Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Following Assault Of Roosevelt Island Mom, Residents Holding Community Meeting With RIOC Public Safety Director To Do Something About Marijuana Smoking In Public Wednesday January 25 - Online Petition & Survey Too

Shortly after 3 PM on January 12, a Roosevelt Island Mom picked up her son at the Roosevelt Island Day Nursery. As the mom and son were walking home on the Roosevelt Island waterfront West Promenade, she saw a man smoking marijuana next to the playground filled with children. The mom asked the man to stop smoking marijuana. The man refused and assaulted the mom, knocking her to the ground, kicking her and cursing. (More details of the incident at this previous post).

In response to this incident, and the great concern it has raised among many in the community, the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Safety Committee (PSC) is holding a Public Forum on the subject with Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department Director Jack McManus and Deputy Director Kevin Brown.

According to RIRA PSC Committee Chair Erin Feely-Nahem:

 There is a Public Forum scheduled on Wednesday January 25 at 7:00 pm in the Chapel of The Good Shepherd. The Forum is being held to allow residents a venue in which to express any concerns they have. This is being initiated following the recent assault on the mom, near the playground next to the RIDN.
RIRA President Jeff Escobar adds:
Please note that this Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 7pm upstairs at the Good Shepherd Chapel, the Public Safety Committee along with RIOC and the Public Safety Department will be holding a Public Forum to discuss the January 12 incident, the current status of the incident, hear community concerns, and to have an open dialogue with the community on what steps are being taken to prevent such incidents from happening again, as well as what we as individual members of the community can and should do when faced with such situations and what initiatives we as a community can and will be undertaking to curtail the open use of substances in and near our Island public spaces.

My personal kudos and thanks to the Public Safety Committee and its Chair and Members for their quick responsiveness and pulling of the event together, as well as RIOC and the PSD. Understanding the short notice of the event (but necessary), please let us make every effort to attend (as well our constituents). With a strong showing and attendance we can be sure RIOC will be responsive to future such dialogues and forums when our community needs the same the most.
Some Roosevelt Island residents have started a petition on Change.org to demonstrate their great concern about this issue demanding:
PSD - Do Something About the Marijuana Problem on Roosevelt Island!

Drug use has become a real issue here on Roosevelt Island. People are smoking and dealing marijuana up and down both the East and West seawalls, within 50 feet of schools, outside the Manhattan Park theater club and playroom, in residential building hallways and stairwells, and next to sport fields and parks that are full of children. Most recently, a request to stop smoking near the Roosevelt Island Day Nursery turned violent.

This community is growing, and with Cornell rapidly completing construction, we need to ensure that our community remains safe. Public Safety needs to take a strong stand against drug use, or we must work with the city and state to get a NYPD presence here to protect our families.

By signing this petition, I am showing that I am deeply concerned about this issue, about the overall safety here on the Island, and the apparent lack of proper response from PSD and other RI leaders.
If you agree with the petition statement, sign online here.

Read the reasons your Roosevelt Island neighbors signed this petition.

The Roosevelt Island Parents' Network asks you to fill out this online survey describing any problems you may have experienced with marijuana smoking in public. According to the RIPN survey:
... if you have encountered issues with second hand marijuana and would like to communicate it with PSD, please fill out the following survey and we will submit them to PSD and RIOC (and possibly have them work with building management offices too) -- we're not collecting your name or email address, therefore all the stories will remain anonymous. Let's work together to have our voice heard, so PSD can put forward more actions to protect the health of our families and children! Thanks very much for your help!
You can participate in the survey here.

More on the January 12 assault on the Roosevelt Island Mom here.

UPDATE 1/25 - Here's video from portion of tonight's Public Forum.