Sunday, November 11, 2012

Survey Says?

We always like tests that the teacher allowed us to grade ourselves. The grades from these kinds of tests, however, need to be taken with a large grain of salt. The same can be said of the recent survey commissioned by Major League Soccer that found, voilĂ !, Queens residents are crazy about the stadium idea. The NY Daily News has the story:

"Queens residents are overwhelmingly in favor of a soccer stadium in the borough, according to a survey commissioned by Major League Soccer.The report, given exclusively to the Daily News, is the league’s latest attempt to demonstrate local support for the stadium, which has taken a beating from the community for proposing the facility on 13 acres of public park land."

Wasn't even a close call: "The study claims 71% of the 650 Queens registered voters surveyed last month support the MLS stadium. Two-thirds are also behind plans to build the stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, according to the report conducted by the Global Strategy Group."
-under the heading of you get what you pay for

Behind this self-serving survey we expect that there's a methodology to its madness-under the heading of, "You get what you pay for." Our expectations also lead us to believe that a more non-partisan survey of the communities impacted would yield some dramatically different results-and we strongly believe that these surveyors didn't couch the survey questions with a single discouraging word. As the News points out, there are many discouraging things about this proposes stadium:

"But opponents said they are worried the MLS stadium, U.S. Tennis Association expansion and new mall to be built at Citi Field will have a negative impact on the park.“These projects [are] happening at the same time,” said Anna Dioguardi, a Queens Community House organizer.

“The issue is this is much-needed park space.”The Fairness Coalition of Queens, which her group joined, has gathered more than a thousand signatures on a petition expressing concern on the projects’ collective effect on the most-used park in the borough."

The central question is how these proposals will do environmental harm to the surrounding neighborhoods-and this harm transcends the theft of just the vital parkland. Will Sweeney gets what's happening here-along with the last word:

"Local activist Will Sweeney said the heavily polluted Flushing River site under consideration is “toxic” and isn’t as easy for the community to access. Flushing Meadows “suffers from deep inequality because the majority of its users are low-income people of color,” he said. “They wouldn’t put a stadium in Central Park or Prospect Park.”