MetroFocus

FULL EPISODE

MetroFocus: October 10, 2018

A grim warning was issued by the United Nations on climate change. A budget brawl in the Garden State adds tension to a widening rift in New Jersey’s State House, putting Gov. Phil Murphey at odds with his own party. Queens is known as the birthplace of religious freedom in America. Our “Frontline to Home Front” series hits home with roughly 500,000 veterans and their families living in the city.

AIRED: October 10, 2018 | 0:26:46
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

HISTORIC HURRICANE MICHAEL HEADS

NORTH, ONE LOCAL GROUP OFFERS

ADVICE TO NEW YORK'S ELECTED

OFFICIALS ON THE CHANGES NEEDED

TO COMBAT THE COMING CLIMATE

CRISIS STATEWIDE.

A BUDGET BRAWL IN THE GARDEN

STATE, A DEEPENING DIVIDE IN THE

NEW JERSEY STATE HOUSE, A

GOVERNOR AT ODDS WITH HIS OWN

PARTY.

STEVE ADUBATO HAS THE DETAILS.

>>> FROM RELIGIOUS MELTING POT

TO THE "CITY OF GODS," QUEENS IS

KNOWN AS THE BIRTH PLACE OF

AMERICAN RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.

FIND OUT WHICH NEIGHBORHOOD IN

THAT BOROUGH IS THE MOST

ETHNICALLY DIVERSE.

>>> OUR "FRONTLINE" SERIES

CONTINUES.

WITH ROUGHLY 500,000 VETERANS

AND THEIR FAMILIES LIVING IN NEW

YORK CITY, WE MEET A GROUP THAT

IS TRYING TO SERVE ALL OF THEM.

OUR LOOK AT THE NEW YORK CITY

VETERANS ALLIANCE IS JUST AHEAD.

>>> THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS

"METROFOCUS" STARTS RIGHT NOW.

>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH

RAPHAEL P. RAMON, JACK FORD, AND

JENNA FLANAGAN.

"METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY

JAMES AND MERRILL TISH.

SUE AND EDGAR WALK ENHEIM III.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARZ.

ROSELYN P. WALTER.

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG.

AND BY --

CORPORATE FUNDING FOR

"METROFOCUS" WAS PROVIDED BY

MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR

RETIREMENT COMPANY.

AND BY PSE&G, SERVING CUSTOMERS,

STRENGTHENING THE BUSINESS

COMMUNITY, AND INVESTING IN THE

FUTURE.

>> GEEK, AND WELCOME TO

"METROFOCUS."

I'M RAPHAEL P. RAMON.

IT WILL BE A STORMY NIGHT FOR

THOUSANDS AS HURRICANE MICHAEL

MOVES NORTH.

IT'S BEEN OVER 100 YEARS SINCE A

HURRICANE OF MICHAEL'S STRENGTH

HAS MADE LANDFALL ON THE FLORIDA

PANHANDLE AND ONLY THE THIRD

HURRICANE TO HIT THE PANHANDLE

SINCE THE 1950s.

THE DAMAGE OF WHAT IS EXPECTED

TO BE A STORM SURGE IN MICHAEL'S

WAKE WILL BE DETERMINED IN THE

COMING HOURS.

HURRICANE MICHAEL HITS JUST DAYS

AFTER THE OTHER UNITED NATIONS

RELEASED AID DIRE PREDICTION.

ON MONDAY THE WORLD'S BODY INTER

GOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE

CHANGE SHARED ITS RECENT

FINDINGS THAT WARNED THAT UNLESS

IMMEDIATE CHANGES GO INTO EFFECT

ACROSS THE GLOBE, THE WORLD WILL

SEE FOOD SHORTAGES, COASTAL

FLOODING, WORSENING WILDFIRES

AND A MASS DIE OFF OF OUR CORAL

REEFS BY 2040.

ITS A AUTHORIZES WARNED ALL OF

US MAY, QUOTE, MAY REACH RAPID

IN FAR REACHES IN ORDER TO SAVE

THE PLANET.

THE NEW YORK LEAGUE OF

CONSERVATION VOTERS CONSIDERS

THE ENVIRONMENT A PARAMOUNT

ISSUE WHEN ENTERING THE VOTING

BOOTH.

PERIL AND PROMISE, THE CHALLENGE

OF CLIMATE CHANGE, JACK FORD

RECENTLY SPOKE WITH THE LEAGUE'S

PRESIDENT MARCY A BISTRAND.

HE BEGAN BY ASKING ABOUT HER

ORGANIZATION.

>> IT'S AN ORGANIZATION THAT'S

BEEN AROUND ABOUT 25 YEARS.

AND IT'S A STATEWIDE

ORGANIZATION, SO WE'RE INVOLVED

ACROSS THE STATE.

AND WE WORK TO ELECT STRONG

CANDIDATES ON THE ENVIRONMENT.

WE HAVE AN ADVOCACY AGENDA.

WE WORK TO SUPPORT PEOPLE WHO

MOVE THAT AGENDA FORWARD.

>> AS I SAID IN THE

INTRODUCTION, NONPARTISAN?

