This week it was reported that Brooklyn Democratic Councilman Carlos Menchaca, who has represented Sunset Park, Red Hook, and parts of Borough Park since 2014, may be eyeing a run for mayor next year. His stances on the Police Department and job creation make him another bad Democratic choice for our city.
When the latest New York City budget was adopted in June, funds for the NYPD were cut by at least $420 million, according to the city’s Independent Budget Office — all the while shootings and burglaries remain up across the city.
However, this wasn’t enough for Menchaca.
On June 29, as the budget was being finalized between the mayor and City Council, Menchaca tweeted, “Teachers and social service providers are going to lose their jobs, but not one cop will be fired because of this budget. That’s not justice. That’s not sacrifice. That’s not the sacrifice this moment demands. We need a real cut to the NYPD.”
One would think that an elected official whose district has seen a 24.6 percent increase in burglaries year-to-date as of Oct. 11 compared to last year, according to Police Department data, would want more funding for the NYPD. Not today’s Democrats.
Their policies have made our city less safe. Indeed, last Sunday, former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said on John Catsimatidis’ radio show “The Cats Roundtable,” that “there’s a feeling of unease” amongst New York City residents.
“People complain to me all the time — they feel unsafe in the city,” Kelly said on the program. “The uniform officers on the streets get absolutely no support and no backing…so they’re backing off. They have become much more reactive rather than proactive. And pro-activity has really been the main reason why crime has gone down in New York for a couple of decades. Now, all of a sudden, in a few short months, it has turned completely around.”
Many of the Democratic contenders for Gracie Mansion have not uttered a word about restoring support for the NYPD, and the policies that made New York City the safest big city in America under former mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg. Instead, they continue to cater to the radical-left movement to “Defund the Police.”
Prospective GOP contenders like Catsimatidis and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa have said that restoring public safety will be their top priority, which would include bringing back the recently disbanded street anti-crime unit which specialized in getting guns off our streets.
Just as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez led the effort to kill the Amazon deal in Queens that would have provided thousands of jobs for local residents, Menchaca has also stopped a rezoning proposal for Sunset Park’s Industry City that would have redeveloped the 35-acre industrial complex area with retail and academic space. This $1 billion, 12-year plan would have similarly provided thousands of jobs for Brooklyn residents.
The main priorities for our next mayor will be making New York safe again, and reviving our economy. Unfortunately Menchaca, like other Democrats, doesn’t agree.
Editor’s note: Shooting incidents, burglaries, murders, and grand larceny vehicle thefts are all up this year compared to last year’s numbers, although they remain lower than the 20-year average. All other crimes, such as rape, robbery, and felony assault, are down this year citywide.
Bob Capano has worked for Brooklyn Republican and Democrat elected officials, and has been an adjunct political science professor for over 15 years. Follow him on twitter @bobcapano.