Why Won’t Kathy Hochul Get Her Priorities Straight? – When former Rep. Lee Zeldin was on the cusp of beating Governor Kathy Hochul in last year’s gubernatorial election, crime was the only issue any New Yorker was talking about.
That was especially true in New York City, where major crime was rising, the subways home to some of the most deranged criminals in the city, and the streets felt utterly lawless.
Kathy Hochul Doesn’t Get It
None of that has changed since, but in the weeks running up to the election, this adopted New Yorker noticed more cops on the subways than ever.
I spent years visiting New York City when I still lived in England, visiting at least once a year to meet with friends and colleagues.
Since moving to New York City full-time in early 2022, I’ve traveled to work most days on the subway – and I noticed something different come the end of the year.
As Lee Zeldin’s team pounded the pavement, campaigning for every last vote to oust Governor Hochul and install a new governor who would finally put his foot down, police officers suddenly appeared at what felt like every subway station.
They rode the trains and hung around on subway platforms, and for a little while, traveling to work each day felt somewhat safe.
There was still the looming fear that a deranged homeless person might suddenly start brandishing a knife the moment a police officer left the platform – a fear that sounds a little wild but isn’t unreasonable these days –, but things definitely improved.
New Yorkers noticed it, too. Every person I know in the city said the same thing, and even one of my most progressive neighbors admitted things were good…for a while.
What a Mistake
Imagine my shock, then, when Governor Hochul narrowly won re-election and all of those police officers…disappeared. New York City’s subways are once again a mecca for homeless menaces, criminals, and drug addicts.
Just moments before I sat down to write this piece, I was forced to change carriages on the R train when I saw (and smelled) one homeless man eating an entire crab with his bare hands and throwing the shell on the ground, and another homeless woman on the other end of the same carriage rocking back and forth as she stared at the terrified passengers opposite her.
But worry not! Governor Hochul just announced that she would give $51 million to organizations across New York willing to tackle…hate crimes.
On Tuesday, Hochul announced the massive pledge to help 1,000 non-profit organizations considered “at risk” of hate crimes, with a view to strengthening their security measures and preventing them form being attacked. Hochul was no doubt surrounded by sufficient private security police guards to prevent her from experiencing what it’s like for the common folk to exist in the nation’s greatest city.
On top of the $51 million in support for at-risk groups – many of whom are not being attacked by straight, white, male extremists, by the way – Hochul also signed a bill that would strengthen hate crime reporting on college campuses.
If Hochul cares so much about at-risk communities, perhaps she should spare a thought for the families living in a city where the roads are plagued by unregistered mopeds skipping red lights, where the subways aren’t safe for anybody, and where shootings happen as a matter of routine.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.