What Kind of NYC Do You Want?
By Joseph Concannon
NYC may be bracing for yet more social unrest with the de Blasio administration stating that they plan on using the “law of eminent domain” to find housing for the homeless. Again, this is government overreach that will have to be addressed by the courts, no doubt. It begs the question what kind of NYC do you want and where are you in line? The answer for this issue and many others lies with you, the voters, and determines your place in line!
As we relax in our homes in Eastern Queens we ask what happened to the community preservationist? What happened to the care and consideration for keeping Queens that homespun borough reflective of its people who commute within and out of the borough to work each day only to come home to more stress and community issues than one could only imagine. What kind of NYC do we want and are we last in line?
The shaping of our city for future generations evolves around our choices at the ballot box each year. The importance of voting can never be overstated. Yet many see it as useless and hopeless. The dynamic of voting has indeed missed the masses in our very own district as nearly 70,000 people stayed home.
While the mayor successfully has taken policing in NYC 180 degrees in the wrong direction with the help of the City Council, we find fewer arrests, quality of life crimes taken off the radar for enforcement, police officers now telling us they can’t do that, a reduction in the population of Rikers Island, loud cries from the criminal justice reformers to close the jail, a waiting station for criminals failing to heed our laws and pending interview in front of a judge. We are told “local jails” are better for our criminal justice system. What about our community, the quality of our lives, and congestion all over?
Locally, as our community wakes up each day, many stop at Dunkin Donuts, a local deli, or 7-11 to get a quick cup of coffee. The future may soon be telling, as each of us stops for our morning “cup of Joe.” The person standing next to us may be a member of a gang awaiting a hearing, maybe supporters of his/her gang, or the person down the block who was just arrested for a burglary or gun or drug charges. These things have happened locally in our community within the last year alone. While everyone is innocent until proven guilty, is this what we want to confront every day? Well, that reality is coming, and begs the question what kind of NYC do you want? What do you want for yourselves as you crawl into your senior years, and for your family in the future?
What’s our status and how are we doing? Voters can review the progress of their performance in civic and political engagement almost monthly though a very personalized report card. Every year we are charged property taxes (7% increase Nov 2017 NYC Council, total property tax increase 23% over the next few years). Creedmoor: increased client/patient involvement in our community has produced negative results, thus NYS reclassification of patients as outpatients saves money, but negatively impacts our local community. NYC DEP, quarterly bill increases, failure to address water main pipe electrolysis, causing repairs galore $7-9k per home, and in some cases insurance coverage not applying. Introduction of bioswales to our communities which will increase infestation of flying insects and opportunity for sickness and poor health. NYC Sanitation introduction to real waste recycling which we think will increase rodents, stink up our homes and yards, and add additional cost for those who use the plastic bag inserts for their little brown cans. Unresponsive government officials, such as participatory budgeting projects that are approved and never realized. All of this helps us evaluate our report card of how we are doing. What kind of NYC do you want for your family, and what kind of community do you want to live in? Is it the same community you long ago purchased your home in? Voting matters, elections have consequences and determines our place in line. Think about it.
We are proud Republicans and have stood tall in the face of great political adversity in NYC. We have fought hard and in many cases for years. We have been told by our Governor we need not live here anymore, we should move out. But we are strong, and we shall prevail. Now we have to determine if we want to be last in line. Our placement in line, quality of life of our neighborhood is in fact determined by our civic and political engagement. Think about it, do you feel like you’re…last in line?