New York, NY - Mayor Taps Image of Asthmatic Girl to Promote Traffic Plan
New York, NY - An image of a sad-looking little girl squeezing an asthma inhaler is being used to pressure state lawmakers into approving Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to reduce traffic and pollution by charging motorists who drive into Manhattan.
The tag line: "She cannot hold her breath waiting for Albany to act.''
The flier is being mailed this week to 350,000 households throughout the city, urging residents to call lawmakers in Albany. The state legislature would have to come back for a special session to approve the plan —$8 for cars and $21 for trucks —before a July 16 application deadline for federal funding.
"Does anybody want to look a parent in the eye and say, 'Well, we can wait for your child, we'll do it down the road, just let your child continue to breathe worse air than we could have had if we had the courage to stand up?' I don't think anybody wants to make that call,'' Bloomberg said at a rally staged to show support for his proposal.
U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, an outspoken critic of New York City's congestion pricing plan, said using the asthmatic little girl to push the plan is more of a political tactic than anything based on substance.
"The mayor should be applauded for raising this important subject of asthma, but his response seems to be anyone who opposes him wants to poison kids,'' Weiner said. "The mayor's car tax is not a cure for asthma —what it is is a giant bureaucracy funded by a regressive tax.'' [AP]
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