NYPD’s stop & frisk is not appropriate as used now

Mr. Bill Thompson, a 2013 mayoral candidate opined that the NYPD’s stop & frisk policy as used now is not done appropriately. According to him 90 percent of persons subjected to the policy happen to be minorities. Stop & frisk is also abused and is the reason why he would not keep Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. He said that as long it is used as a performance tally as it is done now, it loses its significance and cannot be said to have achieved its stated objectives. He added that stopping and frisking people in broad daylight constitutes a rank abuse. The former New York City Comptroller was fielding questions from journalists of the City’s ethnic media on Thursday, June 6 at the City University Graduate School of Journalism.

On immigrant affairs, Mr. Thompson who claimed to have led urban transformation in the nation, said he was surprised that Mayor Bloomberg is not actively working with the US Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform law.  He promised to take it up if by January it is not passed. He added that in the past 10 years, the City has seen an evaporation and erosion of bilingual education. If elected, Mr. Thompson would increase the budget for the City’s office for immigrant affairs. If elected, he promises to ensure that no community felt abandoned as things stand now. “Almost everybody feels left out and ignored. It is the mayor who would have to fight for them and a city like New York cannot ignore its inhabitants.”

Mr. Thompson comprehensively described his plans for education in New York City. He does not believe in specialized tests as the sole indicator for success of the student, but a cumulative performance of the student throughout the year. On special education needs, Thompson said it is necessary to identify who has to be admitted into specialized schools. Quality of jobs is necessary. Unemployment in minority communities is in excess of 10 percent. As a solution it is important to train for jobs that really exist and pay higher wages. Despite the efforts by individual corporations in the city to provide skills training, there is hardly any coordination among them. “Education and skill acquisition is the most important,” Mr. Thompson added. It is important to “do a better job in public school education.” It is important for the City to bring in tech jobs at all levels and City Hall has to coordinate training for job skills.

Regarding the City’s management of education, Thompson finds the present situation where chancellors are not educators as troubling. As a former chair of New York Board of Education, Mr. Thompson said he worked with notable educators as Rudy Crew, Joseph Fernandez, and Ramon Cortinez, among others.  Under Mayor Bloomberg most schools chancellors have not been educators but “we need educators.” He also advocates for parental inclusion in education. Parents need to be involved in the education of their children, he said. Thompson does not see any rationale in closing public schools while more charter schools develop. He said there are about 56,000 students in charter schools in the city but “not all charter schools are success stories.” He prescribes that instead of closing schools it is important to turn under-performing schools around. There is no need to ignore some children, he added.

Bill Thompson also addressed the issue of homelessness saying that cutbacks in services have increased homelessness in the City. In addition, there has occurred a huge housing crisis. The City is getting rid of the voucher system, something he described as unfair.

The mayoral aspirant expressed concern with the rate of hospital closings in the City. Clearly, he said, Brooklyn is facing a health care crisis with the closure of Long Island University Hospital, Brookdale, Downstate and a few more. A similar situation occurred in Queens in 2008 and Mayor Bloomberg needs to show some leadership. “If you have to go to the White House, then it must be done,” he said. “We can’t allow that to continue,” he added. In Staten Island where several hospitals have also been closed, Thompson emphasizes preventive care, which he says should be adopted by the entire city. He had a word of praise for Mayor Bloomberg’s calorie countdown policy but stressed that more education needs to be thrown in that direction to ensure that all New Yorkers appreciate the necessity of the policy.

Aspiring mayor Thompson said he sees himself as a better candidate today than before. He has gained experience and that is the difference between him and his opponents. “My experience in the public and private sectors makes me the right person for mayor.”

Posted by on Jun 15 2013. Filed under top stories. 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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