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Giulianiís Zero-Tolerance Approach

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In 1993, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani implemented a new bill on criminal code enforcement; the bill a zero-tolerance approach to criminal code had a mandatory response of the police to various distress calls around a particular location on violations of the law, the lowest level of infraction was set in this criminal code, below the level of misdemeanors. In his Approach, Giuliani says that, low level violations, particularly those that are like widow breaking concept violations against the overall quality if the lives of the citizens. The initiative also included a crackdown on minor infractions like spitting in the public, loud music especially in pubic transport, unlawful demonstrations, and squeegee solicitations. Others are like improper use of some facilities like sitting on a milk crate. That was well applauded by many than others. For Rudy, during his campaign, securing the security of the public was his priority because all the other agendas were useless if the security of the citizens was threatened. The security of the citizens was the responsibility of the government to give its citizens a safe environment; he promised to reinstitute sanity in the city of New York. As a federal prosecutor in New York in the 1980s he played a very big role in hunting down drug pushers and dealers whom some other law enforcement agencies had ignored because he believed that the selling of these drugs in the streets and corners of the city generated to the violation and criminality in the city. Therefore to dispel cynicism in the law, the treatment of all its citizens should be equal whether you are a major criminal or low- level drug peddlers.

Institution of Zero-Tolerance Approach

Zero Tolerance Approach cracked down on the quality of life offenses like public urination, spitting on public areas, panhandling for example some cities leaked of the urine stench, Rudy explained that inn order for the city to be able to curb big crimes like murder and graffiti, it was paramount for the city to restore civic order that he believed will discourage lager crimes since all these crimes are part of the same continuum. An environment that permits or that is favorable and therefore tolerant to squeegee men or street cleaners at every street corner who coerced drivers into giving them handouts in the form of money. Civil rights advocates warned that if they are deprived off their weekly handouts, this would result to more violent crimes, like they were not going to have any source of income thus making stealing the only option if they have they survive. The squeegee men campaign was the first victory to Giuliani, showing a beleaguered citizenry that the government had to deal with so as to bring about change for the better. Through the policing strategies put in place the squeegee men disappeared from the city within a month. The city of New York was meant to be a city of opportunities; therefore the focus was on the things that make a difference in the everyday life of all its citizens in order of optimism.

Rudy Giuliani changed the primary mission in the police department whereby the mandate of the police department was not just sitting or waiting for crime and then respond once these crimes happened but also preventing crime from happening. There was a re-organization in his police department through the New York Police Department chief Willam Branton by creating special units dealing with crime, emphasis was directed to a street crimes unit that was throughout the city moving around the city restoring order and sanity, another unit flooding high crime areas to get guns off the street, these was made possible by Branton changing the schedule to allow for the operation of the crime office 24 hours a day, therefore detectives and narcotic cops who had previously gone off duty at 5 pm, just like criminals were coming on duty, nothing more.

The department of police brought about modern techniques in this new mission. Highly powered computers were used to track down the city crimes trend and patterns and the effectiveness of the police responses to them. These computers maintained data also known as Compstat, the date helped the police balance their manpower where it was most needed; in due course this became the national model. The department drove its authority down precint commanders emphasizing on the results expected from these managers. Branton replaced more than 75 % of his commanders within a few months. Giuliani explained this by giving an example of a bank; saying that if you are running 76 banks branches everyday you will be getting profit and loss statements, therefore determining the banks going on a different direction and then taking the necessary action by trying to reverse the trend. The police department was similar and needed affirmative action in order to get good results.

Through his policing innovations, there was a historic drop of crime far beyond what everyone could have been expected, the total crime down at 64 % during the rule of Giuliani, and murder 67% down that’s from 1,960 during Dinkens’s last year to 640 in Giuliani’s last year. The number of cars stolen in New York City reduced by an astounding 78, 000. However, criminologists did not share the same triumph; they argued that the crime drop realized was as a result of the improved economy in the country even as the crime drop preceded the city’s economic rebound for several years. Other critics felt that New York was experiencing a demographic trend meaning their was a decline on the number of teenagers who are the most capable of breaking the law had declined, they warned that New York was soon going to experience another upsurge, as a new age bracket of children was soon reaching teenage hood, only to their surprise, crime reduced relentlessly over Giuliani’s eight years even when the problem of crime had risen nationally.

