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Neil O’Brien: There are still weeks to go, but for backbenchers like me, campaign 2019 feels much, much better than 2017

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-11-17-at-21.08.02 Neil O’Brien: There are still weeks to go, but for backbenchers like me, campaign 2019 feels much, much better than 2017 YouGov The North south SNP Scunthorpe Rother Valley Polling police Philip Larkin Peterborough Opinion Pollster Opinion Polls NHS New Labour Midlands Liberal Democrats Law and order Labour immigration Highlights Great Grimsby General Election Fiona Onasanya MP Don Valley Daniel Finkelstein Culture crime Conservatives Columnists Caroline Flint MP Campaigning Brexit Alasdair Rae

Neil O’Brien is MP for Harborough.

The Midlands sky was November grey, and there was the smell of a coal fire from somewhere. I was out delivering leaflets in a council estate in my constituency. Moments after popping one through the door of a bungalow, I heard a door being flung wide open behind me.

A large and angry man appeared. “You can have that back” he said, thrusting the leaflet into my hands. And with that, he swung back into the house and the door thumped shut.

I went on my way. But moments later, I heard the door swing open again. It was the big guy again, and I braced myself for a free and frank exchange of views.

But this time he was in a more sunny mood.

“Sorry. I thought you were Labour,” he said. “Are you the Conservatives? Can I have another one of those?” He told me he was going to vote for us.

It gave me a little taste of what it’s like to be a candidate today for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party.I don’t know what it is about life-long terrorist suck-up Jeremy Corbyn, or self-described Marxist John McDonnell, or police-hating Diane Abbott, or their two-faced approach on Brexit… but in many places where Labour might once have done well, they are now regarded with something approaching hatred.

There are still weeks to go till the election, but for backbenchers like me, campaign 2019 feels much, much better than 2017.

The ideas we are putting forward are more popular. The campaign feels better run, including on line. People massively prefer Boris Johnson to Corbyn. The question is whether it is enough.

As Daniel Finkelstein has pointed out, we have to win outright, while others can win even if they lose. Why? Because we will never team up with the SNP – while Labour are already dangling another separation referendum to cosy up with the nationalists. The Liberal Democrats can form a remain alliance with Labour – but not us. If we are going to win, it means pushing deeper into Labour territory in the north, midlands and south west, while holding off Lib Dems in the south east and the SNP up north.

The signs are encouraging. One set of constituency polls this week showed us holding seats in London, while another national poll showed us ahead among working class voters by a margin of nearly two-to-one (YouGov, 11-12 Nov).

For someone who got involved in politics when we were in the relegation zone in the mid 1990s, this is heady stuff.
We’ve already come a long way. Alasdair Rae at Sheffield has a neat chart which ranks constituencies in England from the most deprived on the left, to the most affluent on the right.

In 2001, we had no seats in the poorest 30 per cent, and Labour had most of the middle third. [See chart at top of article.] By 2017, the blue tide had already flowed into some areas Labour used to dominate. I hope this time it will surge further. [See chart at bottom of article.]

As we expand, the centre of gravity of Conservative voters has shifted and the Prime Minister has been the fastest to catch the mood. My leaflets this year feature our pledges of 20,000 more police, £450 million for our local hospital and funding for our local schools going up 4.6 per cent per pupil next year. Other than the fact that we also pledge tougher sentences for criminals, controlled immigration and securing our exit from the EU, much of this is the space New Labour used to occupy.

Rumours in the papers say that our tax policy is also going to be squarely focused on helping those working hard on low incomes. I think that would be the right approach.

It’s funny what pops into your head as we pound the pavements in the autumn rain.

For some reason I’ve been thinking about Philip Larkin’s poem, The Whitsun Weddings, describing his sun-drenched train journey from Hull in the north, down through the industrial Midlands to London:

“We ran /
Behind the backs of houses, crossed a street /
Of blinding windscreens, smelt the fish-dock; thence /
The river’s level drifting breadth began, /
Where sky and Lincolnshire and water meet. /
All afternoon, through the tall heat that slept  /
    For miles inland, /
A slow and stopping curve southwards we kept.   /
Wide farms went by, short-shadowed cattle, and
Canals with floatings of industrial froth…”

I feel like we as a party are taking the same journey, but in reverse, with the Conservative tide flowing up through the midlands and north.

Today the route from Hull, which goes via Doncaster, would take you past plenty of Labour marginals. Great Grimsby and Scunthorpe across the Humber. Don Valley and Rother Valley in South Yorkshire. Down through Bassetlaw, where sitting Labour MP and fierce Corbyn critic, John Mann has just stood down, then past Lincoln to the east, and down to London through Peterborough, where we hope to replace jailed Labour MP Fiona Onasanya.

I feel like we have a strong leader, good campaign, we stand for the right things, and people are sick of the delay and dither.

But will it be enough. Will our campaign work this time?

It might just.

Time to get back out there.

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-11-17-at-21.08.55 Neil O’Brien: There are still weeks to go, but for backbenchers like me, campaign 2019 feels much, much better than 2017 YouGov The North south SNP Scunthorpe Rother Valley Polling police Philip Larkin Peterborough Opinion Pollster Opinion Polls NHS New Labour Midlands Liberal Democrats Law and order Labour immigration Highlights Great Grimsby General Election Fiona Onasanya MP Don Valley Daniel Finkelstein Culture crime Conservatives Columnists Caroline Flint MP Campaigning Brexit Alasdair Rae   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Neil O’Brien: There are still weeks to go, but for backbenchers like me, campaign 2019 feels much, much better than 2017

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-11-17-at-21.08.02 Neil O’Brien: There are still weeks to go, but for backbenchers like me, campaign 2019 feels much, much better than 2017 YouGov The North south SNP Scunthorpe Rother Valley Polling police Philip Larkin Peterborough Opinion Pollster Opinion Polls NHS New Labour Midlands Liberal Democrats Law and order Labour immigration Highlights Great Grimsby General Election Fiona Onasanya MP Don Valley Daniel Finkelstein Culture crime Conservatives Columnists Caroline Flint MP Campaigning Brexit Alasdair Rae

Neil O’Brien is MP for Harborough.

The Midlands sky was November grey, and there was the smell of a coal fire from somewhere. I was out delivering leaflets in a council estate in my constituency. Moments after popping one through the door of a bungalow, I heard a door being flung wide open behind me.

A large and angry man appeared. “You can have that back” he said, thrusting the leaflet into my hands. And with that, he swung back into the house and the door thumped shut.

I went on my way. But moments later, I heard the door swing open again. It was the big guy again, and I braced myself for a free and frank exchange of views.

But this time he was in a more sunny mood.

“Sorry. I thought you were Labour,” he said. “Are you the Conservatives? Can I have another one of those?” He told me he was going to vote for us.

