We need someone to run for mayor who will save New York
There’s no denying it: The city’s in trouble. Big trouble. Mayor de Blasio is now a lame-duck figurehead, with less than 1¹/₂ years left in office. And the crop of candidates looking to replace him is anything but promising.
New York needs fresh blood. So today we’re asking — pleading, actually: Won’t anyone step up and save New York?
COVID, the anti-police rioting and the crime wave have delivered powerful blows to the city. They created terror on the streets, socked businesses, wrecked city finances, crippled schooling — and sent people scurrying for the exits.
Even before the virus hit, pols like de Blasio (with help from Albany) had left Gotham on shaky ground, with “reforms” that ensured more crime, vagrants swamping the streets and a budget that failed to prepare for even a modest downturn, let alone one shut by the bug.
Alas, at the moment, there’s no one on the horizon looking to replace him who’ll offer anything but more of the same. Or worse.
After the city’s brush with near-bankruptcy in the ’70s, Mayor Ed Koch guided the city back to a more solid fiscal footing. In the ’90s, Mayor Rudy Giuliani proved the city was governable after all, and restored it to its former glory. He and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton cracked down on low-level offenses and rolled back two decades of rising crime.
By the beginning of the de Blasio era, the murder rate had fallen by nearly 90 percent.
Today, Gotham is plummeting at warp speed — yet it’s eminently saveable. The ideas on the adjacent pages from city experts point the way.
Start with public safety, which, as Bratton notes, is “the first obligation of government.” The next leader needs a plan to restore the low levels of crime of just a few years ago and ensure people feel safe.
How? By cracking down on guns, backing cops and giving them the resources they need to rein in the madness.
Nicole Gelinas urges attention to the “little things,” the quality-of-life issues that matter so much. Policing minor offenses, the “broken windows,” shows that a city cares.
As for finances, fiscal guru E.J. McMahon has sensible suggestions to make ends meet amid catastrophic drops in revenue. Mitchell Moss calls for a new marketing campaign for the city. Ian Rowe urges an expansion of school choice.
By contrast, not one of the people thought likely to run for mayor at this point seems ready to embrace such vital solutions.
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson was MIA as looters and anarchists hijacked peaceful protests and derelicts stoned cops and turned City Hall Park into homeless encampment. Instead, he insisted on cutting funds for cops.
At the council, he whisked through one anti-cop “reform” after another. He smiled while de Blasio bloated city spending nearly 30 percent over the years.
City Comptroller Scott Stringer is another sure mayoral wannabe. Yet how can someone whose job it is to oversee the budget run the whole city after allowing its finances to become so vulnerable?
He, too, has been mum on the surge in violence. And he backed radical Tiffany Caban in last year’s Queens DA race, which tells you all you need to know.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams hasn’t offered any major policy solutions either, focusing instead on soft issues like biking and dieting. Maya Wiley, 57, a #Defund advocate, served as de Blasio’s lawyer, so don’t expect major improvements from her.
Who, then, will save New York? Surely, there’s someone out there — in a city of 8.5 million, brimming with talent.
Perhaps it’ll be someone who’s proven himself in one key area — say, Ray Kelly, who, as police boss, drove down crime for 12 years and protected the city from terror after 9/11.
Or maybe someone like Queens’ Robert Holden, one of the city’s rare sensible councilmen. Or a moderate-minded ex-lawmaker, like Peter Vallone.
Maybe it’ll be a figure from outside the political world entirely, like Wall Street whiz Ray Maguire, the black Citigroup honcho who’s already shown interest in running. Or maybe someone no one would ever guess.
Chances are, whoever steps up will be far and way better for the city than any of the current has-been wannabes.
Whoever it is, though, it’s not too soon to step up. Indeed, if ever there were a time Gotham needed a hero, this is it.
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