World Struggle II veteran H.P. Schroer has no time to waste. At age 92, that goes with the territory.
The previous marketer has taken up a brand new calling: relentlessly advocating for half-price MTA fares for his fellow vets.
“It retains my adrenaline going,” Schroer informed The Submit. “Everyone within the household thinks father, or papa because the grandkids name me, is loopy.”
When he moved to Manhattan in 2015, he certified for the senior low cost on his MetroCard. He used his half-price ticket to journey to writing lessons at Metropolis School.
As he befriended navy veterans amongst his a lot youthful classmates, he was stunned to study that they didn’t obtain the same profit.
“I didn’t suppose that was proper,” he stated. “Many veterans work for low wages after sacrificing for us. They may actually use a subsidy.”
So Schroer started his campaign, showing earlier than the MTA board final October and making countless visits to neighborhood boards and elected officers throughout town.
Outdoors Gracie Mansion, he picketed Mayor Invoice de Blasio, who bought out of his motorcade for an impromptu chat on the sidewalk.
“I knew nothing about politics, however I knew that you must know a politician to get something finished,” Schroer stated.
Then he realized a couple of invoice from Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) that might require the MTA to implement half-fares for vets. It stalled within the Meeting after its counterpart invoice within the state Senate handed there.
On his personal, Schroer mobilized school college students and American Legion members and based a bunch known as “U and Me Grow to be We” to foyer for the invoice.
He rattles off the names of a dozen lawmakers he has visited to get them to signal on. To this point, greater than 30 have finished so.
“I wish to see them, allow them to see my face,” Schroer stated. “However I’m approaching plenty of politicians in districts the place I don’t dwell. So I get the veterans and college students who dwell of their districts to make follow-up calls.”
“He’s not a paid lobbyist, he’s a citizen lobbyist,” Dinowitz remarked. “That is democracy at work right here.”
Schroer makes the identical pitch at each cease – understanding that all of it comes all the way down to the numbers.
“The MTA collects $6.2 billion in fares yearly,” he stated. “In the event that they took two cents from every $2.75 fare, that might greater than fund a veterans’ low cost.
“That’s our theme: is our service to our nation price two cents a trip?”
Extending the profit to each veteran within the metropolis would price $40 to $60 million yearly, he estimated.
The one politician who has appeared impervious to his appeal is Gov. Cuomo, who would want to signal the invoice into legislation. Schroer has made a number of journeys to the guv’s Manhattan headquarters, the place staffers ignored him.
“I’m planning an indication outdoors his workplace,” Schroer stated of Cuomo. “However I’ve to get folks to return with me. At my age, I don’t wish to get arrested alone.”