Implementing the Zero-Tolerance Approach was not easy as other critics find it their habit to poke Giuliani’s accomplishments saying that his approach singled out the blacks and Latinos claiming that the cops were oppressing them or rather the means through which these cops handled them was brutal and therefore inhumane. To support their point, they pointed out to unfortunate situations where the cops have shot unarmed black immigrants Patrick Dorismond and Amadao Diallo. But the data tell was telling different story. The police department managed to drive down crime even as much as critics could not stop talking from 1995 to 2000. Civilian complaints of the NYPD use of excessive force while handling them or in the process of arrest reduced from one complaint per ten officers to one complaint per 19 officers, Live shooting by the police officers also declined by 50 % and were even far lower during Giuliani’s time than Dinkens’s, they dropped further than cities like San Diego and Houston applauded for their wonderful style of community policing.

Giuliani continued his success not only in the police department, he applied the same principles in to social and economic policy and still the results were impressive long before the rule of President Bush. He described his intention to restore New York as a city that was to promote entrepreneurs by not providing merely the climate for job creation but to also reshape landscape of the government’s social policy away from dependency over the government to provide its citizens to give them jobs thus reinforcing the concept of independency towards the national building. The city of New York had gone to a different direction during the 1960s when Lindsay increased the welfare rolls, shunning the poor in the community therefore destined to remain dole permanently. The Gotham welfare bureaucracy saw to it that people were signing to its goal, as non profit institutions rose to cater and control the city’s fast welfare. Budget welfare systems during the Dinkens’s rule projected 1.6 million people on welfare therefore placing the city of New York successful on what it intended to achieve, which was having a maximum number of people in the welfare., as Giuliani later explained, having many people under your authority you had a bigger budget to take care of thus encouraging the bureaucratic systems. This led to later Giuliani launching a revolution, moving many workers from dole to job. His administration set to rectify the previous style by setting everyone on a home relief program to eliminate fraud. In not more than a year the roll of the program for adults who were not incapacitated in anyway who were not eligible to the government welfare declined by 20% slowly the city registering thousands of its people who were employed, living within the city and outside the city. Thus he instituted a work requirement for the remaining citizens who were receiving home relief recipients most of them were men therefore forcing them to be responsible by cleaning the streets and city parks some going for clerical jobs in the municipal for 20 hours a week as much as welfare advocates tried to object calling it slavery. 

Giuliani persisted and finally the congress passed welfare reforms in 1996, giving the states and the cities funds from the federal state to budget while the funds targeted mothers and children. Giuliani applied the reforms by hiring a welfare commissioner, an architect in Wisconsin known as Jason Turner who helped in putting the welfare recipients back to work.

Giuliani worked dramatically to reform the city’s school system, but the educational system was entrenched with bureaucratic policies therefore not easy for him due to his lack of direct control over the school systems. Thus, Giuliani bullied by forcing his reforms agenda as well as his influence over the stake holders of the school, in this case he used two board members of education out of a total of seven who he had appointed. He did this relentlessly that he had to sack two schools chancellors who could not implement the policies and the reforms that he believed would steer the dramatic, and systemic change he so much anticipated, these reforms included using city money for vouchers to provide poor students who could not raise their school fees with scholarships and bursaries to join public institution and private schools. It was not easy to always get the vouchers, however, he managed to talk the board into privatizing five of the city’s worst public schools, the boards pointed lack responsibility and enthusiasm..

