METROFOCUS: MARCH 20, 2019

Mass murder at a mosque.  “How to spot a Jew” makes headlines in a Polish paper.  A photo of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg defiled by anti-Semitic slurs.  Hate is on the rise here and abroad, with deadly consequences. Tonight, we take a look at the personal side of hate in America and the rise of white nationalism in the age of President Trump. New York City could be heading toward bankruptcy, yet Mayor de Blasio’s new budget seeks a three billion dollar increase, with cuts to libraries and many other city agencies.  Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer is here with a plan to help ensure these vital services will remain unscathed. Exile, illiteracy, disease, war, and bigotry. PBS’ Films BYkids pairs master filmmakers with teenagers from around the world to help illuminate the world’s most dire issues. A frightening thought: a massive storm surge completely knocking out a third of lower Manhattan within the next 30 years. The possibility is real and so is a solution.

Aired on March 20, 2019.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS' -- HATE IS ON THE RISE AGAIN.

BOTH HERE AT HOME AND ABROAD WITH DEADLY CONSEQUENCES.

TODAY IN NEW ZEALAND FUNERALS CONTINUE FOR THE 50 VICTIMS OF LAST WEEK'S MASS SHOOTINGS AT TWO MOSQUES.

THE ACCUSED KILLER A SELF-DESCRIBED WHITE NATIONALIST.

THE YOUNGEST VICTIM, JUST 3 YEARS OLD.

THE RIGHT WING PUBLICATION ADVISES THE READERS ON HOW TO SPOT A JEW AND HERE IN NEW YORK CITY A POSTER OF RUTH BADER GINSBURG WAS DEFACED WITH THE WORDS DIE JEW, AN EXPLETIVE AND A SWASTIKA.

IN A MOMENT A LOOK AT THE PERSONAL SIDE OF ANTI-SEMITISM IN THE CONVERSATION ABOUT WHITE NATIONALISTS WHO FEEL EMBOLDENED SINCE THE ELECTION OF PRESIDENT TRUMP.

> A FRIGHTENING THOUGHT, A MASSIVE STORM SURGE KNOCKING OUT A THIRD OF LOWER MANHATTAN WITHIN THE NEXT 30 YEARS.

THE POSSIBILITY IS REAL AND SO IS THE SOLUTION.

> ANALYSTS WARN THAT NEW YORK CITY CAN BE HEADED TO BANKRUPTCY.

THE MAYOR DID CALL FOR CITY AGENCIES TO TIGHTEN THE BUDGETS BUT IS IT TIME TO TIGHTEN THE PURSE STRINGS OF LIBRARIES?

A DISCUSSION IS JUST AHEAD.

> PLUS, FILMS BY KIDS.

FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MASTER FILMMAKERS JOIN FORCES WITH TEENAGERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD WHO WANT TO SHINE A LIGHT ON THE MOST CRITICAL GLOBAL ISSUES.

THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ ROSALIND 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.

GOOD EVENING.

WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN.

THERE'S A TROUBLING RISE IN HATE CRIMES BOTH HERE IN THE CITY AROUND AROUND THE COUNTRY AND THAT HAS SURFACED OVERSEAS WHERE FUNERALS STARTED THIS WEEK IN NEW ZEALAND FOR THOSE KILLED DURING MASS SHOOTINGS AT TWO MOSQUES THAT LEFT 50 DEAD.

THE ACCUSED MURDERER IS A SELF-DESCRIBED WHITE SUPREMACIST.

IT IS NOT THE FIRST ACT OF HATE WE HAVE SEEN THIS MONTH.

JUST LAST WEEK, THE RIGHT WING POLISH NEWSPAPER RAN A FRONT PAGE STORY INSTRUCTING READERS ON HOW TO RECOGNIZE A JEW.

AND BACK HERE IN BROOKLYN, THE NYPD IS INVESTIGATING AFTER THIS SUBWAY POSTER OF SUPREME COURT JUSTICE BADER GINSBURG HAD THE WORDS DIE JEW.

AS OF MARCH 10th, 86 HATE CRIMES WERE REPORTED IN THE CITY.

A 62% SPIKE FROM LAST YEAR.

FOR A CLOSER LOOK AT WHAT'S DRIVING THE HATE, JACK FORD CAUGHT UP WITH THE EDITOR FROM 'THE NEW YORK TIMES,' AND AUTHOR OF 'SEMITISM, BEING JEWISH IN AMERICA IN THE AGE OF TRUMP.'

