First, let’s start with the obvious: conditions inside this city’s homeless shelters are a disgrace.
A series of terrible crimes, one more horrible than the last (including the killing earlier this month of a woman and her two daughters in Staten Island), has highlighted the shameful living conditions for people at the margins of one of the richest cities in the world. Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has been halting in his approach to homelessness from the beginning of his term, has finally begun to address the problem, but years of neglect, from this administration and others, will take years to correct.
But none of that excuses the recent grandstanding by the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who apparently sees no issue on which he can’t try to belittle the mayor.
In the governor’s latest attempt at a hit job, state officials complained to the city, then promptly to the New York Post, about a gang rape at a city homeless shelter, publicizing the alleged event before police even had time to investigate it.
As it turned out, the incident never happened, infuriating city officials who called it a “political media hit” aimed at embarrassing the mayor. More charges and counter-charges followed, continuing a never-ending cycle of political gamesmanship.
In the meantime, of course, the Dickensian living conditions for men, women and kids in shelters in New York goes on.
Here’s hoping that someday our leadership in Albany will become as interested in helping them as it is in scoring political points against our sitting mayor.