Brooklyn is a borough of 2.6 million people who already live in a great place, but want and deserve an even better standard of living. With that in mind, we present four resolutions on how to improve Brooklyn:
1.) Resolve the homelessness crisis with dignity. The city’s response to the sharp increase in homelessness has largely been reduced to stuffing as many people as possible into “shelters” unfit for residence. Promises of reform from the mayor and edicts from the governor mandating shelter during freezing conditions aren’t going to be enough to solve this crisis. The city and state must work together to hammer out a new strategy to tackle homelessness. This includes not only making housing more affordable but also creating “supportive housing,” which gives every shelter resident the living quarters they require and the services they need to build independent lives.
2.) Keep the pressure on the criminals. Despite an uptick in homicides this past year, the New York Police Department continues to do a yeoman’s job in keeping us safe. Brooklyn residents need to continue to support the NYPD, and the NYPD — along with the city government — must continue to provide Brooklyn with the manpower needed to fight crime from Brooklyn Heights to Bensonhurst, from Canarsie to Coney Island, and every community in between. New York City hired 1,300 additional police officers last year, and we believe that the city should hire 1,000 more in 2016 to fortify counterterrorism efforts without draining the rosters of local precincts.
3.) Fix the borough’s public transportation system. With more people relying on public transportation to get around, the MTA must improve bus and subway service across Brooklyn, to make it more timely and convenient.
4.) Higher voter turnout at 2016 elections. The people of Brooklyn need to pay attention not just to the presidential races, but also to local legislative contests. There are four chances to vote this year: an April presidential primary, a June congressional primary, a September state legislative primary and the November general election. You need to be registered with a party to vote in all four or, at the very least, registered to participate in the November election. If we want a working democracy, we need to be informed about our choices, and then go to the polls on Primary and Election Days. Don’t take your right to vote for granted!
Let’s hope all of us have a happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful new year!