It gave me a little taste of what it’s like to be a candidate today for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party.I don’t know what it is about life-long terrorist suck-up Jeremy Corbyn, or self-described Marxist John McDonnell, or police-hating Diane Abbott, or their two-faced approach on Brexit… but in many places where Labour might once have done well, they are now regarded with something approaching hatred.

There are still weeks to go till the election, but for backbenchers like me, campaign 2019 feels much, much better than 2017.

The ideas we are putting forward are more popular. The campaign feels better run, including on line. People massively prefer Boris Johnson to Corbyn. The question is whether it is enough.

As Daniel Finkelstein has pointed out, we have to win outright, while others can win even if they lose. Why? Because we will never team up with the SNP – while Labour are already dangling another separation referendum to cosy up with the nationalists. The Liberal Democrats can form a remain alliance with Labour – but not us. If we are going to win, it means pushing deeper into Labour territory in the north, midlands and south west, while holding off Lib Dems in the south east and the SNP up north.

The signs are encouraging. One set of constituency polls this week showed us holding seats in London, while another national poll showed us ahead among working class voters by a margin of nearly two-to-one (YouGov, 11-12 Nov).

For someone who got involved in politics when we were in the relegation zone in the mid 1990s, this is heady stuff.
We’ve already come a long way. Alasdair Rae at Sheffield has a neat chart which ranks constituencies in England from the most deprived on the left, to the most affluent on the right.

In 2001, we had no seats in the poorest 30 per cent, and Labour had most of the middle third. [See chart at top of article.] By 2017, the blue tide had already flowed into some areas Labour used to dominate. I hope this time it will surge further. [See chart at bottom of article.]

As we expand, the centre of gravity of Conservative voters has shifted and the Prime Minister has been the fastest to catch the mood. My leaflets this year feature our pledges of 20,000 more police, £450 million for our local hospital and funding for our local schools going up 4.6 per cent per pupil next year. Other than the fact that we also pledge tougher sentences for criminals, controlled immigration and securing our exit from the EU, much of this is the space New Labour used to occupy.

Rumours in the papers say that our tax policy is also going to be squarely focused on helping those working hard on low incomes. I think that would be the right approach.

It’s funny what pops into your head as we pound the pavements in the autumn rain.

For some reason I’ve been thinking about Philip Larkin’s poem, The Whitsun Weddings, describing his sun-drenched train journey from Hull in the north, down through the industrial Midlands to London:

“We ran /
Behind the backs of houses, crossed a street /
Of blinding windscreens, smelt the fish-dock; thence /
The river’s level drifting breadth began, /
Where sky and Lincolnshire and water meet. /
All afternoon, through the tall heat that slept  /
    For miles inland, /
A slow and stopping curve southwards we kept.   /
Wide farms went by, short-shadowed cattle, and
Canals with floatings of industrial froth…”

I feel like we as a party are taking the same journey, but in reverse, with the Conservative tide flowing up through the midlands and north.

Today the route from Hull, which goes via Doncaster, would take you past plenty of Labour marginals. Great Grimsby and Scunthorpe across the Humber. Don Valley and Rother Valley in South Yorkshire. Down through Bassetlaw, where sitting Labour MP and fierce Corbyn critic, John Mann has just stood down, then past Lincoln to the east, and down to London through Peterborough, where we hope to replace jailed Labour MP Fiona Onasanya.

I feel like we have a strong leader, good campaign, we stand for the right things, and people are sick of the delay and dither.

But will it be enough. Will our campaign work this time?

It might just.

Time to get back out there.

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-11-17-at-21.08.55 Neil O’Brien: There are still weeks to go, but for backbenchers like me, campaign 2019 feels much, much better than 2017 YouGov The North south SNP Scunthorpe Rother Valley Polling police Philip Larkin Peterborough Opinion Pollster Opinion Polls NHS New Labour Midlands Liberal Democrats Law and order Labour immigration Highlights Great Grimsby General Election Fiona Onasanya MP Don Valley Daniel Finkelstein Culture crime Conservatives Columnists Caroline Flint MP Campaigning Brexit Alasdair Rae   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Michael Bloomberg Pushed ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ Policing. Now He’s Apologizing.

Ahead of a potential Democratic presidential run, former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York on Sunday reversed his longstanding support of the aggressive “stop-and-frisk” policing strategy that he pursued for a decade and that led to the disproportionate stopping of black and Latino people across the city.

“I was wrong,” Mr. Bloomberg declared. “And I am sorry.”

The speech, Mr. Bloomberg’s first since he re-emerged as a possible presidential candidate, was a remarkable concession by a 77-year-old billionaire not known for self-doubt: that a pillar of his 12-year mayoralty was a mistake that he now regrets. It was also, in some ways, a last word on an era of aggressive policing in New York City that began a generation ago under former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani — though the fallout on neighborhoods is still felt to this day.

Speaking before the congregation at the Christian Cultural Center, a black megachurch in Brooklyn, Mr. Bloomberg delivered his apology in the heart of one of the communities most affected by his policing policies, and at a location that nodded to the fact that should he decide to run for president, African-American voters would be a crucial Democratic constituency that he would need to win over.

Mr. Bloomberg’s policing record negatively impacted huge swaths of people of color across New York, so much so that his support for “stop and frisk” is seen as one of his biggest potential vulnerabilities in 2020. During his 12-year tenure, there were millions of street stops heavily targeting black and brown young men. Few Democrats have such an indelible record on race in a party where black voters helped determine the winners of the last two contested presidential primaries, Barack Obama in 2008 and Hillary Clinton in 2016.

It is almost unheard-of for a former chief executive to renounce and apologize for a signature policy that helped define a political legacy. Even for a politician as dexterous as Mr. Bloomberg — who ran first as a Republican, then as an independent and now, possibly, as a Democrat — the reversal left his longtime observers astonished.

Until Sunday, Mr. Bloomberg had steadfastly — and his critics say stubbornly — defended stop-and-frisk, mocking only a few months ago the very notion of undertaking an “apology tour” for his broader record. Mr. Bloomberg stood behind the program, which gave New York police officers sweeping authority to stop and search anyone they suspected of a crime, even after a federal judge ruled in 2013 that it violated the constitutional rights of minorities.

Though Mr. Bloomberg has now distanced himself, the policing approach has another prominent champion in President Trump, who called for it to be used nationwide in 2016 and praised the tactics again last year.

Proudly technocratic and data-driven, Mr. Bloomberg had resisted acknowledging what the numbers showed so starkly: First, that Latinos and blacks were disproportionately stopped, though only a tiny fraction had weapons. Second, even when stops were phased out toward the end of his administration and then decreased sharply under his successor, Mayor Bill de Blasio, crime rates continued to plunge to new lows unseen since the 1950s.

“I now see that we should have acted sooner, and acted faster,” Mr. Bloomberg said on Sunday.

Mr. de Blasio, who himself briefly ran for president this year, accused Mr. Bloomberg of being “haughty” in the face of facts that crime kept dropping even as the policy was scaled back. “That is the danger of a billionaire, a self-funder, a guy who has little interest in listening to others,” he said in an interview. Of stop-and-frisk itself, he added bluntly, “The way it was used is racist.”

