There are two pressing concerns in southeast Queens and they are directly connected: Putting people back to work and saving their homes.
U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks addressed the foreclosure crisis in his district at a town hall meeting in South Ozone Park. About 50 constituents gathered in the auditorium of JHS 226. They were concerned and angry.
This is like nothing Queens has experienced in modern times. The unemployment numbers for Queens, officially 8.5 percent, are slightly better than Brooklyn and the Bronx, but they do not include the hundreds who have given up looking and the students graduating from high school and college who are finding just how bleak the job market is.
Meeks made no effort to argue with the people who came to his meeting.
The situation in southeast Queens rivals the Great Depression. The constituents attending the town hall meeting argued that the federal government bailed out the banks and now, they said, those banks should be pressured to hold off on foreclosures until a solution is found for the unemployment crisis. Meeks agreed.
Nothing is more important to any community than jobs and housing. With the presidential campaign season underway, those who are running from Obama to the Tea Party need to make it clear what they plan to do to save southeast Queens.
We are troubled by the story of the Queens parents who are accused of kidnapping their eight children from a foster care center in Forest Hills and then driving them out of state. The two, Shanel Nadal, 28, and Nephra Payne, 34, were arrested and ordered held on $75,000 bail.
It has not been made clear what they did in the first place to lose custody of their children. We have great respect for the city Administration for Children’s Services and we assume it was serious. Nevertheless, we are moved by how much these parents wanted to be with their children.
Rather than send them to jail, we hope the city can find a way to put the parents back on track to regaining custody of their kids.
©2011 Community News Group
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