Petition urges NYC mayor not to take youth soccer fields from kids to house migrants
The migrant crisis is escalating in New York City, and the city is now building temporary shelters on soccer fields. One of the latest was built on a field on Randalls Island. The West Side Soccer League – a youth league that has used the space in the past – is speaking out via a petition urging Mayor Eric Adams not to take away soccer fields from New York City children.
Vilda Vera Mayuga is a volunteer commissioner for the league but also works as the commissioner of the city's Department of Consumer and Worker Protection. She sent out the petition last month in an email to parents in the league.
It reads in part, "We were dismayed by the recent news that the NYC government is considering the use of soccer fields and other parks as potential locations to house asylum seekers. We understand the city is dealing with an unprecedented number of arrivals and that it is struggling to meet the needs of these individuals. However, it simply cannot be at the expense of our youth."
After backlash from the public and league parents, Mayuga reportedly issued a statement apologizing, saying she had not been involved in the decision to create the petition and had not signed it. But one parent with a child in the league says Mayuga needs to do more to make restitution.
"Maybe what would have been more powerful is if she would have sent a note to the recipients of that email we received and communicated her thoughts, which she didn't do," the anonymous parent told News 12 New York. "We're a community and we need to understand that yes while resources are finite, there's a way to give up something or adjust or be flexible for hopefully what is the greater good."
Despite Mayuga's apology, the petition is still online and has almost 900 supporters. News 12 reached out to Mayuga and multiple officials from the league four times in the past week for an interview or comment but did not receive a response.