College Point residents have a message for Mayor Bill de Blasio: “Step down.”
The months-long fight against the shelter at 127-03 20th Ave. showed no signs of stopping as hundreds of locals marched along College Point Boulevard on June 1.
Many donned blue shirts boasting the College Point Residents Coalition logo (CPRC) and the words “Solutions, Not Shelters.” Others held signs bearing the phrase “Worst Mayor Ever.”
“This mayor is destroying our city, destroying it with each day he is in office,” said CPRC member Jennifer Shannon. “Mayor de Blasio, step down. His solution is to put them in a warehouse — is that how we treat people?”
The College Point shelter is one of 90 being built around the city as part of de Blasio’s “Turning the Tide on Homelessness” plan. According to the Department of Homeless Services, the city shelled out $9 million to house 200 homeless men transitioning from prison.
But Michael Deng of the CPRC highlighted that the protest was not a matter of partisanship.
“This is not about being politically right or left. This is very simple: this is about justice. This is about what’s right [and] what’s wrong,” Deng said. “When you put 3,000 kids’ safety at risk just for 200 single men, it’s not right.”
State Senator John Liu and representatives for Assemblyman Dan Rosenthal and Councilman Paul Vallone were also present at last Saturday’s protest.
“What this mayor has done to the city, he’s trying to do to College Point as well,” said Liu. “So when the city has problems to deal with, they have to understand why the problems are here in the first place; they created many of the problems. And now they’re trying to shift the problems over onto the families right here in College Point. We’re not going to stand for that.”
Meanwhile, locals have filed a lawsuit against the city and are attempting to raise $100,000 for a legal fund. So far, 61 residents have raised nearly $4200 on the group’s GoFundMe page.
QNS reached out to the mayor’s office for comment and is awaiting a response.