Markey booed out of public hearing on Maspeth shelter
by Benjamin Fang
Sep 01, 2016 | 13442 views | 22 22 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Assemblywoman Marge Markey was unable to speak at the hearing.
Assemblywoman Marge Markey was unable to speak at the hearing.
slideshow
In a dramatic scene at Community Board 5’s public hearing about the Maspeth shelter Wednesday night, Assemblywoman Marge Markey was booed by activists protesting the city’s plan.

“Why are you bullying me?” Markey said to a chorus of jeers. “I’m opposed to the shelter. I have not given money to it.

“We are not cooperating,” she added. “You are being manipulated.”

Markey promptly left the Knockdown Center, where nearly 1,000 community members came out in opposition to the city’s proposal to turn the Holiday Inn Express at 59-40 55th Road into a homeless shelter for 110 adults families.

On Thursday morning, Markey visited the Queens Ledger office and spoke about what had happened at the public hearing.

“People voiced their concerns,” she said. “I understand their concerns.”

“I think my opposition stirred them up,” she added, referring two challengers for her seat this year, one a Democrat and the other Republican.

With the Democratic primary approaching on September 13, Markey emphasized that she has “given more than 40 years” to her community.

“If the people of Maspeth don’t want me, so be it,” she said. “But I have a commitment to the people.”

In a statement Markey was originally supposed to read at the public hearing, the longtime assemblywoman reiterated her opposition to the shelter. She cited Mayor Bill de Blasio’s previous assertions about not using hotels to deal with the homelessness crisis, and said his administration is doing just the opposite.

“We elected officials reached out to City Hall to get a face-to-face meeting with the Mayor to explain our opposition,” the statement said. “But he has ignored us.”

Markey has since reached out to Comptroller Scott Stringer, who she said was willing to meet and discuss the options, unlike the mayor.

Though the comptroller pledged to closely examine any contract for the shelter, the de Blasio administration and Commissioner Steven Banks have said there is no contract.

“There is nothing for anyone to review,” Markey said in her statement. “This is wrong.”

The assemblywoman then said DHS’s outline of the project “doesn’t give us much of a picture of the programs” at the shelter, shelter operator Acacia, the cost to taxpayers, or the financial arrangements between the city, the operator and the hotel owner.

“From what we know now, it is not clear how this shelter will get residents back on their feet, get them jobs and get them into permanent housing,” she said.

She also pointed out that the shelter plan is located in the Maspeth Industrial Business Zone (IBZ), which is meant for commercial or industrial buildings only, not residential.

Markey signed onto Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley’s lawsuit against the city, claiming that the shelter plan violates city administrative code about shelter units containing kitchen facilities.

“It is wrong to put homeless families in hotel rooms not equipped for living,” Markey said in the statement. “Without better answers, I will continue to do all I can to oppose this facility.”
Comments
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Anonymous2016
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September 08, 2016
Has anyone in Maspeth or the media even thought about asking the homeless how they feel about the proposed plan? I'd like to know weather a temp hotel room is better than no home at all? I'm asking honestly.

I doubt anyone in Maspeth really cared that much about homeless issues and policy until it made its way to their door. Honestly, there have been some incredibly racist and insensitive comments by those who oppose the shelter and it just speaks to the truth that no one truly cares what happens to these people till its an inconvenience.

All of a sudden them having a kitchen sink or not matters. Yes, its true the policies need changing. The zoning is all wrong, the owner is corrupt,safety in the hotels is an issue, tax dollars could be better spent, etc. The city does not have a real and safe plan for the homeless or how to address a plan for affordable living in this city. But I never heard anyone talking about this when it matters most. When its not about stopping a shelter going up your neighborhood.

Before that when it's about inequality and lack of opportunity, racism, immigrant rights, public education, mental health, lack of affordable housing. All these very real social issues that most politicians care little about. Brian? Marge?

It's about time people. At least this Mayor is talking about that. I don't agree with how DHS is handling this whole thing but its easy to blame everyone instead of being part of the solution when it actually matters. You can start by being more compassionate to the homeless families with no choice in all this. Tomorrow maybe you will take a little more interest in how your neighbor is doing or others less fortunate.
Steven Flip
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September 03, 2016
Brian: A republican pawn
Agnes Hillman
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September 03, 2016
Brian,

"Queens is one of the most expensive places to buy a home. I'll work to ensure affordable housing options for all " -March 21

For all except for the homeless, right?

Where are your ethnics Brian! Embarrassment to the democratic party.
Agnes Hillman
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September 03, 2016
Hey Brian, what happened to your stance a year ago?



“We have to do more to help the middle class,” he said last week. “They simply can’t afford to live here anymore." -Aug 2, 2015.

Agnes Hillman
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September 03, 2016
My biggest question is, what's happening to funds being collected by Nunziato? Is it going to fund another failed political campaign with a loophole that will allow him to collect more money?
anonymous
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September 01, 2016
OMG Maspeth Resident1 who is probably Marge....we protest, we are not disobedient!!!! Marge Markey couldn't even articulate one word. Give me a break. You will be the only one voting for her. Believe me.
MaspethResident1
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September 01, 2016
Shinning lights at the hotel and into the rooms of the hotel, honking at all times (which is illegal in NYC, by the way), saying that people from the Bronx (meaning blacks) will come here, saying that the disabled and depressed are evil, etc.. how many more examples do you need for me to show you that the protests are disobedient?

