Adams said: Democrats Must Address Crime to Keep Voters’ Support
By Yehudit Garmaise
After Gov. Kathy Hochul won just barely won last week’s election in a state that takes for granted that Democrats easily win without Republicans even putting up a fight, might Democrats finally see that they will lose votes unless they take on crime and inflation?
In addition to the near victory of US Rep Lee Zeldin, four NY Republicans, including Rockland County’s Mike Lawler, flipped seats in the House of Representatives, which is in striking distance of establishing a Republican majority this year.
“Despite an overall better-than-expected showing for Democrats on Tuesday,” Mayor Eric Adams wrote in USA Today on Sunday, “working people continued the long trend of voting more often for Republican candidates.”
“As the working-class Black mayor of New York City, I hear it over and over again: My street is not safe,” Mayor Adams said. “What are you going to do about it?”
When NY elected leaders came together from Nov. 7 to 11 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, at the SOMOS Conference, what was at the tops of the minds of the many Democrats in attendance was how they could better address New Yorkers’ concerns fears for their public safety.
On Nov. 10, while speaking at a press conference on New Utrecht Avenue in Boro Park, Mayor Adams went so far as to say, “Democrats ignored the concerns of everyday New Yorkers,” whom he said reported that crime was their top concern “in poll after poll.”
After the far-left wing of the Democratic party promoted messages for years to defund the police, disempower the police, and banish bail, many New Yorkers want to hear different solutions to the crime and disorder that increases higher and higher every month.
Since he has come into office, Mayor Adams has tried to push the NY Legislature to overhaul the state’s cashless bail law and other problems in the state’s criminal justice system.
Most lawmakers in the Democrat-majority NY legislature, however, have proven they are unwilling to make many changes that Adams has repeatedly requested, along with Gov. Hochul.
“So, we are going to go back to Albany, and continue to articulate on the things that we need,” said Adams, NY1 reported, but he was realistic. “But let’s be clear on something. I was a state senator. You don’t get everything you want in Albany. You try to get the best you can.”
Over the summer, lawmakers reunited twice to make a few small changes to bail reform, but most supporters of the controversial 2020 law continue to claim that cashless bail has not affected crime at all.
“The reality is if you talk about bail reform as one particular issue, there is no connection between bail reform and the increase in crime,” Democratic State Senator Gustavo Rivera of the Bronx said. “I’ll repeat that once again. The data does not show a linkage between bail reform and an increase in crime.”
The NYPD continues to report escalating rates of crime, however, the crimes keep showing up in the news, and New Yorkers remain on edge when they are out in the streets.
Last month, the NYPD reported that while overall shootings and murders had decreased compared to October 2021, almost every other category of crime, including hate crimes overall and against Jews, had increased.
Even if state lawmakers come together to make further changes to bail reform and other criminal justice laws, the legislature start its new legislative session in Albany until January 2023.
In NYC’s City Council elections next year, when all 51 seats are up again due to redistricting, Republicans could benefit from New Yorkers’ disenchantment with what many see as the failures of the current council’s progressive policies.
“It’s unfortunate that this is what our city has come to,” said Republican City Councilmember Joe Borelli, who represents part of Staten Island. “And I hope the Democratic Party doesn’t tilt left because of this election.
“I hope [Democrats] go more moderate. I hope they recognize that 2.6 million people voted for [Zeldin, who is a] more moderate candidate. And I hope they adjust.”
Mayor Adams may be one of the few Democrats who are listening to what people are actually saying about their fears and needs.
“We are here to show people they are being heard,” Mayor Adams said at SOMOS. “The people – working people – are our north stars.
“Their priorities must be our priorities. Their values must be respected. Their voices must be heard.”
Photo Credit: Benny Polatseck/Mayoral Photography Office