Though the police tactics had all but ceased in recent years, leaders in some communities of color were wary of quickly absolving Mr. Bloomberg.

“Forgive many of us for questioning apologies a decade late and on the eve of a presidential run,” said Jumaane Williams, the current New York City public advocate. “It is not nearly enough to erase the legacy of the systemic abuses of stop-question-and-frisk on the people whose lives were harmed by over-policing, nor the communities criminalized by it.”

Moments after services ended, Mr. Bloomberg called the Rev. Al Sharpton, who sparred with Mr. Bloomberg over stop-and-frisk during his mayoralty, from his car to ask if Mr. Sharpton had watched his speech.

“You can’t expect people like us to forgive and forget after one speech,” Mr. Sharpton said he told Mr. Bloomberg, promising to hold him to the same standard as other politicians, such as former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who has walked back his past support for tough-on-crime drug legislation, and Senator Bernie Sanders.

At the program’s peak, the racial disparities in its enforcement were jarring. Of 575,000 stops conducted in 2009, black and Latino people were nine times as likely as white people to be targeted by the police (even though, once stopped, they were no more likely to actually be arrested). In 2011, police officers made about 685,000 stops; 87 percent of those stopped were black or Latino.

Mr. Bloomberg emphasized on Sunday that the decline of stop-and-frisk began during his tenure, and he touted his record fighting gun violence. Still, Mr. Bloomberg acknowledged that the policy had led to an “erosion of trust,” and said that he hoped to “earn it back.”

“Over time, I’ve come to understand something that I long struggled to admit to myself: I got something important wrong,” he said. “I got something important really wrong. I didn’t understand back then the full impact that stops were having on the black and Latino communities. I was totally focused on saving lives, but as we know, good intentions aren’t good enough.”

After Mr. Bloomberg stepped down from the pulpit and returned to his seat in the front row, the church’s pastor, the Rev. A.R. Bernard, a longtime ally and former adviser to Mr. Bloomberg, shook the former mayor’s hand.

“Come on, C.C.C., show some love and appreciation,” Mr. Bernard said, amid tepid applause.

For 2020, the critical question is whether Mr. Bloomberg’s reversal will be received among black voters as one of pure political expediency or genuine remorse.

Amira Beatty, 49, a teacher who lives in Far Rockaway and attended the church service, was incensed by Mr. Bloomberg’s appearance. “This is about what he wants,” Ms. Beatty said. “He didn’t come to C.C.C. because he’s here to promote a C.C.C. initiative. He’s here to promote a Bloomberg initiative.”

Mr. Bloomberg did not shy away from the fact that he was reconsidering his record in his last job as he eyed a potential new one. “In recent months, as I’ve thought about my future, I’ve been thinking more about my past — and coming to terms with where I came up short,” he said.

Those close to Mr. Bloomberg have told him bluntly that running for president without addressing the stop-and-frisk matter first was a non-starter.

“This issue is a threshold issue,” said Stephen K. Benjamin, the mayor of Columbia, S.C., who came to the church service and had dinner with Mr. Bloomberg several weeks ago, where the topic of stop-and-frisk came up. Mr. Benjamin said he had urged Mr. Bloomberg to run in 2020. “I’m a big believer that there is strength in humility and genuine contrition, realizing and articulating you got something wrong.”

Mr. Bloomberg had consistently stood behind the program until now. “I think people, the voters, want low crime,” Mr. Bloomberg told The New York Times last year. “They don’t want kids to kill each other.”

In fact, Mr. Bloomberg had come to this very same church, located in East New York, in 2012 to defend stop-and-frisk and answer mounting criticism around it.

“There is no doubt those stops have saved lives,” Mr. Bloomberg declared then. Linking it to a crime rate reduction at the time, he said, “When you consider that 90 percent of all murder victims are black and Hispanic, there is no doubt most of those victims would have come from communities like this one.”

But on Sunday, he acknowledged that the community around the church had experienced the program very differently. The church is situated at the edge of the 75th Precinct in New York, which the New York Civil Liberties Union said led the city with 265,393 stops between 2003 and 2013. In the nearby 73rd Precinct, total stops in that decade were 237 percent of the population, according to the report.

Mr. Bloomberg said he now recognized that too many innocent people were stopped. “And the overwhelming majority of them were black and Latino,” he added. “That may have included, I’m sorry to say, some of you here today, perhaps yourself, or your children, or your grandchildren, or your neighbors or your relatives.”

Inside the sanctuary, Alfonso Estrada, who lives in the area, listened to Mr. Bloomberg’s speech and said he respected that the politician seemed to be examining his past closely.

“I think it is always good when you can reflect on your past mistakes, and try to make amends for them,” said Mr. Estrada, 47. “We all deserve second chances.”

Several Democrats already running for the 2020 nomination, including Mr. Biden, have also issued mea culpas on matters of criminal justice. Senator Kamala Harris of California has defended her record as a state prosecutor but said she regretted some of the positions her office took. Mayor Pete Buttigieg left the campaign trail and returned to South Bend, Ind., after a white police officer fatally shot a black man there, and admitted he had failed to diversify the city’s force.

Westlake Legal Group 2020-presidential-candidates-promo-1548014688187-articleLarge-v45 Michael Bloomberg Pushed ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ Policing. Now He’s Apologizing. Presidential Election of 2020 police New York City Bloomberg, Michael R Blacks

Who’s Running for President in 2020?

Who’s in, who’s out and who’s still thinking.

The reversal on stop-and-frisk is the starkest in a series of steps that Mr. Bloomberg has taken in the last two weeks to lay the groundwork for entering the Democratic presidential primary himself, a step that appears increasingly imminent.

He has already filed to be on the primary ballot in two states, Arkansas and Alabama. His advisers have outlined a strategy to leverage his personal fortune by competing in the Super Tuesday states on March 3. And he announced plans to spend $100 million on digital ads criticizing President Trump — and not featuring himself — in general election battleground states, blunting criticism that he could spend his money better elsewhere.

Before his speech, Mr. Bloomberg sat down for coffee at the Park Plaza diner with Eric L. Adams, the Brooklyn borough president and a likely candidate for mayor in 2021.

“When he looks over his life and sees how much he has given back to the city but you see you have this real blemish that you realize is wrong, it’s not an easy thing to live with,” Mr. Adams said. “It becomes your narrative and overshadows all you have done to save lives.”

Jeffery C. Mays and Katie Van Syckle contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Michael Bloomberg Pushed ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ Policing. Now He’s Apologizing.

Ahead of a potential Democratic presidential run, former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York on Sunday reversed his longstanding support of the aggressive “stop-and-frisk” policing strategy that he pursued for a decade and that led to the disproportionate stopping of black and Latino people across the city.

“I was wrong,” Mr. Bloomberg declared. “And I am sorry.”