>> NONPARTISAN.

>> SO, HOW, THEN, DO YOU -- AND

I'M GOING TO GET TO SOME ISSUES

IN A SECOND.

BUT TAKE ME THROUGH THE PROCESS,

THEN, OF IDENTIFYING CANDIDATES,

OF QUESTIONING CANDIDATES, AND

THEN ULTIMATELY AN ORGANIZATION

SAYING THIS IS SOMEBODY THAT WE

CAN GET BEHIND?

>> WE HAVE A VERY TRANSPARENT

PROCESS.

I THINK THAT IS EXTREMELY

IMPORTANT ON ISSUES LIKE THIS.

EVERY YEAR -- LET'S JUST TAKE

THE STATE LEGISLATURE.

EVERY YEAR WE LAYOUT WHAT OUR

AGENDA IS FOR THE LEGISLATURE.

WE ADVOCATE FOR IT.

WE TRACK PERFORMANCE OF THE

LEGISLATORS ON THAT AGENDA.

WE ISSUE A SCORE CARD AT THE END

OF THE SESSION THAT RANKS THE

LEGISLATORS ON THE BASIS OF

WHETHER THEY ADVANCE THAT AGENDA

OR NOT.

THEY SUBMIT A QUESTIONNAIRE IF

THEY WANT OUR ENDORSEMENT.

WE LOOK AT THE QUESTIONNAIRE.

WE MEET WITH THEM.

WE INTERVIEW THEM.

AND ON THE BASIS OF ALL OF THAT,

OUR BOARD DECIDES WHETHER

THEY'RE GOING TO ENDORSE THEM OR

NOT.

AND WE ENDORSE CANDIDATES.

AND THEN THERE IS ANOTHER LEVEL

OF THE UNIVERSE OF CANDIDATES WE

ENDORSE, A SUBSET WE INVEST IN.

IN OTHER WORDS, WE HAVE A PAC AS

WELL.

>> OKAY.

LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME ISSUES

THAT ARE OUT THERE.

>> SURE.

>> THAT IMPACT FOLKS WHO LIVE IN

THIS AREA.

WE'VE SEEN THE NOTION OF BANNING

PLASTIC BAGS, SORT OF BATTED

ABOUT IN THE POLITICAL ARENA.

WHAT'S YOUR THOUGHT ON THAT AND

HOW IT SHOULD BE HANDLED?

>> WELL, I DON'T THINK SAM AND

THE LEAGUE ADVOCATED FOR THIS,

OF PUTTING A FEE ON BAGS.

NOT BANNING THEM, BUT PUTTING A

FEE ON BOTH PLASTIC AND PAPER

BAGS.

THIS IS SOMETHING THEY DO IN

LONDON, THEY DO IN PARIS, THEY

DO IT IN MONTREAL AND SUFFOLK

COUNTY.

WHAT IT IS, IT MAKES CONSUMERS

THINK BEFORE THEY ASK FOR A BAG.

IT IS A WAY OF MINIMIZING THE

WASTE, NOT ONLY WE HAVE TO

DISPOSE OF, BUT THE COST, FOR

EXAMPLE, TO THE CITY OF MANAGING

THAT WASTE.

>> AND THE FEE WOULD GO WHERE?

>> THIS IS ONE OF THOSE TRICKY

THINGS ABOUT NEW YORK STATE.

IF WE CAN GET THE STATE TO PASS

THIS, THEN THE MONEY COULD BE

USED FOR THE ENVIRONMENTAL

PROTECTION FUND.

IF THE CITY DOES IT ALONE AND

THE PAC WILL PASS LEGISLATION

ALONG THESE LINES, THE MONEY

WILL HAVE TO GO TO THE RETAILER

BECAUSE NEW YORK STATE WOULD

CONSIDER THAT TAXING WITHOUT

GOING THROUGH --

>> IT WOULD STILL HAVE THE

IMPACT THAT YOU WANT, WHICH IS

TO MAKE PEOPLE THINK.

>> EXACTLY.

ONCE AGAIN, MOST OF THE WORLD

THAT WE TRAVEL IN DOES THIS

ALREADY.

>> WHAT DO YOU THINK THE

PROSPECT IS FOR THAT BEING --

>> IT'S GOING TO DEPEND ON WHAT

THE GOVERNOR DECIDES, QUITE

FRANKLY.

YOU KNOW, NEXT YEAR IS AN

INTERESTING YEAR IN ALBANY,

RIGHT?

THE ODDS ARE THAT THE GOVERNOR

WILL BE GOVERNOR AGAIN -- I'M

NOT PREDICTING, BUT THOSE ARE

THE ODDS.

BUT WHO IS GOING TO CONTROL THE

LEGISLATURE?

WHO IS GOING TO CONTROL THE

SENATE?

SO I THINK YOU'RE GOING TO NEED

STRONG LEADERSHIP.

AND I KNOW THE LEAGUE IS GOING

TO BE PUSHING THIS ALONG WITH A

HOST OF OTHER THINGS.

