Hey New Yorkers: Be Careful What You Wish For….


The current condition of New York City begs the question: Is this the result progressive politicians and advocates desired when they gained power and implemented their agenda? If not, a movement with the actual aim of destroying a vibrant city wouldn’t have been as successful at ruining our neighborhoods.

The Progressive goal is often described as one which seeks to address society’s current inequities and past grievances, while advancing a campaign for social justice. It often declares itself to be working for the interests of “People of Color” or “Black and Brown” people. But any honest assessment of Progressives’ policies would reveal a movement that has damaged the quality of life of these very groups. The Progressive movement has managed to drape the conditions of 1970’s Time Square over all NYC’s neighborhoods. And the pandemic does not get them off the hook for these conditions.

The fall of the Independent Democratic Conference in Albany – a loose consortium of moderate Dems – combined with the two terms of Mayor de Blasio, a mayor devoid of any leadership qualities and seemingly ignorant of his ability to use a veto, empowered the progressive legislatures in NYC and Albany to dominate their respective chief executives. In Albany, this domination was followed by a political coup of the governor, spearheaded by a progressive and ambitious Attorney General in Letitia James. The current governor appears content to play along.

The result has been a coup for progressives – and disaster for everyone else in town.  Whether the issue is homelessness, drug abuse, or public safety, our legislators were, and continue to be, influenced by advocates and attorneys feeding at the trough of publicly financed settlements, consent decrees, and monitors. As our quality of life continues to decline– especially in the neighborhoods where People of Color reside.

Those Pesky Consequences

The next time you are walking to work or school or in a park, ask yourself about the conditions that are now prevalent in our neighborhoods. Why are there prostitutes walking on Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights? Why are there grown men urinating and defecating on 8th Avenue in Midtown? Why are there so many needles in a playground in Mott Haven? Why does every other passing vehicle on Atlantic Avenue in East New York seem to emit the scent of marijuana through its tailpipe, along with its carbon monoxide? Why does that e-bike or ATV driver not follow the rules of the road?

A common denominator in many of these conditions is rampant – and unaddressed – substance abuse.  The introduction of drug injection sites and the limitations on enforcement of the drug laws in the vicinity of these sites has created a beacon to drug users and dealers seeking to push their wares. The results are apparent.

Meanwhile, the use of marijuana has exploded to the point that even those of us who live in apartments are affected by other tenants lighting up. In fact, marijuana has become so acceptable to our politicians that, according to the N.Y.C. Department of Citywide Services, the local police officer driving a police car, carrying a firearm, and enforcing laws that remain on the books may no longer be tested for marijuana before being hired and sent into our communities. What could go wrong?

As for the e-bikes and other All-Terrain Vehicles on our streets and sidewalks, perhaps the pedestrian should be the one wearing a helmet for protection. Headline-grabbing seizures and destructions of illegal ATVs have little impact on the environment of lawlessness that fuels their use.

In sum, more and more NYC residents find themselves asking: Why isn’t government doing anything about the state of my neighborhood?

Here’s Why

The answer to this question can be found in the decriminalization and criminal justice reform efforts of the politicians so few of us bother to vote into office. What most NYC residents don’t realize: Many of these conditions used to be addressed by the local police precinct. But the combination of policy decisions, court interventions, and statutory changes have utterly emasculated the police.

For example, police officers can no longer move the homeless along or force them into a shelter. A shelter which, nowadays, may be located in neighborhoods that did not have shelters in the past – and was unprepared for them.

Additionally, the Loitering statute has been gutted by the legislature in response to court decisions, and is not an effective tool to address homelessness. Here’s hoping that visible homelessness on the streets will decline as the weather turns cold and the homeless population enters the subways in search of warmth. Alas, praying for snow is hardly an effective civic management tool.

One might conclude it is obvious the pendulum has swung too far towards anarchy, and our progressive pairing of politicians and advocates will now adjust course. Based on their recent efforts, this seems unlikely. The politicians in Albany are hanging their hats on minor changes to the criminal justice reforms and betting on more voter indifference in November.

Meanwhile, government keeps piling on. The NYC Council is currently pushing legislation to prohibit the NYPD from using a gang database to reduce shootings involving gang members.  They are also looking to outlaw the use of facial recognition to identify suspects wreaking havoc on our streets – many of whom wear masks to prevent identification.

At the same time, progressive advocates and attorneys have convinced a federal judge to prohibit the NYPD’s use of sealed records in criminal investigations. One wonders on what crime statistics the progressives rely, and what they expect will actually result from all this.

Our best bet?  Let’s hope for a long, cold winter.


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