Dozens of New Yorkers showed up to a town hall meeting held by Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City) at Public School 69 on Thursday evening in Jackson Heights, Queens.
But these dozens were forced to stand inside a make-shift police pen outside P.S. 69, to wait to see if municipal employees could accommodate them inside.
At least five municipal staff paced outside P.S. 69 with iPads, like they do at Apple stores, checking people's names on a reservation list that would determine if the New Yorkers would be allowed to attend the town hall meeting.
Contrary to a previous report published by Progress Queens (subsequently corrected), the town hall meeting turned out not to be open to everybody. Attendees had to apply for a reservation with the office of Councilmember Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), who would then pre-approve attendees, in order to screen out any critics of the de Blasio administration. A request was made via e-mail by the publisher of Progress Queens to Councilmember Dromm, seeking a reservation. After that request was never answered, the publisher of Progress Queens carried a protest sign outside the site of the town hall, drawing attention to the restrictive policies in effect on town hall attendees.
When the publisher of Progress Queens explained that Mayor de Blasio was holding a town hall meeting at P.S. 69, many individuals complained that their children attended P.S. 69, but the school administration hadn't informed them about the mayor's town hall. Unfortunately, the publisher of Progress Queens had to explain to the disappointed parents that Councilmember Dromm had required an R.S.V.P. from town hall attendees, from which he would screen attendees based on the degree of their political support for Mayor de Blasio.