Crime is rising, and this is what we can do to reduce it.
In 2019, Cash Bail was eliminated for most crimes. Reducing the number of people jailed while waiting for trial makes sense, but eliminating cash bail for most offenses isn’t working, especially regarding repeat offenders. The failed policies of Albany have created a system that protects and emboldens criminals to commit crimes repeatedly. There needs to be a better bail balance for first-time offenses versus repeat offenders. We need to reinstate cash bail for repeat offenders of nonviolent felonies and more serious crimes. We need to remove all gun crimes from the no-bail list. We need to give judges greater judicial discretion to set bail and consider dangerousness – like every other state.
A focus on the root causes and responding to the symptoms is necessary.
- Funding for pre-trial services could help people awaiting for trial to receive the help they may need.
- Increased funding for programs to expand affordable housing can reduce homelessness and the strain on the city’s over-burdened shelters and would rapidly improve quality of life, health, and safety.
- Increased temporary shelters for those in need
- Expanded comprehensive mental health treatment and addiction treatment services
- After-school programming and summer youth employment can provide safe places for kids and teens, reduce opportunities for conflict, and increase life skills that can help them gain future employment.
- Funding and support for “community violence interrupters.” Individuals who can influence active gang members because of their past leadership in the community or, in some cases, their prior history with a gang,
The 75th Assembly District leads the City in crime statistics. . We need to respond to the increased crime with increased enforcement to keep the community safe:
- Increase pay and recruitment of police
- Empower police
- Bring back under-cover units
- Bring back broken window policing
- Increased funding for technology in high-crime areas.
The 75th Assembly District has a high concentration of permanent and temporary homeless shelters and other social support services such as drug and mental health providers. While the district needs supportive services, we should minimize the concentration of facilities that do not complement each other. The proximity of facilities in the district has caused a feeding frenzy for drug dealers. I propose a fair distribution of public and private facilities throughout the State and particularly in the community, which would include:
- group homes, halfway houses, jails, prisons, detention facilities, residential facilities, social services field operations, non-residential social service centers, youth detention, supportive temporary or transitional housing. Federal, state, and local facilities would be treated identically.
- Seek input from community boards, and borough presidents, to assess the benefits and burdens associated with facilities that should be consistent with the community's needs for services.
No facility should be located within 500 feet of another facility to minimize the concentration of facilities.
As further support to such service sites, we need to provide a safety radius:
- A drug-free zone should be created within 500 feet of any facility.
- Drug usage, sale, or possession in a drug-free zone aggravates and bumps up into a C-Felony.
- No cannabis dispensary license would be permitted within 500 feet of each other and a facility.
- No cannabis dispensary license would be permitted on the same street as a school, church, synagogue, or other places of worship.
- No cannabis license would be permitted on the same street as child and daycare facilities, liquor stores
- A gun-free zone within 500 feet of any facility.
- Unlawful firearm possession in a gun-free zone aggravates and bumps up into a C-Felony.
The budget for Arts and Cultural districts throughout the State will bring employment opportunities, improve community engagement, spur youth imagination and address quality of life.
It is time to bring Art back to the classroom!
Joe’s Evolution From Graffiti Artist to Community Advocate.
Joe Maffia has always had a strong work ethic, though his hard work was not focused on the most respectable activities as a youth. He became “the King of Graffiti” on the number one train during the early 70s. He worked “diligently and strategically” to become the King of the Broadway line by executing his plan in a methodical, unrelenting fashion. Though he is not proud of the vandalism, it was essential to his development.
When he turned that diligence and hard work towards his studies, he graduated from Power Memorial Academy High School, where he was the NYC Indoor and Outdoor CHSAA Triple Jump Champion. He received a track and field scholarship to Iona College in New Rochelle, NY.
His professional career has included diligent attention to accounting standards and he was on the Public Safety and Quality of Life Committee of the Community Board #5.
Now, his love for the arts is expressed in a much more beneficial manner. He loves music, theater, and museums and loves seeing the modern adaptation of graffiti as art for murals and public benefit instead of vandalism.