An Open Letter To Michael Bloomberg


Good Morning, Mr. Mayor.

I know you have a lot on your plate, that the world is an absolute mess right now, but I want to focus your attention somewhere that desperately needs your attention, one that normally takes almost no thought from the mayor of a city as large as New York City.

The running of the New York City Marathon.

Now Mr. Mayor,  I know you don’t normally read any of my articles, being a busy man and all, so you probably don’t know that I am runner and a regular one.  An all weather runner.  I run in every type of weather.  I also know that you don’t know that I am a  lifelong resident of Staten Island.

For most of my life I lived on the north shore, but I moved out of there after 35 years in 2002 and moved to Dongan Hills, where I lived for a few years before re-settling in Castleton corners, where I have been since 2005.

Enough of the background, let’s move to the foreground.

On October 29th one of the largest storms to ever strike land in the northeast, and certainly the biggest in my 45 years, struck us.  All of us.  New Jersey was crushed, as was the city. It dropped several feet of snow in the Appalachian mountains in West Virginia.  Hell it caused 20 foot surges in the great lakes.  Needless to say you also know about the billions of dollars in damage it did, and the number of dead.

And yet you want to have this marathon run through New York City, our city, now.

Yesterday, Mr. Mayor, yesterday the bodies of two small children who were pulled by the storm out of their mothers arms were found. Half of the city’s dead from this storm come from my island. Do I have to make the point that I have family members who live in that area still?  They’re OK thankfully, but plenty of other people aren’t, and there are tens of thousands without power, both on Staten Island and the rest of the city.

Generators are in Central park for the marathon that could be used to help people who are in dire need, who have lost everything, that could be used to power neighborhoods that need that help.  And yes there is a massive effort to help everyone, but can you say you are doing everything you can when generators that could help people in need are used for recreation?  Need I remind you that running is recreation, and that recreation comes third at best in times of need like these?

You say the race wont pull resources away from recovery efforts yet we know and we see with our own eyes that this is simply untrue.  I know that there are many people working on trying to fix things, I have eyes, I see them.  But when I see the people of Breezy Point and Midland Beach and South Beach who have been so harshly put upon by pitiless nature suffer so and efforts that could be made are quite simply not being made, I get angry.  And I am not alone.  There are hundreds of thousands of us, millions of us who don’t want to see this race happen, because it is simply not appropriate.  There is talk around the neighborhood and on facebook of simply walking en masse up to the start line and blocking the start line.

I’m sure your security people have already appraised you about that situation by now.

Idle threat?  Perhaps, but if you have angered these people, these working class Americans who voted for you that much where they are talking like that, it means that it is time you paid attention to us.  It is time to listen to the people and not dictate your will to them, Mr. Mayor. You are not our ruler, you are a temporary administrator. nothing more.  Don’t forget that.

Mr. Mayor I cannot find a single instance of any one city ever deciding to hold a race of any type 6 days after a hurricane made landfall and devastated the area.  We should continue this trend.  Want to run the marathon in December? If those who do the job of search and recovery are finished looking for the bodies of residents of this great city I am all for it.   Wanna make it a big running party on New Years eve?  That sounds like fun!  Might even do that myself!

But now?

No.

Mr. Mayor, please postpone the New York City Marathon. It’s the right thing to do.

Signed,

Michael Walsh

____________________

That’s it from here, America.  Talk to you later.

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