The speech, Mr. Bloomberg’s first since he re-emerged as a possible presidential candidate, was a remarkable concession by a 77-year-old billionaire not known for self-doubt: that a pillar of his 12-year mayoralty was a mistake that he now regrets. It was also, in some ways, a last word on an era of aggressive policing in New York City that began a generation ago under former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani — though the fallout on neighborhoods is still felt to this day.

Speaking before the congregation at the Christian Cultural Center, a black megachurch in Brooklyn, Mr. Bloomberg delivered his apology in the heart of one of the communities most affected by his policing policies, and at a location that nodded to the fact that should he decide to run for president, African-American voters would be a crucial Democratic constituency that he would need to win over.

Mr. Bloomberg’s policing record negatively impacted huge swaths of people of color across New York, so much so that his support for “stop and frisk” is seen as one of his biggest potential vulnerabilities in 2020. During his 12-year tenure, there were millions of street stops heavily targeting black and brown young men. Few Democrats have such an indelible record on race in a party where black voters helped determine the winners of the last two contested presidential primaries, Barack Obama in 2008 and Hillary Clinton in 2016.

It is almost unheard-of for a former chief executive to renounce and apologize for a signature policy that helped define a political legacy. Even for a politician as dexterous as Mr. Bloomberg — who ran first as a Republican, then as an independent and now, possibly, as a Democrat — the reversal left his longtime observers astonished.

Until Sunday, Mr. Bloomberg had steadfastly — and his critics say stubbornly — defended stop-and-frisk, mocking only a few months ago the very notion of undertaking an “apology tour” for his broader record. Mr. Bloomberg stood behind the program, which gave New York police officers sweeping authority to stop and search anyone they suspected of a crime, even after a federal judge ruled in 2013 that it violated the constitutional rights of minorities.

Though Mr. Bloomberg has now distanced himself, the policing approach has another prominent champion in President Trump, who called for it to be used nationwide in 2016 and praised the tactics again last year.

Proudly technocratic and data-driven, Mr. Bloomberg had resisted acknowledging what the numbers showed so starkly: First, that Latinos and blacks were disproportionately stopped, though only a tiny fraction had weapons. Second, even when stops were phased out toward the end of his administration and then decreased sharply under his successor, Mayor Bill de Blasio, crime rates continued to plunge to new lows unseen since the 1950s.

“I now see that we should have acted sooner, and acted faster,” Mr. Bloomberg said on Sunday.

Mr. de Blasio, who himself briefly ran for president this year, accused Mr. Bloomberg of being “haughty” in the face of facts that crime kept dropping even as the policy was scaled back. “That is the danger of a billionaire, a self-funder, a guy who has little interest in listening to others,” he said in an interview. Of stop-and-frisk itself, he added bluntly, “The way it was used is racist.”

Though the police tactics had all but ceased in recent years, leaders in some communities of color were wary of quickly absolving Mr. Bloomberg.

“Forgive many of us for questioning apologies a decade late and on the eve of a presidential run,” said Jumaane Williams, the current New York City public advocate. “It is not nearly enough to erase the legacy of the systemic abuses of stop-question-and-frisk on the people whose lives were harmed by over-policing, nor the communities criminalized by it.”

Moments after services ended, Mr. Bloomberg called the Rev. Al Sharpton, who sparred with Mr. Bloomberg over stop-and-frisk during his mayoralty, from his car to ask if Mr. Sharpton had watched his speech.

“You can’t expect people like us to forgive and forget after one speech,” Mr. Sharpton said he told Mr. Bloomberg, promising to hold him to the same standard as other politicians, such as former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who has walked back his past support for tough-on-crime drug legislation, and Senator Bernie Sanders.

At the program’s peak, the racial disparities in its enforcement were jarring. Of 575,000 stops conducted in 2009, black and Latino people were nine times as likely as white people to be targeted by the police (even though, once stopped, they were no more likely to actually be arrested). In 2011, police officers made about 685,000 stops; 87 percent of those stopped were black or Latino.

Mr. Bloomberg emphasized on Sunday that the decline of stop-and-frisk began during his tenure, and he touted his record fighting gun violence. Still, Mr. Bloomberg acknowledged that the policy had led to an “erosion of trust,” and said that he hoped to “earn it back.”

“Over time, I’ve come to understand something that I long struggled to admit to myself: I got something important wrong,” he said. “I got something important really wrong. I didn’t understand back then the full impact that stops were having on the black and Latino communities. I was totally focused on saving lives, but as we know, good intentions aren’t good enough.”

After Mr. Bloomberg stepped down from the pulpit and returned to his seat in the front row, the church’s pastor, the Rev. A.R. Bernard, a longtime ally and former adviser to Mr. Bloomberg, shook the former mayor’s hand.

“Come on, C.C.C., show some love and appreciation,” Mr. Bernard said, amid tepid applause.

For 2020, the critical question is whether Mr. Bloomberg’s reversal will be received among black voters as one of pure political expediency or genuine remorse.

Amira Beatty, 49, a teacher who lives in Far Rockaway and attended the church service, was incensed by Mr. Bloomberg’s appearance. “This is about what he wants,” Ms. Beatty said. “He didn’t come to C.C.C. because he’s here to promote a C.C.C. initiative. He’s here to promote a Bloomberg initiative.”

Mr. Bloomberg did not shy away from the fact that he was reconsidering his record in his last job as he eyed a potential new one. “In recent months, as I’ve thought about my future, I’ve been thinking more about my past — and coming to terms with where I came up short,” he said.

Those close to Mr. Bloomberg have told him bluntly that running for president without addressing the stop-and-frisk matter first was a non-starter.

“This issue is a threshold issue,” said Stephen K. Benjamin, the mayor of Columbia, S.C., who came to the church service and had dinner with Mr. Bloomberg several weeks ago, where the topic of stop-and-frisk came up. Mr. Benjamin said he had urged Mr. Bloomberg to run in 2020. “I’m a big believer that there is strength in humility and genuine contrition, realizing and articulating you got something wrong.”

Mr. Bloomberg had consistently stood behind the program until now. “I think people, the voters, want low crime,” Mr. Bloomberg told The New York Times last year. “They don’t want kids to kill each other.”

In fact, Mr. Bloomberg had come to this very same church, located in East New York, in 2012 to defend stop-and-frisk and answer mounting criticism around it.

“There is no doubt those stops have saved lives,” Mr. Bloomberg declared then. Linking it to a crime rate reduction at the time, he said, “When you consider that 90 percent of all murder victims are black and Hispanic, there is no doubt most of those victims would have come from communities like this one.”

But on Sunday, he acknowledged that the community around the church had experienced the program very differently. The church is situated at the edge of the 75th Precinct in New York, which the New York Civil Liberties Union said led the city with 265,393 stops between 2003 and 2013. In the nearby 73rd Precinct, total stops in that decade were 237 percent of the population, according to the report.

