The media get together at the Johnson Community Center at 116th in East Harlem was packed. The City Council was present, 38 in all, and even Sonia Montano , Maria of Sesame Street fame was present. The topic was the 2015 State of the City Address.
The keynote speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito covered a variety of topics in the state address.
Melissa is passionate in speech and action, something found in her parents, both of Puerto Rican heritage, father a doctor, mother an activist for women’s rights in Puerto Rico where Melissa was born. Now as the first Latino/Puerto Rican to serve as speaker of the New York City Council, she has a platform and the topics tackled are numerous.
Here are some of the things she had to say concerning proposals running from Human Rights to Student Technology Access.
“Together we’re going to empower, we’re going to uplift and we’re going to make sure all New Yorkers are heard.”
A Human Rights commission to be reborn yet respecting the role the NYPD had to police the city.
“Stop and frisk is a failure As most cops have mentioned.”
“But the NYPD is the fabric of our communities.”
The support of small businesses are the key to improving the financial situation, Mark-Viverito feels.
“A recent study found that for every one dollar invested in these services, we save six.”
Youth must be armed to participate in the future. Programs like the one with NASA as well as improved access to technology through companies like Microsoft makes for more opportunities and keeps kids in school. ”
This will provide more skilled workers for fast-growing fields.”
The homeless issue is one many are feeling more in this depressed economy. The increased funding for legal services for homeless prevention is a start. The catchphrase is “Lifting every voice” and Melissa believes challenges are meant to be met, action the key.
“We cant half step if we want to solve any of these issues.”