Democratic candidates Christine Quinn, Anthony Weiner, Bill de Blasio, William Thompson Jr. and John Liu spend 12 hours with a host family at the Lincoln Center Houses, located on East 135th Street Between 5th Avenue and Lennox Avenue.All emerged from the overnight stay with claims that all would fight to improve the conditions.
The candidates slept on sofas, air mattresses and sleeping bags in the apartments, some of which were without air conditioning on one of the hottest days of the year.
On Sunday, Christine Quinn discussed the conditions of the apartment she spent the night with the NY Post.
“The apartment I stayed in had a bathroom that was covered with black mold,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. “It was the worst I’ve ever seen. When the city of New York is the landlord, this is unacceptable.”
Quinn was one of five Democratic candidates for mayor who accepted a challenge from the Rev. Al Sharpton to spend a night in a public-housing complex.
The candidates say they wanted to highlight condition in city-run public housing. About 3,100 residents live in the East Harlem project.
I'm sorry, but I can't believe any of them when they say that they would work to improve conditions.
You see, all of them have been in a position to not only understand the conditions, but to actually fix them.
Christine Quinn is the current Speaker of the New York City Council. As such, she can hold hearings, address budgetary concerns, and demand changes at the New York City Housing Authority which oversees public housing in the City.
Bill Thomspon and John Liu are the former and current City Comptroller, respectively. As such, both could investigate the Housing Authority for mismanagement of city resources, failures to enact reforms on spending, and demand changes in how the Housing Authority operates.
Then, there's Bill DelBlasio, who's the City Advocate. In that position, he's able to gather and collect complaint data about public housing and demand change.
Finally, there's former Congressman Anthony Weiner who could have addressed the matter while in Congress and sought more funding or reforms in the Housing Authority to get local politicians to demand improvements and change.
All five share the failed opportunities to fix the Housing Authority and poor housing conditions while they were in their current positions. Now that all five are seeking the mayorality, they are willing to say or do anything to get the votes of those living in the projects.
None are deserving.
All failed to do what needed to be done when they had the chance to act, but since votes are on the line, all are speaking out about the deplorable conditions. Anyone who spent any time in these projects would have known this - anyone who spoke or responded to constituent letters would have heard the horror stories.
What we had was a photo op that will be quickly forgotten once the votes are counted. That's not how it should be, but there it is.