Giuliani’s approach was not welcome by schools as many of critics did not approve of his reforms; therefore they were not ready to embrace his approach. He experienced frustration in trying to turn around a huge school system where there were unions for teachers and the bureaucratic systems in theses schools was too rigid to allow the new reforms, this saw him becoming powerful in case one wanted   vouchers, which he believed would encourage competition between public and private institution as they had to fight for students. The whole idea of choice is about more freedom for people, rather than being controlled by a government system that he believed to leave parents without any choice about the education of their children.

His never ending attacks on the city’s educational system finally convinced most New Yorkers that they finally realized that they could not salvage their system unless it was under the control of a mayor responsible to voters. In 2002, the state legislature placed the city’s school system under Gotham’s mayor although it was already too late for Giuliani.

Giuliani also fought to revive entrepreneurial environment in the city, therefore his focus on getting the city’s private sector to pay taxes which was the reason to why there was a slow growth of government. He campaigned against New York’s belief that it’s the government responsible for creating jobs, arguing that government should allow the private sector to work thus encouraging a new upsurge of private sectors in New York. “City government should not and cannot create jobs through government planning,” he said. That could be the best the government could do and a responsibility to do was to deal with its finances first, then create a solid budget foundation that could see businesses moving the economy forward on the strength of their energy and ideas

When Giuliani took office, the city’s private sector was experiencing hard times. After four years under Dinkins, it had been suppressed to its lowest level since 1978, losing 275,000 jobs to 192,000 in 1991and the largest job decline that any American city had ever suffered within a year. On the other hand, Gotham registered the highest overall rate of taxation of any major city and a budget that spent very well per capita than any major city. With billions of dollars collected from taxes during the Dinkens time the city could not even pay for its bills, by the time Giuliani took office the city had deficit of 2.5 million dollars, he therefore had to raise money pay the debt then budget for the city a fresh, money was raised from the taxes .

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After years of raising taxes during Dinkins time in office, Giuliani had to look for ways to raise money through spending cuts and savings; this was to take of the debt facing the city. He proposed a modest tax cut that was meant to encourage the business fraternity that New York was open for business and therefore promising more tax cuts later. To balance the city’s budget early during his tenure, when tax revenues could not move or stagnated amid the struggling economy, he played hardball, winning city workers hearts with concessions from them an experience some other mayors had failed to get. Police unions had used their power in Albany to resist quest by Koch and Dinkins to merge the city’s housing police and transit police into the NYPD. Giuliani’s very strong approach talked Albany leaders into agreeing to the merger, saving the city very big population from administrative costs and making the police department a better crime-fighting unit. This was successful since he threatened to fire every housing and transit officer and rehire each as a city cop if their leaders did not go along. In that other, garbage men many who worked only half days because their department was overstaffed, had challenged the Dinkins administration’s push for productivity savings, Giuliani was successful, he won $300 million in savings from them by threatening to contract out trash collection to private companies. Ultimately, with such deals, Giuliani reduced city-funded spending by 1.6 percent his first year in office, the largest overall reduction in city spending since the Depression.

He was not a tax or economic expert when he took office, but Giuliani grew to be became a tax-cut true believer when he realized how economy of the city and that of small industries improved when he introduced reduction rates. One of his moves was to cut down the expenditure of the city therefore reviewing the budget, which during the Dinkins time in office, could not be raised.  The tourism sector improved, Giuliani was able to raise funds by collecting taxes. No one could have thought that tax reductions a reasonable thing to do. This saw tax reductions spur growth. That’s why tax reductions a priority of every budget in his state.” In his eight years in office, Giuliani eliminated 23 taxes, among are the sales tax on clothing purchases, the tax on commercial houses everywhere in Manhattan’s major business districts, and various taxes on small businesses and self-employed New Yorkers.

