Editor's Note

Editor’s Note: The view of New York City from Florida isn’t pretty

A conservative relative from the Sunshine State blamed her negative perceptions of crime and the migrant influx on messaging coming from New York’s leaders.

City & State Editor-in-Chief Ralph R. Ortega

City & State Editor-in-Chief Ralph R. