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Op-ed: Election day wake-up call

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Councilwoman Joann Ariola.

In recent weeks I’ve heard from several friends and colleagues who have told me that they were disappointed by the absence of the much anticipated “Red Wave” during this month’s elections. While it’s true – the grand seizure of state and Senate positions that some speculated never materialized – what we did see should be a wake-up call for the Democratic Party.

Republican candidate Lee Zeldin came closer to becoming New York’s governor than any GOP candidate since the days of George Pataki. In Congress, New Yorkers proved crucial in allowing the Party of Lincoln to reclaim the House of Representatives, as voters opted to replace five-term Democratic stalwart Sean Patrick Maloney with Republican candidate Michael Lawler, and elected Republicans Marc Molinaro, Anthony D’Esposito, and George Santos to flip the hotly contested seats for NY Districts 19, 4, and 3. On a more local level, Republicans were able to break the veto-proof supermajority of the Dems in the State Assembly, sending several long-time pols packing and replacing them with more Conservative-leaning legislators.

Common sense voters sent a clear message to the Democratic Party: the people of New York will not put up with the lawlessness that you are actively promoting. We do not want your flawed ideas for bail reform. We do not want you working to handcuff our law enforcement. We do not want you prioritizing the rights of criminals over the rights of victims. We want to feel safe when we walk the streets of our neighborhoods. We want to be able to commute to work on the subway without fear. We want a law and order system that does its job.

Let it be known now, the voters are watching. The Democrats have two more years to get their act together and regain the faith of the people of the Empire State – two years in which they can work to undo much of the damage that they’ve already done here. For those who have already been forced to pay the price for the party’s follies, it might be too late, but for many more there is still time to make safety a priority and avoid the needless harm and suffering already wrought upon thousands of New Yorkers.

The people of New York have shown that they will not put up with the agenda that some in the Democratic Party are trying to push, and unless they decide to pull it together soon, I don’t think they will have another bite at the apple in 2024. So to my fellow common sense voters – stick around, things will change for the better. Don’t give up hope.

Joann Ariola represents District 32 in the City Council, covering the neighborhoods of Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Rockaway Park, Roxbury, South Ozone Park, West Hamilton Beach and Woodhaven.

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