by Nathan Riley
Scott Stringer didn’t fight back, he didn’t abandon his supporters although some turned on him following an allegation that 20 years ago he forced himself on another adult who he was dating.
Weeks later only one person has objected to his conduct, so give the woman full credit for expressing her reality, the notion that the City Comptroller’s sexual life is off the rails has little evidence and needs to be weighed against other serious considerations.
Most especially the role of the police. The current crime wave is as real as earlier ones. It rests on a new metric the number of people shot every day whereas the last crime wave coming out of the 70s was based the numbered murdered.
Although new, “persons shot” is a reasonable measure of community safety, and stopping it is a reasonable expectation.
The old alliance of media and the police is alive and well. The media depends on police stories and the police depend on favorable coverage to justify their large budget. In the old days mention of race would be explicit, while today it usually appears as a hint. What remains is the vicious image that police bring safety in a war against menacing persons most often with a different skin color.
On Thursday, Comptroller Stringer released plans to reform the police Department including placing 911 calls in the hands of a separate agency downgrading the role of the role of the police at the initial intake decision. He would build up separate programs for responding to quality of life issues like mental health crises and substance abuse and move police out of One Police Plaza so more detectives would work in the precincts.
On May 25th, Politico reported State Senator Jessica Ramos and Rep. Jamaal Bowman of the Bronx questioned the wisdom of yanking their endorsement. Bowman said he wished he had asked more questions before abandoning Scott Stringer. The controversy has made Conservative Democrats the leaders in the Democratic Primary.,
The top candidates for Mayor, Andrew Yang and Eric Adams, would bring back aggressive policing of black and brown men. Kathryn Garcia supports Charter Schools and worked closely with the sanitation unions when she was City Environmental Commissioner. The fear is she will befriend the police unions. A revival of police questioning of minority youths is more than a denial of equal protection under law. When stop and frisk was police policy, almost everybody they stopped was acting legally and the police notions of probable cause were feeble. Scott Stringer can create a coalition that will prevent the return of stop and frisk.
Eric Adams and Andrew Yang will yield to the Police Department when it comes to fighting gun fire in New York City. The essence of the policy is mass intimidation of young men so they will not walk around with guns. They will be searched randomly and often, so the guns stay at home. This positive result comes with an unacceptable price: the humiliation of fathers, brothers and children of people of color who are law abiding and should be free of police harassment.
It is a breech of trust. The Democrats must support their diverse coalition if humanitarian policies are to be enacted. We should remember the attempted takeover of the Capital in Washington D.C. is evidence that Democrats may be fighting to preserve to preserve popular elections. Democrats must not get locked into a policy where they turn on their allies. The police will target are law abiding citizens. They will stigmatize and intimidate the innocent to curb the ungovernable few. It is unwise in the extreme to ask for the support of these groups and then unleash law enforcement on them.
The best alternative to intimidation is establish a rapport with the folks in the community who will tell who is selling and carrying guns. In the simplest terms, the City should be nice to them.
That this seems improbable is a big problem for Democrats. It shouldn’t be hard to tell politicians: be nice to your voters. Otherwise, they stop voting or change parties. Scott Stringer is wise enough to recognize the problem and of perhaps greater importance he is adept at creating coalitions and generating support from other government officials. He isn’t flashy, he’s a hard worker.
Scott is a man of principle who was slammed by his political allies who stopped endorsing him and backed other candidates. But my political club and City Unions still believe he is the best person, his polling numbers are down, but they are not out. One official who pulled her endorsement of Scott Stringer has second thoughts. State Senator Jessica Ramos, who is developing a reputation for political savvy, states flatly “Scott Stringer’s still the most qualified person running for mayor.” But she hasn’t decided to reendorse him.
Politico tells us that the recognition that the left is split is causing new interest in Scott’s candidacy and perhaps new endorsements. “There’s a much greater chance that we’re going to hand over City Hall to two candidates that want to increase the police budget and run as tough on crime mayors,” said one anonymous observer.
People voting absentee should hold their ballots and wait two more weeks, the Mayoral Campaign is getting interesting.