Photo Credit: ericadams2021.com
Eric Adams

City-Wide

 

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Mayor

The Jewish Press endorses Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams for mayor of the City of New York. As our city, state and nation pursue post-pandemic recovery, he appears to us to bring the most to the table of any of the other candidates.

Adams’s 22 years of service as a member of the NYPD – in several high-ranking positions – has uniquely equipped him to deal with what most polls say is the first order of business in the minds of most New Yorkers: runaway crime. Not only did he gain invaluable experience in the nuts and bolts of law enforcement from the inside, he also was one of the first to acknowledge the “bad apple” problem and the need for police reform while remaining a staunch, public supporter of the overwhelming number of police officers and police department as an institution. Indeed, he urges, recognition of this fact and “respect for the badge” is not only warranted but also key to effective law enforcement.

Thus, while he strongly opposes the notion of defunding police, he also calls for changes in the NYPD. He would reorient training of police offices on how to deal with tense situations, while also calling for hiring and deploying more of them. He would bring back the anti-crime units that were dedicated to cracking down on guns and gangs but were dismantled in the face of leftist political attacks. He will tell anyone who will listen that gun buybacks to get rid of guns doesn’t work. He says we need “smart” interventions and notes rather pointedly that 95 percent of the victims of gun violence are black and Hispanic.

Significantly, he says he would push for reform of the disastrous, recently enacted no-cash bail law that has, turnstile-like, put accused criminals back on the street to commit more crimes. He strongly backs more discretion for judges to exercise common sense.

As a New York State senator for six years Adams developed an abiding interest in broad scope public budgetary issues and what it takes to address them. He took all of this to his job as Brooklyn’s borough president in 2013 where for almost eight years he has run a huge governmental operation as its chief executive, receiving mostly high marks for his efforts. As borough president he also made important inroads in the affordable housing problem although his powers were somewhat limited in that regard. At the very least, though, he was able to come to appreciate the issue, close-up, in all of its complexity.

As borough president Adams continued as a force for law enforcement reform and also became a key player in efforts at job creation and fiscal responsibility. He has also used his bully pulpit as borough president to call attention to racial injustice while insisting on employment selection based on merit.

While he supports public schools, he also supports charter schools as affording additional opportunities for poor minority children and providing a constant reminder to public schools of the need to improve. Significantly, he also advocates regular student evaluations.

Given his ongoing involvement in public affairs over the years and his regular, balanced commentary on broad range issues, it has long seemed to us that Eric Adams has been New York City’s Mayor-In-Waiting. It’s about time he became NYC’s Mayor-in-Being.

Finally, a word about Adams’s opponent Curtis Sliwa. It is rare that the candidate of a major party – in this case both the Republican and Conservative parties – can be described as a know-nothing, publicity-seeking yahoo. But that is Curtis Sliwa.

Do not be taken in by his pretensive seriousness and superficial invocation of Republican policy points. That he would be considered by anyone as someone competent to run the complex machine that is New York City with all its moving parts is Alice in Wonderland stuff.

To be sure, he has latched onto the very consequential issue of crime. But his sloganeering about how “I’ll be tough on crime” – which may have occasionally played well in the one-on-one Guardian Angel context – has scant relevance for the systemic crime epidemic that New York faces. Does anyone really believe that the Curtis Sliwa we have come to know has even thought about, much less familiarized himself with, the many buttons that will have to be pushed in the coming four years in an ongoing, undramatic process?

Moreover, notwithstanding his typically overblown claim that his Guardian Angels have helped many Jews in physical danger, he has alarmed many in our community with his casual mocking of things Jewish with classic anti-Jewish themes. He has derided the Orthodox practice of kollel study as job avoidance. He has publicly asserted about Orthodox Jews that “They don’t vote the way normal Americans vote. . . They’re being told by the rebbe or rabbi who to vote for.” He has also publicly suggested that we control politicians because of our money. He has cautioned New York suburban communities that Orthodox Jews were trying to “take over your community and are a drag on the tax system.”

In sum, we could expect more of Curtis Sliwa’s signature sound and fury should he be elected. What we need in the next four years, though, is the experience and expertise of Eric Adams.

 

Comptroller

For the next chief financial officer of the City of New York, The Jewish Press urges readers to vote for Daby Carreras. He is an experienced money manager, an ardent supporter of Israel, and an outspoken critic of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Movement (BDS), which advocates that Israel be forced to submit to the demands of the Palestinians on pain of losing foreign investments. Since the comptroller has a lot to say about how the multi-billion NYC pension funds will be invested, this race is an extremely significant one. It is all the more important in this election cycle since Carreras’s opponent is Councilman Brad Lander who not only has little financial experience to speak of, but has embraced the BDS movement!

