Mayor Eric Adams’ “City of Yes” suffered three thundering recent “No”s — to new housing, to judicial legitimacy and to sanity. The fault lies not only with woke politicians and judges — but also our own electorate. If New York City proceeds in its headlong rush to doom, our chuckleheaded voters will lead the march.
Public Enemy No. 1: City Council Member Kristin Richardson Jordan, who killed a proposal for more than 900 new rental apartments, half of them “affordable,” on a mostly vacant central Harlem block. She single-handedly torpedoed plans for a complex called One45 at Lenox Avenue and West 145th Street — out of pique. As a result, the lot will be now be used as a parking lot for trucks.
Public Enemy No. 2: radical state Sen. Mike Gianaris, ringleader of the move to reject Hector LaSalle, the distinguished jurist who was Gov. Kathy Hochul’s choice for chief judge of the Court of Appeals. The Senate Judiciary Committee, which Gianaris stocked with cronies, voted down LaSalle 10-9 Wednesday. Crime-coddling Gianaris represents Astoria, Woodhaven and other Queens districts that could use anyone but him to uphold their interests.
Public Enemy No. 3: Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur F. Engoron, a state jurist who outrageously invalidated the city Landmarks Preservation Commission’s approval of a plan for housing, stores and green space on an empty lot at 250 Water Street. His rationale was basically that he just didn’t agree with the LPC’s decision. Judges know best, right?
But the worst perpetrator is Public Enemy No. 4: the voting public. The sad reality is that Jordan, Gianaris and Engoron were all elected by huge margins over negligible competition.
Voters have choices, yet they cast ballots with scant regard for common sense and their own needs. How did this happen at a time when the city desperately needs new housing and when the state courts are besieged by take-no-prisoners bomb-throwers who are far to the left even of our traditionally liberal pols?
Blame the Democratic Party’s near-stranglehold on voter registration in the city and in parts of the state. Blame, too, a befuddled electorate that embraces Marxist-tinted principles of big-government control over private enterprise without regard for real-world economic and social consequences.
Keep up with today’s most important news
Stay up on the very latest with Evening Update.
Weak party leadership squandered what little Republican base remained. Gerrymandering further tightened Democrats’ hold on districts predisposed to them. Cash from billionaire capitalism-hater George Soros commandeers primaries in which few participate (which is how we ended up with Alvin Bragg as Manhattan district attorney, who makes his spineless predecessor Cyrus Vance Jr. seem like J. Edgar Hoover by comparison).
In the absence of GOP or even moderate-Democratic options, the “voting public” came to mean older voters nostalgic for our World War II alliance with Joseph Stalin; younger ones weaned on “equity,” “stop gentrification” and “save the planet” sophistry; and underclass advocates intent on sucking every dime from the public till while winking at crime unless it takes place on Rikers Island.
The result: the elevation of bums such as Richardson, Gianaris and Engoron, who don’t pretend to conceal their seditious impulses.
There’s some hope to reverse all three reprehensible strokes. Harlem pols are scrambling to revive One45 with or without Richardson’s help. LaSalle’s nomination might yet be approved by the full Senate. Engoron’s treachery might well be reversed on appeal, as happened to several of his earlier off-the-wall rulings.
But in today’s unforgivably woke climate, it’s hard to believe that New Yorkers once elected Republicans Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg when crime and decay finally pushed them out of their comfort zones.
If the Big Apple is truly bound for doom this time, it will be because New Yorkers didn’t any longer care enough to stop it. They’ll yowl from Florida about how miserable the Big Apple became, without mentioning they were largely to blame for it.