In Spirit of the Season, Time to Band Together
by Albert Baldeo
Dec 21, 2009 | 6738 views | 0 0 comments | 73 73 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The grinches and scrooges certainly had a field day as our economy regressed this past year. Yes, the realities are as grim as any we have faced before:

• Unemployment in the city is the highest it’s been since 1993 (10.3%)

• Water rates have risen 98%

• Property taxes have increased by 40%

• MTA fares have increased, and services reduced or cut, while public transportation remains a major issue

• We desperately need affordable housing to stem the exodus from our state

• Homelessness in the city has risen over 9% since 2005 to a new high (12,000 people)

• Our hospitals are being closed, while health care insurance is sky rocketing

• Rent increases are squeezing the working class out of our neighborhoods

• Foreclosures are destroying our communities

• Parents have been denied a voice in our children's education

• While working families struggle to make ends meet, the city’s top managerial employees roll in $69 million in salary increases

• Our schools are unbearably overcrowded, while school aides are being laid off

• Overdevelopment is ruining our neighborhoods and overwhelming our communities with hideous, out of character monstrosities

Yet, hope springs eternal, and our will, both as a community, and as a nation, will pull us through. Now, more than ever before, we have to live out the true meaning and spirit of this season, and be each other’s keeper.

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