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Up Close: New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina

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Bill Ritter talks with New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina. (WABC)

What's the most important issue facing society? We could spend a lot of time trying to rank what issue is more crucial than another.

It's rhetorical of course. But inarguably it would be difficult to make the case that anything is more important than education.

Joining us this week is New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina, who controls a budget that's bigger than the budgets controlled by half the nation's governors.

Also this week: They have terrorized communities across the country, including many here in New York.

The murderous, butcherous gang known as MS-13 -- ruthless and vindictive -- heartless and cold-blooded.

Many are undocumented immigrants from El Salvador.

We have seen the pictures of their victims on Long Island. 15 of them since last year. 11 in this school year. All young people.

One of them, Nisa Mickens, was one day short of her 16th birthday...in the wrong place at the wrong time with a friend who was targeted by MS-13.

Joining us Nisa's dad Robert, who is now trying to honor his little girl and do something about these gang monsters, and also with us is Nisa's mother Elizabeth Alvarado.

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Bill Ritter talks with the parents of Nisa Mickens, a victim of gang violence on Long Island.



Finally, it is Mental Health Awareness Month. Time to talk about mental health.

Because it is still very much a kind of in-the-closet disease and medical condition.

Why is that? The stats are alarming..

Half a million New Yorkers suffer from depression. Fewer than 40 percent receive help. And $14 billion is lost in productivity.

Joining us is Kemberly Williams, President of the Mental Health Association of New York City.

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Bill Ritter talks with Kemberly Williams, President of the Mental Health Association of New York City.

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