Most of us are aware of the firestorm the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream company created with their announcement that they would no longer sell their products over the Green Line out of protest against what it says is Israel’s “occupation” of Palestinian land. After Ben & Jerry’s announcement, Lander, once a self-declared staunch supporter of Israel and opponent of BDS, issued a statement supporting the Ben Jerry’s move (“I support Ben & Jerry’s decision…. Ending Israel’s military occupation is a moral imperative.”). He went on to declare that he does not favor penalizing Ben & Jerry’s or other companies boycotting Israel by terminating business with them as several states are now moving towards doing. (Various states, including New York, have laws and regulations prohibiting boycotts of Israel).

There is more that is troubling about Lander than his stealth betrayal. As we have noted in the past, Lander has questioned the very idea of a Jewish nationalism and described in derisive terms the Jewish religious practice of circumcision.

In sum, from where we sit, Mr. Carreras should be supported by virtue of both his own credentials and, in no small measure, the fact that he is running against Brad Lander.

 

Borough-Wide and City Council Districts

Manhattan (NY County)

Borough President: (Dem.) Mark D Levine.

District Attorney: (Rep.) Thomas Kenniff: He has distinguished himself from his opponent by refusing to buy into the woke agenda of listing crimes he would not prosecute. His opponent has said he would not prosecute criminal trespass – which would include the case of someone who enters a school or synagogue to intimidate children or worshippers. In fact, the police would undoubtedly decline to make an arrest in the knowledge that there would be no prosecution. Kenniff also has long experience as a prosecutor.

 

Brooklyn (Kings County)

Borough President: (Rep.) Menachem M. Raitport.

District Attorney: (Dem.) Eric Gonzalez.

City Council: 41st Council District: (Dem.) Darlene Mealy.

43rd Council District: (Dem.) Justin L. Brannan.

45th Council District: (Dem.) Farah Louis.

46th Council District: (Rep./Cons.) Donald J. Cranston: Cranston identifies public safety, clean streets and good schools as his top priorities. He has vast experience in the workings of state and city government from the inside, having served as a staffer at various agencies over the years.

47th Council District: (Dem.) Ari Kagan.

48th Council District: (Dem.) Steven Saperstein: Saperstein’s commitment to serving the best interests of the citizens of the 48th CD is attested to by his co-founding of Southern Brooklyn’s Shorefront Coalition which has become a leader in combating the opioid epidemic on the local level, addressing quality of life issues, and the coordination of food deliveries to those in need. He received a law degree from Syracuse University College f Law and works as a special educator, he says, to empower students with disabilities. His views on crime and the need to support our police has earned him the endorsement of the Policemen’s Benevolent Association, the Detectives Endowment Association, Lieutenant Benevolent Association and the Captains Endowment Association.

Surrogate Court: (Dem.) Rosemarie Montalbano.

 

Staten Island (Richmond County)

50th Council District: (Dem.) Sal Albanese

 

Statewide Ballot Proposals

There are five ballot proposals to amend the New York State Constitution, which are the work product of both houses of the NYS legislature. Accordingly they reflect the thinking and preferences of the Democratic majorities in both houses. It should also be kept in mind that while several of the proposals address more than one issue, it is an all or nothing decision as to each of the proposals that has to be made. That is, voters either approve or reject each proposal as a unit. There can be no picking and choosing amongst any different issues.

The Jewish Press urges a no vote for all but Proposal No. 5 which would change the jurisdiction of the New York City Civil Court to hear cases and decide claims for up to $50,000 instead of the current jurisdictional limit of $25,000. While No. 5 is non-controversial, the same cannot be said for the other four. It should become readily apparent that Democrats were intent on enlisting the balloting process in the pursuit of their party’s woke agenda and taking full advantage of their control of both the Assembly and Senate in New York.

Thus, Proposal No.1 would change several things, but one stands out and that is the elimination of the requirement that the critical redistricting commission have co-executive directors – one Democrat and one Republican. That alone is enough reason to reject the whole proposal.

Proposal No.2 would establish the constitutional right of each person to clean air and water and a healthful environment. This sounds warm and fuzzy and uncontroversial. But it would enable private citizens to sue New York State government to force the adoption of environmental policies to their liking despite there being differing views on the issue.

Proposal No. 3 would eliminate the current requirement that a citizen be registered to vote at least ten days before an election. And Proposal No. 4 would eliminate the current requirement that an absentee voter must be unable to appear at the polls by reason of absence from the county or illness or physical disability. Both straight out of the Democratic playbook!

In sum, we suggest that these Democratic trial balloons deserve to be definitively shot down by voters.

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