Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the New York Democrat, wants wealthy city-dwellers who’ve taken refuge on the idyllic shores of the Hamptons to return to the rat-infested, crime-ridden, Mayor Bill de Blasio-controlled Big Apple, and he said he’ll even throw in a dinner.
“I literally talk to people all day long who are now in their Hamptons house who also lived here, or in their Hudson Valley house, or in their Connecticut weekend house, and I say, ‘You got to come back! We’ll go to dinner! I’ll but you a drink. Come over. I’ll cook,” he joked on Monday, according to the New York Post.
But to many who abandoned the city, the safety of their families is no laughing matter.
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There are few statistics from the city that seem like they would offer comfort to the hedge fund billionaire playing tennis in between takeout orders from Nick & Toni’s, the famous, posh restaurant on Long Island.
The city has seen a 50 percent increase in murders in the month of July, and while shootings across the cities have jumped, the number of arrests has been halved. The New York Times pointed out that de Blasio has blamed coronavirus measures and how jails have allowed criminals back onto the streets, but the paper’s own analysis questions that claim.
The paper said that 1,500 inmates have been freed from Rikers Island, the famous jail in Queens that sits in the shadow of La Guardia Airport. And of those freed, seven have been arrested again on weapons charges. The paper said the recent shootings have stoked fears that the city is returning to the violence that it used to be famous for and pointed to the fact that 19 people were shot in the city last weekend alone.
A Fox News report also showed that the violence is not limited to notoriously dangerous areas in the city and even the city’s Upper East Side has seen a 286 percent increase in robberies compared with the same time period last year. Some of these robberies were in the shadow of buildings that are homes to billionaires.
Cuomo, even though he was appealing for their return, seemed to remind these business titans another reason to stay out of the city.
“They’re not coming back right now,” Cuomo said. “And you know what else they’re thinking? ‘If I stay there, I’ll pay a lower income tax,’ because they don’t pay the New York City surcharge.”