I'm sitting here trying to plan the issues I want to address in my media properties. There are videos to be shot, and edited, and posted. There are web pages to be written, Facebook pages, Twitter posts, not to mention Instagram post to be written.
For the past several years, my focus has been on housing. The urbanization of our cities has given rise to gentrification. That has put many families into shelters or forced many others into the streets. The United States has more than 500,000 homeless people living on the streets or in shelters. New York City has 70,000 homeless, with 23,000 children leaving homeless shelters for school every day. How can that happen in the wealthiest country in the world?
Lately, my focus has also been moving to climate change. How can it not, when the United Nations delivers a report about increases in temperature, Land Use, and Sea-Level changes that will impact food production around the world. Ice sheets are melting in Greenland; increasing sea-levels by 7 meters, or 23 feet. That fact alone will put Miami Beach, and parts of Brooklyn underwater.
Whether it's Housing or Climate Change: the government is not doing enough to change the current situation.
Yes, some laws have passed to ease the burdens on renters, but nothing to stem displacement by developers. Developers receive tax breaks for building affordable apartments, but there is no enforcement to guarantee those apartments. Most of the time, those apartments are still too costly for current residents of the neighborhood, and more and more people are forced into shelters. Instead of building affordable homes, or maintaining NYCHA, the city of New York builds homeless shelters. And to further the problem, NYCHA buildings are being given to developers to manage, which only enriches the developers and washers the city's hands of the poor. In the case of NYCHA buildings like the Robert Fulton Houses, the city plans to apply for the Rental Assistance Demonstration program (RAD), and then tear down two buildings and replace them with three taller buildings. Under RAD, those buildings would then be rented at a 70% market rate & 30% public housing rate. What are we doing to Public Housing? Oh yeah, new jails! That's Public Housing, isn't it?
And then there is our federal government that refuses to believe in Climate Change. Look outside your freaking windows, jerks!
The President takes money from FEMA right before hurricane season starts to build his border wall. Where are their heads? The federal government should be worrying about how they will replace the lost revenue when Florida is underwater in a few years. Mayor DumBlasio talks about increasing the size of Manhattan to alleviate flooding, but what about Red Hook and other low-level parts of the city?
Let's take a whole bunch of money and throw it at the Defense Department. We can blow up the entire middle east; kill millions of people, but let's not do anything constructive for our citizens. We will make lots more money for the shareholders of the defense companies, and screw everyone else, especially, those brown-skinned immigrants.
All of my rants points to the lack of interest from our governments. Politicians run around giving speeches and promising to change things, but never say no to rezoning or force issues that help the community. Few officials in government express interest in stopping the wars. They are too interested in the jobs they expect to get for their community. Create some Green jobs in place of those war toys instead.
It comes down to us, the average citizen, to make things happen. We need, we must, get involved and demand that officials do what is right for us; not donors. We must have grass-root movements to deal with Climate Change. We can not wait any longer for the government. Knock on your neighbor's door and begin forming committees to deal with the issues that impact you and your families. Don't complain if you're not willing to change what is wrong with this country. Your children need you to care.