It’s two months into 2022 and crime is out of control. It’s the city’s top issue. According to the recent Quinnipiac College Poll, three-quarters of NYC voters say crime is a very serious problem. All New Yorkers are victims of the progressive policies which have caused a breakdown in law and order. The Bail Reform Law of 2019 is the far left’s progressive legislation passed into law in 2020 that has triggered the surge in crime we read about in horrific bold headlines every day, like the Asian woman recently stabbed to death in her Chinatown apartment by a repeat offender released due to Bail Reform.
Under these reforms, judges can no longer impose cash bail requirement against defendants for nearly 90% of arrests including a good number of felony charges such as armed robbery and resisting arrest. Judges do not have discretion to detain them even if they pose a danger to the community. They are back out on the streets the next day ready to commit new offences. Reportedly, more than half of violent offenders commit new crimes and murder after being freed under Bail Reform Law.
Since Bail Reform went into effect early in 2020, crime has been steadily rising. Criminals are emboldened since they can beat the new lax system without facing jail time. We’ve seen a surge in shootings, horrific subway shoving incidents, rising attacks on Asians, rampant shoplifting and robberies, and so far in 2022, overall crime is up over 40% from the same period a year ago. Seven NYPD officers have been shot so far in 2022, including the two slain heroic officers, Wilbert Mora and Jason Rivera. Nearly every NYPD precinct has seen an increase in crime this year, with two precincts in Queens seeing more than double the crime rate.
These horrifying statistics stem from the longstanding work of the champion of criminal justice reform, State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) who sponsored a bill, S2101A, in January 2019, known as the “Bail Elimination Act,” the bill that would completely eliminate cash bail.
The State Senate was unable to pass the bill, which did not make it to a floor vote and died in committee. Some legislators were reluctant to vote for changes to bail laws in a stand-alone bill. However, Governor Cuomo incorporated Bail Reform into a budget bill, S1509C, as part of the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 NYS budget. Democrat lawmakers claimed they had to accept the budget bill if they also wanted to approve a state aid increase for schools, a property-tax cap, and other measures.
This budget bill provided political cover for Democrat lawmakers to conceal their voting records. They hid their votes for Bail Reform in a budget bill to avoid the wrath of their constituents impacted by the rise in crime, while appeasing the progressive left. Last year, the wrath of the voters came down like a ton of bricks on Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-L.I.), for his support for Bail Reform, losing a heated race for Nassau DA to Republican Anne Donnelly who ran as a “tough on crime” candidate.
The budget bill with the Bail Elimination Act buried inside, passed in April 2019, and was signed into law by the governor. It went into effect on January 1, 2020, eliminating cash bail for most misdemeanor and non-violent felony charges. The Democrat super-majorities in the NY State Senate and Assembly voted AYE. Democrats passed it, legislating cashless bail laws that set criminals free to threaten our safety. To a man, every Republican voted NAY.
You should know how your representatives voted. Here are the seven Queens Democrat State Senators who voted AYE for the State Senate budget bill S1509C which includes the Bail Elimination Act:
SD-10 James Sanders Jr
SD-11 John Liu
SD-12 Michael Gianaris
SD-13 Jessica Ramos
SD-14 LeRoy Comrie
SD-15 Joseph Addabo Jr
SD-16 Toby Ann Stavisky
The State Assembly then voted on the companion budget bill with the Bail Elimination Act, A2009C, which was adopted as the Senate version, S1509. Here are the Queens Assemblymembers still in office today, all Democrats who voted AYE:
AD-23 Stacey Pheffer Amato
AD-25 Nily Rozic
AD-26 Ed Braunstein
AD-28 Andrew Hevesi
AD-29 Alicia Hyndman
AD-30 Brian Barnwell
AD-32 Vivian Cook
AD-33 Clyde Vanel
AD-35 Jeffrion Aubry
AD-37 Catherine Nolan
AD-39 Catalina Cruz
AD-40 Ron Kim
Please make note of which representatives in your Assembly District (AD) and Senate District (SD) voted AYE on these bills. Once again, in bold headline in the news – the brutal murder of another Asian victim. A homeless career criminal stabbed Christina Yuna Lee to death in her apartment in Chinatown as she was screaming for help. This repeat offender had been rearrested for six crimes in less than a year and was released without bail under Bail Reform, that these Democrat lawmakers voted into law. ‘Criminal justice reform’ has been the Democrat’s mantra which has mushroomed into soft on crime policies that have become reckless and dangerous laws. We can only stop this with the power of voting.
In order to repeal the Bail Reform Law which let these career criminals run free and commit more crime and murder, we need to vote these representatives out of office in the November elections. We must hold them accountable, just as Democrat Sen. Kaminsky was voted out, and elect “tough on crime” Republicans. This is the only way to stop the escalating crime and murder. Remember voting matters and elections have consequences! Get out and vote Republican in every election!
Here are links to help readers find who their representative is:
Assembly Member Search | New York State Assembly (nyassembly.gov)
Find My Senator | NY State Senate (nysenate.gov)
Phil Orenstein is the president of the Queens Village Republican Club. Established in 1875, it is America’s oldest Republican Club. www.QVGOP.org Club Board of Directors member, Suzanne Chronowitz helped with research and data, and Historian, Jerry Matacotta, founder of History Seminar Series, was advisor for this article.