Mr. Bloomberg said he now recognized that too many innocent people were stopped. “And the overwhelming majority of them were black and Latino,” he added. “That may have included, I’m sorry to say, some of you here today, perhaps yourself, or your children, or your grandchildren, or your neighbors or your relatives.”

Inside the sanctuary, Alfonso Estrada, who lives in the area, listened to Mr. Bloomberg’s speech and said he respected that the politician seemed to be examining his past closely.

“I think it is always good when you can reflect on your past mistakes, and try to make amends for them,” said Mr. Estrada, 47. “We all deserve second chances.”

Several Democrats already running for the 2020 nomination, including Mr. Biden, have also issued mea culpas on matters of criminal justice. Senator Kamala Harris of California has defended her record as a state prosecutor but said she regretted some of the positions her office took. Mayor Pete Buttigieg left the campaign trail and returned to South Bend, Ind., after a white police officer fatally shot a black man there, and admitted he had failed to diversify the city’s force.

Westlake Legal Group 2020-presidential-candidates-promo-1548014688187-articleLarge-v45 Michael Bloomberg Pushed ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ Policing. Now He’s Apologizing. Presidential Election of 2020 police New York City Bloomberg, Michael R Blacks

Who’s Running for President in 2020?

Who’s in, who’s out and who’s still thinking.

The reversal on stop-and-frisk is the starkest in a series of steps that Mr. Bloomberg has taken in the last two weeks to lay the groundwork for entering the Democratic presidential primary himself, a step that appears increasingly imminent.

He has already filed to be on the primary ballot in two states, Arkansas and Alabama. His advisers have outlined a strategy to leverage his personal fortune by competing in the Super Tuesday states on March 3. And he announced plans to spend $100 million on digital ads criticizing President Trump — and not featuring himself — in general election battleground states, blunting criticism that he could spend his money better elsewhere.

Before his speech, Mr. Bloomberg sat down for coffee at the Park Plaza diner with Eric L. Adams, the Brooklyn borough president and a likely candidate for mayor in 2021.

“When he looks over his life and sees how much he has given back to the city but you see you have this real blemish that you realize is wrong, it’s not an easy thing to live with,” Mr. Adams said. “It becomes your narrative and overshadows all you have done to save lives.”

Jeffery C. Mays and Katie Van Syckle contributed reporting.

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Michael Bloomberg Pushed ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ Policing. Now He’s Apologizing.

Ahead of a potential Democratic presidential run, former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York on Sunday reversed his longstanding support of the aggressive “stop-and-frisk” policing strategy that he pursued for a decade and that led to the disproportionate stopping of black and Latino people across the city.

“I was wrong,” Mr. Bloomberg declared. “And I am sorry.”

The speech, Mr. Bloomberg’s first since he re-emerged as a possible presidential candidate, was a remarkable concession by a 77-year-old billionaire not known for self-doubt: that a pillar of his 12-year mayoralty was a mistake that he now regrets. It was also, in some ways, a last word on an era of aggressive policing in New York City that began a generation ago under former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani — though the fallout on neighborhoods is still felt to this day.

Speaking before the congregation at the Christian Cultural Center, a black megachurch in Brooklyn, Mr. Bloomberg delivered his apology in the heart of one of the communities most affected by his policing policies, and at a location that nodded to the fact that should he decide to run for president, African-American voters would be a crucial Democratic constituency that he would need to win over.

Mr. Bloomberg’s policing record negatively impacted huge swaths of people of color across New York, so much so that his support for “stop and frisk” is seen as one of his biggest potential vulnerabilities in 2020. During his 12-year tenure, there were millions of street stops heavily targeting black and brown young men. Few Democrats have such an indelible record on race in a party where black voters helped determine the winners of the last two contested presidential primaries, Barack Obama in 2008 and Hillary Clinton in 2016.

It is almost unheard-of for a former chief executive to renounce and apologize for a signature policy that helped define a political legacy. Even for a politician as dexterous as Mr. Bloomberg — who ran first as a Republican, then as an independent and now, possibly, as a Democrat — the reversal left his longtime observers astonished.

Until Sunday, Mr. Bloomberg had steadfastly — and his critics say stubbornly — defended stop-and-frisk, mocking only a few months ago the very notion of undertaking an “apology tour” for his broader record. Mr. Bloomberg stood behind the program, which gave New York police officers sweeping authority to stop and search anyone they suspected of a crime, even after a federal judge ruled in 2013 that it violated the constitutional rights of minorities.

Though Mr. Bloomberg has now distanced himself, the policing approach has another prominent champion in President Trump, who called for it to be used nationwide in 2016 and praised the tactics again last year.

Proudly technocratic and data-driven, Mr. Bloomberg had resisted acknowledging what the numbers showed so starkly: First, that Latinos and blacks were disproportionately stopped, though only a tiny fraction had weapons. Second, even when stops were phased out toward the end of his administration and then decreased sharply under his successor, Mayor Bill de Blasio, crime rates continued to plunge to new lows unseen since the 1950s.

“I now see that we should have acted sooner, and acted faster,” Mr. Bloomberg said on Sunday.

Mr. de Blasio, who himself briefly ran for president this year, accused Mr. Bloomberg of being “haughty” in the face of facts that crime kept dropping even as the policy was scaled back. “That is the danger of a billionaire, a self-funder, a guy who has little interest in listening to others,” he said in an interview. Of stop-and-frisk itself, he added bluntly, “The way it was used is racist.”

Though the police tactics had all but ceased in recent years, leaders in some communities of color were wary of quickly absolving Mr. Bloomberg.

“Forgive many of us for questioning apologies a decade late and on the eve of a presidential run,” said Jumaane Williams, the current New York City public advocate. “It is not nearly enough to erase the legacy of the systemic abuses of stop-question-and-frisk on the people whose lives were harmed by over-policing, nor the communities criminalized by it.”

Moments after services ended, Mr. Bloomberg called the Rev. Al Sharpton, who sparred with Mr. Bloomberg over stop-and-frisk during his mayoralty, from his car to ask if Mr. Sharpton had watched his speech.

“You can’t expect people like us to forgive and forget after one speech,” Mr. Sharpton said he told Mr. Bloomberg, promising to hold him to the same standard as other politicians, such as former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who has walked back his past support for tough-on-crime drug legislation, and Senator Bernie Sanders.

At the program’s peak, the racial disparities in its enforcement were jarring. Of 575,000 stops conducted in 2009, black and Latino people were nine times as likely as white people to be targeted by the police (even though, once stopped, they were no more likely to actually be arrested). In 2011, police officers made about 685,000 stops; 87 percent of those stopped were black or Latino.

Mr. Bloomberg emphasized on Sunday that the decline of stop-and-frisk began during his tenure, and he touted his record fighting gun violence. Still, Mr. Bloomberg acknowledged that the policy had led to an “erosion of trust,” and said that he hoped to “earn it back.”

