I’ve sat in community board and neighborhood organization meetings for years, and repeatedly heard the same complaints from residents about rising crime and reduced quality of life. And I’ve repeatedly heard NYPD officers apologetically explain that their hands are tied, because of irresponsible laws and regulations passed by those elected to represent our community in the City Council and state Legislature.
And round and round and round it goes.
Under the de Blasio administration, policing tools that kept Bronx neighborhoods safe were discontinued – most notably, the only form gun control statistically proven to save lives: Stop, Question, Frisk. As “broken windows” policing was phased out, radical social justice warrior electeds passed laws that decriminalized many offenses, did away with cash bail and defunded the police.
In part because they no longer feel safe on the street or on the subway, people are fleeing the Bronx – and New York City – further destabilizing once-safe communities. According to the Census Bureau, between July 2000 and July 2021, 46,308 people left the Bronx. Tax records show that for every two people who moved to New York City, five people left.
How many local businesses will close their doors because they were bankrupted by gangs of professional thieves who repeatedly cleaned out their shelves in a matter of minutes, because they do not fear arrest for shoplifting. Under bail “reform” legislation passed in 2019, it’s pointless to 1arrest perps committing property crimes like arson, robbery, shoplifting and vandalism, because they’re back out on the street before the ink is dry on the paperwork. In the increasingly rare event when a perp is arrested, “woke” prosecutors often refuse to pursue criminal charges.
Bronx residents will not see their safety and quality of life concerns addressed until the bail reform law is repealed or amended to enable police officers to arrest and detain repeat offenders, until prosecutors resume pressing charges for property crimes, and until the NYPD’s budget is restored to enable officers to resume such basic services as contracting tow trucks to remove abandoned cars that are blocking people’s driveways. And none of this will happen if radical social justice candidates who do not support these commonsense policies are elected or re-elected.
Communities are screaming for help, but ideologically driven “woke” candidates and electeds aren’t listening. San Francisco voters have kicked radical Soros-backed DA Chesa Boudin to the curb, and we can do the same in our June and August primaries, and in November by voting against any candidate or incumbent who puts politics over public safety.
If politicians ignore our pleas for safe streets and livable communities, we should ignore their pleas to give them our votes.
Bernadette Ferrara is a Bronx resident and member of Community Board 11.