HE ASKED ABOUT THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE BOOK'S TITLE AND THE PARENTHESIS THAT SURROUND IT.

DURING THE 2016 CAMPAIGN I WAS ON TWITTER AS I OFTEN AM.

I SENT SOMETHING OUT ON TWITTER AND I GOT A REPLY BACK FME CALL TRUMP.

ALL IT WAS IT SAID HELLO WISEMAN.

BECAUSE MY NAME WAS IN THREE PARENTHESIS.

I REPLIED TO HIM AND CARE TO EXPLAIN?

HE CAME BACK SAYING, WHAT HOLD THE VAUNTED INTELLIGENCE, IT'S A DOG WHISTLE.

I HAVE BELLED THE CAT FROM MY FELLOW GOYIM.

WHAT IT IT IS THOSE THREE PARENTHESIS WERE USED TO MARK JEWS ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND THEN THESE NEAT KIND OF SWARMS OF NEO-NAZIS HAD THIS SPECIAL SOFTWARE CALLED THE COINCIDENCE INDICATOR AND THEY COULD DOCH F TARGETS THAT WERE BELLED TO GO AFTER.

SO THOSE ACTUALLY SIGNIFY WHO WAS TARGETED ONLINE.

IS IT HYPERBOLIC TO SAY A MODERN DAY ARM BAND?

THAT'S WHAT THEY CALL IT ACTUALLY.

THEY DO?

THIS IS OUR WAY OF SLAPPING THE YELLOW STAR ON THEIR CHEST SO THAT'S CERTAINLY WHAT THEY WOULD CALL IT.

LET ME TALK A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES THEN.

AS A JOURNALIST, YOU'RE ACTUALLY -- YOU'RE FAR MORE PUBLIC AND AS YOU SAID YOU'RE ENGAGED ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

WHAT DID YOU FIND THEN THAT YOU WERE BEING SUBJECTED TO?

THE UGLINESS OF THE ANTI-SEMITISM AND THE HATE REALLY TOOK ME ABACK.

OBVIOUSLY WE KNOW THERE'S BIGOTRY IN THIS COUNTRY BUT HAVING YOUR FACE, YOU KNOW, PHOTOSHOPPED ON A PICTURE OF SOMEBODY OF A CONCENTRATION CAMP VICTIM OR SOMEBODY KNEELING DOWN ABOUT TO BE SHOT IN THE BACK OF A HEAD BY A NAZI OR BEING IN A GAS CHAMBER WITH A DONALD TRUMP FIGURE IN NAZI REGALIA ABOUT TO TURN ON THE GAS, IT WENT ON AND ON.

THERE WAS ONE GUY WHO SENT ME AN IMAGE OF THE VERY FAMOUS GATES OF AUSCHWITZ, BUT INSTEAD OF SAYING WORK MAKES YOU FREE IN GERMAN IT SAID MOCKEN AMERICA GREAT AMERICA.

IT WAS A WEIRD MOTIF OF THE HOLOCAUST AND TRUMPISM OVER AND OVER.

IT TOOK ME ABACK THAT I REALLY TRIED TO SEND IT OUT INTO THE WORLD TO SHOW WHAT WAS OUT THERE.

WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE WHAT YOU'RE DOING AS A WAY OF FIGHTING BACK, PUSHING BACK OR WERE YOU JUST TRYING TO ILLUMINATE THIS?

YOU KNOW, I THINK I WAS I WOULD SAY I WAS PUSHING BACK.

MY MAIN GOAL WAS TO SHOW THE LEVEL OF HATRED OUT THERE AND THAT HAD BEEN STIRRED UP DURING THIS CAMPAIGN.

AND I WILL ADMIT -- IN SOME WAYS I WAS PLAYING INTO THE KIND OF NEO-NAZI TRAP HERE BECAUSE --

HOW?

YOU KNOW, LOOK, I HAVE A LOT MORE FOLLOWERS ON TWITTER OR ON FACEBOOK THAN THEY DO.

AND SO BY SENDING IT OUT I WAS SOMEWHAT AMPLIFYING THEIR MESSAGE.

SO I DID IT IN BURSTS BUT DIDN'T DO IT IN THE SUSTAINED WAY.

