Congratulations, Melinda! - Queens Chronicle: Editorials

Congratulations, Melinda!

Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2019 10:30 am

Thirty-five days after voters went to the polls to elect a new Queens district attorney, Borough President Melinda Katz was declared the winner on Monday by the Board of Elections. No citizen can ever say his or her ballot doesn’t count after sixty votes separated Ms. Katz and Tiffany Cabán, a margin of 0.000665 out of 90,142 votes.

Barring a judge overturning the recount challenge, Ms. Katz will have her work cut out for her once she assumes office January 1, 2020. Judging by her success as borough president, we have no doubt she will be up to the challenge.

The Chronicle in past editorials has expressed full support for former DA Richard Brown’s strong anti-crime policies and his role in keeping the borough safe since assuming office in 1991. With crime levels continuing to drop by record levels the past 25 years, we understand the trends toward decriminalizing minor offenses and away from the “broken windows” policies that may be unnecessary today.

But longtime residents of Queens who remember the constant blaring of car alarms, house break-ins and community safety patrols will not tolerate a recurrence of those activities.

Ms. Katz likely took more progressive positions toward criminal offenses to blunt the rise of Ms. Cabán’s surging campaign throughout the election season. We hope there will be a balanced approach toward limiting sentences for first-time minor offenses yet not turning a blind eye to repeat offenders who cause the majority of crimes. Home values continue to rise in Queens as New York leads the way as the safest big city in America. Ms. Katz will need to keep that in mind as she looks to reform the office.