Given the frequency of extreme weather events, NYC needs a new resilience plan to deal responsibly with school closures. The system is set up in a way that pits parents who need to go to work against school staff who feel it is too unsafe. When schools close, other businesses should too. If schools close, it should be unlawful for parents to lose pay or to be penalized on the job for staying home. No child should lose access to meals. Everyone living in a flood zone needs to have a clean shelter to go to. The capitalist system consistently leaves each family to fend for themselves and “figure it out.” That has been proven to be a road to needless suffering. We need a new way — based on proper planning — to put people over profits.
The socialist candidate for mayor, Cathy Rojas, says: “Extreme weather is a worker’s issue, because worker’s lives are the ones taken by storms. As a public school teacher, I know many who’s homes flooded, or who almost got into accidents commuting to work. The city does not acknowledge this, instead, they make both students and teachers commute in dangerous conditions. For every New Yorker who dies a preventable death due to extreme weather, the city government has blood on their hands. It’s time to fight for a new system.”
The most recent storm warning has drawn attention to an ongoing issue of how the city neglects worker’s safety during times like these. All summer New Yorkers were plagued by hurricanes, storms, and floods. Throughout the campaign, Team Rojas has called for well funded people-centered solutions such as a civil relief corps that will serve the dual purpose of providing resources to those affected by floods as well as giving working people employment. We have called for better, sturdier infrastructure, housing, and transit that can weather storms, all to be funded by taxes on the rich. But we also need to ensure that teachers and all other workers are not forced to commute in dangerous conditions, and parents are not forced to call out from work to take care of their kids, losing a day of pay.