PUBLIC SAFETY AND THE NYPD
Without public safety, without law and order, a city has nothing to build on. With lawlessness comes a tanking economy, the loss of tourism, unsafe schools, and a mass exodus of families, business owners, and law abiding taxpayers. We become desensitized to daily acts of unimaginable violence, the worst that could happen to a civil society.
To combat the anarchy and apathy that hangs over New York City, we must and will return to 'Broken Windows' policing that was successful in the City's transformation in the mid-1990's. We will address quality of life issues such as vandalism, loitering, graffiti, public intoxication and public lewdness. We will return to enforcement of fare evasion and other subway and mass transit violations. There is a direct correlation between the lack of transit enforcement and the horrific attacks we've seen take place on subway platforms. Ignore these issues and they will act as a gateway to more violent crimes. The de Blasio administration has done just that, and the results are clear as day.
A one year old is shot and killed in his stroller, a little girl holding her father's hand watches in horror as he is shot crossing the street. Those are just two of the indelible images from this past year. We will bring back proactive policing units that were disbanded by this feckless administration, such as anti-crime units and plain-clothes officers. Shootings have skyrocketed across our city because there is no longer a fear of carrying or using a firearm. Violence Interrupters, social workers and wishful thinking will not stop the gunfire or the death of innocents. Well trained, proactive police officers have and will again, in every community.
We will allocate more resources to Counter-Terrorism, Disorder Control and Strategic Response , to identify and apprehend members of ANTIFA or any hate groups that attempt to bring violence and destruction to our city. There will be no replay of last summer. Our police officers will not be ordered to stand down and allow themselves to be targets of anarchists and criminals while our city is looted and burned.
We are losing too many highly qualified police officers to other jurisdictions. The NYPD has a morale problem which manifests itself through recruitment and retention. I am the only candidate who can restore pride and morale immediately. I wore the uniform, I lost brothers and sisters who also wore that uniform. I trained thousands of our current police officers. I know what they need to be safe and to be effective.
All of this will be accomplished with a REAL coming together of police and community. The painting of streets with slogans was nothing more than a diversion, a divisive act of political grandstanding that served no purpose and solved nothing. My administration will open our doors and our arms to true community leaders who have their neighbors and neighborhood's best interests in mind. We will not pander to or seek approval from racial arsonists such as Al Sharpton, who has done nothing to improve race relations or quality of life in New York City. We will work with all communities and anyone who loves this city and wants the best for its people.
EDUCATION AND COVID-19
The initial step towards rebuilding our crumbling public education system is to immediately replace our ineffective Chancellor. The next chancellor will be someone who has been in a New York City classroom, who understands the daily obstacles teachers and school children face. They will prioritize education over social agendas, and unite a badly fractured system that for too long has been nothing more than a political football for our elected officials.
We will streamline the bloated bureaucracy, eliminate ineffective and inefficient political positions and invest those savings into the classrooms and into computers, books and supplies.
Parent leaders will have a place and a say in my administration. Their voices have been muted by politicians for too long. They will be incorporated into decision and policy making and work in conjunction with principals and administrators.
We must return to a fair and legitimate grading system, and keep in place testing for specialized high schools. Students who are excelling should be rewarded, and those that are struggling need to be supported.
We will allocate far more funding and resources into special needs programs. No longer will these children suffer because of governmental incompetence. We will also educate school officials, school safety officers and police officers on how to respond to incidents involving special needs students, something that is long overdue on a wider scale.
Charter schools will have a place in our education system, and parents will have a choice. If the abysmal COVID-19 response has taught us anything, it is that parents deserve an opportunity to choose. City Hall has all but ignored Charter Schools, making it almost impossible for them to fully function, yet their success stories continue. It can work.
Our children belong in the classroom, with a teacher in front of them guiding their academic and social growth. We can do this safely, with a coherent plan, strict safety guidelines and informed decision making based on science and facts, not politically motivated agendas. Testing and vaccinations should be readily available and administered safely and properly; however, no child should be tested or vaccinated without parental consent, and teachers should not have their livelihoods threatened if they do not submit or comply. This is still America and we still have rights, rights that I as Mayor will protect.
