Times Square, Chelsea, Lincoln Square, the West Village… some of the most famous neighborhoods in Manhattan find their home in State Senate District 27.
Tourists congregate at this center of entertainment that includes Broadway and the Theatre District, drawn to the flashing neon lights, glitz and glamour like lightning bugs. When you watch movies and television shows about New York City, sure enough, it will include a scene from midtown as an iconic backdrop. But not to be forgotten are the centers of business and the residents of this area, who must grapple with an influx of people daily in their stomping grounds, that leads to pedestrian and traffic congestion, ecological concerns, and a “Mardi Gras-like environment” from a rowdy nightlife. Read on for the biggest issues facing this midtown Manhattan district.
Issue #1: Poverty and Public Transportation
Hang out in the Theatre District long enough and you can spot a celebrity or three, but often overlooked are the pockets of poverty that plague these surrounding neighborhoods, with the city’s elderly population most vulnerable. Many reside in tenement buildings in vast need of maintenance, and an overdeveloped New York that is always looking to spruce itself up with new high rises and chain stores will neglect senior citizens. In addition, with limited incomes, seniors and the city’s working classes don’t always have access to available services that make their lives easier, and need representatives to advocate for their needs.
Issue #2: Congestion and Crisis
Having a constant rush of customers from tourists is great for local businesses, but a detriment for residents who experience severe pedestrian and traffic congestion as they just try to live their lives. Elected officials pounced on the chance to build up this neighborhood to enhance economic growth, but failed to consider how a deluge of people and high rises would affect basic sanitation services, electricity and the water supply that residents depend on, leaving amenities stretched thin. And with so many in such a dense space, what could happen in a time of emergency when safety is of utmost concern? Are there crises preparedness plans in place for this neighborhood? District 27’s State Senator must work towards prioritizing health and security over economic demands.
Issue #3: Environmental Concerns
Gas stations, once a staple in a city that prioritized cars over the subway system, are slowly disappearing to make space for developing real estate. But a hidden hazard in this transition are the chemicals left behind that seep underground, and unless these areas are properly decontaminated, it runs the risk of tainting drinking water and growing plant life that affects inhabitants thereafter. In addition, the massive undertaking of new buildings under construction poses a danger to the air quality for unsuspecting residents and passerby. New Yorkers have a right to environmental safety protections, and knowing if they are at risk for health afflictions because of where they choose to frequent.
A center for creativity and entertainment must also recognize its everyday citizens just trying to get by, embracing its popularity while preserving a quality of life for all. Will the State Senate District 27 representative address the growing needs of this community? Learn more about Democratic candidate Brad Hoylman and get informed about 2018’s New York State elections at racetorepresent.com.