IN FACT, THE HEAD OF THE ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE SAID I GET WHAT YOU'RE DOING, JONATHAN, MAYBE COOL IT DOWN FOR A WHILE.

BECAUSE OF THAT?

YOU WERE GIVING A VOICE TO THE FOLKS WHO DIDN'T HAVE THE VOICE THAT YOU OR OTHERS DID?

I THINK THAT WAS HIS THOUGHT.

YOU KNOW, IT WAS IMPORTANT TO RAISE AWARENESS, BUT THAT AT SOME POINT YOU MAY BE GIVING THEM TOO MUCH OF A PLATFORM.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT?

IT'S SOMETHING I WRESTLED WITH A LOT.

I HAVE A WHOLE CHAPTER ABOUT HOW TO CONFRONT THIS RISING WHITE NATIONALISM.

AND THERE ARE CERTAINLY VERY STRONG, SMART VOICES WHO SAY THE BEST WAY TO DO IT IS TO JUST IGNORE IT BECAUSE THESE PEOPLE JUST WANT THE ATTENTION.

I REMEMBER TALKING TO A RABBI IN WASHINGTON SAYING, YOU HAVE TO LOOK TO THE TORAH, TO THE RELIGIOUS BOOKS.

WHEN THE JEW FINDS INJUSTICE STAND UP TO INJUSTICE.

IF YOU LOOK TO OUR OWN TEACHINGS, YOU COME AWAY WITH THINKING WE DO HAVE TO FIGHT BACK.

WE SHOULDN'T JUST PUT OUR HEADS IN THE SANDS AND HOPE IT GOES AWAY.

WHAT IS IT YOU WANTED TO DO WITH THIS BOOK?

WHAT ARE YOU HOPING THAT WILL COME FROM IT?

YOU KNOW, I WANTED TO SEND OUT A WAKE-UP CALL BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE THERE HASN'T BEEN A LOUD ENOUGH RESPONSE TO IN RISING BIGOTRY.

I THINK THAT JEWS AND MUSLIMS AND LATINOS AND IMMIGRANTS AND, YOU KNOW, ALL OF THESE PEOPLE -- ALL OF THESE GROUPS THAT HAVE BEEN TARGETED IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS REALLY NEED TO SPEAK TOGETHER.

THIS ISN'T A QUESTION OF NOW DECIDING WHO'S GOT IT WORSE.

IT'S REALLY A QUESTION OF UNIFYING AROUND THIS NOTION OF DEMOCRATIC PLURALISM.

THAT WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.

AND THE UNITED STATES IS NOT A WHITE HOMELAND.

AND WE HAVE TO STAND UP FOR THAT.

AGAIN CALLED 'SEMITISM BEING JEWISH IN AMERICA IN THE AGE OF TRUMP.'

IT'S VERY PROVOCATIVE WORK.

THANK YOU FOR SPENDING SOME TIME WITH US.

> FINANCIAL ANALYSTS ARE WARNING THAT NEW YORK CITY IS JUST A SINGLE RECESSION AWAY FROM BANKRUPTCY.

YET, DESPITE THE WARNINGS MAYOR de BLASIO HAS PROPOSED TO INCREASE THE BUDGET BY $3 BILLION.

AND EVEN THOUGH AT THE SAME TIME THE MAYOR DID CALL FOR CITY AGENCIES TO CUT THEIR BUDGETS, IS IT TIME TO TIGHTEN THE PURSE STRINGS EVEN MORE ACROSS THE BOARD OR SHOULD INSTITUTIONS SUCH AS PUBLIC LIBRARIES BE EXEMPT FROM ANY POTENTIAL CUT BACKS?

JOINING US WITH ANSWERS TO THAT AND OTHER QUESTIONS IS JIMMY VAN BRAMER, THE CHAIR OF THE COMMITTEE OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND LIBRARIES.

COUNCIL MEMBER, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ONCE AGAIN.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

GIVE US A SENSE OF WHAT LIBRARIES WOULD DO BEYOND LOANING BOOKS AND GIVING QUIET SPACE FOR STUDY.

WELL, LIBRARIES ARE THE COMMUNITY CENTERS AND REALLY THE HUBS OF NEIGHBORHOODS ALL ACROSS NEW YORK CITY AND ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

THEY ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN BOOKS AND MATERIALS, ALTHOUGH I MYSELF STILL LOVE TO READ BOOKS, SO DO MANY OTHERS.