>> WE TALKED ABOUT ANOTHER ISSUE

THAT GETS A LOT OF ATTENTION

BECAUSE IT POPS UP PERIODICALLY

AND THAT'S THE IDEA OF

CONGESTION PRICING IN THIS CITY.

WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON THAT?

>> WELL, YOU KNOW,

TRANSPORTATION IS AN

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUE.

IT'S AN ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUE

BECAUSE OF EMISSIONS THAT COME

OFF OF CARS.

AND AS WE ALL KNOW, THE MTA IS

POORLY FUNDED AND CONGESTION

PRICING IS A WAY IN WHICH WE CAN

RAISE MONEY FOR THE MTA AND AT

THE SAME TIME MINIMIZE TRAFFIC

CONGESTION.

WE SUPPORT IT.

>> YOU DO?

WHAT DO YOU THINK PROSPECTS ARE?

>> I THINK THAT THE GOVERNOR HAS

TO DO SOMETHING WITH THE MTA.

I THINK HE'S UNDER SO MUCH

ATTACK ON THIS RIGHT NOW.

YOU KNOW, PART OF HIS IMAGE IS

THE CAN-DO INFRASTRUCTURE GUY,

RIGHT?

THE TAPPAN ZEE BRIDGE, LAGUARDIA

AIRPORT.

THE FACT HE APPEARS TO BE

FAILING ON MASS TRANSIT IS

SOMETHING I DON'T THINK HE'S

GOING TO BE ABLE TO GET AWAY

WITH ANY LONGER.

SO I THINK THERE WILL BE A STEP.

>> WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TO

OUR VIEWERS WHO ARE WATCHING,

LISTENING TO THIS CONVERSATION,

WELL, THE GOVERNMENT HAS TO DO

ALL THIS STUFF?

WHAT KIND OF ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE

TO PRIVATE CITIZENS, THINGS WE

CAN DO?

>> I'M NOT GOING TO SAY WHAT YOU

EXPECT MOW TO SAY.

ALL GOOD THINGS, TURN OFF YOUR

LIGHTS, THAT KIND OF THING.

IT'S POLITICS.

YOU HAVE TO FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU

CARE FOR.

YOU HAVE TO FIND OUT WHAT'S

GOING ON WITH GOVERNMENT, WITH

YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS AND GET

INVOLVED.

THAT'S WHAT THEY SHOULD DO.

CHECK OUR WEBSITE, WWW.NYL.TV.

>> IT IS A PLEASURE TALKING TO

YOU, GETTING A SENSE OF WHAT

YOU'RE DOING.

WE'LL CONTINUE TO TALK WITH YOU

DOWN THE ROAD AS ALL OF THESE

ISSUES CONTINUE TO PERCOLATE.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> THANKS FOR JOINING US.

>> SURE T' BEEN FUN.

THANKS.

>> A BUDGET BRAWL OVER THE

SUMMER IN NEW JERSEY HAS LED TO

A DEEPENING DIVIDE IN THE STATE

HOUSE BETWEEN THE ROOKIE

DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR PHIL MURPHY

AND THE VETERAN DEMOCRATIC

PRESIDENT OF THE STATE SENATE,

STEVE SWEENEY.

ALTHOUGH A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

WAS BARELY AVOIDED THANKS TO A

LAST-MINUTE DEAL, THE BATTLE

FURTHER FRACTURED THE

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MURPHY AND

MEMBERS OF HIS OWN PARTY.

LESS THAN A YEAR AFTER THE

FORMER WALL STREET MILLIONAIRE

WAS SWORN INTO OFFICE.

TOUGH STUFF, BUT CERTAINLY NOT

THE FIRST TIME SERIOUS TENSIONS

HAVE EMERGED BETWEEN A NEW

JERSEY GOVERNOR AND LEADERS OF

HIS OWN PARTY IN THE

LEGISLATURE.

AND JOINING US NOW TO PUT IT ALL

IN PERSPECTIVE IS THE ANCHOR OF

THE STATE OF AFFAIRS AND

"METROFOCUS" CONTRIBUTOR, STEVE

ADUBATO.

WELCOME BACK.

>> MY PLEASURE, RALPH.

>> STEVE, HOW DO THE HOSTILITIES

BETWEEN SWEENEY AND MURPHY

EVOLVE?

>> THEY DON'T LIKE TO SAY THIS

PUBLICLY, BUT MY POINT OF VIEW,

SOME OF 24S PERSONAL.

STEVE SWEENEY IS A VERY POWERFUL

PRESIDENT OF THE STATE SENATE,

ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL IN THE

HISTORY OF THE STATE SINCE THE

1947 CONSTITUTION.

HE WANTED TO BE GOVERNOR.

HE WAS PREPARED TO RUN FOR

GOVERNOR.

HAD IT LINED UP IN SOME PEOPLE'S

MINDS.

PHIL MURPHY COMES N NOT

ORIGINALLY FROM NEW JERSEY.

PUTS UP A LOT OF MONEY AND SAYS,

I WILL FUND MY OWN CAMPAIGN.

MANY DEMOCRATIC PARTY OFFICIALS

SAID, SWEENEY, WE KNOW YOU'VE

BEEN OUT THERE A LONG TIME IN

THE LEGISLATE UFR, A JERSEY GUY,

IF YOU WILL.

