For far too long, the boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island have been denigrated as the “outer boroughs” of New York City. The media, the politicians and even the residents refer to these areas as outer parts of our great city.
We are in fact not satellites, but all part of our great city. When one goes to Manhattan from any of these four boroughs, we should not say, “I am going to the city” because we are already in the city. We should just be saying, “I am going to Manhattan.”
This division manifests itself in many ways. When important hearings are held dealing with land use and other issues, local residents have to trek to Manhattan to express their opinions.
This makes it difficult for residents of the four non-Manhattan boroughs to appear to testify on matters that affect the quality of life in their neighborhoods.
And why don’t we see our citywide elected officials and agency heads coming to all of the boroughs to listen to the taxpayers who pay their salaries? I know that when the Mayor makes an appearance in Queens, it is viewed as a great occasion, something out of the ordinary.
I would strongly suggest that government leaders appear in each of the five boroughs at least once a month to listen to residents and their concerns. I am sure that arrangements can be made so that these people can appear in almost all parts of all the boroughs over the course of the year.
Recently, Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina came to Little Neck to listen to and answer questions regarding concerns about our local schools. Her appearance was most welcome.
I am sure that citywide elected officials and agency heads would be welcome no matter what part of the city that they would visit. We are friendly and don’t bite!