‘Diversity’ narrative clouding pols’ judgement

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New York City is on the wrong track and voters should be concerned.

The City Council and mayor are motivated by a rigid “progressive” ideology that clouds their ability to see the real-life consequences of their actions. As a civic leader, and president of New York’s largest garden apartment residential housing co-op, I have witnessed a steady erosion in quality-of-life protections that we used to take for granted.

The city’s political elite’s obsession with diversity and racially driven data, important as that may be in the proper context, does little to actually promote improved quality of life in our neighborhoods. Their zeal to decriminalize public urination, public drinking, public intoxication, and many other seemingly “minor” violations, puts them at odds with most community civic associations.

These “minor” violations are not so minor for homeowners and apartment dwellers living near bars or areas where rampant loitering and noisemaking is commonplace. Pursuing the perpetrators who commit these “minor” violations has often led to the capture of serious criminals. But to the “progressive” lawmakers, it’s never about the rights of people affected by the tawdry behavior of others.

At a recent Queens Civic Congress debate at the Queens County Farm Museum, Council members Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) and Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) advocated for the closure of Rikers Island and the relocation of its 10,000 inmates. The council members insisted that moving this huge inmate population into residential communities would have little impact. Incredibly, Ms. Koslowitz opined that it might even have a positive impact on businesses and the surrounding neighborhood.

The panelists opposing the proposal to shut down Rikers included a representative of the Queens District Attorney’s Office and the president of the Corrections Guard union. These two individuals have firsthand knowledge of the issue, and unlike Lancman, Koslowitz and so many others, they deal with prison populations daily.

The Queens District Attorney’s office presented a report that found 75 percent of the 9,267 Rikers detainees have open criminal cases, and a large portion of them are recidivists. Lancman stated that those inmates were being held unfairly due to their inability to make bail. He advocates that they be summarily released back into the community until trial.

But Lancman neglected to mention that 87 percent of the inmates eligible for bail are incarcerated on felony charges, and 2,007 of them were not even eligible for bail due to the seriousness of their charges.

Elected officials who favor moving the Rikers population to small neighborhood facilities always fail to mention the dangers of large numbers of recidivists being reinserted into the communities where they committed their offenses in the first place.

Attendees at the QCC debate were never told why elected officials would not simply spend the $10-billion-plus that this relocation program is expected to cost on rebuilding and upgrading the current Rikers facilities.

Rikers’ island location is ideal, as it impacts no residential communities. Unfortunately these council members fail to champion the interests of their own constituents and instead put them at risk.

Now, Councilman Lancman is looking to downgrade the crime of turnstile jumping, making it a simple violation that lacks any real enforcement teeth.

“The data from 2017 is strikingly similar to recent years,” Lancman has said. “Eighty-nine percent of the thousands of people arrested for jumping a turnstile are black or Latino. NYC is unnecessarily running people through the criminal justice system and putting immigrants at risk of deportation.”

By seeing every enforcement action through a racially colored lens, Mr. Lancman never sees the larger picture. His outrage is misguided. Rather than being outraged by the thousands of people, black or white, that broke the law and evaded the fare, he implies that it’s the enforcement that is the problem.

While civic groups beg for funds to improve their neighborhoods, the “progressive” City Council passed a budget that includes a new multimillion-dollar program, funded by taxpayers, to cover the legal costs of undocumented immigrants threatened with deportation as a result of committing serious crimes. Taxpayer money is also being used to provide bail to those who cannot afford it.

The program goes like this: The taxpayer-funded police arrest lawbreaking perpetrators and take them off the street. Then, taxpayer‑funded bail is paid to release those lawbreaking perpetrators back onto the street.

Voters in our city are beginning to realize that this “progressive” ideology has been hijacked by politicians who honor unrepentant FALN terrorists, use taxpayer dollars to help undocumented aliens charged with serious crimes avoid deportation, and plan to move 10,000 inmates into our residential communities.

Common sense has been superseded by a ubiquitous “diversity” narrative, with politicians so complacent in their power and all-too-eager to ignore constituents that will still vote for them even as they use taxpayer funds to finance their grand social engineering schemes.