MURPHY IS GOING TO FUND THE

CAMPAIGN.

WE DON'T HAVE TO RAISE MONEY FOR

HIM.

I THINK IT REALLY BOTHERED STEVE

SWEENEY PERSONALLY AND HE'S

TRYING TO SHOW HIS STRENGTH

RIGHT NOW.

>> THIS HOSTILITY AS I SAID IN

THE INTRODUCTION BETWEEN THE

GOVERNOR AND LEADERS OF HIS OWN

PARTY IN THE LEGISLATURE,

NOTHING NEW.

IT'S A HISTORY EVENT.

>> WHAT'S IRONIC ABOUT THIS IS

THAT JOHN CORZINE, THE LAST

DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR WHO HAPPENED

TO BE FROM GOLD UP --

>> FAMILIAR FROM WALL STREET,

YEAH.

>> DIDN'T UNDERSTAND JERSEY VERY

WELL IN MY OPINION.

YOU AND I INTERVIEWED HIM MANY

TIMES ON OUR PREVIOUS SHOW.

NICE GUY, BUT DIDN'T UNDERSTAND

RETAIL POLITICS IN NERZ I.

DIDN'T RELAEL TO MEMBERS OF THE

POLITICS IN JERSEY.

I SEE SOME OF THE PATTERNS.

I THINK MURPHY IS ENGAGING AND

PERSONABLE.

HE HAD A HARD TIME WITH THE

DEMOCRATS IN THE LEGISLATURE.

THEY DIDN'T CONNECT WITH EACH

OTHER.

IT'S RETAIL POLITICS.

IF YOU DON'T CONNECT WITH

MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATURE IN

YOUR OWN PARTY ON A AMERICANAL

LEVEL, BARACK OBAMA START TODAY

LEARN THAT ABOUT DEMOCRATS AS

WELL.

THE FACT IS THE DEMOCRATS WHO

ARE NOT FROM JERSEY WHO DON'T

COME FROM THE LEGISLATURE, WHO

DON'T UNDERSTAND JERSEY VERY

WELL, DON'T DO THAT WELL WITH

THEIR OWN PARTY.

>> HE'S FROM BOSTON, RIGHT?

>> HE'S A BOSTON MILLIONAIRE.

YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT MURPHY.

>> YEAH.

HE'S A BOSTON MILLIONAIRE,

RIGHT?

>> NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

>> BUT WE'RE HERE IN NEW YORK

CITY.

WE HAD A BOSTON MILLIONAIRE WHO

BECAME A VERY SUCCESSFUL MAYOR.

>> BLOOMBERG, RIGHT?

>> WHAT DID HE DO THAT MURPHY

HAS NOT DONE?

>> I DEFER TO YOU WHEN IT COMES

TO NEW YORK POLITICS.

>> HE WASN'T A RETAIL GUY

EITHER.

>> I TELL YOU THIS, BEING

GOVERNOR IS NOT THE SAME AS

BEING MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY.

I DON'T KNOW HOW POWERFUL THE

CITY COUNCIL IS, BUT IN THE

STATE LEGISLATURE, IT'S SO

INTERESTING.

ONE OF THE GOVERNORS YOU AND I

ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT IF WE

HAVE A MINUTE IS TOM KAINE.

TOM KAINE'S PIECE OF ADVICE TO

CHRIS CHRISTIE, A REPUBLICAN

GOVERNOR IN THE '80s.

HE WAS ALSO THE FORMER SPEAKER

OF THE HOUSE WHEN THE

REPUBLICANS DIDN'T CONTROL THE

MAJORITY, THE DEMOCRATS DID.

THINK ABOUT THAT.

HE TOLD CHRIS CHRISTIE WHEN

CHRISTY BECAME GOVERNOR, HE

ASKED HIM, CHRIS, WHO IS YOUR

BEST FRIEND?

CHRIS CHRISTIE SAID, MY WIFE

MARY PAT.

HE GOES, NOT FOR THE NEXT FOUR

OR EIGHT YEARS.

YOUR BEST FRIEND IS STEVE

SWEENEY, THE PRESIDENT OF THE

SENATE.

BECAUSE IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE

BEST RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM, EVEN

THOUGH HE'S A DEMOCRAT, CHRISTY

WAS REPUBLICAN, YOU WON'T GET

ANYTHING DONE.

>> HE DID AT LEAST FOR THE FIRST

TERM, UNTIL BRIDGE GATE ANYWAY.

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MURPHY

AND SWEENEY LIKELY TO GET

BETTER, GOOD NEWS?

>> YOU AND I TALK ABOUT

POLITICS.

WE AND THE FOLKS AT "METROFOCUS"

WHO WATCH IT, ARE ALSO

INTERESTED IN THE POLICY.

IF THE DEMOCRATS, THE SPEAKER OF

THE ASSEMBLY CRAIG COUGH LYNN --

NEW GUY THERE --

>> WHAT'S HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH

MURPHY?

>> IT'S OKAY.

IT'S NOT THE SAME AS SWEENEY'S.

