It is an undeniable fact that homelessness has consistently increased in our community over the last 10 years. Add mental illness and violence into the mix and we have a community that is either afraid or reluctant to take the train. People do not feel safe on our subway platforms or taking public transit with the increase in violent crime we’ve been seeing. My proposal is straightforward: increased NYPD presence and mental health reform.
Increased NYPD presence. Few things are as essential in our city as transportation. We must safeguard our public transit from the increase in crime and homelessness. We must work hand in glove with our police to support our uniformed and undercover officers keeping a watchful eye over our community transit hubs.
Expansion of Kendra’s Law. If elected, I want to pursue an expansion of Kendra’s Law – named after a young journalist from Buffalo pushed onto train tracks by a mentally disturbed homeless man. This law allows the courts to order certain individuals with serious mental illnesses into treatment while ordering the mental health system to provide that treatment. This law is targeted for those individuals who have already suffered multiple episodes of homelessness, arrest, incarceration, or hospitalization. The law is specifically targeted to keep the public safe while treating those individuals who cannot help themselves.
*Protecting our Small Businesses
Our longtime small businesses have been suffering from a new wave of crime. From Metropolitan Ave to Austin Street and beyond, we have bore witness to burglaries and property damage whether at Aigner Chocolates, Forest Hills Fishery, US Tire & Auto., or I-CE-NY to name a few.
Law Enforcement – This is beyond a neighborhood watch or local media attention. This is dire and needs to be addressed before these incidents become commonplace. We cannot afford a continuation of status quo politics or democratic socialist rhetoric that attacks our police. If elected, I will partner with the NYPD to address this disturbing trend on Day 1.
*Fighting against Asian Hate Crimes
Over the past few years we have bore witness to a disturbing increase in Asian Hate Crimes across the city from our subways to street corners. We must meet this challenge hand in glove with the NYPD.
Law Enforcement. If elected, I will push to increase the funding and presence of the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force Unit. This specialized unit is experienced in and dedicated to bias-crime prevention. To get in contact with this unit call 888-440-HATE or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If elected, addressing this issue with the NYPD will be a top priority.
*Fighting against Anti-Semitism
We must combat Anti-Semitism from the graffiti in our parks and schools to the misinformation being circulated through cyberspace
Education. If elected, I will advocate for the expansion of anti-bias education programs like No Place for Hate in our public schools. This program is designed to create inclusive school communities by promoting unity and respect, and empowering students to reduce bullying, name-calling, and other expressions of bias.
Funding. We must ensure that our synagogues and community centers have the security funding needed to safeguard themselves from potential attacks. Congress has already allocated funds to its Nonprofit Security Grant program. Through this program, funding will be available for high-risk synagogues, mosques, churches and community centers across the city. If elected, I will ensure that an outreach & education campaign will be undertaken to encourage those who need access to this capital will have it.
*Keeping our main thoroughfares clean
It is no secret that basic sanitation and cleanliness have been absent from the district for years now. One needs to look no further than 71st Ave & Queens Blvd, along Austin Street, or along Kew Gardens/Union Turnpike. Garbage litters our streets, our garbage cans are full and in decay, the Department of Sanitation doesn’t have the funding to keep up. If elected, my approach will be straightforward.
Increase Funding for the Department of Sanitation. In the middle of a pandemic, our local representatives voted to defund our sanitation workers by over $106 million. This defies logic. If elected, one of my top priorities will be dedicating enough funding for the DOS going forward so that they have the manpower to regularly clean our streets and pick up our garbage.
Increase # of Trash Bins & Update them. In addition to increased funding for the DOS, I want to ensure that we have enough trash bins that are updated and closed off to prevent the homeless from picking through what has been left. If Midtown can afford to have these trash bins then so can we.
Getting BID’s in the district. Lastly, I want to get BID’s (Business Improvement Districts) in our neighborhood.
A BID is a formal organization made up of property owners and commercial tenants who are dedicated to promoting business development and improving an area’s quality of life including but not limited to sanitation, public safety, capital improvements, and beautification for the area.
Currently, we do not have a single BID covering any of Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens, or Richmond Hill. If elected, I will get this done on Day 1.