New York is broken. Taxes are too high. The cost of living is skyrocketing. And our streets are getting less and less safe.
Politicians have failed us, and with every new scandal, misuse of taxpayer money and radical policy, they hope for one of two outcomes: that voters have grown numb to the status quo or, more depressingly, that they can’t afford to leave it all behind.
What a terrible way to live in a place that used to be the envy of the world.
New Yorkers need an outsider who will dismantle years of bad policies, starting with those that have destroyed the safety of our communities.
Felony crimes in the city are up a staggering 43% this year. That’s thousands of lives changed forever at the hands of criminals. Public safety is government’s most fundamental role, and as governor, protecting the people of our state will be my top priority.
Let’s start with something bold: I will fire rogue district attorneys who don’t enforce the law.
Some DAs, like Manhattan’s Alvin Bragg, are failing our citizens. They were elected to enforce the law and are an essential part of our public-safety efforts, so they must live up to the requirements of their office.
Long before his positions were clear, I gave Bragg, a college classmate, a donation. His policies since taking office — such as refusing to prosecute certain crimes and repeat offenders and downgrading felonies — have been nothing short of appalling, and as governor, I would fire him. And that goes for any DA who does not enforce the law: I will use the governor’s authority under Article 13 of the state constitution to remove them.
We will fix the Cuomo/Hochul bail “reform” by restoring judges’ discretion, including adding a dangerousness standard, just as 49 states and the federal government have. We can address concerns about justice while reversing the damage done to public safety through these ill-conceived “reforms” that let repeat violent offenders walk our streets.
“Defund the Police” has been a disaster, and we need to immediately increase police funding so we have enough well-equipped officers deployed to fight crime in our neighborhoods. We must embrace — not shy away from — proven law-enforcement techniques like neighborhood safety cameras and plainclothes officers in high-crime areas.
As a business leader, I will make it a priority to work with local business and community leaders to help provide basic quality-of-life improvements, including resources to challenged communities and incentives and support for reporting criminal activity. We’ll reverse the decline in psychiatric beds so we treat challenges with the right tools.
The bottom line is that everyone, in every community in our state, deserves to be safe — a basic requirement of any civilized society.
These changes alone would drive dramatic improvements in safety, but they’re not enough. In corporate turnarounds, there are always the obvious changes to make quickly, like replacing failed management or cutting costs.
Achieving lasting, transformational change, however, requires a much broader, holistic approach that tackles all underlying problems. It’s the difference between what a politician will only talk about and a turnaround expert will actually accomplish.
To that end, I will amend discovery statutes to give prosecutors more time to present material evidence and prevent criminals from walking away on technicalities. I will also reverse the supposed “reforms” to our parole and family-court systems that have recklessly released repeat offenders or those accused or convicted of violent crimes back into our communities.
Steven Mendez, a 17-year-old Bronx gang member, might be the latest poster child for these problems with the system. He allegedly killed an innocent man after he was released from jail as a “youthful offender” — and was set free again this week when his indictment was dismissed, likely due to a technicality.
Reversing the damage will take skill, creativity and guts. That’s why New York needs a leader, not a politician, who will truly fix the problem and not just repeat easy soundbites or deny the problem altogether.
Ideologues, special-interest groups and politicians more interested in grandstanding than solving problems have had a long enough run in the halls of power at the expense of our safety and peace of mind. Getting crime under control will take a true reformer, one whose only obligation is to fight like hell for the benefit of all the people of New York.
Harry Wilson is a noted turnaround expert and a Republican candidate for New York governor.