Council ignoring real problems by going after ‘segregation’

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Newsflash: New York City is a segregated city with “extreme levels of segregation,” and “remains more segregated than most metropolitan areas in the United States.”

At least that is what 11 City Council members, who signed on to a 32-page glossy report entitled “Desegregat­ing NYC: Twelve Steps Toward a More Inclusive City,” would have you believe. This report was the brainchild of Brooklyn Councilman Brad Lander, in partnership with Queens Council members Donovan Richards and Antonio Reynoso, among others. It is a torturous analysis of cherry‑picked data that portrays New York as a city as steeped in segregation as the Deep South in the 1950s.

Rather than combatting the real problems of high property taxes, failing schools, corruption and cronyism, these elected Council members would have you believe segregation is NYC’s No. 1 challenge. It’s a time warp mindset of epic proportions and these Council members are prepared to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to radically alter housing and school policies in a social science experiment to end an imaginary problem.

In order to prove its allegations of segregation, the “Desegregat­ing NYC” report dismisses the free will of people who often prefer to live in close proximity to others who share similar cultures and values. Is it no wonder that we have such wonderful communities such as Chinatown and Little Italy in Manhattan, Koreatown in Flushing, Little India in parts of Bellerose, Queens, and so many other niche communities around the city? The “Desegregat­ing NYC” report would have us believe that these vibrant communities are bastions of segregation that represent the worst of New York. In reality, they are bustling communities with hardworking families of all ages who enjoy sharing common cultures and values and choose to live near each other. They are meccas of tourism and culinary delights. But to Brad Lander and other Council members who signed on to this report, these neighborhoods represent the worst of New York and are evidence of systemic segregation that must be eradicated by coercive, desegregation policies.

A common practice of the progressive movement is to cast the net of guilt and blame as wide as possible and then lecture us that we are collectively responsible for the alleged ills of society. The “Desegregat­ing NYC” report does just that, and guilt-shames us in hopes of supporting its 12‑point plan to change NYC education and housing policies. The progressive movement has lurched so far to the left that moderate Democrats find their party almost unrecognizable. Councilman Richards, who I have worked with on other issues and is smart, knows better. He represents a diverse and integrated community from southeast Queens with many real problems that command his attention.

New Yorkers must at some point acknowledge that this progressive dogma is at odds with reality. New York, by any measure, is a city of diversity that welcomes all nationalities, all sexual orientations, citizens and non-citizens alike, and sets aside in its laws expanded discrimination protections for more than a dozen legally protected classes of individuals.

Our Council members should expend their energy fighting for a better quality of life and economic policies that will help all residents of our great city rather than trying to fix illusory problems. As an example, I would urge Council members to adopt policies that will end the crisis currently faced by New York City taxi medallion owners. These small business owners, many of them immigrants, purchased their medallions as investments for their families’ future, based on representations made by the city of New York that their medallion monopoly would not be pierced. Taxi owners have lived up to their side of the bargain, but the city has not, bankrupting many of them.

As the 11 Council members ponder and plan their next move in this quixotic segregation battle, let’s hope we do not see another taxi medallion owner commit suicide, because the value of their million-dollar medallion has dropped to less than $200,000. Where’s the glossy report to deal with this actual crisis? Sadly, there is none, and even less hope that these Council members will muster the fortitude to solve this real-life issue, a tragedy that stands as a detriment to our entire city.

Lobbing racial and segregation grenades only makes the wounds deeper and harder to heal. Such rhetoric will not help those families who are truly suffering right now. A myopic City Council is an inevitable product of a one-party system, which provides no accountability to a party racing towards a progressive cliff with no speed bumps to slow it down.

Posted 12:00 am, May 11, 2018
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Reader feedback

Chris from Glen Oaks says:
Glen Oaks is a segregated society with hardcore racists. Bob is one of them.
May 11, 8:27 am
Dwayne from Queens says:
Interesting to note that the money-grubbing city council don't mention that they, along with de blasio and Cuomo, have engaged in segregation by forcing the minority poor from their homes to make way for hyper-gentrified nabes meant solely for the elite. That fact established during the attention-seeking Bloomberg regime, add democrat Bayside and Whitestone to that segregation list.
May 11, 8:42 am
Tony from Whitestone says:
NYC has always been segregated. Immigrants from all over the world use Queens and then move out of state to settle down with a home, family and education.
May 11, 8:50 am
Justin from Bellerose says:
FYI, Bellerose is not Little India. Its a Jew town. Get your facts straight.
May 11, 9:34 am
Mike from Queens says:
Bob Friedrich lost all elections from Assembly to City Council. Common people, he is incompetent.
May 11, 11:08 am
Juliana Sajeva from Glen Oaks says:
Hey Bob, what do you know about politics? NADA.
All politicians are corrupt. They lie, steal and plays both sides.
May 11, 1:19 pm
Gina from Queens says:
Isn’t America is segregated. What’s your point Bob?
May 11, 7:02 pm
Elise from Queens says:
Bob is a dictator who won't let anyone challenge him for the board president of the co-op he controls. His free will use of maintenance money has become nuisance among shareholders. His bullying has made lots of people moved out.
May 12, 10:27 am
Bro from Queens says:
Bob Friedrich can’t handle his problems but sure complain of the corrupt NYC. Bob is sure corrupt himself.
May 12, 2:56 pm
Warren from Bayside says:
Had Bob won the City Council, it would have been disaster. He would have been in jail for fraud and corruption. People knows well about Bob.
May 12, 4:36 pm
Victoria Leeds from Beach says:
I have met Bob on few occasions. He is restless and pushy to get everyone’s attention but just who is Bob exactly! He is no one.
May 13, 2:38 pm
Darian Taylor from Kips Bay, Manhattan says:
What an insightful article. The City Council continues to use the red herring of segregation to keep everyone's eyes off of the real problems plaguing NYC. But attention to those matters would require fiscal restraint, integrity, and responsibility--three qualities that are incompatible with the perpetual self-aggrandizing activities of council members. When oppressive taxation and regulation are lifted from the backs of the community, all boats rise, and residents can align themselves according to their preferences. Economic prosperity is one of the greatest de-segregating forces; enforced progressive policies may serve as a temporary equalizer - but only to the extent that everyone will be equally poor.
Sept. 27, 9:55 pm

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