HERE'S MY POINT.

IF THE TWO MEMBERS OF THE SENATE

AND ASSEMBLY DOESN'T GET ALONG

WITH THE GOVERNOR, GOVERNOR

DOESN'T GET ALONG WITH THEM,

THAT'S NOT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

INSIDE BASEBALL.

THAT STOPS GOVERNMENT.

THAT STOPS POLICY FROM MOVING

FORWARD.

THE PEOPLE OF NEW JERSEY NEED

THE LEADERS OF THE LEGISLATURE

AND THE GOEFRP TO GET ALONG FOR

THE STATE TO WORK WELL.

YOU HAVE TRANSIT ISSUES.

YOU HAVE INFRASTRUCTURE ISSUES.

YOU HAVE ENVIRONMENTAL EISSUES,

ENERGY ISSUES.

IT'S NOT WHAT THEY WANT TO RAISE

TAXES.

THEY HAVE TO GET IT TOGETHER.

IN MY OPINION PHIL MURPHY HAS TO

SIT DOWN AND ASK HIMSELF HOW

MUCH DO I WANT TO UNDERSTAND

THESE GUYS AND INTERACT WITH

THEM ON A PERSONAL LEVEL?

THEY HAVE TO UNDERSTAND MUR 23I

COMES FROM A DIFFERENT

BACKGROUND.

IF THEY DON'T DO THAT, THERE IS

GOING TO BE A STALEMATE FOR A

LONG TIME.

THAT'S NOT GOOD NEWS FOR NEW

JERSEY.

>> WHAT'S YOUR BEST GUESS?

>> I'M HOPEFUL.

I LIKE TO BE AN OPTIMIST.

I'M CATHOLIC AND I'LL SAY A

PRAYER.

>> STEVE, THANKS SO MUCH.

>> THANK YOU, RALPH.

>> KNOWN LOCALLY AS THE BIRTH

PLACE OF AMERICAN RELIGIOUS

FREEDOM, THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF

FLUSHING QUEENS IS NOW SO

DIVERSE THAT IT HAS BECOME A

MICROCOSM OF WORLD RELIGIONS.

ACCORDING TO CENSUS STATISTICS,

QUEENS ITSELF IS NOW THE MOST

ETHNICALLY DIVERSE COUNTY IN THE

NATION.

AND AS FAR AS RELIGIOUS

DIVERSITY IS CONCERNED IN

FLUSHING ALONE WHICH STRETCHES

NO MORE THAN 2.5 SQUARE MILES,

THEY ARE CURRENTLY NEARLY 200

DIFFERENT PLACES OF WORSHIP.

IN HIS NEW BOOK "CITY OF GODS,"

AUTHOR R. SCOTT HANSON DOCUMENTS

THE CHURCHES, SYNAGOGUES AND

MOSQUES OF THE FLUSHING SKYLINE

AND RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES THAT

CALL THIS NEW YORK ENCLAVE HOME.

PRO VESER HANSON JOINS US NOW.

PROFESSOR, WELCOME TO THE

PROGRAM.

>> THANK YOU.

>> I WONDER IF YOU CAN ELABORATE

HOW RELIGIOUSLY DIVERSE IS

FLUSHING/QUEENS.

>> THERE ARE OVER 200 RELIGIONS

DENSELY CONCENTRATE ED IN THIS

DIVERSE RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT.

THERE ARE SIX HINDU TEMPLES,

SEVERAL MOSQUES, SYNAGOGUES,

BUDDHIST TEMPLES, OVER 100

KOREAN CHURCHES ALONE, AND SOME

OF THE OLDEST OTHER CHURCHES AND

SYNAGOGUES IN THE CITY.

>> IMMIGRATION IS WHAT'S

DRIVING, IMMIGRATION AND THE

IMMIGRANTS THAT FOUND RESIDENCE

IN FLUSHING IS WHAT DRIVES THIS

RELIGIOUS PURELYISM.

LET ME ASK YOU, THE RELIGIOUS

PLURALISM THAT YOU FIND IN

FLUSHING IS IT A QUILT LIKE EACH

RELIGION IS A DISTINCT CITY NEXT

TO A DISTINCT PIECE OR A MELTING

POT WHERE IT KEEPS ITS FLAVOR

AND UNITES TO FORM A MORE TASTY

STEW?

>> SO MANY -- THE MELTING POTS

COME -- I LIKE TO THINK OF IT

MORE AS A MOSAIC OR PATCH WORK

OR SYMPHONY EVEN.

BUT IN FLUSHING, YOU DO SEE

VARIOUS ETHNIC ENCLAVES OR PARTS

THAT ARE MORE KOREAN OR CHINESE

OR INDIAN.

BUT BECAUSE IT'S NEW YORK AND

THERE IS' NOT MUCH SPACE, PEOPLE

MIX QUITE A BIT.

>> INCREASINGLY SO?

INCREASINGLY SO?

>> THEY DO.

>> SECOND GENERATION AND THIRD

GENERATION PROBABLY EVEN MORE.

>> RIGHT, THEY BUMP INTO EACH

OTHER ON THE SUBWAY, THE

ELEVATOR AND SO ON.

