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East Harlem Residents Want Better Schools, Lower Crime, Survey Finds

By Dartunorro Clark | December 22, 2016 4:28pm
 An image from one of the seven early childhood education centers in East Harlem run by Union Settlement.
An image from one of the seven early childhood education centers in East Harlem run by Union Settlement.
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Union Settlement

EAST HARLEM — Improving schools and cutting crime remain the top priorities for East Harlem residents, according to a new survey.

Of 1,199 residents asked to rank 14 issues, 26 percent put improving public schools as the most important to them — a higher percentage than any other issue.

And for the third consecutive year, more than 80 percent of those polled said it was “extremely important” to reduce crime. It came second to schools, with 18 percent saying it was their top concern.

The survey is conducted biennially by Union Settlement, a social services nonprofit in the neighborhood.  

Other hot-button issues in the neighborhood were affordable housing, with 77 percent calling it "extremely important," providing affordable health care with 76 percent and creating more jobs, which got 75 percent. 

“East Harlem residents are deeply committed to this community,” said David Nocenti, the organization’s executive director.

“And so it is no surprise that they want a safe neighborhood, better schools, good jobs and affordable housing and health care. These five goals also topped the list in 2012 and 2014, demonstrating the consistent importance of these issues to local residents.”