Must-See Meetings, Waiting for You on the Web

BY SCOTT STIFFLER | Not a week goes by where we don’t feature a public meeting accessible via Zoom, a local brick and mortar location, or both. Many of them are recorded for posterity and posted online for perpetual (usually free) access at your convenience. And so we come to this—an occasional roundup column that provides links to past events, in the event that you couldn’t attend in real time—or just want to watch it again.

The Impact of Casinos on Urban Communities: A Virtual Town Hall from New York State Senator Liz Krueger | Would allowing a casino—or several of them—to operate in NYC truly be a boon to the local bottom line, as promised? And, if so, is it worth the price to be paid, if we bankrupt locals destined to become the gambling addicts who fund our newfound tax revenue?

Those are just two of the many meaty questions asked at this fast-paced, info- and opinion-filled Town Hall that delves into the marrow of whether or not casino gambling should be allowed in NYC. Its proper (or improper) place in Manhattan was the hyperlocal focus of the February 22, 2024 event presented by New York State (NYC) Senator Liz Krueger and co-sponsored by, among others, NYS Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal and NYS Assemblymember Tony Simone.

The guest speakers were Vicki L. Been (a member of the NYS Gaming Facility Location Board), Lucy Dadayan (Principal Research Associate with the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center), Les Bernel (Executive Director, Stop Predatory Gambling), and Tom Kirdahy (a producer and a member of The Broadway League). Sen. Krueger and her guests covered all of the expected bases, while adding to the depth of the conversation by questioning the eventual impact of a casino’s presence on congestion pricing, money laundering, and human trafficking. The archived recording of the Town Hall is part of the NYS Senate’s newsroom archives. To view it at your convenience, click here. BONUS CONTENT: Several local elected officials weighed in on the matter of Manhattan casinos, at NYS Assemblymember Tony Simone’s October 29, 2023 Town Hall. To read our account of that event, click here.

Facebook Live Housing Forum with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, Hosted by New York City Council Member Erik Bottcher | In a February 29 email sent to her contacts in (and beyond) the Chelsea Community, longtime local Pamela Wolff wrote, “For those who might be interested in watching [NYC Council Member] Erik Bottcher’s conversation with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey—try this link. The Mayor has overcome many of the obstacles to the affordable housing crisis without sacrificing the livableness of his town. Of course, not all of his solutions are appropriate for us in NYC.  Apples and oranges. But it is definitely worth taking a look.” In advance of the event, Council Member Bottcher’s office wrote, “Minneapolis is unique among large U.S. cities for having largely stabilized housing costs. Watch our online conversation and Q&A with the Mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, about the housing policies they’ve enacted there in recent years.” Meg McMahan is also on hand to give her perspective as Planning Director, Minneapolis’ Community Planning & Economic Development Dept. To view the archived recording of this February 27, 2024 event at your convenience, click here.

For the Greater Good, Part 1: Health Before Profits: A Public Forum From The Midtown South Community Council (MSCC) | The MSCC focuses on improving quality of life through their Arts & Culture, Beautification & Environment, Building Communities, Education & Awareness, Homeless & Housing, Urban Farming, Volunteer & Internships programs. This Health Before Profits forum was the first of a four-part series of weekly Tuesday night events (see the full schedule on the flyer direcctly below). The panelists were Wendell Potter (President, Business Leaders for Health Care Transformation), Marianne Pizzitola (President, NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees), and Lois Uttley (Co-Founder of Community Voices for Health System Accountability). To view this February 13, 2024 event at your convenience, click here.


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