NEW YORK – Curtis Sliwa, founder and chief executive officer of the Guardian Angels, is running for New York City mayor as a Republican. He was endorsed by Greek-American businessman and philanthropist John Catsimatidis and Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis. Sliwa was born in Brooklyn to a Roman Catholic family of Polish and Italian descent. During the crime-ridden 1970s in New York, he and a group of about a dozen volunteers started the Guardian Angels to help protect citizens. Since that time, he continues to believe “that when people take an active role in their community, it makes things better for all of us,” as noted on his website. Ahead of the primary election on June 22, Sliwa spoke with The National Herald about his decision to run for mayor and what the Greek-American community should know about his campaign.
TNH: What made you decide to run for mayor?
Curtis Sliwa: I originally was supporting John Catsimatidis’ run to become Mayor. We had many conversations because I worked as a talk show host at WABC and John is the owner. He said if I don’t run then you should run because the issue is crime, law and order, public safety and quality of life. For 42 years, I have done that and more as leader of the Guardian Angels Safety Patrols in New York City and in 13 countries and 130 cities around the world.
TNH: What do you see as the most pressing issue you would tackle first once elected?
CS: The skyrocketing crime I would address by refunding the police and hiring more police. As for the emotionally disturbed persons and homeless who roam the streets, parks and subway and continue to add to this growing crime problem through the city, I would remove the emotionally disturbed and place them into mental hospitals where they could receive care and their medicine. The homeless would be brought to the shelters where there would have to be programs to deal with their alcohol and drug abuse.
TNH: What are the top three things the Greek-American community should know about your campaign?
CS: 1. My mentor and advisor on all things involving the fiscal health of NYC is John Catsimatidis. He not only supports me and will vote for me to be the next Mayor; he and his business associates give me advice on a regular basis and that will continue when I am Mayor.
2. The Greek-American community is entitled to have an historic neighborhood designated as a tourist and cultural enclave. Whether it is Astoria or Bay Ridge people need to have a place to go where they can learn of the history, traditions and culture of the Greek-American people. Tour guides could explain the importance of the Greek-American people to New York’s history and the Greek-American community at large. Outside of the Greek community nobody knows their story in New York.
3. Parochial schools kept their doors open during the pandemic for in school instruction. The public schools did not, the charter school did not. There are many parents who want their children to go to the remaining Greek Orthodox schools. For them and others we would make available vouchers and tuition tax credits. I believe in school choice and that education is the route out of poverty and for Americans to experience the greatness of what our country offers us.
More information about Curtis Sliwa and his campaign is available online: https://sliwaforny.com.