Days after a brutal and unprovoked attack in Chinatown, mayoral candidates descended on the neighborhood, many offering their own suggestions for how to fix anti-Asian violence and mental health issues on city streets.
“We need to have a police presence here to protect people,” said Kathryn Garcia. "But we have to go deeper."
“Yes, we have to coordinate and strengthen our law enforcement responses, but it's about much more than law enforcement,” said Shaun Donovan.
“This is what we have to do. We have to come up with a community plan,” Scott Stringer said.
Three major candidates for mayor all appeared alongside local residents and advocates during a rally at the site of the attack.
Meanwhile, an hour earlier, Andrew Yang appeared at a different rally several blocks away, questioning how the alleged assailant in this case, Alexander Wright, was out on the street.
“We have to reexamine every step of the chain that allowed someone like Alex Wright to be walking our streets and brutally attacking a woman who was just minding her own business,” Yang said.
Yang has been going on the offensive lately as his lead appears to be slipping in the polls. A day earlier, he went after former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, leading her to hit back on MSNBC Wednesday morning.
“Andrew is a lovely guy, but this is a hard job and requires you to really understand how government works, how labor unions work, how the budget works,” Garcia said in the Wednesday morning appearance. "You don’t want anyone in there looking for the light switch.”
The back and forth continued in Chinatown.
“I appreciate Kathryn and everything she has done for New York City,” Yang said when asked about Garcia’s comments. "I think most New Yorkers are looking for a change and a different approach.”
“New Yorkers don’t want another politician,” Garcia said. "They do want change. But they actually want the city to work.”