The national and world embraced and marveled at the glamorous success of Giuliani’s policies. The fact that people were living in a safer environment was also admitted thus making the economy to improve. Construction permits increased by 50 percent most precisely to 70,000 a year under Giuliani, in contrast to 46,000 in Dinkins’s last year. Meanwhile, as crime reduced, the citizens could finally walk freely at night without the fear of being attacked. The number of tourists improved greatly to 38 million in 2000. Under Giuliani, the city gained some 430,000 new jobs to hit the highest mark of its employment peak of 3.72 million jobs in 2000, while the unemployment rate reduced from 10.3 to 5.1 percent. Personal income earned soared by $100 million, or 50 percent, while the percentage of their income that was used to pay taxes with declined from 8.8 to 7.3 percent..

Today, Americans see Giuliani as presidential hopeful because of his leadership in the wake of the terrorist attacks, but to those of us who watched him first manage America’s biggest city when it was crime-ridden, financially shaky, and plagued by doubts about its future as employers and educated and prosperous residents fled in droves, Giuliani’s leadership on 9/11 came as no surprise. What Americans saw after the attacks is a combination of attributes that Giuliani governed with all along: the tough-mindedness that had gotten him through earlier civic crises, a no-nonsense and efficient management style, and a clarity and directness of speech that made plain what he thought needed to be done and how he would do it.

Like great wartime leaders, Giuliani displayed unflinching courage on 9/11. A minute after the first plane struck, he rushed downtown, arriving at the World Trade Center just after the second plane hit the South Tower, when it became obvious to everyone that New York was under attack. Fearing that more strikes were on the way—and without access to City Hall, the police department, or the city’s command center because of damage from the attacks—Giuliani hurried to reestablish city government, narrowly escaping death himself as the towers came down next to a temporary command post he had set up in lower Manhattan. “There is no playbook for a mayor on how to organize city government when you are standing on a street covered by dust from the city’s worst calamity,” one of his deputy mayors, Anthony Coles, later observed.

Giuliani understood that he needed not only to keep city government operating but to inspire and console as well. Within a few hours, he had reestablished New York’s government in temporary headquarters, where he led the first post-9/11 meeting with his commissioners and with a host of other New York elected officials on hand to observe, prompting even one of his harshest critics, liberal Manhattan congressman Jerrold Nadler, to marvel at the “efficiency of the meeting.” Within hours, the city launched a massive search and recovery operation. Some half a dozen times that day Giuliani went on TV, reassuring the city and then the nation with his calm, frank demeanor and his plainspoken talk. As the nation struggled to understand what had happened and President Bush made his way back to Washington, Giuliani emerged as the one public official in America who seemed to be in command on 9/11. He became, as Newsweek later called him, “our Winston Churchill.”

 Broadway theaters—to resume operations and urged the rest of America and the world to come visit the city. Not waiting for federal aid, the city rapidly began a cleanup of the World Trade Center site, which proceeded ahead of schedule, and of the devastated neighborhood around the site, which reopened block by block in the weeks after the attacks. Meanwhile, the mayor led visiting heads of state on tours of the devastation, because, he said, “You can’t come here and be neutral.” He addressed the United Nations on the new war against terrorism, warning the delegates: “You’re either with civilization or with terrorists.” When a Saudi prince donated millions to relief efforts but later suggested that United States policy in the Middle East may have been partially responsible for the attacks, Giuliani returned the money, observing that there was “no moral equivalent” for the unprecedented terrorist attack. He attended dozens of funerals of emergency workers killed in the towers’ collapse, leading the city not just in remembrance but in catharsis.

As “America’s mayor,” a sobriquet he earned after 9/11, Giuliani has a unique profile as a presidential candidate. To engineer the city’s turnaround, he had to take on a government whose budget and workforce were larger than all but five or six states. (Indeed, his budget his first year as mayor was about ten times the size of the one that Bill Clinton managed in his last year as governor of Arkansas.) For more than a decade, the city has been among the biggest U.S. tourist destinations, and tens of millions of Americans have seen firsthand the dramatic changes he wrought in Gotham.

Conclusion

These are impressive conservative credentials and his approach has brought more good than harm. And if social and religious conservatives fret about Giuliani’s more liberal social views, nevertheless, in the general election such views might make this experience-tested conservative even more electable.

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