>> SURE.

>> AND THEY MAY NOT INTERACT A

GREAT DEAL ALWAYS, BUT AT LEAST

THEY TOLERATE AND ARE AWARE OF

EACH OTHER.

>> YOU KNOW, AS YOU WRITE THE

FAMOUS THEOLOGIAN, JESUITS

THEOLOGIAN ONCE ASKED, HOW MUCH

PLURALISM, AND WHAT KIND OF

PLURALISM CAN A PLURALIST

SOCIETY STAND?

HOW DOES THE FLUSHING EXPERIENCE

HELP ANSWER THAT QUESTION?

>> RIGHT.

MURRY WROTE AT A VERY DIFFERENT

TIME IN 1960 WHEN -- AT A TIME

THE COUNTRY WAS LARGELY

PROTESTANT CATHOLIC JEWISH,

WHITE AND BLACK.

HE WAS TAPPED TO WORKTIME, DIFFT

CIRCUMSTANCES.

BUT I THINK IT'S MORE RELEVANT

TODAY IN A PLACE LIKE FLUSHING

AND ALSO INCREASING RELIGIOUS

DIVERSITY IN AMERICA, TOO.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED IN STUDYING

FLUSHING FOR MANY YEARS IS THAT

ANY COMMUNITY LIKE FLUSHING AND

ELSEWHERE AROUND THE COUNTRY CAN

ACCOMMODATE AND ABSORB A

TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF RELIGIOUS

DIVERSITY AND STILL TURN OUT

OKAY.

THERE ARE GROWING PAINS.

PARKING IS AN ISSUE.

ON THE WEEKENDS YOU MIGHT

IMAGINE WHEN PEOPLE COME TO

WORSHIP AND SHOP AND SO ON, IT'S

PROBABLY ONE OF THE BIGGEST

ISSUES.

THERE ARE SOCIAL LIMITS, I SAID.

NEW YORKERS LIKE THEIR PRIVACY.

THEY MAY BE AWARE OF OTHERS, BUT

THEY STILL WANT THEIR PRIVACY

AND THEY MAY NOT ALWAYS INTERACT

IN MEANINGFUL WAYS.

NOT -- YOU KNOW, THERE ARE

CERTAINLY EXCEPTIONS.

MANY PEOPLE ENJOY MEETING PEOPLE

FROM DIFFERENT RELIGIONS AND

CULTURES AND SO FORTH, RIGHT?

THERE ARE ALSO LIMITS OF RACE

AND ETHNICITY.

THERE ARE PARTS OF FLUSHING THAT

ARE SEGREGATED.

THERE ARE ETHNIC ENCLAVES THAT

WE JUST SPOKE ABOUT.

THERE ARE THEOLOGICAL LIMITS AS

WELL.

SOME PEOPLE ARE NOT INTERESTED

IN SPEAKING TO A MUSLIM IF THEY

ARE AN EVANGELICAL

FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIAN.

THEY WOULD RATHER CONVERT THEM,

RIGHT?

SO THOSE ARE SOME OF THE LIMITS.

BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT PEOPLE

CAN LIVE TOGETHER IN CIVIL

COEXISTENCE.

>> AS WORLD HISTORY HAS TAUGHT

US UNFORTUNATELY, DIVERSE

PLACES, EVEN AS DIVERSE -- MAYBE

NOT AS DIVERSE AS

FLUSHING/QUEENS, BUT A GREAT

DEAL OF RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY CAN

TURN INTO A -- HOW DOES THAT

HAPPEN AND HOW DO WE AVOID?

>> HOW HOW DO WE AVOID --

>> WHEN RELIGIOUS COMITY BREAKS

DOWN.

>> GOT YOU.

I THINK PLACES ARE BEGINNING TO

EXPERIENCE RAPID DEMOGRAPHIC

CHANGE ARE THE ONES THAT ARE

MOST AFRAID OF THE OTHER AND OF

RELIGIOUS DIFFERENCE AND ETHNIC

DIFFERENCE.

YOU SAW PARTS OF THE COUNTRY

THAT VOTED OVERWHELMINGLY FOR

PRESIDENT TRUMP THAT WERE

CHARACTERIZED TO SOME EXTENT BY

THAT NATURE, THIS KIND OF LOSS

OR NOSTALGIA FOR KIND OF A CIRCA

1940s, EARLY '50s WHITE

PROTESTANT AMERICA THAT IS

CHANGING.

IN FACT, PRESIDENT TRUMP HIMSELF

IS FROM QUEENS IRONICALLY.

AND WOULDN'T RECOGNIZE IT IN

SOME WAYS TODAY.

MIGHT BE AFRAID OF THAT

DIVERSITY IN SOME WAYS.

BUT THAT'S ACTUALLY WHAT MAKES

AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, DIVERSITY

AND IMMIGRATION.

>> ALL RIGHT.

WELL, PROFESSOR, YOUR BOOK IS

"CITY OF GODS," RELIGIOUS

FREEDOM, IMMIGRATION AND

PLURALISM.

