Garcia Pushes NYC Public Safety Plan After Times Endorsement

New York City mayoral candidate Kathryn Garcia, fresh off her endorsement by the New York Times, outlined a public safety plan that includes a tenfold increase in cash payments for returned guns and more police on subway trains and platforms.

The former city sanitation chief said she’s the only candidate with plans to stop the rise in gun violence and the experience “to make those plans reality.” She is the latest mayoral hopeful to focus on public safety in the wake of stabbings on the subway, a surge in Asian-American hate crimes and the shooting on Saturday of three people in Times Square, including a 4-year old girl who was shopping for toys with her family.

“New York City’s recovery will only work if everybody feels safe,” Garcia, 51, said Tuesday during a news conference outside a Brooklyn police station. “We have to be able to be safe in all of our communities.”

Garcia said her safety plan would not cut NYPD funding. She would increase the size of the department’s gun violence-suppression unit and boost cash for returned firearms to $2,000 from $200. The city also needs more officers in neighborhoods to combat the current crisis, she said.

“All New Yorkers have a right to live in peace –- not to be terrorized by street crime and ignored by gun manufacturers whose products are brought to our city in defiance of our laws and our values,” Garcia said in a statement.

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would hear a major new Second Amendment dispute, agreeing to use a New York case to consider whether the government must let most people carry a handgun in public for self-defense.

The Times on Monday said Garcia “best understands how to get New York back on its feet.” The endorsement comes after articles in the Times and the New Yorker described Garcia as the most knowledgeable candidate in the crowded Democratic field. The editorial gives a boost to Garcia, who has been lagging behind several others in recent polls.

“I have to say that I was surprised, it’s been a busy few hours,” Garcia said when asked about the endorsement. It “showed what we have been talking about,” she added. “I think they have already made the case for me to be mayor.”

Garcia, 51, was the first choice of 4% likely voters in an April 18 poll conducted by Ipsos. The mayoral election will be the first conducted via ranked choice, in which voters will list their top five preferences. The June 22 primary will likely determine the next mayor of the heavily Democratic city.

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