Lately I've been wondering what it takes. In so many issues we all seem to agree that something is awry, but nothing gets done.
And it feels like there are so many things going wrong that it's difficult to know where to begin.
You all know that I tend to be a very optimistic person, but lately I'm feeling distressed. It seems there is a threshold when shock morphs to disappointment, when anger becomes a drooping despair. It's hitting me, But I don't want it to. However, a few issues just keep dragging on and it's getting me down.
For one, Tuesday morning I had a meeting in Harlem and shortly after my train arrived, another derailed. A woman meant to be in my meeting was on the train and arrived late, completely shaken.
None of us understood what had happened since we had been in the meeting during the incident. Walking back to the train, I saw at least 20 emergency response vehicles. But a major problem with the MTA is now just the status quo. Every day something is woefully awry if not dangerously wrong.
What will it take before Governor Andrew Cuomo takes action?
Last week I heard about another small, immigrant owned, 100-year-old Greenpoint business that's being kicked out of their space because their landlord is demanding a 200 percent rent increase.
Manhattan Avenue is already littered with vacant storefronts waiting for their big payday after kicking out viable, beloved, local businesses.
What will it take before we have protections for small business owners? What does it take for our community to have value that matters more than big cash?
Two weeks ago a cyclist was killed by a bus that turned into him. This is the seventh incident this year alone of careless, reckless driving that resulted in the death of a cyclist. How many deaths will it take before we see vehicular manslaughter taken seriously?
These are all questions I have been asking over and over again for the last ten years.
There have been bills proposed and not enacted and lost in the shuffle. And this is just a small handful of incidents.
It's not just our policymakers who are responsible. Every day that an incident happens that privately outrages us is another day we could push for action. Yet, all these incidents pile up and depress and demoralize us. I watch beloved shop after beloved shop close, I see ghost bikes accumulate, I tack another extra half-hour onto my commute.
It feels too hard sometimes, but we really need to hold our local politicians accountable and beg them to do better. Let's push things forward, because we are losing our communities and our lives.