill Thompson, gave empathetic and sometimes informative answers that illustrate the continuing challenges for those rebuilding from Sandy. Bill de Blasio discussed communication problems restricting recovery efforts and his early efforts at formulating a mold remediation plan, while John Liu discussed FEMA funding and investments by the City pension funds. All four answers were not really addressing the question posed, however, and reflected the reality that each day other issues and political problems push Sandy recovery further away from center stage for most New Yorkers. One question among many, in front of an audience with many other concerns, the candidates touched on it briefly and moved on, driven by the need to talk about other things and connect on other issues interesting voters.
New Yorkers who continue to rebuild would be wise to work to foster a sustained discussion by the candidates, as our next mayor’s level of knowledge, interest and engagement will be a deeply influential force on the long term recovery.
We’ve posted the full question and all four answers. Although it runs about 10 minutes, if you are interested in the continuing Sandy recovery, it’s worth watching.
Christine Quinn and Erick Salgado did not attend this candidate forum. You can see our report on Christine Quinn’s discussion of Governor Cuomo’s proposed homeowner buyout plan here.