Let’s Stick to Common Sense – Adolfo Carrion

By Kwabena Opong

Adolfo Carrion’s message to New Yorkers in his mayoral campaign is the application of common sense approach to most of the City’s problems.  This is was the core of his message revealed at a press conference at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

The New York mayoral candidate acknowledged that despite the amount of business the City does, the ethnic media is denied its fair share of the advertising revenues. It is common sense to ensure that the ethnic media gets its fair share of the $70 billion advertising market, he said. Carrion recalled his days as the Bronx Borough president when he engaged the immigrant community in a 2-hour radio call-in show.  “New Yorkers expect a leader who leans toward clarity and common sense, and that is what I am gonna do,” the independent candidate said. He added that helping the ethnic media is also helping small business and also helping to engage young people in employment. “It is an untapped opportunity,” he added.

When asked about the UFT’s endorsement of Candidate Bill Thompson, Carrion said Thompson shepherded a failing education system without considering the expected returns from education. He said: “My statement was not about Thompson but about educating the city.” According to Carrion UFT’s voter participation is 17 percent only with a large number of them retired. It is not actually representative of the City. He accepted, however, that there is some improvement in the system but more needs to be done. Carrion agrees with the principle of merit pay for teachers. It is important to break the politics of education around UFT and consider the overall expectations and benefits of education, he contended.

The former Urban Policy Advisor to President Obama, however, agrees with Bill Thompson that those managing education in New York City  must be educators and disagreed with the appointment of Kathy Black.

On stop & frisk and other civil liberty infringements, Carrion invokes the US constitution as the only protective document to be considered. He went on to describe the relationship between the City’s law enforcement and minorities as shifty. “The relationship between the NYPD and minority youths in the City is broken,” he observed. He believed that it was important for the police to be able to analyze the situation before pursuing further steps. “Presently it (stop & frisk) needs fixing, but the tool of stop & frisk is not necessarily wrong. Let’s stick to common sense.” Carrion stated. “We can fix that without throwing it out.” He observed that nine out of ten stops do not yield the expected results – a clear indication that it needs fixing.

He suggested increasing the number of cops and reintroducing the neighborhood beat system. “There is the need to restore a relationship between the police and the community.” According to Carrion, the onus is on the mayor and police commissioner to ensure a smooth police-community relationship.  Carrion disagrees with policing and/or crime detection based on ethnicity, religion or culture. Information gathering for national security is, however, essential.

Adolfo Carrion admitted that he made a mistake engaging a contractor who had a contract with the Bronx Borough. He said it cost him $2,500 in legal fees. It was a conflict of interest issue but does not regret but thinks that he should have been more careful but does not admit any wrongdoing.

On his chances of winning as an independent, Mr. Carrion averred that 40 percent of Americans are independents. In New York City independents are 25 percent of the voting public. Until 2008, according to Carrion, only 1.2 million people voted in New York City. Voter participation has dwindled considerably but 150,000 voted like a bloc. He believes too that he can rely on the 250,000 Hispanic voting bloc.

Mr. Carrion fielded questions about the annual Puerto Rican parade saying he would welcome the attorney general’s investigation into the shady deals that is benefitting only a few. “The parade should be a cultural event not a for-profit venture.”

On health care delivery, Carrion recommends community neighborhood health care services. He recalled doing the same at Morris Heights with the aid of state and federal funds. It was accessible to all in the community irrespective of immigration status.

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Posted by on Jul 18 2013. Filed under Community News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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