IT IS WHERE IMMIGRANTS COME TO LEARN HOW TO READ, WRITE AND SPEAK ENGLISH FOR FREE.

IT IS WHERE PEOPLE WHO ARE LOOKING FOR JOBS GO FOR RESUME WRITING WORKSHOPS AND TO BE ASSISTED IN THAT SEARCH.

IT'S WHERE HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS GO OFTEN TO FIND A WARM PLACE TO SIT.

IT'S WHERE SENIORS GO.

IT IS WHERE EVERYTHING GOOD IN A NEIGHBORHOOD THAT CAN HAPPEN REALLY COMES TOGETHER.

SO LIBRARIES ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER.

THEY WILL ALWAYS I BELIEVE BE CRITICAL CIVIC INSTITUTIONS AND A PART OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT MAKES FOR GOOD COMMUNITY.

MAYOR de BLASIO HAS ALREADY ALLOCATED IN HIS PROPOSED BUDGET, HE HAS ALLOCATED $388 MILLION FOR THE NEW YORK CITY LIBRARIES.

THAT SOUNDS LIKE A LOT BUT IT'S ACTUALLY A CUT FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR, CORRECT?

YEAH.

SO WE'RE LOOKING AT ABOUT A 3% CUT FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEM.

AND ABOUT $2.5 MILLION FOR QUEENS AND BROOKLYN, MORE FOR THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY WHICH HAS THREE BOROUGHS.

LIBRARIES ARE ESSENTIAL EVERY DAY, IN ALL TIME.

I WOULD ARGUE THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO CUT BACK ON THE VITAL PROGRAMS AND SERVICES THE PUBLIC LIBRARIES PROVIDE.

IN FACT, WE SHOULD ACTUALLY BE SEEKING TO EXPAND THOSE SERVICES.

AND THE LIBRARIES ARE WITH YOUR SUPPORT THEY'RE ASKING FOR $35 MILLION MORE.

WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO USE WITH THAT MONEY?

WELL, ONE OF THINGS THEY WANT TO DO IS TO CONTINUE TO PROVIDE THE SERVICE BUT EXPAND THEIR SERVICES IN WAYS THAT WOULD ALLOW PEOPLE TO GET MORE HELP AND MORE ASSISTANCE.

SO CERTAINLY THEY NEED TO KEEP PACE WITH THE RISING COSTS.

LIBRARIES ARE NOT IMMUNE TO THE COSTS OF MATERIALS AND STAFF TIME AND ALL OTHER KINDS OF EXPENSES, BUT WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS TO SEE IF WE CAN INCREASE THE HOURS AND DAYS OF SERVICE.

IN ORDER TO DO THAT, YOU NEED SOME MORE RESOURCES TO BE ABLE TO ALLOW PEOPLE TO GET TO THE LIBRARY WHEN THEY NEED IT.

LIBRARIES OPEN DURING THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY IS CERTAINLY HELPFUL TO SOME OF OUR CITIZENS BUT MANY FOLKS ARE WORKING AND CAN ONLY GET TO THE LIBRARIES LATE IN THE EVENINGS OR WEEKENDS.

CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG, BUT I THINK IT'S FAIR TO SAY THAT MAYOR de BLASIO HAS BEEN PRETTY FRIENDLY TO THE LIBRARIES AND HE'S CONTINUALLY INCREASED THE BUDGET EXCEPT FOR THIS YEAR.

HAVE THE LIBRARIES USED THE MONEY THAT THEY HAVE BEEN GIVEN WISELY?

OH, MY GOODNESS, YES.

FIRST OF ALL, LET ME SAY I BELIEVE THE CITY COUNCIL HAS LED THE FIGHT FOR THE LIBRARIES' BUDGETS TO BE INCREASED BUT I WILL BEGRUDGE THE ADMINISTRATION FOR HAVING SHOWN SUPPORT FOR LIBRARIES AS WELL.

AND LIBRARIES USED THE MONEY WELL?

LIBRARIES GIVE YOU THE BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK IN MUNICIPAL GOVERNANCE.

WHEN IT COMES TO THE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE SERVED, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT TENS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE STREAMING INTO THE LIBRARIES IN NEW YORK.

OVER 200 LIBRARIES.

