Debra joined State Senator Bill Perkins calling for “Rat Summit 2” to bring together city, state and federal officials, scientists and community activists, to discuss strategies to combat the plague of rats being experienced across New York City. They were interviewed here by legendary WINS reporter Stan Brooks.
“Every West Sider, and every New Yorker, has their own unsettling rat tale,” said Debra Cooper. “The problem of rats goes well beyond the ‘ick’ factor. In fact, rats have been shown to be a trigger to children suffering from asthma and have been associated with the spread of diseases such as leptospirosis. And like graffiti in the seventies, rats are a sign that we are losing control of our quality of life. It’s time for a second Rat Summit, bringing together experts, focusing attention, and exploring new technologies and strategies to take back our streets, parks and subways from the rats.”
In addition to calling for “Rat Summit 2,” Cooper also outlined an agenda to combat rats including restoring the City Pest Control budget o 2010 levels; working with building owners, home owners and restaurants to do a better job of having enough hard plastic rat-resistant containers with lids and properly disposing trash; and utilizing new technologies like solar paneled garbage cans that can help reduce rats’ access to food.
Cooper concluded, “Today, we need to focus on new issues related to after effects of Hurricane Sandy and impacts of new technologies and strategies. Working together, can lead to better pest management and it is a commitment we all need to make.”