Today: NYC Public Advocate Responds To Congressional Republicans' Falsehoods About New York And Public Safety Policies

April 17th, 2023

Press Release

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams issued the below statement in response to House Republicans' attempts to spread misinformation about New York City and its public safety policies during today's House Judiciary Committee hearing in Manhattan.

The Public Advocate will hold a virtual media availability to further address the hearing at 2:15 PM on Monday. Reporters interested in joining the availability via Zoom can register here.

"I have been working on issues of gun violence and public safety my entire career. I would welcome a legitimate examination of ways to promote and produce safety, in New York and nationwide.

"This hearing was not that discussion, and deliberately so. Chair Jordan and his conservative colleagues came to our city in an attempt to further disingenuous narratives and discredit District Attorney Bragg and the reforms he has helped bring about.The reality they choose to ignore is that New York City remains among the safest large cities in the country despite the nationwide increase in crime, and that it is in conservative-controlled states — including the Chair’s home state of Ohio – rates of violence are dramatically higher.

"Rankings and statistics mean nothing to victims of violent crimes or their families, and we must recognize their trauma and work to prevent future pain. But today’s show was not about lifting up victims’ voices. It was about exploiting their grief to score political points, protect Donald Trump, and mislead the public about what policies threaten public safety. It was about demonizing not only District Attorney Bragg, but New York City itself and the people who call it home – part of a long campaign by conservatives to otherize urban Americans. 

"Unfortunately, these false narratives about public safety are furthered by voices here in New York who disregard data to stoke fear and push policies rooted in that fear. Efforts like rolling back bail reform – again – are disconnected from the reality in New York, but closely aligned with Jim Jordan and his conservative colleagues. Today’s theatrics and the narrative that surrounds them show the danger of exaggerating political rhetoric – that people will believe you. 

"If conservatives are truly concerned about our city, I invite them to expand federal funding for the programs that we know actually protect public safety. I’d be eager for the opportunity to further facts rather than fear, to support victims rather than play one, at a future hearing – even one in a statistically more dangerous space like the Chairman’s Ohio home."

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