CRISIS IN THE BIG APPLE: WILL NEW YORKERS RETURN?

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Therefore, we must all love apples for the health benefits. However, when it comes to The Big Apple, people seem to be walking away from it.

New York City – an attraction for so many around the world – is now the hotspot for lawlessness. The situation has gotten so terribly bad that the governor of New York is having to urge people to come back to the city, and not abandon it forever.

In recent months, New York has suffered from riots, looting, and widespread anarchy. Crime has sharply risen in New York this year, as anarchists chanted “Defund the police”.

The city has seen 11,000 felony assaults this year. Compared to last year, shootings in New York City have grown by 72 percent. Just in July, shootings increased by 177 percent and murders rose by 50 percent.

Although crime has increased in New York City, police records show that arrests decreased by 54 percent in June 2020, compared to June 2019.

In this time of crisis, rather than strengthening the rule of law, Mayor Bill de Blasio has cut the New York Police Department’s budget by $1 billion. As a result, New York Police Department’s anti-crime unit, that includes plainclothes officers, had to be dismantled.

Rising crime in New York is adversely affecting New Yorkers of all ages, races, and income groups. Recently, there were four shootings in Brooklyn in just over 90 minutes that included an 11 year-old victim. Also, a 28 year-old man was shot in a drive-by shooting in Bronx, as he was holding hands with his little daughter.

Looters in New York have destroyed businesses big and small – from those owned by modest-income earning immigrants to large corporations. No one was spared from the violence in New York over the last few months.

People are fleeing from New York City. Americans, poor and wealthy, realize that the city has become unsafe to live, work, and raise a family. The city leadership in New York has failed to take the steps needed to protect its citizens.

Governor Andrew Cuomo now seems to understand the trouble that the city is in, as crime has reached the city’s posh Upper East Side. The rising lawlessness in New York has reached the doorsteps of people, who are very wealthy and can afford to have the latest high-tech security, bodyguards, and live in luxurious penthouses. New York’s Upper East Side, which is also home to billionaires, has experienced sharp increase in robberies, including those committed by armed perpetrators.

When people leave the city, the tax revenues also depart. As people from all backgrounds search for safer places to live and work, outside of New York City, the city’s financial burden would increase.

In a desperate effort to bring wealthy New Yorkers back to help alleviate the city’s financial struggles, Governor Cuomo has offered to “buy” them “drink”. While his choice of words and friendly gesture sound great in the news reports, it does not solve New York City’s problems.

For people, of any income status, to come back to New York City, the lawlessness has to be addressed. City leaders must support the men and women in blue and provide them with the tools to combat crime. Rioters and looters who committed widespread property damage must be arrested. Those are committing the ongoing acts of robberies and shootings must be prosecuted.

When people lose confidence in the city leadership, there is almost always likely to be a mass exodus. New York, without its taxpaying residents, would face great financial hardship. City leaders must, at once, put their partisan stunts aside and work to restore funding to New York Police Department and work with law enforcement officers to fight rising violence. Only then will the Americans, those who left New York City, return.

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