Greetings to the people of Rockaway, Queens and fellow New Yorkers. I served 37 years with the NYPD, recently retired as Chief of Transit, and 20 of those years I was a Chief/Executive. I have watched our city go from bad to worse in the 1980s and early 1990s, and then rebound to levels that no one would have expected in the late 1990s and 2000s. Real estate was booming. Our city became a brighter jewel than it ever has been. There were many contributing factors, but I know from my experience that the biggest factor was public safety. When the NYPD, the rest of the criminal justice system and the city’s elected leaders focused on crime reduction and a better quality of life for all of us, the results were remarkable.
Our city got better and better. Even skeptics came to a point where they would not think it was possible to turn back. But sadly, the turmoil of 2020, along with the despicable pandering by too many elected officials to far left ideologies, at the expense of police officers and the safety of the people of this city, resulted in a slide back in time that we never thought could happen.
New Yorkers, Rockaway residents, notice the graffiti on our buildings and storefronts? Unnerved by the amount of speeding cars on our highways, driving recklessly? Intimidated by the packs of unregistered and unlicensed and of course, uninsured, motorcycles and ATVs speeding through our streets in large packs? What does this all add up to? A disregard for the rule of law at the expense of us all. And far more troubling, and catastrophic, the number of people shot has doubled and the number of people killed has increased by a third. As of today, 21 children have been shot and killed in our city this year, more than triple the number in 2019 or 2020. Is that not enough for us to demand change? We do not have to accept this. Never think that we do.
How do we turn this around? Not by posting on Facebook or by complaining to each other in our coffee shops, but at the election polls. Vote for the people who will be committed to turning this around. Vote for Joann Ariola for New York City Council, District 32. Find candidates like her. That is how we can turn this around. Our democracy is all about voting for people who care about what we care about. What do you care about? Give voice to that on November 2nd.
Make sure you and your family get to the polls. Remember, a great deal is at stake.
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