New Yorkers will choose their next mayor in one-party Gotham five months from now, in the Democratic primary. Luckily, “Democratic” needn’t mean far left. Case in point: retired Army Gen. Loree Sutton, whose public-safety plan sets a standard of plain talking.
With more than a dozen candidates running, it’s hard for even high-profile names to attract attention, and Sutton is hardly the best-known.
Capsule biography: Before serving as Mayor de Blasio’s veterans-affairs commissioner, she was the Army’s highest-ranking psychiatrist (the Big Apple could really use a psychiatrist about now). She earned a Bronze Star for combat action in the Gulf War.
Her real-world experience shows in her public-safety blueprint: First, identify the problem. “Until we reverse the increase in violent crime and deterioration in quality of life, we will not be able to attract people to live here, work here, invest here, do business here,” she says. “Owners and employees of convenience stores and take-out restaurants that have managed to stay open for business during the COVID-19 pandemic are afraid of being robbed or mugged.”
With the murder rate up 40 percent last year — the biggest increase ever — this may sound obvious. Yet Sutton’s rivals eschew the problem. And any identification with crime victims is considered racist, though most victims are people of color.
Second, identify solutions. Sutton is clear: Police will have a big role. This, too, may sound obvious — except, again, other candidates talk vaguely about “resources.”
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for David Lynch Foundation