Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) released the following statement, opposing the use of federal relief funds for the construction of an AirTrain to LaGuardia Airport from Willis Point.
“Today, I stand with the East Elmhurst community and Guardians of Flushing Bay, Queens Community Board 3, Ditmars Boulevard Block Association, Together We Can, and the COVID Care Network and ask that no federal COVID-19 relief funding directed to the Port Authority be used for the construction of an AirTrain to LaGuardia Airport from Willis Point.
“The community surrounding LaGuardia was among the hardest hit by COVID-19, and many of its residents are now facing eviction or other serious economic consequences of the pandemic. These families have been crying out for relief for months. While state and local funding is desperately needed in the next COVID-19 relief package, it would be the ultimate insult to finally send aid to this community in the form of a project that they firmly oppose and that could further jeopardize their health and safety.
“The proposed Willis Point route is likely to lead to overcrowding on the 7 train, a concern the community has raised for years but which has gained additional urgency in a post-COVID-19 era. There are also valid ecological concerns about the construction through park and marshland that this route would require. Most importantly, however, is the general disregard for community input. Over half of the public comments submitted to this project opposed the AirTrain and yet this majority was utterly disregarded.
“Until such time as a new route is identified, or the community’s concerns are sufficiently alleviated, no federal COVID-19 relief funding should be granted to the Port Authority for the purpose of constructing the AirTrain.”