Six District 10 Candidates Mostly Agree, Rather than Debate
By Yehudit Garmaise
Voters had to listen carefully during last night’s debate on WNYC because the six candidates running for the District NY-10 seat in the US House of Representatives didn’t disagree on much.
Among the many issues which were agreed upon by Attorney Dan Goldman; Former U.S. Rep Elizabeth Holtzman (16th), US Rep. Mondaire Jones (17th); Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou (65th); City Councilmember Carlina Rivera (2nd district); and Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon (52nd) were:
• Americans have an obligation to welcome immigrants, who should receive money from the federal government.
• The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway should be repaired in an environmentally responsible way that considers the input of the surrounding communities.
• Small businesses in NYC should be helped to recover from COVID.
• The endorsement of former Mayor Bill de Blasio was not asked for, nor is wanted by any candidate.
• No one supports the opening of a casino in District 10.
• Former President Donald Trump, according to the candidates, is at least “a threat to American democracy” and at worst, “a fascist,” “a clear and present danger,” and a “psychopath.”
The most telling question of the night came when candidates were asked whether they agreed with Mayor Eric Adams, who supports more changes to bail reform, or Gov. Kathy Hochul, who says legislators sufficiently updated bail reform in the last budget.
Simon agreed with Gov. Hochul, and she dismissed the criticism that bail reform has caused the unceasing crime surge, as “parroting the right wing.”
“The reality is judges have a lot of discretion, and prosecutors have the opportunity to request bail on most crimes,” said Simon, who said crime is going back down, and she blamed the National Rifle Association for gun violence because the organization encourages Americans “to buy another gun."
“The mayor is making complaints about something that is actually not the case.”
Goldman, in contrast, said, “There is a perception in the city that it is not safe, and one of the reasons for that is the perpetual recidivism that is going on.
“If you are out on conditions of release, and you commit another crime, you will go to jail before your trial.
“I do believe in second chances, but not third, and fourth, and fifth chances. We cannot allow people to just continue to recycle through the system because it is demoralizing to the cops, and it gives everyone a perception of danger.”
Niou, didn’t weigh in on bail reform, but she mentioned anti-Asian hate crimes, and said, “the root cause of crime is poverty.”
Holtzman, a former Manhattan district attorney, said “No one has the answer completely. There are dangerous people on our streets, and we can’t close our eyes to that.”
“We can’t have a revolving door: it is not only demoralizing. It is dangerous, but we can’t have the old system either. It is not just a bail issue.”
Rivera blamed “the destabilization of the pandemic” for the lack of public safety.
“People were unable to receive the mental health treatment that they needed,” Rivera said. “Telehealth is not available to everyone. Not everyone has access to the Internet.
“We have to invest in youth programs, keeping our community centers late, and housing.”
Jones, who also supported investing in mental health and other supportive services to decrease crime, blamed crime on the “epidemic of gun violence in America.
“We need to ban assault weapons. We have to do more to rout out white supremacism and domestic violence.”