WHEN WE SEE THE USAGE, WHEN WE SEE THE DIFFERENCE THEY'RE MAKING IN THE LIVES OF IMMIGRANTS, IN THIS CITY, AND WE'RE TALKING ABOUT ALL IMMIGRANTS, RIGHT?

THIS IS A SANCTUARY CITY.

LIBRARIES WERE THE ORIGINAL SANCTUARY IN THE SANCTUARY CITIES, ALLOWING UNDOCUMENTED AND DOCUMENTED ALIKE TO COME IN AND GET BOOKS, TO READ, WRITE AND LEARN HOW TO SPEAK ENGLISH FOR FREE.

THAT'S IMPORTANT IN A CITY LIKE OURS THAT CLAIMS TO BE PROGRESSIVE.

AS I SAID IN THE INTRODUCTION AS YOU WELL KNOW, SOME FINANCIAL EXPERTS ARE SAYING NOW THAT WE'RE JUST ONE RECESSION AWAY FROM BANKRUPTCY AND IN HIS BUDGET PROPOSAL THE MAYOR WAS PRETTY GRIM IN THE OUTLOOK.

FIRST OF ALL, DO YOU AGREE WITH THOSE ASSESSMENTS OF OUR ECONOMIC SITUATION?

I DO NOT AGREE THAT WE ARE CLOSE TO BANKRUPTCY.

I AGREE WITH THE MAYOR THAT THE BOND RATING WAS RATED HIGHER AS A SIGN OF OUR PRUDENCE AND FISCAL STRENGTH IN THE CITY.

OBVIOUSLY WE NEED TO BE PRUDENT IN THE FACE OF THE POTENTIAL FOR THE ECONOMY TO SLOW DOWN.

I THINK WE HAVE DONE THAT WITH ESTABLISHING SOME RESERVES OVER THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS WITH THE COUNCIL AND THIS MAYOR WORKING TOGETHER.

CERTAINLY WE CAN DO MORE, BUT IT'S IMPORTANT NOT TO CUT THE SERVICES THAT THE MOST VULNERABLE NEW YORKERS RELY ON.

YOUR COMMITTEE OVERSEES ARTS AND CULTURAL ACTIVITIES IN THE CITY.

ACCORDING TO THE CITY OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS THE BUDGET FOR 2019 WAS THE HIGHEST EVER AT $189 MILLION.

IT HAS BEEN CUT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2020.

IS THAT AN AREA THAT YOU CAN SEE IF NECESSARY SOME POTENTIAL CUTS?

SO CULTURE AND THE ARTS LIKE LIBRARIES REALLY SUSTAINS US AS A CITY.

CULTURE AND THE ARTS ACTUALLY DRIVES INCOME TO THE CITY OF NEW YORK.

WE KNOW 65 MILLION TOURISTS A YEAR COME TO NEW YORK CITY.

77% OF THEM RATE CULTURE AND THE ART AS THE FIRST OR SECOND REASON WHY THEY COME TO THIS CITY AND THAT GENERATES BILLIONS IN REVENUE.

YOU CUT THE ARTS, YOU'RE CUTTING OFF YOUR NOSE TO SPITE YOUR FACE.

ALL RIGHT.

COUNCIL MEMBER VAN BRAMER, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US AGAIN.

THANK YOU.

> CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD ARE USING FILM AS A TOOL FOR GLOBAL UNDERSTANDING.

BY KIDS HAS TEAMED UP WITH 13 TO CREATE A TV SERIES CALLED 'FILMS BY KIDS' TO GIVE A VOICE TO KIDS.

THE SERIES IS ENTERING THE SECOND SEASON AND NARRATED BY EMMY AND GOLDEN GLOBE NOMINATED ACTRESS, ASHLEY JUDD.

THESE TEENAGERS HAVE COMPELLING STORIES TO TELL.

FROM THE DEVASTATION OF CLIMATE CHANGE, TO LIFE AFTER ESCAPE --

I ESCAPED FROM SYRIA.

AND LIFE AFTER INCARCERATION.

FIND OUT WHAT THEY'D LIKE US TO KNOW ABOUT THEIR WORLD IN THEIR OPEN VERY FILM.

FILMS BY KIDS.

HERE THEN TO TALK ABOUT ALL OF THIS, THE SERIES EXECUTIVE PRODUCER HOLLY CARTER.

NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE WITH US.

WONDERFUL TO BE HERE.

THANK YOU.

LET ME START WITH THE ORGANIZATION BY KIDS.

TELL ME HOW IT CAME ABOUT AND WHAT IT DOES.

THE SHORT STORY IS THAT I HAD BEEN A PRINT JOURNALIST OUT OF THE GATE IN MY CAREER, I WAS AT 'THE NEW YORK TIMES.'

THEN WITH MY OWN KIDS I BEGAN TO SEE THAT CHILDREN ARE THE BEST REPORTERS BECAUSE THEY TELL IT STRAIGHT AND THEY'RE COMPLETELY AUTHENTIC.

SO, YOU KNOW, THIS IDEA THAT WE WOULD GIVE A KID THE AUTHORITY TO TELL THEIR OPEN STORY PARTICULARLY FROM COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD WHERE THE MEDIA DIET HERE AND PARTICULARLY THE SCHOOL DAY IS NOT FILLED WITH GLOBAL STORIES, BUT THIS WAS OUR WAY OF BALANCING WHAT OUR KIDS ARE LEARNING ABOUT THE REST OF THE WORLD AND NOT JUST BALANCING BUT REALLY GIVING THEM THE ABILITY TO LEARN TO BE EMPATHETIC WHICH IS AT THE HEART OF WHAT WE DO.

SO TALK ABOUT THE CREATION THEN, THE PARTNERSHIP WITH 13 AND HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

WHAT A GREAT PARTNERSHIP.

WE COULDN'T BE LUCKIER.

WHEN I FIRST CAME TO MEET WITH THE PARTNERS AT WNET, THREE OUT OF THE FIVE FILMS OF SEASON ONE.

IT TOOK US EIGHT YEARS TO MAKE THOSE FIRST FIVE.

IT'S TAKEN US TWO YEARS TO MAKE THE NEW SEASON.

AND WE'RE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THE KIND OF LEGS THAT THE FILMS GET PARTICULARLY IN THE EDUCATION SPACE.

OUR MANDATE IS TO MAKE OUR YOUNG PEOPLE MORE EMPATHETIC AND GLOBAL CITIZENS.

WE DO A LOT OF HARD WORK WITH THE HELP OF PBS LEARNING MEDIA, TO DO APPROPRIATE WONDERFUL, ENGAGING EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL.

WE HAVE A NUMBER OF OTHER PARTNERSHIPS THAT MEAN THESE FILMS AND THE WRAP AROUND EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL IS REACHING A LOT OF PEOPLE.

TALK ABOUT THE PROCESS OF PUTTING THESE FILMS TOGETHER.

THE NOTION OF COMBINING THE KIDS, IF YOU WILL, WITH EXPERIENCED FILMMAKERS.

WE SIT AND COME UP WITH A GLOBALLY RELEVANT STORY THAT WE WANT TO TELL.

THINK SOMETHING LIKE CLIMATE CHANGE OR DISPLACEMENT.

WE THEN PICK A COUNTRY WHERE THAT HAS NOT BEEN ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THE PAPERS OR IN THE NEWSPAPER MUCH IF AT ALL.

WE THEN PAIR WITH A NONPROFIT ON THE GROUND THAT HELPS US WITH FINDING A GROUP OF KIDS FROM WHOM WE PICK THE LUCKY ONE.

I HAD A CHANCE TO WATCH THE FILM OF THE FIRST STORY.

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE FIRST STORY.

SO THE FIRST STORY IS OF A FILM MADE BY NOW 19-YEAR-OLD MIKE MARTIN WHO AT THE AGE OF 17 WAS SENT TO RIKERS FOR FIVE MONTHS.

WE WENT LOOKING FOR A FILM THAT WOULD HELP EVERYBODY, BUT PARTICULARLY YOUNG AMERICAN STUDENTS TALK ABOUT ISSUES AROUND RACE, POVERTY, JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM.

WE WERE LUCKY ENOUGH TO PARTNER WITH AN ORGANIZATION HERE IN NEW YORK CALLED FRIENDS OF THE ISLAND ACADEMY.

WE FOUND MIKE FROM A GROUP OF KIDS.

HE AND HIS FAMILY WERE WILLING TO REALLY EXPERIENCE SOMETHING.

I MEAN, IT'S INTENSE.

IT IS.

