Writing

Piece 56 – The Community & the Police of New York City

The Community & the Police of New York City
By. Raimondo Graziano

New York City struggled for many decades on the issues of crime, poverty, homelessness and lawlessness and in recent years has made significant progress from the help of members of the community, law enforcement and our elected officials. Though too often do we see that the three are very out of touch with one and the other. The needs of the community are not represented by those in office, and those meant to protect and serve their interests are in some cases not reticent or not representative of the values of the community – even in some cases doing more harm than good. This is a terrible disparity that needs to be rectified. The community, our elected officials and law enforcement need to work closer together to rectify the issues that plague our communities. Politicans need to work to address growing inequality, homelessness, affordability in living standards and other issues.

We have seen in recent months increased public transportation enforcement, including arrests some justified and others widlly out of line. What the state needs to understand is that by encouraging further enforcement you are only going to continually criminalize those who are in poverty for not being able to afford a wage which can gain them access to the ever increasing costliness of public transportation. Our politicans are somewhat to blame for this for failing to address rising inequality and a staggering homelessness crisis in the city. Coming down hard on people trying to make a living, such as vendors in the stations, does not increase quality of life for all New Yorkers. It is categorically antithetical to the spirit of the New Yorker.

Likewise, those in the community who are not in law enforcement or who have no family member in law enforcement who may have a certain perception of how law enforcement is has to work to break down their preconceptions as to what it means to be a police officer. By no measure is it a simple career or undertaking. There is a great deal of scrutiny, as their should be, and a great deal of stress involved. That being said – it is not easy being a poor, minority person of color in this city either. There is a prevalent fear that one may be targeted simply based on the color of their skin, and that they are under the suspicion of being guilty until proven innocent. Only when the community and the law enforcement meant to protect them begin to open a more constructive dialogue, and when our politicans start doing their damn jobs are we going to see a change in the hows and whys of this great, sometimes troubled city.

Writing

The Imperial Presidency by. Raimondo Graziano

The Imperial Presidency

By. Raimondo Graziano

The presidency of the United States has always been loosely defined, the actual enumeration of the powers of the president encompass little more than two paragraphs in our constitution – the guiding document of our nation. Over time, the president’s power has increased significantly, and the propensity of the man holding office to use his unilateral or executive authority has grown stronger with every passing, election. Coupled with the continued capitulation and enabling by the President in offices own party, whoever it may be, the party has endorsed these actions through their complicity in the overreach in executive authority. While this has increased steadily over time, in the last hundred years, specifically and most importantly after the elections of President Franklin Roosevelt, the slow march towards the imperial presidency we have today has greatly fastened.

The Republic in many ways is no more – Congress has become a tool of the President to advance an agenda, and the work there truly shows when the majority party holds onto Congress; the courts too have become a tool to ensure the policies enacted, are constitutionally protected and endorsed by partisan judges. The executive, has broad powers today – than at any other point in history. We have an imperial presidency, and our institutions are threatened by them – whether or not this is good, moral, or immoral is not the question. The question is – are the American people in support of a more central government, do the American people endorse this imperial presidency – not of one specific administration but of what it means for the office itself.

While numerous administrations have used executive authority to push forth policy change and reform none have ruled by the pen quite like the 44th and 45th, the former and current presidents of The United States. Executive Orders have become the tool of choice for Presidents hampered by partisan divides amongst the Congress and a general inability to govern effectively. Lacking majorities in both chambers of Congress the hope of achieving substantial policy achievements is pitifully low. Through executive action however, the President can act unilaterally- though that carries with it the possibility it will be overturned by an incoming administration. However, the precedents that have been set over the course of the last decade are fundamentally reordering the very institution of the Presidency itself, centralizing its power, reducing the importance of the judiciary and Congress to mere pawns of the President and his party. From the 44th using his pen to rewrite immigration policy, to the 45th reappropriating funds through use of an emergency declaration at the Southern Border to build his wall – a core campaign promise.

Both broaden the reach of presidential power. Just this month, officials from nearly every major cabinet department have refused to comply with requests for documents and answer to subpoenas regarding ongoing investigations from numerous House Committees. This here touches on the concept of coequal branches of government. And on cabinet departments too, the number of acting secretaries who have not been confirmed by the Senate is astounding in the country’s history – the President himself has said it allows him greater leeway to work, in other words to centralize presidential control over the executive and to undercut the Congress, and use judicial appointments of ideologues pushed through speedy confirmations to ensure these changes are upheld. Where is the questioning of the American people on this? Where is our social responsibility? We are either distracted by banal mundane trivialities, or we have lost the will to care. Either way we in some way have condoned this rise of the Imperial Presidency.

Old Howard Union

Issue Brief, 7 – Mindfulness

General

Tonight – I’ll be on The Rundown Hosted by Hunter Dubis & Skylar Budman AT 9:30 PM EST

You can check them out here – they’re a conservative outlet hosting their podcast The Rundown. Come and listen!

https://www.facebook.com/TheRundownMG/

They’ll be live as well, so this will be completely unedited. As you all know I am left leaning in my politics, so I will be talking to those of an opposing ideology BUT debate is debate nonetheless, and starting a dialogue is key in the country right now.
You can expect them to come onto my own podcast as well in the coming days! So stay tuned.

Old Howard Union

Issue Brief, 6 – National Service