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The Ombudsman of New York came to Queens to understand immigrants. "I come to listen and make me responsible for my actions as a politician," said Bill de Blasio, whose function is to protect the interests of those living in the Big Apple.
Di Blasio said these are difficult times for the City of New York because of the economic crisis and these are their priorities: Not to the close any of Metrocard outlets , that students continue to receive the Metrocard and opposition to the dismissal of teachers and not to cut the education budget.
The community meeting, attended by members of other ethnic groups such as Hindus, Koreans, Chinese and Pakistanis took place in public schools 69, 37th Avenue and 77th Street in Jackson Heights, Queens.
The delegation of NICE (New Immigrant Community Empowerment) was the largest and wore shirts of the organization. Jesus Moreno asked why rents are not controlled and why property owners abuse of immigrants. He said that someone has to "stop police harassment and prosecution."
Martha Chavez, coordinator of the defense and organization of NICE, also took the microphone to demand that no more cuts and that the community have greater access to health services and child care. From the beginning of the meeting, Valeria Treves, executive director of NICE, took photos of the persons involved with the group.
Di Blasio let Councilman Daniel Dromm answer these questions: "Immigration is a serious matter and we must protect children from losing their right to citizenship by being in foster care." He also spoke of the need to preserve and improve programs to learn English as a Second Language (ESL), art classes in schools and to keep open the parks in the New York City. "The biggest problem is that budget cuts are affecting the young and the elderly. Politicians must be accountable for their actions and must learn to work together, "said Anna Dioguardi, director and organizer of Queens Community House.
David Quintana spoke of maintaining the "quality of life of this area," said unemployment is alarming and that the working middle class is suffering too much in this city.
Teresa Jurado and Rubiela Liliana Arias Sanchez spoke on behalf of workers in the World Financial Center (WTC) who were hit by the rubble of the Twin Towers, many of whom "are not receiving proper medical care and are dying," Sánchez said. "Many are undocumented persons and need help."
Sara Jaramillo Jara Ruth also spoke of the organization Make the Road New York. "I ask homeowners not to increase rents and not to abuse the rights of immigrants living in crowded conditions, and the councilman told me something different Dromm related to the homosexual community," said Jaramillo.
Responding to another question to Dromm, she said it is necessary to "convert illegal basements in order to find spaces to live." Another issue that Dromm has always approached from the beginning of his political campaign is the creation of a center to serve the day laborers seeking work in the street.
Jara said that it's important "to keep open the parks to protect the environment and provide alternatives to young people in Queens."
The meeting was attended by several members of the Ombudsman's office, as its press representative MAIB Gonzalez Fuentes. The activist Arturo Sanchez was sitting near the front of the school auditorium and at the end of the event said "it was very interesting because there was participation of immigrant groups."