Bob Friedrich is President of Glen Oaks Village, a civic leader and former candidate for the NYC Council

Posted 12:00 am, July 14, 2017
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Reader feedback

Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
One of the most intelligent and look at NYC REALITY that I have read in a very long time in this most screwed up so-called irresponsible progressive city. FINALLY, someone in the media is calling out the elected officials on their constantly playing the race card and actually sticking up for the hard working citizens who are NOT law breakers and just want a better quality of life.
July 14, 2017, 5:48 am
Baaahhhahahaaa from Queens says:
Bob is so stupid.
Does he know his big mouth has no attention.
If NYC Council votes and Mayor signs, then that's that.
Public opinion is rarely impacted on city's decisions.
We all know Bob lost 8 elections for City Council, Assembly.
July 14, 2017, 9:13 am
He is a racist from Glen Oaks says:
Bob is a racist and everyone knows.
Visit Glen Oaks and you will see.
July 14, 2017, 10:14 am
Okay from Queens says:
‘Diversity’ narrative clouding pols’ judgement
Big words copied by Bob coming from welfare and public housing.
July 14, 2017, 10:43 am
Okay from Queens says:
Bob grew up in public housing on welfare just like Joe Moretti. Look where both lives, Jamaica and Glen Oaks, same ghetto with welfares. Whine and whine all you want. No one can hear.
July 14, 2017, 10:44 am
Shana from Glen Oaks says:
Common Bob, you are 70 years old. Go to senior center play bingo. Its fun.
July 14, 2017, 11:43 am
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
Wow, Okay from Queens, such a big boy, you came up with that sentence all by yourself with no help, I am SO PROUD of you. Now tomorrow we will teach you how to eat with a fork and spoon and by next week, we can start with tying shoes.
July 14, 2017, 2:20 pm
Juliana Sajeva from Glen Oaks says:
Bob wrote, "president of New York’s largest garden apartment residential housing co-op". Is that why you don't give anyone else a chance without term limits? Bob is a bully and won't let anyone challenge him. All other co-op board members have life. Bob don't.
July 14, 2017, 3:36 pm
Phil from Glen Oaks, Queens N.Y. says:
This is a very well written article. I think Bob is a great board in Glen Oaks for the past 40 years, I can see the dramatic change for the better in Glen Oaks over the past Twenty years. From great landscaping to never ending hot water Bob has done what most wouldn't have done if they were in his place. This article is true and the progressive ideology has gone off course.
July 14, 2017, 6:37 pm
MSS from Glen Oaks says:
Bob is Best. No one can work so hard without any compensation. Bob lost only 2 elections and he is upcoming city council. Bob cares about community.
July 14, 2017, 8:44 pm
25 year Glen Oaks resident from Glen Oaks says:
An intelligent, well written article by Bob. Will these relocated Rikers inmates be relocated to the council member's communities who are in favor of that proposal? Quality of life laws must be upheld. Maybe no arrest at a first offense, but law enforcement should have that option. Also, I see practically every race/culture in the world in Glen Oaks, and we all seem to get along pretty well as far as I know. this community should be seen as a good example for all. While not perfect, Glen Oaks is a very pleasant place to live.
July 15, 2017, 6:37 am
Jdt from Bellerose says:
Bob does gets compensation for being the board president. That's why he doesn't want to give up for 20 years bullying around. If you don't get compensation, why waste time volunteering and doesn't let anyone challenge him?
Get real.
Every other co-op presidents move on but Bob, nice compensation.
July 15, 2017, 8:51 am
Traci R from Glen Oaks says:
When I announced I was going to run for the board, Bob came over my apartment and screamed at me to back off. I was insulted and humiliated by his bully behavior. I made complain to police and he was given a warning. I am glad I left that garbage place. Not worth dealing with someone who has nothing.
July 15, 2017, 9:34 am
Hemant from Floral Park says:
I have known Bob for 10 years. I can say he has different methods and character from the normal people because he goes around with his title as the president of a Co-op board. He believe that's a power to control everyone else. Every meetings I attend with him no one side with him with his constant disagreements and interruptions. Noone knows why.
July 15, 2017, 11:41 am
Kate from Bellerose says:
Lets get one thing straight here.
What the mayor and city council does is final and Bob can only argue without results. If mayor voted for a prison in Glen Oaks so be it. Nothing can block the mayor's decision.
Glen Oaks Village is Bob's personal project using maintenance money as his free will for anything he wants. Residents do argue without results.
Now make comparison and decide.
July 15, 2017, 3:11 pm
James from Bellerose says:
Kate is right.
Bob is controlling his part like mayor does his.
Two different avenues and paths.
They don't cross.
Bob is writing to get attention to something on the other side that's operative for the mayor.
But what exactly Bob is aiming at as a civilian like the rest of the people?
July 16, 2017, 9:40 am
Freddy B from Glen Oaks Village from Glen Oaks Village says:
Bob you are right on track as usually. I've known you for over 10 years and know you have fought hard to make Glen Oaks Village a better place to live. You have shown by your actions you are concerned for the many who don't have a voice to speak up on the issues. You are our voice. Thank you !
July 16, 2017, 3:08 pm
Bygolly from Glen Oaks says:
Glen Oaks Village is same as Jamaica. Ghetto and welfare village. I am glad I moved out.
Bob is an arrogant man with a bully behavior against anyone speaking up to him. By golly, the people living in Glen Oaks Village are mostly rent stabilized tenants paying $400 per month for a bedroom.
July 16, 2017, 3:56 pm
James T from Bellerose says:
I have known Bob for a long time. I am probably the first to admit he is my only unemployed friend who spend a great deal of time with Glen Oaks Village. Each time Glen Oaks Village undergoes changes that's when Bob earns a finder's fee. That's why Bob doesn't want to give up his board position. That's why he is a fighter.
July 16, 2017, 8:56 pm
James T from Bellerose says:
Also, Bob's article on taxpayer's fund for the mayor's operation. What about Bob's maintenance fund from residents for Glen Oaks Village operation.
July 16, 2017, 8:58 pm
Huh from Queens says:
Bob is an idiot.
He lost 6 elections. Here is the proof
July 16, 2017, 11:44 pm
Huh from Queens says:
Bob NEVER won cause voters aren't stupid like he is.
July 16, 2017, 11:44 pm
Gina C from Glen Oaks says:
I speak from the experience of being Bob's interest.
Everywhere we go, he commands attention for being a "somebody". Like some people wrote here, W-H-Y.
July 17, 2017, 8:46 am
Greg from Bellerose says:
I live in Glen Oaks. Bob approved my upstairs shareholder to extend the dormer. Now they rented out for extra income. After complaining, I found out, Bob is sharing the money.
July 17, 2017, 12:45 pm
Oomph from Queens says:
The article shows Bob is against the Mayor's proposal of closing Rikers. Now let's see if Bob can stop the Mayor from doing it. Keep dreaming and write more to no purpose.
July 17, 2017, 4:45 pm
Lame from Queens says:
Who is Bob Friedeich?
July 17, 2017, 8:15 pm
Please from Glen Oaks says:
Please Bob go away. Just go away.
Glen Oaks hate you.
You harass and bully here.
July 18, 2017, 8:53 am
Jackson from Queens says:
I live in Glen Oaks.
They don't disclose details of anything. Once you move here, its all surprises full of racists, criminals, welfares and worst, everyday fines for normal people.
Please don't ever move to Glen Oaks.
July 18, 2017, 4:11 pm
Point from NYC says:
This is Bob Friedrich's point of view. Nothing much can be done. Friedrich is a nobody writing his feedback to the publication.
July 19, 2017, 9:29 am
Rachel from Flushing says:
The article cleared shows lack of research from Bob. Most of the crimes occurs in lower income locations and there are no middle classes. Check the areas before writing this article.
July 19, 2017, 11:43 pm
Fact from Glen Oaks says:
Bob pays himself for being the president of Glen Oaks Village. That's a fact. Check the record. I used to be involved in the board meeting taking notes and was thrown out when asked why Bob gets paid. I guarantee the fact for the record.
July 22, 2017, 10:37 am

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