I understand Maspeth is worried but being racist is not right. Bringing in the disabled and those suffering from depression, is not right.

Also, last time I checked, people pay taxes to NYC which is all five boroughs and NOT just Maspeth. So instead of questioning why it's not fair your tax dollars are going to help the homeless, question what Tony Nunziato will do with the $20,000? Maybe he will open another flower shop?

Brian Barnwell
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September 02, 2016
Hey Maspeth Resident 1 aka Mike Armstrong aka her media person. If you didn't know Markey said that originally you clearly are either lying or work for her.

http://www.cometcivic.com/newsletter/statement-by-assemblywoman-margaret-markey-on-city-proposal-for-homeless-shelter-in-a-local-hotel
Agnes Hillman
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September 03, 2016
Not disobedient?

Constant honking.

Shining lights into windows.

So your being OBEDIENT by harassing the homeless that may already be potentially living there?

Janina65
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September 03, 2016
The behavior of many of the protesters are horrendous.

Who raised you?
PATO, Maspeth
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September 01, 2016
When was the last time Marge Markey was at a

COMET meeting? She's voted in because her name is

recognizable. If she's been in politics for 40 years, then it's time for her retire. We need

someone with new ideas and a different approach to

our issues.
anonymous
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September 08, 2016
i agree PATO....I am not voting for her & good for you Brian for sticking up for yourself. Queens Ledger is behind Marge who has done nothing for us...I believe in term limits now a days for politicians, cause I they do is favors for one another, not for the communties for which they represent.
jjpp
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September 01, 2016
It was in the paper...couple weeks back, maybe the Queens Ledger. Also she knew about this since the beginning of August. Sent out 2 newsletters, with NOTHING about the Homeless Shelter. I believe she didn't think we would protest the way we did. Never showed up for anything until she realized this was gonna be trouble for her. Never came to anything until last night. At the recorded secret meeting at the library she said NOTHING also. I am NOT VOTING for her, & I suggest others do the same if they love their community! The way she spoke to us last night was appalling...SHAME ON HER!
Brian Barnwell
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September 01, 2016
I think my opposition stirred them up,” she added, referring two challengers for her seat this year, one a Democrat and the other Republican.

Sorry, total nonsense. Markey only came out against this issue AFTER the community came out against it. Initially Markey stated she was maybe for or against.

I ask Markey to tell the truth. Stop playing political games with this.
Jim Reynolds
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September 01, 2016
Brian, can you show us where she said she was maybe for it? I can't find that anywhere.
MaspethResident1
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September 01, 2016
Brian can't show it because it doesn't exist. Brain is just trying his hardest to win the election. As for assemblywoman Markey, I commend her for not participating in the protests. The protestors were and are civilly disobedient by harassing people and the hotel when in reality the people should protest those who came up with this possibility. Unfortunately, people can't think logically, which is why we have elected officials to help voice people's concerns. This way, people don't have to be swindled into giving money to a failed politician, such as Tony Nunziato, who is not an attorney nor is looking for an attorney because he knows you don't need an attorney. The $20k donations he got will definitely help his flower shop.
Brian Barnwell
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September 02, 2016
MaspethResident1

http://www.cometcivic.com/newsletter/statement-by-assemblywoman-margaret-markey-on-city-proposal-for-homeless-shelter-in-a-local-hotel

Keep trolling. It was her initial statement Mr. Reynolds. Once she realized everybody was against it, she flipped sides.
Brian Barnwell
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September 02, 2016
And to clarify I was calling maspethresident1 the troll.

mr Reynolds the first sentence of markey's original statement

"The proposal to use a Holiday Inn Express hotel in Maspeth to provide temporary space for homeless couples may be a mistake."

A few days later markey changed her mind. That was after the protests have been going on for a few days. Either Markey learned new information that she hasn't told us that made her change her mind or she saw everybody was against it and she came out against it because of such. Either she is not telling us something or she flipped for political reasons
Agnes Hillman
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September 03, 2016
Brian, all your contributing is negativity and name calling in this thread.

Is this how you plan on running your political campaign?
Janina65
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September 03, 2016
The only one who flipped for political reasons is Brian
Janina65
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September 03, 2016
Brian that link you sent doesn't say anything that she was supporting it.

The proposal to use a Holiday Inn Express hotel in Maspeth to provide temporary space for homeless couples may be a mistake. All of us need to learn more about the plan than we heard from city officials last week. I am concerned about the opportunity for adequate community review of the proposal. We need time to hear about the job placement and counseling services that will be provided to ensure that the shelter is truly ‘temporary’ for residents. I am also concern about the track record of the proposed provider. We need answers to our questions and I am opposed to moving forward with this plan until we hear them.

--- 000 ---



Assemblywoman Markey sponsored a bill in the NY State Assembly this year to require adequate community notification and the opportunity for public review of any shelter or supportive housing proposal. The bill, A2553, co-sponsored by many NYC legislators, including Senator Joseph Addabbo in the Senate, was not approved by both houses of the Legislature. It would require public review by the local community board before such a project could move forward, mandating a local hearing within 45 days of the announcement of such a project and denying permission for the project to begin until a minimum of 60 days after that hearing.

Show us where she was for it?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
anonymous
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September 08, 2016
Yep, Brian speaks the truth!