In major city municipal elections, attracting enough votes to win is apparently important.
City after city, Democrats who previously responded to Black Lives Matter’s calls to “fund the police” by cutting law enforcement budgets or reallocating police funds to other uses are now emphasizing on cracking down on crime in the run-up to election day, the Washington Post reported on Saturday.
“The mayors are not stupid, and they understand that if the taxpaying residents of their city start to leave, as they did in the 1970s, the whole city is in danger,” Ned Hill told the newspaper, a Ohio professor who studies urban politics.
“Mayors are not stupid, and they understand that if their city’s taxpaying residents start leaving, as they did in the 1970s, the whole city is in danger.”
Debates about fighting anarchy are also taking place in cities without competitive elections, according to the report.
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Democrats in cities like New York, Buffalo, Cleveland and Seattle might just react to the data, according to the Post, which cited last week’s Pew Research Center poll that showed 47% of Americans want police to receive more. funding, not less.
That figure was up from 31% last June, amid protests for racial justice, the Post reported.
U.S. cities have seen the number of murders increase by 30% in 2020 – the largest annual spike since the federal government began tracking news in the 1960s, the newspaper reported.
Perhaps reflecting the shift in voters’ sentiment, Democratic New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams is a former NYPD captain, while GOP candidate Curtis Sliwa is a longtime civic anti-crime activist.
Even progressives are making adjustments, according to the Post.
In Buffalo, far-left mayoral candidate India Walton – a community activist backed by U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y. – now emphasizes better police accountability and the role of mental health professionals in reducing crime rather than its previous calls for police funding and cries of profanity during anti- police, the Post reported.
Nonetheless, Walton trails Byron Brown, the outgoing Democratic mayor of Bufffalo, by 17 points in a recent poll, despite beating Brown in a June primary. Brown is now trying to keep his post as a written candidate.
“Candidates for mayor are forced to respond to realities on the ground,” Bruce Katz, director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University, told The Post.
“Candidates for mayor are obliged to respond to the realities on the ground.”
In Portland, Oregon, which last year saw a spate of more than 100 days and nights of civil unrest, even Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler – who was re-elected last year – has changed his mind on certain questions concerning the application of the laws.
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In September, Wheeler admitted that a “hands-off” police approach to a clash between opposing protesters in August was “not the right strategy,” Fox News previously reported.
But low police morale resulting from last year’s “defund the police” movement has been blamed for Portland’s struggle to recruit officers for its resurrected gun violence unit.
Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell last week stressed the importance of staffing the unit after the city saw 19 shootings in a 54-hour period.