2005-04-15 / Community

Mayoral Front-runner Speaks At Democratic Club

By Miriam Rosenberg Contributing Editor

By Miriam Rosenberg
Contributing Editor

At the meeting, former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer tells Rockaway residents why he wants to become the next mayor of New York City. Democratic District Leader Lew Simon looks on.  Photos by Miriam RosenbergAt the meeting, former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer tells Rockaway residents why he wants to become the next mayor of New York City. Democratic District Leader Lew Simon looks on. Photos by Miriam Rosenberg

  • Fernando Ferrer, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination for mayor, appeared at the Good Government Democratic Club in Rockaway Park last week. The March 31 event gave Ferrer a chance to tell Rockaway residents his reasons for running for mayor after losing his party’s nomination four years ago.
  • Ferrer started out by talking about the housing crisis in the city.

    Ferrer answers a question from Glenda Newman, RN (against wall). Newman is from the New York State Nurse’s Association and an RN at Peninsula Hospital.Ferrer answers a question from Glenda Newman, RN (against wall). Newman is from the New York State Nurse’s Association and an RN at Peninsula Hospital. “New Yorker’s are getting priced out of our town,” Ferrer told those who packed the Democratic Club. “It has gotten worse in the last four years. To be priced out of your own town is wrong.”

    Of major concern to those living on the Peninsula is transportation. Ferrer believes that the ‘A’ train and shuttle need to be improved. He also said that express buses and ferry service is important in the city.

    Ferrer holds up the plan presented to him by District Leader Lew Simon to revitalize the Rockaway Beach line of the LIRR as Simon looks on. Ferrer endorsed the plan at the meeting.Ferrer holds up the plan presented to him by District Leader Lew Simon to revitalize the Rockaway Beach line of the LIRR as Simon looks on. Ferrer endorsed the plan at the meeting. “The city never has taken ferry service seriously,” said Ferrer. “It should be an intricate part of our transportation system.”

    During the meeting, Ferrer also endorsed a plan by the subcommittee of the Regional Rail Working Group for the Revitalization of the Rockaway Beach Line of the LIRR.

    On the subject of health care,

    Ferrer talked about the article in Crain’s New York Business (reported on by The Wave on February 25) about the possible closing of several hospitals in the city – including Peninsula Hospital.

    In response to a comment from the audience, he said, “I thought it was a horrible article.”

    He went on to say “the governor’s answer to the crisis in Medicaid is to cut hospitals and cut people off from Family Health Plus.” He also said that Peninsula Hospital and St. John’s Hospital “need help to remain open.”

    Ferrer said tough choices need to be made to preserve the levels of decent and effective care.

    “We need to get our fingernails dirty, not cut off kids and families,” said Ferrer.

    During a question and answer session, one Rockaway resident asked about changing beach hours to accommodate those who want to use the beaches in the evening.

    “I should be able, while it is still light out, to go on the beach,” said the Rockaway resident.

    “There should be reasonable enjoyment of the beach with a supervisor for a couple of extra hours,” answered Ferrer. “More hours doesn’t kill anyone.

    “The streets, the parks, the beaches and the sitting areas all belong to us,” he continued, as he talked about public use of the facilities. “It discourages crime especially in the evening and shows there are real people out there.”

    Ferrer also shook his head to the fact that a citizen cannot have a beer on the beach. Yet, replied a resident, “they sell [beer] on the boardwalk.”

    Even before a survivor of the terrorist attacks on New York told Ferrer that he felt that Mayor Bloomberg has “forgot about the people after 9/11”, Ferrer said he believes that the people and their representatives should be equal partners in how decisions are made.

    “People should be brought into the process in what happens in your neighborhood,” said Ferrer. “It is very important for everybody to get involved in politics and community.

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