Report: If Asked, Mayor de Blasio Would Speak to Chinatown about Proposed Jail

Posted on: October 24th, 2018 at 5:05 am by

de Blasio town hall, June 2017

Is it possible that the mayor would come to Chinatown and field concerns about his proposed high-rise jail?

During the weekly “Ask the Mayor” radio segment on WNYC two weeks ago, Mayor de Blasio told host Brian Lehrer that if the local councilmember in either of the affected four boroughs invited him to a community forum, he would “do it in a heartbeat.” (Listen to the segment below starting at 18:00.)

So, in that case, what’s everyone waiting for?

The local councilwoman is, of course, Margaret Chin. She continues to support the plan, which calls for a 430-foot detention center at 80 Centre Street. In fact, every City Councilmember whose district includes one of the proposed jails supports the mayor’s proposal (i.e. Diana Ayala, Stephen Levin, and Karen Koslowitz).

Photo: New York City

As previously reported, the city’s so-called “roadmap to closing Rikers” envisions glitzy new jail facilities in four of the five boroughs. The proposed Manhattan building would carry roughly 1,500 beds for the incarcerated, plus a day room, activity room, counseling services, and potentially outdoor space.

Maybe it’s high time for Chin to extend that invite.

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