Listen to your voters on crime and charters, Carl Heastie

On two key questions before the Legislature, Gov. Kathy Hochul is more in step with the voters of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s district than he is.

Hochul wants to 1) fix the no-bail law to make it plain judges are free to order bail whenever the law otherwise allows it and 2) allow more charter schools to open in the city.

The speaker’s against both.

Yet the voters in Heastie’s (heavily Democratic) Bronx district clearly agree with her.

On bail:

  • 57% would give judges the discretion to jail repeat offenders, against 29% who disapprove.
  • 64% approve of requiring anyone committing a crime with a gun be held in jail without bail; 28% don’t approve.
  • 60% are good with letting judges jail repeat shoplifters, vs. 31% opposed.

On charters:

  • 68% approve of increasing the number of charter schools in New York City.
  • 62% have a positive view of charter schools, just 16% negative, while views on the regular city public schools are split, 46% positive to 42% negative.

Carl Heastie
In the latest Siena poll, 17% of voters know that Carl Heastie opposes any changes to the bail laws, and only 16% that he’s against lifting the “charter cap.”

In short, Heastie’s own voters think he’s wrong — though most don’t realize it: Only 17% know that he opposes any changes to the bail laws, and only 16% that he’s against lifting the “charter cap.”

The speaker might argue that he’s responsible not just to his own voters, but to the Assembly Democrats who’ve elected him to run the chamber.

But polls show that voters statewide want action on bail (76% of Democratic voters, per the latest Siena poll), and are pro-charter, too.

Carl Heastie
Seventy-six percent of Democratic voters statewide want action on bail and are pro-charter, per a poll.
LightRocket via Getty Images

And these are straightforward issues that directly touch the lives of those answering the questions.

New Yorkers know what crime’s like in their neighborhoods and what’s going on with their local schools.

That is: They’re not (as legislators often claim) being deceived by hysterical tabloid coverage.

Indeed, they have every right to ask why their representatives oppose them. Is it special-interest lobbyists?

Blind arrogance?

The Post’s poll means Heastie at least can’t plead ignorance of what his constituents want. 

How about listening to them, Mr. Speaker?

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