FLUSHING/QUEENS, A GREAT READ

FOR THIS DAY AND AGE.

THANK YOU, PRO PERCENT.

>> DID YOU KNOW HALF A MILLION

VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILY

MEMBERS LIVE IN THE FIVE

BOROUGHS IN THIS PART OF OUR

SIERZ, "FRONTLINE TO HOME

FRONT," WE'RE INVESTIGATING THE

ISSUES THAT MATTER MOST TO OUR

VETERANS WHO OFTEN FACE A

DAUNTING CHALLENGE TRANSITIONING

TO CIVILIAN LIFE.

FROM VA HEALTH CARE CUTBACKS AND

REPORTS OF SUBSTANDARD CARE TO

EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL PROGRAMS,

MONTHLY MEETINGS, THE NYC

VETERANS ALLIANCE STAFFED AND

LED BY VETERANS HAS BEEN WORKING

TO SUPPORT THEIR OWN FELLOWS.

JOINING US TONIGHT WITH THEIR

STORY, THE STORIES OF OTHERS WHO

HAVE GIVEN SO MUCH FOR THE

COUNTRY, NYC VETERANS ALLIANCE

FOUNDER KRISTIN ROUSE AND ADRIAN

BRAMER, BOTH OF WHOM HAVE SERVED

THEIR COUNTRIES.

WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE YOU WITH

US.

CHRIS, I'LL START WITH YOU, AS

SOMEONE INVOLVED IN THE

CREATION, HOW DID THIS

ORGANIZATION GET STARTED AND WHY

DID IT GET STARTED?

>> SO, YOU KNOW, FIRST THANKS SO

MUCH FOR HAVING US ON HERE AND

FOR BRINGING US ON TO TELL OUR

STORY.

>>> WHEN I CAME HOME FROM MY

THIRD TOUR OF DUTY IN

AFGHANISTAN, I CAME HOME IN

EARLY 2013 AND I KNOW THAT I

NEEDED HELP CONNECTING WITH

OTHER VETERANS AND REALLY LIKE

FINDING THE COMMUNITY AND THE

SUPPORT THAT I NEEDED TO FEEL

LIKE I WAS BACK HOME IN NEW YORK

CITY.

AND IT WAS A STRUGGLE TO FIND

INFORMATION.

AND ALSO AS SOMEBODY WHO IS

PAYING CLOSE ATTENTION TO WHAT'S

HAPPENING AT CITY -- IN CITY

GOVERNMENT AS WELL AS STATE

GOVERNMENT AS WELL AS WHAT'S

HAPPENING NATIONALLY, I NOTICED

THAT VETERANS AND FAMILY MEMBERS

WERE BARELY A POLITICAL

AFTERTHOUGHT IN OUR CITY

GOVERNMENT AT THAT TIME.

THERE WAS A VERY, A VERY TINY

MAYORAL OFFICE THAT WAS

DEDICATED TO VETERANS AT THAT

TIME.

AND I LOOKED AROUND AND TALKED

WITH OTHER MEMBERS OF OUR

VETERANS COMMUNITY AND OTHER

ADVOCATES, OLDER VETERANS WHO

HAD BEEN PAYING ATTENTION FOR

SOMETIME.

AND EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE QUITE A

NUMBER OF VETERANS IN THE NEW

YORK METRO AREA, WE'RE NOT

REALLY CONCENTRATED LIKE IN

OTHER STATES, LIKE TEXAS, YOU

KNOW, OR OTHER LOCATIONS THAT

ARE MUCH MORE FOCUSED ON TALKING

ABOUT VETERANS AND TALKING ABOUT

MILITARY SERVICE.

AND SO WE'RE MORE SPREAD OUT

HERE IN NEW YORK.

AND NEW YORK IS ALSO HOME OF

EVERYTHING.

SO IT'S -- IT WAS REALLY

IMPORTANT AT THAT TIME TO START

SHIFTING THE FOCUS TO VETERANS,

TO THE MILITARY, TO MILITARY

SERVICE, TO THOSE OF US WHO HAVE

BEEN DEPLOYED.

SOME OF US MANY TIMES IN OUR

POST-9/11 WARS.

AS WELL AS BRING MORE

RECOGNITION TO THE VETERANS WHO

SERVED IN EARLIER ERAS TO

INCLUDE THE COLD WAR, TO INCLUDE

THE FIRST DESERT STORM, SOMALIA,

OTHER COMPLEX LIKE THE EFFORTS

IN KOSOVO.

THERE ARE A LOT OF VETERANS WHO

FEEL UNRECOGNIZED FOR THEIR

SERVICE.

>> YOU WOULD THINK IN THIS ERA,

WHERE YOU GET ACCESS TO ANYTHING

YOU WANT -- AND SOME THINGS THAT

YOU DON'T WANT, YOU JUST DON'T

GET ACCESS TO.

BUT YOU WOULDN'T IMMEDIATELY

THINK THAT A LACK OF INFORMATION

WOULD BE A REAL ISSUE.

WHY DO YOU THINK IT HAS BEEN A

PROBLEM, HOWEVER?