“Over time, I’ve come to understand something that I long struggled to admit to myself: I got something important wrong,” he said. “I got something important really wrong. I didn’t understand back then the full impact that stops were having on the black and Latino communities. I was totally focused on saving lives, but as we know, good intentions aren’t good enough.”

After Mr. Bloomberg stepped down from the pulpit and returned to his seat in the front row, the church’s pastor, the Rev. A.R. Bernard, a longtime ally and former adviser to Mr. Bloomberg, shook the former mayor’s hand.

“Come on, C.C.C., show some love and appreciation,” Mr. Bernard said, amid tepid applause.

For 2020, the critical question is whether Mr. Bloomberg’s reversal will be received among black voters as one of pure political expediency or genuine remorse.

Amira Beatty, 49, a teacher who lives in Far Rockaway and attended the church service, was incensed by Mr. Bloomberg’s appearance. “This is about what he wants,” Ms. Beatty said. “He didn’t come to C.C.C. because he’s here to promote a C.C.C. initiative. He’s here to promote a Bloomberg initiative.”

Mr. Bloomberg did not shy away from the fact that he was reconsidering his record in his last job as he eyed a potential new one. “In recent months, as I’ve thought about my future, I’ve been thinking more about my past — and coming to terms with where I came up short,” he said.

Those close to Mr. Bloomberg have told him bluntly that running for president without addressing the stop-and-frisk matter first was a non-starter.

“This issue is a threshold issue,” said Stephen K. Benjamin, the mayor of Columbia, S.C., who came to the church service and had dinner with Mr. Bloomberg several weeks ago, where the topic of stop-and-frisk came up. Mr. Benjamin said he had urged Mr. Bloomberg to run in 2020. “I’m a big believer that there is strength in humility and genuine contrition, realizing and articulating you got something wrong.”

Mr. Bloomberg had consistently stood behind the program until now. “I think people, the voters, want low crime,” Mr. Bloomberg told The New York Times last year. “They don’t want kids to kill each other.”

In fact, Mr. Bloomberg had come to this very same church, located in East New York, in 2012 to defend stop-and-frisk and answer mounting criticism around it.

“There is no doubt those stops have saved lives,” Mr. Bloomberg declared then. Linking it to a crime rate reduction at the time, he said, “When you consider that 90 percent of all murder victims are black and Hispanic, there is no doubt most of those victims would have come from communities like this one.”

But on Sunday, he acknowledged that the community around the church had experienced the program very differently. The church is situated at the edge of the 75th Precinct in New York, which the New York Civil Liberties Union said led the city with 265,393 stops between 2003 and 2013. In the nearby 73rd Precinct, total stops in that decade were 237 percent of the population, according to the report.

Mr. Bloomberg said he now recognized that too many innocent people were stopped. “And the overwhelming majority of them were black and Latino,” he added. “That may have included, I’m sorry to say, some of you here today, perhaps yourself, or your children, or your grandchildren, or your neighbors or your relatives.”

Inside the sanctuary, Alfonso Estrada, who lives in the area, listened to Mr. Bloomberg’s speech and said he respected that the politician seemed to be examining his past closely.

“I think it is always good when you can reflect on your past mistakes, and try to make amends for them,” said Mr. Estrada, 47. “We all deserve second chances.”

Several Democrats already running for the 2020 nomination, including Mr. Biden, have also issued mea culpas on matters of criminal justice. Senator Kamala Harris of California has defended her record as a state prosecutor but said she regretted some of the positions her office took. Mayor Pete Buttigieg left the campaign trail and returned to South Bend, Ind., after a white police officer fatally shot a black man there, and admitted he had failed to diversify the city’s force.

Westlake Legal Group 2020-presidential-candidates-promo-1548014688187-articleLarge-v45 Michael Bloomberg Pushed ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ Policing. Now He’s Apologizing. Presidential Election of 2020 police New York City Bloomberg, Michael R Blacks

Who’s Running for President in 2020?

Who’s in, who’s out and who’s still thinking.

The reversal on stop-and-frisk is the starkest in a series of steps that Mr. Bloomberg has taken in the last two weeks to lay the groundwork for entering the Democratic presidential primary himself, a step that appears increasingly imminent.

He has already filed to be on the primary ballot in two states, Arkansas and Alabama. His advisers have outlined a strategy to leverage his personal fortune by competing in the Super Tuesday states on March 3. And he announced plans to spend $100 million on digital ads criticizing President Trump — and not featuring himself — in general election battleground states, blunting criticism that he could spend his money better elsewhere.

Before his speech, Mr. Bloomberg sat down for coffee at the Park Plaza diner with Eric L. Adams, the Brooklyn borough president and a likely candidate for mayor in 2021.

“When he looks over his life and sees how much he has given back to the city but you see you have this real blemish that you realize is wrong, it’s not an easy thing to live with,” Mr. Adams said. “It becomes your narrative and overshadows all you have done to save lives.”

Jeffery C. Mays and Katie Van Syckle contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Michael Bloomberg Apologizes for Stop-and-Frisk: ‘I Was Wrong’

Ahead of a potential Democratic presidential run, former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York reversed his longstanding support of the aggressive “stop-and-frisk” policing strategy that he pursued for a decade and that led to the disproportionate stopping of black and Latino people across the city.

“I was wrong,” Mr. Bloomberg declared. “And I am sorry.”

The speech was Mr. Bloomberg’s first since he re-emerged as a possible presidential candidate. The topic and the location, the Christian Cultural Center, a black megachurch in Brooklyn, was a nod to the fact that African-American voters are a crucial Democratic constituency and that Mr. Bloomberg’s policing record is seen as one of his biggest vulnerabilities, should he decide to run.

Until Sunday, Mr. Bloomberg had steadfastly — and his critics say stubbornly — defended stop-and-frisk, which gave New York police officers sweeping authority to stop and search anyone they suspected of a crime. Mr. Bloomberg stood behind the program even after a federal judge ruled in 2013 that it violated the constitutional rights of minorities and despite the fact that crime continued to drop even after the program was phased out in recent years.

At the program’s peak, the racial disparities in its enforcement were jarring. Of 575,000 “stop and frisks” conducted in 2009, black and Latino people were nine times as likely as white people to be targeted by the police (even though, once stopped, they were no more likely to actually be arrested). In 2011, police stopped and questioned 684,330 New Yorkers; 87 percent of those stopped were black or Latino.

Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire who would self-finance his presidential run, acknowledged on Sunday that the program had led to an “erosion of trust” and he hoped to “earn it back.”

“Over time, I’ve come to understand something that I long struggled to admit to myself: I got something important wrong,” he said. “I got something important really wrong. I didn’t understand back then the full impact that stops were having on the black and Latino communities. I was totally focused on saving lives — but as we know: good intentions aren’t good enough.”

After Mr. Bloomberg stepped down from the pulpit and returned to his seat in the front row, the church’s pastor, the Rev. A. R. Bernard, a longtime ally and former adviser to Mr. Bloomberg, shook the former mayor’s hand.

