-By Jason Curtis Anderson
There are many things to enjoy about living in the West Village. The classic architecture, tree-lined streets, and living among the world’s most fashionable neighbors are all truly a delight. However, one benefit of living in the West Village that people might have taken for granted over the years was the extremely low crime rate. One that provides the neighborhood with a sense of well-being that keeps residents fairly at ease, and contributes greatly to the West Village being one of the most desirable zip-codes on earth.
Unfortunately, crime spreads whenever given the chance. Like cancer left untreated, it always grows whenever given the opportunity. When robberies go unchecked it signals more robberies. When drug dealing goes unchecked in places like Washington Square Park, dealers expand their presence. And the reasons we all love this neighborhood are the very same reasons that criminals love it too.
For the most part, the West Village is a quiet neighborhood full of nonviolent people, senior citizens, families, beautiful women, and retail stores with high-value items. In many ways the West Village is a perfect neighborhood for criminals to maximize their return with little pushback.
A recent NYPost article highlighted that our beloved neighborhood is currently experiencing one of the largest crime increases in any district. In August the 6th precinct reported an 80% increase in crime and a 103% increase in grand larceny and shoplifting.
For those of you asking yourself: What can I do? Unfortunately, there is not much. One block by the West 4th train station hired private security guards to patrol the area.
The other thing you can do is vote.
The upcoming elections are your opportunity to vote for candidates who support law and order, and to vote against candidates who tend to favor the well-being of criminals.
Brad Hoylman, the proud father of the bail reform bill is running to be your local Senator and has more criminal justice bills in the pipeline. One of those bills is the Clean Slate Act, which would prevent landlords from being able to run criminal background checks on new tenants, helping them gain more access to NYC real estate. If you oppose Brad and his pro-criminal legislation, now is your opportunity to vote for Maria Danzilo, a common-sense Democrat with deep roots in the West Side of Manhattan.
Another place you can make a difference is the Attorney General race, where Michael Henry is running against incumbent Tish James. Tish James also supported the bail reform bill and has made no effort to address the increase in crime New Yorkers have experienced during her tenure as AG.
And while this may not be something our deeply blue neighborhood wants to hear, a vote for Lee Zeldin might be one of the only options we have to truly reduce crime.
Kathy Hochul still claims there is not enough data yet to consider revising bail reform and the other bills that have led to the proliferation of masked gunmen and dangerous subways.
That data she is referring to is the innocent lives of New Yorkers.
Every type of major crime is up 37.26% across Manhattan with the exception of murder. 95.45% of precincts have reported increases. Increases that happened under Kathy Hochul and Tish James’ current leadership.
While I know many West Village locals detest the idea of voting for a Republican under any circumstances, we are already living in Kathy Hochul and Tish James’ New York, and have been for years. When it comes to issues like crime and public safety, a vote for either of them will only be a vote for more of the same.
Not long ago the local West 4th subway station had two separate incidents of people being hit by subways within 24 hours. If we ever want to see any change, it’s not going to come from the people who have let the city unravel under their leadership.
Image: West Village Robbery in Progress. Credit Maggie Berkvist