New York City’s economy has all but collapsed, and is quickly approaching the point of no return. Without question, COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdowns and regulations struck a staggering blow to our businesses, our tourism and overall economy. The reality is that our economy was trending downwards before the pandemic, as years of mismanagement and the overburdening taxation of the working class was beginning to take full effect. The riots of last summer, played out among the backdrop of the pandemic, hastened our economic demise, as elected officials all but abdicated leadership and their responsibility to tax payers and business owners.
So, how do we bring our economy back?
New York City must reinvest in industry. We have the necessary infrastructure already in place with commercial buildings, factories and transportation to move products such as shipping (freight and air) along with highway access for trucking. We have the available workforce at every income level, and it will create jobs for teenagers through seniors, entry level through executive. We would fill many office spaces that have been vacated, and bring jobs in the food, garment and film industry back as well. With so many people back to work and commuting again, this would serve as a much needed boost to our financially strapped MTA as well.
With people going back to work, we must then reopen our businesses, attractions and landmarks. We will open our theatres, our museums, and our sports venues. Broadway, Times Square, Madison Square Garden, movie theatres, concert halls, the Barclay Center…they simply can no longer remain dark. Open these venues and you put thousands upon thousands back to work immediately while boosting consumer spending.
We must save our small businesses. The ludicrous edicts from Albany and City Hall have destroyed livelihoods and will destroy more. They have infringed upon our rights to earn a living, feed our families, pay our mortgage, rents and tuition, and enjoy the quality of life we deserve. We will open our restaurants, bars, gyms and other small businesses to keep our hard working, tax-paying business owners and employees in the city. Otherwise, those who can flee to other states will do just that, and the exodus from New York will quicken exponentially. Those who cannot leave will be left behind to suffer. It’s un-American and disgraceful.
We must and will protect our businesses. Last summer, some of the most expensive commercial real estate in the world was looted and burned with no response from our elected officials. Macy’s of Herald Square, Madison Avenue, Fifth Avenue, all looked and felt like a war zone. In November, in anticipation of violence related to the Presidential election, stores and boutiques closed down, boarded their windows with plywood and utilized private security firms with guard dogs. What message are you sending to business owners, corporations and investors when you refuse to protect their interests and City Hall cowers in fear? Why would anyone looking to invest stay in New York City or come back? Send a message to anarchists and criminals that what occurred in 2020 will never be allowed again, that New York City can and will protect your investments and we are indeed open for business.
DEVELOP AND GROW
During the 1970’s New York City fell into a financial crisis and tried to borrow their way out. That approach failed miserably. Under Mayor Abe Beame we fell into a filthy, crime-ridden mess (‘Fear City’) which led to mass layoffs and a harsh rebuke from President Ford (‘FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD’ NY Daily News, 10/30/75). There would be no Federal bailout. I remember it like it was yesterday because my father, a New York City Police Officer at the time, lost his job in the layoffs. Suddenly we were uprooted and facing financial uncertainty along with thousands of other families. The City only rebounded when they stopped borrowing, begging and spending recklessly. They invested in development and growth, new construction, infrastructure and industry. We will do the same, while streamlining the government workforce that was increased during the pandemic by the de Blasio administration, an unconscionable act of arrogance, incompetence and failed crisis management.
A SAFE REBIRTH
Of course, all of this has to occur safely as we adjust to life under the cloud of COVID-19. There is a path to do so. Strict HVAC filtration, ventilation and sanitization guidelines must be put in place and enforced fairly. Social distancing, the wearing of masks, temperature checks; all can be implemented in our businesses and venues to ensure the safest reopening possible. We must follow the facts and the science, not political agendas. If we do so correctly, we can revive our economy and restart New York City’s faint heartbeat. If not, we will watch it slide into the abyss.