Brian Robinson, Running to Represent the 10th Congressional District, Talks Crime and Yeshivas
By Yehudit Garmaise
Brian Robinson, who is running to represent the 10th District in the US House of Representatives, lives in downtown Manhattan, but loves coming to Boro Park.
While he said he always finds Boro Parkers to be warm and friendly, and loves the bakeries on 13th Avenue, he particularly enjoyed a visit to the Boro Park Jewish Community Council event in April when he got a sneak peek at a new Shomrim patrol car.
With public safety as the main pillar of his campaign, Robinson said, he strongly supports Shomrim.
BoroPark24: Why do you support Shomrim?
Brian Robinson: I am a Jewish guy. It breaks my heart to see all the violence and the anti-Semitism on the streets.
We are talking about 300 to 400% surges in violent hate crimes against Jews, who are getting it the absolute worst. Shomrim does a great job of supplementing and working with the NYPD, and I just have a lot of respect for them.
Given that their mission is public safety, I am a natural ally of theirs.
BP24: What did you do before running to represent the 10th District?
BR: For a year, I worked finance at Morgan Stanley, an investment bank, and in 2009, I opened up a consumer advocacy company that I recently sold to focus on my campaign.
I also wrote a book on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), called Adderall Blues, to express that people with ADHD are extremely passionate people who do not just have more energy, but they have a gift in which they can ‘hyperfocus’ all their energy on productive causes.
BP24: How to do hope to help to reestablishing public safety in New York City?
BR: I am the only Democratic candidate to admit that a substantial portion of the city’s crime is coming from the homeless shelters, which he said are negligently managed. The homeless shelters require federal oversight to determine which potential residents might pose dangers to others.
Before they are allowed into shelters, everyone must be asked, “Do you have charges against you? Do you have past offenses?”
If they do, they need to be examined to see whether you pose threats to society or not, and if they do, they should be sent to institutions where they can get the treatment they need, instead of continuing to terrorize the neighborhoods around them and other people experiencing homelessness.
BP24: What motivated you to run for office?
BR: In part, I was motivated after a homeless man followed my wife and 4-year-old daughter into our building and up to our door.
It was awful. My wife said multiple times, ‘Stop following us!’ but he wouldn’t. Once my wife and daughter safely ran inside, I saw the guy looking under others’ doors to see whether anyone was home. I had to escort the guy out.
BP24: About what other issues are you passionate?
BR: I don’t think the Department of Education has the right to come in and dictate how the yeshivas operate. For me, this is about freedom of religion, cultural preservation, and it is wrong to regulate it.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.