Mayor Eric Adams’ “yes city” has recently gone through three resounding nos – new housing, judicial legitimacy and sanity. The fault lies not only with the awakened politicians and judges, but also with our own electorate. If New York continues its headlong race to ruin, our spineless voters will lead the way.
Public Enemy #1: City Councilman Kristin Richardson Jordan, who turned down a proposal to build more than 900 new rental units, half of them “affordable,” in Harlem’s nearly empty downtown area. She single-handedly thwarted plans for a complex called One45 at Lenox Avenue and West 145th Street out of annoyance. As a result, the site will now be used as a parking lot for trucks.
Public Enemy #2: Radical State Senator Mike Janaris, leader of the movement to remove Hector LaSalle, a prominent lawyer elected by Governor Kathy Hochul to be Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals. The Senate Judiciary Committee, on which Janaris was made up of friends, voted 10–9 against LaSalle on Wednesday. Janaris, a crime conniving, represents Astoria, Woodhaven, and other areas of Queens that can use anyone but him to advance their interests.
Public Enemy #3: Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur F. Engoron, the state lawyer who outrageously overturned the City Landmarks Preservation Commission’s approval of a plan to build residences, shops and green space in a vacant lot at 250 Water Street. His rationale was basically that he simply didn’t agree with the LPC’s decision. The judges know better, right?
But the worst offender is public enemy #4: the voters. The sad reality is that Jordan, Gyanaris and Engoron were elected by a huge margin with little competition.
Voters have a choice, but they vote without respect for common sense and their own needs. How did this happen at a time when the city is in desperate need of new housing and state courts are besieged by ruthless bombers far to the left of even our traditionally liberal politicians?
Blame the Democratic Party’s near stranglehold on voter registration in the city and parts of the state. Blame also the bewildered electorate that adheres to Marxist-tinged principles of state control of private enterprises without regard to the real economic and social consequences.
Weak party leadership squandered what little the Republicans had left. Gerrymandering further tightened Democratic control over prone districts. Cash from capitalism-hating billionaire George Soros commands primaries with few participants (which is how we got Alvin Bragg as Manhattan District Attorney, making his spineless predecessor Cyrus Vance Jr. look like Edgar Hoover by comparison).
In the absence of the Republican Party or even moderate Democratic options, “electoral public” has come to mean older voters nostalgic for our World War II alliance with Joseph Stalin; the younger ones are accustomed to the sophistry of “equality”, “stop gentrification” and “save the planet”; and lower-class defenders intent on sucking every cent out of society while winking at crime, unless it happens on Rikers Island.
The result: the rise of ne’er-do-wells like Richardson, Janaris and Angoron, who make no pretense of hiding their rebellious impulses.
There is some hope of reversing all three reprehensible blows. Harlem politicians struggle to revive One45 with or without Richardson’s help. LaSalle’s nomination is yet to be approved by the full Senate. Engoron’s treachery could very well be overturned on appeal, as had happened with several of his early surprise decisions.
But in today’s unforgivably wakeful climate, it’s hard to believe that New Yorkers once elected Republicans Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg when crime and decadence finally pushed them out of their comfort zone.
If the Big Apple is indeed doomed this time, it will be because New Yorkers no longer care about stopping it. They’ll be yelling from Florida about how pathetic the Big Apple has become, not to mention that they’re largely to blame for it.