>> I THINK IT'S THAT IT CAN BE

HARD TO FIND THE INFORMATION

BECAUSE IT'S IN SO MANY PLACES.

SO WHAT MY PART OF THE VETERANS

ALLIANCE IS IS PUTTING

INFORMATION ON OUR VETERANS.NYC

WHICH IS AN INFORMATION HUB,

EVENTS AND RESOURCES FOR

VETERANS --

>> I WENT ON IT, BY THE WAY, TO

LOOK AT IT.

IT'S FASCINATING HOW MUCH YOU

HAVE ON THERE.

>> THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

WE GET A LOT OF INFORMATION

PASSED TO US FROM THE V.A., FROM

THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERAN

SERVICES FOR NEW YORK CITY.

A LOT OF DIFFERENT

ORGANIZATIONS, AND IT ALL GOES

TO ONE SPOT SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO

SPEND AN HOUR LOOKING FOR

SOMETHING SPECIFIC.

YOU CAN GO RIGHT THERE AND FIND

IT.

WE GET ABOUT -- LAST MONTH WE

HAD 6000 INDIVIDUAL PAGE VIEWS

FOR AUGUST FOR PEOPLE LOOKING

FOR INFORMATION AND RESOURCES.

>> SHE'S POSTED MORE THAN 2,500

EVENTS ON OUR CALENDAR SINCE WE

STARTED IN 2015.

>> THAT'S IMPRESSIVE.

>> THAT'S A LOT.

IT'S A LOT --

>> THAT'S A LOT.

>> TO PROVIDE RESOURCES SO

VETERANS KNOW WHERE TO CONNECT

AND TO FIND A RESOURCE THAT FITS

THEM AND MEETS THEIR NEED.

BUT THE EVENTS THAT WE PUT ON AS

AN ORGANIZATION HAVE SOME KIND

OF CONNECTION TO CIVIC

LEADERSHIP.

WE WANT VETERANS TO BE ENGAGED

IN WHAT'S HAPPENING IN OUR CITY

GOVERNMENT AND OUR STATE

GOVERNMENT.

WE WANT OUR MEMBERSHIP TO VOTE.

WE WANT TO BE INVOLVED IN THE

POLITICAL PROCESS.

IN NEW YORK CITY WE HISTORICALLY

HAD A VERY LOW VOTER TURNOUT,

BUT OUR MEMBERSHIP IS VERY

ENGAGED.

THEY TELL US IN THE SURVEY THAT

WE'VE DONE NEARLY ALL OF THEM

CONSISTENTLY VOTE IN GENERAL

ELECTIONS AS WELL AS IN

PRIMARIES.

AND THAT'S, THAT'S SOMETHING

VERY SPECIAL, AND IT'S SOMETHING

THAT WE NEED TO MAKE SURE IS

ENERGIZED TO SOLVE PROBLEMS.

VETERANS, BY AND LARGE, WE SIGN

UP FOR SERVICE BECAUSE WE WANT

TO SERVE OUR COMMUNITY.

WE WANT TO SERVE OUR COUNTRY.

WE WANT TO BE PROUD OF DOING

THINGS FOR OTHERS, OF SERVING A

HIGHER PURPOSE.

AND THAT COMMITMENT TO SERVICE,

SOMETIMES PUTTING OUR LIVES ON

THE LINE WHEREVER IT IS THAT WE

SERVED, WE ARE WILLING TO DO

THAT.

WE ARE TRAINED AS LEADERS, WE

ARE TRAINED TO SOLVE PROBLEMS

AND WE WANT TO SOLVE PROBLEMS.

>> I'VE GOT TO TELL YOU, ONE OF

THE THINGS THAT I'VE CERTAINLY

BEEN STRUCK BY, AND WE HAVE AS

PART OF THE SERIES WE'VE BEEN

DOING IS HOW OFTEN WE'RE SEEING

VETERANS LIKE YOURSELVES WHO

VOLUNTEERED TO SERVE TO START

WITH AND ARE CONTINUING TO SERVE

AFTER THEY CAME BACK.

I THINK THE TWO OF YOU ARE JUST

MARVELOUS ILLUSTRATIONS OF THAT.

THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE OUT

THERE BENEFITING.

I WANT TO THANK YOU FIRST FOR

YOUR SERVICE, AND THANK YOU FOR

YOUR CONTINUED SERVICE.

AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR

GROUP BEING SUCCESSFUL AND WE'LL

CHECK IN WITH YOU AS WE MOVE

DOWN THE ROAD AND SEE HOW YOU'RE

DOING.

BUT THANK YOU BOTH FOR SPENDING

SOME TIME WITH ALL THE WORK

YOU'RE DOING.

AND ALREADY A LOT OF PEOPLE OUT

THERE WHO THANK YOU FOR DOING

SO.

>>> FOR MORE INFORMATION ON

HASLET RANZ NYC ALLIANCE AND

SERIES DETAILING VETERANS POST

9/11, VISIT US AT

METROFOCUS.ORG.

>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE

BY JAMES AND MERRILL TISH.

SUE AND EDGAR WALK ENHEIM III.

ROSELYN P. WALTER.

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG.

AND BY --