“Come on C.C.C., show some love and appreciation,” Rev. Bernard said, amid tepid applause.

For 2020, the critical question is whether Mr. Bloomberg’s reversal will be received in the black community as one of pure political expediency or genuine remorse.

“After years of running the Apartheid-like policy of stopping and frisking millions of people of color throughout New York City, and then defending it every day in office, then every day he was out of office up until this week, @MikeBloomberg now admits he was wrong,” Shaun King, the prominent civil rights activist and a supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders in the presidential race, said on Twitter.

“You defended it for a whole generation,” he said. “Now you know you need Black votes and you have a change of heart.”

Mr. Bloomberg did not shy away from the fact that he was reconsidering his record in his last job as he eyed a potential new one. “In recent months, as I’ve thought about my future, I’ve been thinking more about my past — and coming to terms with where I came up short,” he said.

Mr. Bloomberg, 77, had consistently defended the program until now. “I think people, the voters, want low crime,” Mr. Bloomberg told The New York Times last year. “They don’t want kids to kill each other.”

In fact, Mr. Bloomberg had gone to this very same church, located in East New York, in 2012 to defend the stop-and-frisk program and answer mounting criticism around it.

“There is no doubt those stops have saved lives,” Mr. Bloomberg declared then. He tried to link the stops to a 34 percent crime rate drop at the time. “When you consider that 90 percent of all murder victims are black and Hispanic, there is no doubt most of those victims would have come from communities like this one,” he said then.

But on Sunday, he acknowledged that the community around the church had experienced the program very differently. The church is situated at the edge of the 75th Precinct in New York, which the New York Civil Liberties Union said led the city with 265,393 stops between 2003 and 2013.

“Our focus was on saving lives,” Mr. Bloomberg said Sunday. “But the fact is: Far too many innocent people were being stopped while we tried to do that. And the overwhelming majority of them were black and Latino. That may have included, I’m sorry to say, some of you here today, perhaps yourself, or your children, or your grandchildren, or your neighbors or your relatives.”

The reversal on stop-and-frisk was the starkest in a series of steps that Mr. Bloomberg has taken in the last 10 days to lay the groundwork for entering the Democratic presidential primary, a step that appears increasingly imminent.

He has already filed to be on the primary ballot in two states, Arkansas and Alabama. His advisers have outlined a strategy that would circumvent the four states that vote first in the 2020 nomination contest in favor of the broader map on Super Tuesday, when he could leverage his personal fortune.

Westlake Legal Group 2020-presidential-candidates-promo-1548014688187-articleLarge-v45 Michael Bloomberg Apologizes for Stop-and-Frisk: ‘I Was Wrong’ Presidential Election of 2020 police New York City Bloomberg, Michael R Blacks

Who’s Running for President in 2020?

Who’s in, who’s out and who’s still thinking.

And he announced plans to spend $100 million on digital ads against President Trump in key general election battleground states, blunting criticism that he could spend his money better elsewhere. Those ads would not feature him, advisers said, and the spending would be in addition to what he might spend on his own candidacy.

Mr. Bloomberg played coy about his plans from the pulpit. “I don’t know what the future holds for me,” he said.

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Bloomberg to Speak at Prominent Black Church Sunday

Former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will deliver remarks on Sunday at a predominantly black megachurch in East New York, choosing a crucial Democratic constituency — African-American voters — as the audience for his first speech since he re-emerged as a potential 2020 presidential candidate.

Mr. Bloomberg is set to speak at the Christian Cultural Center in the late morning, according to a Bloomberg aide. The content of his remarks was not disclosed, though the aide said the event was not an official presidential campaign announcement.

The speech is the latest in a series of steps that Mr. Bloomberg, the billionaire and former three-term mayor of New York, has taken in the last 10 days to lay the groundwork for entering the Democratic presidential primary, which appears increasingly imminent.

He has already filed to be on the primary ballot in two states, Arkansas and Alabama. His advisers have outlined a strategy that would circumvent the early four states that vote first in the 2020 nomination contest in favor of the broader map on Super Tuesday where he could leverage his personal fortune.

Westlake Legal Group 2020-presidential-candidates-promo-1548014688187-articleLarge-v45 Bloomberg to Speak at Prominent Black Church Sunday Presidential Election of 2020 police New York City Bloomberg, Michael R Blacks

Who’s Running for President in 2020?

Who’s in, who’s out and who’s still thinking.

And he announced plans to spend $100 million on digital ads against President Trump in key general election battleground states, blunting criticism that he could spend his money better elsewhere. Those ads would not feature him, advisers said, and the spending would be in addition to what he might spend on his own candidacy.

Mr. Bloomberg’s record on race — and in particular his steady defense of the deeply controversial policing strategy known as “stop-and-frisk” — is widely seen as one of his biggest vulnerabilities if he runs in the Democratic primary, where black voters have helped determine the winner in the last nomination contests, elevating President Barack Obama in 2008 and Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The stop-and-frisk program, forcefully defended by Mr. Bloomberg for years, gave New York police officers sweeping authority that resulted in hundreds of thousands of street stops, which disproportionately targeted black and Latino men. Mr. Bloomberg regularly argued it was necessary to curb crime.

But the program — which a federal judge ruled violated the constitutional rights of minorities in the city — has been almost entirely phased out in the last seven years, beginning in Mr. Bloomberg’s final year and then aggressively by his successor, Mayor Bill de Blasio. Crime rates have mostly continued to drop.

Still, Mr. Bloomberg, 77, has consistently defended the program. “I think people, the voters, want low crime,” Mr. Bloomberg told The New York Times last year. “They don’t want kids to kill each other.”

The pastor of the Christian Cultural Center, the Rev. A. R. Bernard, is a longtime ally and former adviser to Mr. Bloomberg.

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Fairfax Co. police chief: Breach may have compromised officers’ data

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Officials say a possible data breach may have compromised the personal information of more than 500 employees of a Virginia police department.

Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. told the Washington Post that he doesn’t have any reports that officers’ personal information has been exploited.

But the chief says he is concerned after learning that officers’ names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers may have been compromised by the potential breach at a neighboring police department.

Roessler says the data was on a missing memory stick that contained the email inbox of the Purcellville police chief. Roessler said it wasn’t clear if there was a reason for the data to be in the other chief’s email or if Fairfax County also had a data breach.

___

Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com

Source

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Jack Airey: The next Government should revitalise Key Worker Housing

Jack Airey is Head of Housing at Policy Exchange.

For a long time, it was common for certain public sector workers to be provided a home as part of their job. Housing support used to be included in salary packages of Metropolitan Police officers, for example, either as free or subsidised accommodation or a paid housing allowance. Firefighters, teachers and nurses have also been eligible for subsidised housing schemes.

