As New York City continues to clean up after Hurricane Sandy rolled through the region earlier this week, there’s a controversy brewing that could be as big as the storm.
In an effort to get the city back to normal, Mayor Bloomberg has decided the city will still host the storied New York City Marathon this Sunday as a testament to the city’s ability to bounce back from adversity. But many are crying foul.
While the cleanup efforts continue throughout the city, and most of Manhattan is getting back to normal, outer boroughs, namely Staten Island, are really struggling.
Councilman Scott Grimm, who represents Staten Island, says diverting resources away from hard-hit areas in order to host the marathon isn’t the prudent thing to do.
“There are people right now that have absolutely no heat. They’re still in the dark right now and they have no food,” Grimm said on the Today Show.
He continued: “The people that live in these neighborhoods feel that if there’s going be any resources for police officers, let’s have them here and let’s stop looting and things like that before we send them to take care of the marathon. I know it’s apples and oranges, but it’s symbolic for us, and it’s how we feel.”
Mayor Bloomberg says resources won’t be redirected from storm victims to the marathon, but says the annual event is a huge boon for many local businesses.
“There’s an awful lot of small businesses that depend on these people. We have to have an economy,” Bloomberg said in a new conference.
“It’s a great event for New York, and I think for those who were lost, you know, 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.”
The debate over whether or not the marathon should continue has sparked a lively debate. A Facebook group demanding the city cancel the marathon has garnered nearly 30,000 likes and an online petition asking Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo to postpone the even has gotten nearly 3,000 signatures.
Despite the criticism, the marathon is scheduled to happen. But should it?
What do you think? Should the New York City Marathon be postponed?
I don’t think they should go on with the marathon considering the impact of Hurricane Sandy. There are still people without power. It makes more sense to have it postponed. It would be nice if those who were planning to participate would help with relief efforts, but you obviously can’t force a person to volunteer their time, money, and/or resources.