What happens here in Central Queens as we vote in the primaries this month is a barometer of what is happening in the rest of middle-class New York communities. So what is the most important issue in this month’s council primary?
Let’s see. Many women in my apartment complex are afraid to go out at night. Subway ridership is down. My wife won’t ride the subways unless I am with her.
She believes there are many criminals in the subways who will throw people on the tracks. However, the mayor, who doesn’t ride the subways on a regular basis or any basis unless the tube cameras are on, says everything is fine.
My neighborhood fruit stand, which was open 24 hours a day for 30 years, now closes at 8:30. Nearby is a popular coffee shop. It was recently robbed several times. A wonderful human being who was a police officer was recently run down on a Long Island highway. The suspect had posted a podcast ripping the police.
So who should I vote for in the Democratic primary that will replace longtime councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, whose district covers all or parts of Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Rego Park and Richmond Hill? The person who wins the primary usually wins the general election.
I want someone who believes that neighborhood and city safety are critically important. I want someone who was revolted by what we saw last summer. There was lots of rioting in Manhattan. But police officers were largely spectators. They did very little because their bosses, our egregious mayor and politically motivated prosecutors, told them not to disturb looters. Arrest as few as possible. Be sure to inform them that, once arraigned, they would face no bail. And, if they should run into any problems, there was Biden or Harris or Soros to post bail and get cases dismissed.
So who do I want on the council?
I want someone who supports the police.
I want someone who wants to weed out every bad cop, but agrees most police officers are good men and women who do a thankless job.
I want someone who is against defunding the police.
I don’t want someone who wants to “re-imagine” the police.
In the latter category is council hopeful Lynn Schulman, possibly the leader in this race and someone who identifies with the Queens County Democratic party—one of the strongest and most infamous in the state and one that gave us the infamous Donald Manes and Alan Hevesi—is quietly backing her. Rep. Grace Meng, one of the leaders of the organization, says Schulman would “the ideal candidate.”
Here are Schulman’s words when I asked about police. I want to go through her email, line by line, so there is no creative editing a la mainstream media.
“For the record,” she wrote me, “I am not for defunding the police—which has always been my position. I do believe in reimagining the NYPD so public safety is more of a focus.”
Hmm. Reimagining, Ms. Schulman, isn’t that what they did in Minneapolis? How’s that working out?
“The current NYPD needs to be reimagined in a way that focuses on public safety and fosters true community partnerships.”
Notice Ms. Schulman says nothing about the $1 billion cutback in the police budget or eliminating undercover cops.
Indeed, in the old days, before Mayor de Blasio and his allies wrecked the city, when one would ride the subways and possibly not see any police, you still knew there were undercover officers around. I doubt Ms. Schulman’s “reimagining” would bring them back.
However, she tells me “I would shift mental health and homeless services out of the NYPD, so the NYPD can concentrate its efforts on crime and individuals who are homeless or have mental health issues can receive the appropriate attention and social services.”
She also says “As for budget implications, “I would use the resources of the Council’s Finance staff to determine how best to shift allocations. As someone who has experience in the Council, I would be able to ask the appropriate questions and quickly make these assessments.”
Given the blunders of this council and this lame duck administration, I’m not sure it’s good salesmanship for Ms. Schulman to try to high hat me with the line “experience in the Council.”
And what exactly is her “experience in the Council?” I doubt it.
There are others running for this council seat just as radical as Ms. Schulman. When I vote only candidates who take the city’s big crime problems seriously get my vote. Please, no “reimagining.”
The city is at a turning point as serious as the ones we faced when LaGuardia, Koch and Rudy saved it at various times over the past 90 years. This city, under more bad leadership, could blow up and never come back.
Republican or Democrat, I will only support someone who is serious about the issue. That’s because, pace Comptroller candidate Corey Johnson’s risible comment, “white supremacy” is not the top issue. Crime is.
Council hopeful Avi Cyperstein actually built something. He hasn’t tried to snow me with his “experience in the council.”
Cyperstein has no connection to the current ramshackle regime or this sad sack mayor. He’s running against the failed established leadership.
Those are good points for any New York candidate.
But the most important point is this from Cyperstein: “I will never vote to defund the police. I support the police. I will work to restore $1 billion cut from the police budget.”
Cyperstein is only one very energetic man but he has this: He doesn’t talk nonsense. That’s a lot in a city teeming with political mountebanks.
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