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Democracy Dies in Daylight

Dear Editor: 

With due respect to the Washington Post’s tagline, City Hall doesn’t need darkness to kill democracy in NYC; they trample citizens’ rights in broad daylight. 

The homeless shelter the de Blasio administration is attempting to force down Rockaway’s throat on Beach 101st Street is a prime example. Who could possibly think it is a good idea to warehouse 120 homeless men in a community with no services, on a residential block that is less than 1,000 feet from three different schools? Certainly not the people of Rockaway. 

I acknowledge that sometimes a leader must act against popular opinion for the good of the whole. However, in those circumstances the leader must have the courage to face his citizens and make the case for unpopular actions. 

In the case of this shelter, City Hall lied to one elected official (Pheffer- Amato), ignored our City Council representative (Ulrich), intentionally evaded Community Board 14 and did not consult with any of the civic associations from the affected area. This ugly combination of cowardice and arrogance is the opposite of what democracy in America should look like. 

Kudos to the Rockaway citizens who showed up in good numbers on short notice last Friday. I hope we will have a similar strong showing at the Community Board 14 meeting on March 25.