Yet another example of the nonsense that New Yorkers have had to tolerate was the recent coordinated vandalism of Middle Village and Maspeth.
The quiet neighborhoods of City Council District 30 were invaded by professional anarchist vandals, under the guise of protesting the Rittenhouse verdict. They ripped down American flags, targeting the symbols that many local residents hold dear and proudly display. A vehicle owned by an Air Force veteran – displaying a disability plate – was attacked with spray-paint.
Middle Village resident “Caitlyn” told us that she was not only followed, harassed, and verbally attacked based on her race and gender, but physically attacked when an unknown liquid was thrown on her. The vandals also turned over garbage pails and smashed a car windshield.
Many residents volunteered to come out and help defend the neighborhood, but the police had things well in hand. Five of the vandals were arrested, as swift action was taken by the NYPD’s 110th and 104th Precincts. They were charged with rioting, one with criminal possession of a weapon and two of them with criminal mischief, resisting arrest, obstructing government administration, reckless endangerment of property, and unlawful assembly charges. None of the five arrestees were from Queens. If not for the good work of the NYPD, it would have been far worse.
I participated in a press conference the day after, together with Mayor-elect Eric Adams, Rep. Tom Suozzi, Assembly Member Brian Barnwell, JPCA President Tony Nunziato and others, to show support for the neighbor- hood and stand united in our condemnation of intimidation, violence and destruction caused by any group of any ideology. It was refreshing and encouraging to see our incoming mayor standing with us, considering the way we have often been treated by the outgoing administration.
We must not allow professional outside agitators to distract us from the fact there are many more issues that unite New Yorkers than divide us. Most New Yorkers primarily want safe streets, clean parks, quality education, good jobs and affordable housing.
Our restaurants, museums, commerce, public transit, culture, art scene and theater district have been the envy of the world for generations. And they can be, once again, if we govern with one primary principal: If we don’t have public safety, we don’t have anything. No amount of funding or planning for anything will ever matter if we don’t have a safe city. People will stay away from our city’s restored nightlife offerings, including Broadway, if they don’t feel safe.
New York City has always represented the best of everything. And I will work together with Mayor Adams and my colleagues in government to, once again, make it the safest big city in the world.