After nights of widespread looting and rioting, New York City residents are feeling less safe and more vulnerable than at any time in recent history. This comes after a second month of lockdown, with no predictable end in sight, as well as a nightly curfew that further restricts the limited activities allowed. Ordinary citizens are frustrated, confused and frightened, and feel they are not getting satisfactory answers or explanations from their mayor.
As a community newspaper, we carry an obligation to research and report to our community. Our efforts to reach out and have a reasonable conversation with the mayor and have an opportunity to discuss our specific concerns and needs have not been successful.
We are therefore using the public media of our newspaper and website to address the mayor. We are confident that we will thus start a productive conversation.
- What would have to happen before you would feel the need to ask for the National Guard to protect the city?
- In listening to the press conferences, there was a lot of political correctness. Why is breaking glass, looting and stealing being called an “activity”? This is frightening to law-abiding citizens, who hear our elected officials protecting criminals instead of the citizens.
When a reporter asked why the mayor didn’t come out strongly against the criminal activity, you basically brushed her off. The language of a public official is a signal to the public. Are you not concerned that you are in fact encouraging violence?
- While peaceful protests are an important part of democracy, at what point does public safety come first and dictate that the right to protest be withheld?
- Do you believe the police made unwarranted arrests in general (your daughter in particular)?
- We are hearing that right now many teenaged children were scared to walk down the block to their friends’ homes in the evenings, and we, as parents, were scared to let them go. What are you doing the keep this city safe and help residents feel protected?
- Do you believe that the fact that people were frustrated from having been cooped up in houses due to the lockdown directly or indirectly contributed to the violence?
- You responded to a reporter who asked about the COVID risk that “it is hard to say to people who are in pain not to come out due to the pandemic.” When thousands of grieving mourners peacefully attended a funeral, you attacked them in blistering terms for not adhering to social distancing. They too were in pain. Why the double standard?
- Among those whose stores and cars are being vandalized are many African Americans, and among the rioters are whites. Are these people really in pain, protesting the murder of George Floyd, or is this simply an excuse to commit acts of violence? What if anything is being done to isolate and identify the “interlopers”?
- With a long hot summer ahead of us, no summer school in session, and no work programs sponsored by the city with the cancellation of the annual Summer Youth Employment Program, how does the city intend to prevent bored youth from seeking “exciting” ways to keep themselves busy or entertained?
- Going back to COVID-19 related topics, apparently it is now safe for groups with peaceful purposes to gather. Our community is crippled without reasonable allowances for communal prayer and private schooling. Please recognize that these are essential needs and treat them accordingly.