A look at the debate from local website, City Limits as the group try to dent Andrew Yang’s lead in the race….
Eight Democratic contenders for mayor faced off in a debate Thursday night, the first opportunity for both front-runners and lesser-known names to argue their ideas for New York City’s future.
Eric Adams, Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Ray McGuire, Dianne Morales, Scott Stringer, Maya Wiley and Andrew Yang participated in Thursday’s debate, which was co-hosted by NY1, WNYC, and THE CITY.
With almost 50 mentions, crime and safety dominated much of the conversation, with candidates detailing how they would work toward a safer city, given the increase this year in shootings. The city saw 149 shooting incidents in April compared to 56 shootings during the same month in 2020, according to NYPD statistics released this month.
Across the crowded field of Democrats, this was an opportunity for shades of nuance in each candidate’s policy to emerge—Dianne Morales, the former nonprofit executive who has drawn support from leftist groups in the city, went beyond the progressive plea to defund the police, saying that the city needs a plan to address the “system, not the symptoms,” affecting ailing communities. She’s proposed a $3 billion cut to the NYPD’s budget.
“Safety is not synonymous with policing,” Morales said. “We’ve got the largest municipal police department in the nation. If the size and the funding associated with policing equated safety we’d be the safest city in the country.”
It was a sharp contrast from comments offered by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, the cop-turned-politician who recently earned the endorsement of the New York Post’s conservative editorial board. Adams, a more recognized name in city politics, played up both his police officer past and his efforts to change the department through 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement in his criticism of defunding proposals. If elected, he said he would push the police department to develop a new unit made up of plainclothes officer—similar to a controversial unit that current Police Commissioner Dermot Shea disbanded last year.
“We have gun violence now,” Adams said. “And if we don’t re-institute a plainclothes unit … well-trained police officers to go after gang behavior—those gangs are driving the crime in the city— and stop the flow of guns to the city, we’re going to lose more young people.”
Front-runner Andrew Yang, who, like Adams, took a more defensive posture in this debate, also criticized proposals to defund the police.
“Let me be clear: Defund the police is the wrong approach for New York City,” Yang said, saying the city needs a “21st century form of policing” instead.
There was significant overlap in other areas of the safety conversation: Wiley, McGuire, and Garcia, among others, called for policing models that included mental health experts to respond to calls of New Yorkers in distress….
image…Screengrab/Spectrum News NY1