Why would New Yorkers want to cancel Sunday's revenue-generating, city-unifying New York City Marathon? Oh yeah, there are still people homeless in Queens and Staten Island. For now, the New York Marathon is a go, and it seems to be the only thing running uninterrupted in a city which Sandy has strangled.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg explained on Wednesday his reason for giving the event a green light:
There's an awful lot of small businesses that depend on these people. We have to have an economy. There's lots of people that have come here. It's a great event for New York, and I think for those who were lost, you've got to believe they would want us to have an economy and have a city go on for those that they left behind.
We're not going to pretend that we know the beliefs of those 30 New Yorkers who we lost. But what we can show you are why some New Yorkers think that going ahead and running this marathon is a very, very bad idea.
1. The NYPD and FDNY Should Be in Disaster Zones, Not Watching People Run Around the City
"Just reached out to contact in Mayor's Office to state here and now on Wednesday that not one first responder and no resources should be diverted from our community to staff the NYC Marathon," wrote James Oddo, the New York City Council Minority Leader from Staten Island, on his Facebook. And just for reference, Oddo's Facebook is peppered with messages like this:
2. The NYPD and FDNY Shouldn't Be Observing the Marathon, When There Are Near-Riots in Queens Over the Slow FEMA Response
"Tonight, in Broad Channel, a sliver of land on Jamaica Bay which was hammered by the hurricane, there was a near riot when 280 people arrived for a much anticipated meeting with FEMA representatives, but the reps didn't show up," wrote The Village Voice's Graham Rayman late last night.
"It’s a huge draw on our other resources. None of the boroughs is near up and running," state Senator Liz Kreuger told the New York Times, adding that the race was a "a glaring misstep in the context of so much effective, successful emergency response." Kreuger represents parts of Midtown which is part of the marathon's final leg.
4. Breezy Point
Photo via: AP
5. There Are Cold and Homeless New Yorkers Who Probably Will Not Be Watching the Marathon
Via a friend volunteering at Qns. College: They need men's clothes, winter coats, sweatpants & blankets. Bring donations to Reeves & 153 St.— Sam Goldman (@GoldmanS) November 1, 2012
6. All These Marathon Runners (around 47,000 showed up last year) Could Be Doing Something Else
7. And Remember, You're Only Hearing from the New Yorkers Who Have Electricity and a Cellular Signal
I'm sure more people would be outraged about the @nyrr marathon still happening but their phones/computers destroyed no power cant tweet— katie honan (@katie_honan) November 1, 2012
As of last night, there were still 719,000 ConEd customers in New York City and Westchester County without power.