Many people throughout the city have been outraged by this. In Southeast Queens in particular, the opening of homeless shelters has taken a toll on the community, as they hold 34 percent of the borough’s burden. That outrage has most recently spread to western Queens as Maspeth residents continue to protest shelter proposals there. The mayor addressed the Maspeth protests directly at the Jamaica town hall.
“There is controversy in Maspeth, Queens,” the mayor said. “In our shelter system citywide, there are 250 individuals who come from Maspeth, Queens.” He believes that all communities, “especially one that has not had to shoulder the burden” before, have to step up and participate in helping solve this problem.
The mayor doubled down on his stance, saying that he will continue to encourage the entire city to take on this issue for the greater good, but did want to ease up on bringing those facilities to overburdened communities like Southeast Queens, as was evident in the Maspeth proposal.
“This is what we need to do to put a roof over their heads and to take care of families in every kind of community regardless of race, income,” de Blasio said. “I don’t think the tone of those protests has always been that appropriate,” he said of the Maspeth backlash. “I don’t like that protesters not only protested at the house of our commissioner, Steve Banks, but threatened him and his family as well.” So we will pursue a fair-share strategy, in the sense of going to areas that have not had these kind of facilities before and we will catch hell for it and we will stand our ground and take it because it is an act of fairness.”
Mayor de Blasio defended his administration's efforts to combat homelessness during a wide-ranging and spirited Q&A with reporters today. When asked about community protests over plans to convert a hotel in Maspeth, Queens into a shelter, de Blasio said "If people in Maspeth think they cannot have responsibility for a problem that is their problem, I will happily stare them down. We will put a roof over people's heads."
Wow, tough guy! How does he propose to stare Maspeth folk down when he refuses to set foot there? The only time he's paid a visit was to do a shitty job filling a pothole. And is this really appropriate language coming from the mayor of the city?