HIS MENTORS ARE NOT ONE, BUT TWO SPECTACULAR FILMMAKERS.

THEY WORKED TOGETHER OVER THE COURSE OF A LITTLE MORE THAN A MONTH.

AND WE HAVE A LOCAL COMPOSER WHO DID SPECTACULAR MUSIC.

YOU WILL SEE IN HIS FILM THAT PART OF THE FILM WAS HIM TAKING A RAP SONG THAT HE HAD REALLY A POEM AND BASHIRRY JOHNSON HAS HELPED HIM RECORD IT IN THE STUDIO AND IT BECOMES REALLY AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE FILM.

WHICH IS AMAZING BECAUSE WE'RE BY KIDS, WE ARE ALL ABOUT USING SHORT FILM TO TEACH OTHER PEOPLE THROUGH MENTORSHIP.

SO TO HAVE MIKE LEARN NOT ONLY LEARN HOW TO BE A FILMMAKER BUT TO BE A MUSICIAN.

THESE ARE PROFESSIONAL QUALITY FILMS.

THESE ARE NOT KIDS TAKING OUT THEIR CELL PHONES AND SHOOTING SOMETHING.

WHAT I THINK YOU'RE DOING IS MARVELOUS SO CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU AND EVERYBODY FOR WORKING ON.

WE LOOK FORWARD NOT ONLY TO THE SECOND SEASON, BUT HOPEFULLY MORE SEASONS.

SEASON THREE COMING SOON.

THANK YOU.

> AND A REMINDER FOR YOU FILMS FOR KIDS THROUGH MARCH 24th ON 13.

GO TO METRO FOCUS.ORG FOR MORE INFORMATION.

> CLIMATE CHANGE MAKES HEADLINES DAILY BUT IF CURRENT PREDICTIONS ARE TO BELIEVED, ONE-THIRD OF LOWER MANHATTAN WOULD BE OVERRUN BY A STORM SURGE IN 30 YEARS.

ACCORDING TO A NEW STUDY THIS CAN HAPPEN IF NO STEPS ARE TAKEN TO PROTECT THE DISTRICT AND POINTS NORTH.

SINCE HURRICANE SANDY FLOODED LOWER MANHATTAN AND THE POWERFUL STORMS THAT HAVE FOLLOWED, MAYOR de BLASIO WANTS TO BE READY.

HE IS PROPOSING BUILDING AN ADDITION TO THE LOWER MANHATTAN COASTLINE BY 500 FEET TO FORTIFY AND PROTECT IT.

TONIGHT, WE'RE TAKING A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS PROPOSAL AS PART OF OUR SERIES ON THE CHALLENGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE.

JOINING ME IS ANNIE McDONOUGH FROM CITY AND STATE NEW YORK.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

SO FIRST LET'S START OFF WITH THIS PROGRAM THAT THE MAYOR PRESENTED TO NEW YORK AND TO THE WORLD LAST WEEK.

QUICK SYNOPSIS AGAIN, WHAT IS IT THAT HE WAS PROPOSING?

SURE.

SO IT'S THE STUDIES RELEASED LAST WEEK WHICH FOUND BY 2050, 37% OF PROPERTY IN LOWER MANHATTAN WOULD BE AT RISK OF STORM SURGE.

THAT BY THE YEAR 2100 IT WOULD BE ALMOST HALF OF PROPERTY IN LOWER MANHATTAN.

SO THE CLOCK IS REALLY TICKING FOR BUILDING UP RESILIENCE MEASURES IN LOWER MANHATTAN.

AND THESE HAVE BEEN TALKED ABOUT FOR A WHILE SINCE HURRICANE SANDY.

BUT THE REAL HIGHLIGHT OF THIS PLAN THAT THE MAYOR INTRODUCED IS SORT OF A BIT RADICAL.

IT'S TO BUILD OUT A SECTION OF LOWER MANHATTAN AROUND FINANCIAL DISTRICT IN SOUTH SEAPORT.

ABOUT 500 FEET OF EXTRA LAND BASICALLY.

WHICH IS EQUIVALENT TO TWO SMALL CITY BLOCKS AND IT WOULD BE ELEVATED LAND UP TO 20 FEET AT THE HIGHEST POINT WHICH IS WELL ABOVE THE SEA LEVEL RISE AND IDEALLY THAT IS WHAT WOULD PROTECT THE PART OF THE CITY FROM STORM SURGE.

