Employers and employees alike are taking a beating in these
harsh economic times. A census by Congressman Anthony Weiner shows
a troubling list of avenues in Queens with a growing number of
businesses forced out of existence, leaving pain and suffering to
many small businesses - the engines of our local economy here in
According to the survey of 1,730 stores in Queens,
211 are closed or about to close. In all, a record 12 percent of
these community stores are vacant in Queens, an increase of 200
percent. The alarming average per neighborhoods in Queens is 21
stores that are shut.
An even harsher reality is that,
despite the presidentís huge economic stimulus bill, New York
State will not be bailed out of its fiscal crisis completely. We
will still be faced with a budget gap of $9 billion or
While the gap is smaller due to the federal funding
projected for New York State, it is still among the biggest budget
deficit in years.
With a balanced budget due in a few
weeks, each community must demand that their elected
representative in the state government be prudent and wise to
exercise their best judgment.
We demand that spending be
slashed while protecting programs crucial to our quality of life,
such as schools, police, firefighters, sanitation, and mass
We demand that there be viable reform proposals
for Medicare and medical benefits that have grown unaffordable,
and that we recoup the large amounts being siphoned off due to
fraud, mismanagement, and waste.
We demand that our
legislators shield homeowners and businesses from rising property
taxes, but above all, we caution them not to increase any form of
taxation to the residents of New York.
In short, you cannot
balance the budget on our backs alone any more.
Baldeo is a community advocate and former State Senate candidate
for the 15th State Senate district, which encompasses Glendale,
Howard Beach, Maspeth, Middle Village, Old Howard Beach,
Ridgewood, Woodhaven, Ozone Park and Richmond