Support with finding a home allowed people whose job necessitated them to be close to the community they serve to do just that. The outgoing Labour Member of Parliament for Poplar and Limehouse, Jim Fitzpatrick, has spoken of how “When working as a firefighter in the 1970s, I was provided a home… [It] allowed me to get on with serving the public rather than worrying about next month’s rent.”

Although many of these homes have been sold off over recent decades, the extreme costs of buying or renting a home in some parts of the country in relation to public sector wages means that it is time to look again at how vital local workers can be supported with housing.

Many of the most valued and important front-line public sector workers are simply struggling to live in or near the community they serve. Instead, vital local public servants like police officers, teachers, nurses and firefighters have to commute from further and further away. This is a danger to local public services, making it more difficult to recruit and retain staff at the same time as impacting service delivery.

The NHS is a case in point. Recruitment and retention challenges are causing a high rate of vacancies for a range of roles which means that NHS trusts are using more short-term agency staff – at significant taxpayer expense. Staff health and well-being is also a major concern. Nurses, for instance, report that long shift work is a burden on their health and causing tiredness that puts their lives at risk if driving home after work.

The cost of housing compounds these issues in places where it is most unaffordable. Healthcare workers are competing for the same homes as private sector workers who are often better paid. It should come as no surprise, then, that four in ten nurses plan to leave London because of high housing costs.

The Metropolitan Police Service is similarly challenged by the cost of housing. Up until recently, the Met had a policy of recruiting new constables that had lived in London for a minimum of three years within the last six. This was because the police needs a workforce that understands and reflects the communities it serves. Past recruits who did not come from London were much more likely to transfer to another force outside the capital after a few years, lured by cheaper housing and family links. The Met’s residency criteria have now been relaxed, largely because they could not attract enough Londoners to apply. Again, the cost of housing is a deterrent to people choosing to work in a vital public service.

There are some public sector workers, of course, that require no housing support at all, either because they earn enough money or because they live in a place where the cost of housing is affordable relative to public sector wages. However, for the many vital local public sector workers who are struggling to pay next month’s rent or save enough to buy a home anytime soon, a helping hand would go a long way. The next government should commit to helping them as part of their housing agenda.

A report published today by Policy Exchange, the think tank I work for, outlines some of the steps the Government can take to support nurses, police officers and other vital public sector workers like firefighters and teachers in the housing market. We argue for the Key Worker Housing policy (first introduced by the Blair Government but later dropped during the Coalition era) to be revitalised.

This initiative allowed certain public sector workers – those who met ‘Key Worker’ eligibility criteria – to access affordable homes. It included demand-side measures, like equity loans, and supply-side measures, like funding for new Key Worker homes built for intermediate rental and for discounted ownership.

The Blair Government’s Key Worker Housing scheme had its flaws. Eligibility criteria for Key Worker Housing, for example, sprawled wider than necessary. A more narrow focus is needed in the criteria on workers from the local area who genuinely are a necessary part of the community infrastructure. The guiding principles of the Key Worker Housing programme, however, offer the next government a platform to support front-line public sector workers whose job requires them to live close to their workplace the chance to do so. A mix of new measures is then required involving local authorities and housing associations.

Reforms are firstly needed to increase the stock of Key Worker homes. Future capital funding programmes for Affordable Housing should be directed more towards the building of Key Worker homes. Public sector landowners like the NHS should also be encouraged to partner with housing associations that can build and manage affordable homes reserved for local Key Workers on their surplus land and property.

Local authorities and housing associations in areas where high housing costs are causing the most acute staffing challenges for front-line public services should, secondly, give greater priority to local Key Workers when allocating social housing. This will provide Key Workers a more immediate opportunity to access an affordable home.

Lastly, the Government should announce a Met Police Key Worker Housing Deal. This would be an important part of the Met’s recruitment drive, especially if the proposed 5,000 new officers are to come from London. To this end, London’s Affordable Homes Funding Programme should be topped up by £70 million to help finance the building of 2,500 affordable Key Worker homes specifically reserved for Met officers. Ministers should also consider extending the Forces Help to Buy scheme – this is a more generous version of the standard Help to Buy scheme – to help Met officers buy a home in London.

Both candidates hoping to lead the country after December’s election talk a lot about boosting public services and supporting vital public sector workers. Revitalising Key Worker Housing would show that they mean it.

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Biden Makes Cringeworthy Remarks About Being Stopped by Police, Being Incarcerated at Historically Black College

Westlake Legal Group JoeBidenAPimage-1 Biden Makes Cringeworthy Remarks About Being Stopped by Police, Being Incarcerated at Historically Black College Race police hbcu gaffe Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post democrats Campaigns biden Allow Media Exception

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at Keene State College in Keene, N.H., Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

We already brought you some classic Joe Biden today, with him at a forum confusing who was in the presidential race.

Now here’s more.

Can we say open mouth, insert foot? Yes, we can.

A black female student asked Biden at a forum at Benedict College on Saturday, “If I were your daughter, what advice would you give me the next time I am stopped by the police?”

“If you were my daughter, you’d be a Caucasian girl and you wouldn’t be pulled over,” Biden replied.

White girls never get pulled over? Or white girls named Biden don’t because they get a pass? Certainly, being the son of Joe Biden has been advantageous for Hunter Biden, as he himself acknowledged.

But what a nonsensical comment. Of course white people get pulled over and this is desperate pandering by Biden.

And he’s suggesting that every officer pulling a black woman over is doing so because of “institutional racism.” How disgusting is that? If he had any votes from law enforcement, he may have just lost them.

For the supposed “moderate,” that’s some really leftist thought there.

Not to mention, once again, he doesn’t really answer the original question in a realistic way, what should she do, how should she respond?

Suggesting to everyone that the police are out to get you in every situation is not just untrue, it’s also dangerous, to everyone involved. It encourages people not to be cooperative with officers which can result in tragedy.

But that wasn’t even the worst.

Here’s are his opening remarks at the event.

Oh, my. What can one even say about that? That’s just awful.

Plus there’s another problem, he says “I got started at Delaware State” implying he went to Delaware State University, a HBCU. But he actually went to the University of Delaware, a completely different school, not an HBCU. Doesn’t he know any more where he went to college? Or is this just crazy pandering?

These aren’t the first ‘gaffes’ during the campaign that Biden has had in regard to race. In August, he seemed to equate black kids with poor kids.

“We should challenge students in these schools and have advanced placement programs in these schools. We have this notion that somehow if you’re poor, you cannot do it,” Biden said. “Poor kids are just as bright, just as talented, as white kids.”

During his campaign with Barack Obama, he also infamously told a mostly black audience that Republicans “want to put y’all back in chains.”

The post Biden Makes Cringeworthy Remarks About Being Stopped by Police, Being Incarcerated at Historically Black College appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group JoeBidenAPimage-1-300x153 Biden Makes Cringeworthy Remarks About Being Stopped by Police, Being Incarcerated at Historically Black College Race police hbcu gaffe Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post democrats Campaigns biden Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com