AND THE REST OF THE MEASURES ARE A BIT MORE TRADITIONAL.

SORT OF AROUND THE TIP OF LOWER MANHATTAN, BUILDING UP FLOODBAT LIKE THAT.

HOW IS THIS AT LEAST RECEIVED BY ENVIRONMENTALISTS, SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS WHO WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PUTTING THIS INTO ACTION?

SO I THINK PART OF THE PRISM IS THE PROCESS OF DECIDING THIS IS THE ONLY VIABLE OPTION FOR THIS PART OF THE CITY WHICH IS FINANCIAL DISTRICT AND SOUTH STREET SEAPORT.

IS THAT THE PROCESS -- THE CITY HAS ENGINEERS AND CLIMATE SCIENTISTS WORKING ON IT, BUT IT'S NOT CLEAR IT'S THE BEST PROGRAM.

IT IS PARTICULARLY LOW, IT IS ABOUT EIGHT FEET ABOVE THE CURRENT SEA LEVEL WHICH IS LOWER THAT UP THE REST OF LOWER MANHATTAN.

AND THERE ARE OTHER SORT OF BARRIERS, LIKE SUBWAY TUNNELS.

SEWERS, OTHERTI BUILDING BARRIEF THE EXISTING LAND DIFFICULT.

BUT I MEAN, AS FAR AS CLIMATE ACTIVISTS AND GROUPS, THEY'RE WELCOMING THIS RADICAL ACTION THAT'S WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN CALLING FOR FOR A LONG TIME.

IT'S A MATTER OF WHETHER IT WILL GET DONE.

LET'S GET DOWN TO THE DOLLARS.

THIS IS A MULTIBILLION DOLLAR PROJECT AND THE THING THAT CAUGHT PEOPLE'S ATTENTION THE MAYOR INTENDED TO DO IT WITH FEDERAL DOLLARS.

THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS ALREADY PRETTY MUCH PUT THE BRAKES ON DOING A BRAND-NEW TRANSHUDSON TUNNEL FROM YOU KNOW THE TUNNEL FROM NEW JERSEY TO NEW YORK SO IF THEY CAN'T GET THE THE TUNNEL, WHY WOULD THIS ADMINISTRATION KICK IN BILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO REBUILD LOWER MANHATTAN?

I THINK THAT'S WHAT YOU SAW THE MAYOR SAY, THE MONEY HAS TO COME FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BECAUSE LOWER MANHATTAN IS SUCH A CENTRAL BUSINESS AREA FOR THE COUNTRY AND THE WORLD.

BUT HE ALSO SAID BASICALLY THE NEXT BREATH THAT IT'S NEVER GOING TO COME FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP.

SO IT PRESENTS SORT OF A TOUGH SITUATION.

IF IT DOESN'T COME FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, IT COULD COME FROM PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT WHICH IS A TOUGH AREA TO BEGIN BECAUSE THAT WOULD EXTEND THE PROCESS AND, YOU KNOW, PRESENT A LOT OF COMMUNITY CONCERNS.

SO THERE'S SORT OF A HINT THAT HE IS PLACING HIS BETS ON CHANGE IN OFFICE IN 2020 BECAUSE HE GETS ASKED ABOUT THAT QUITE A LOT.

EVERYBODY WANTS TO KNOW WHAT HE'S GOING TO DO FOR 2020.

SURE.

HIS OTHER SORT OF OPTION THAT HE FLOATED IS EVEN IF PRESIDENT TRUMP WINS A SECOND TERM, IF THE SENATE CHANGED IN 2020.

AND CHUCK SCHUMER THE PRESUMPTIVE LEADER OF THE S SENATE, THAT COULD HELP IN SECURING SOME FEDERAL FUNDS.

WELL, SO FAR IT'S JUST A PLAN.

BUT WE OF COURSE WILL SEE HOW THIS DEVELOPS AND WHAT ACTUALLY COMES INTO EXISTENCE IN THE NEXT 10, 20 YEARS.

ALL RIGHT.

WELL, LISTEN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU FOR HELPING US GET A BETTER GRIP ON WHAT WE MIGHT BE SEEING TO HELP PROTECT NEW YORK FROM THE NEXT BIG HURRICANE.

THANK YOU.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ ROSALIND P. WALTER BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG AND BY --

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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