Last week, Democratic candidate Andrew Yang joined Councilman Mark Treyger and local businesses to call on state officials to come up with a plan for reopening.
Since the start of the pandemic, the iconic amusement park has remained closed, which has resulted in nearly $100 million in lost revenue. Nearly 2,000 seasonal jobs were also lost last year.
“When I think of summertime in New York City, the first image that comes to mind is the Wonder Wheel standing tall over the Coney Island boardwalk,” Yang said. “But the People’s Playground is not just an iconic landmark, it’s a vital economic engine that draws five million annual visitors from around the world, keeping businesses in the area thriving for the 30,000 Brooklyn residents of the surrounding neighborhood that call the area home.”
Coney Island is also home to the New York Aquarium, which reopened in July, as well as MCU Park, Ford Amphitheater and a local YMCA.
Yang said with events like the 2021 NYRR Brooklyn Half-Marathon already cancelled, the neighborhood cannot afford another “empty season.”
“Vendors and small businesses in Coney Island need leadership,” he added. “They need guidelines to give them enough time to properly prepare for the new season.”
Treyger noted that the state has not drafted reopening guidance for Coney Island’s amusements this year. For the first time in history last year, the amusement park was closed for the entire season and is now experiencing financial hardships, he said.
“We must center the outer-borough economy,” he said.
With the mayoral primary four months away, Yang has the highest “awareness” among likely Democratic voters in New York City, according to a new poll released by Fontas Advisors and Core Decision Analytics.
The voter survey, called “Pulse of the Primary: 2021 NYC Mayor’s Race,” found that 84 percent of respondents have heard of Yang, likely due to his 2020 presidential primary run.
In contrast, 66 percent of voters have heard of Comptroller Scott Stringer, while 60 percent of voters are familiar with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, two other top contenders in the race.
Former Sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia, former Obama housing secretary Shaun Donovan, and civil rights activist and lawyer Maya Wiley all tied at 25 percent in name recognition.
The poll also found that 28 percent of voters would support Yang’s candidacy, while 17 percent back Adams and 13 percent for Stringer. Nearly 20 percent of respondents said they were still undecided. Donovan and Wiley both had the support of 8 percent of voters.
Other findings from the survey were that the pandemic is still the dominant issue in the race, 88 percent of respondents have not heard “a lot” about ranked-choice voting, and that voters value candidates who have a plan and proven experience in government and the public sector.
The Fontas/CODA poll is one of a three-part series of surveys that will be released leading up to the primary election on June 22.
“Awareness is still low for many of the candidates, endorsements have just begun and for the most part, retail campaigning has yet to kick off, although candidates will need to utilize different tactics this year due to the pandemic,” said George Fontas, founder and CEO of Fontas Advisors. “Our next poll will present a great opportunity to assess how the race for mayor is progressing.”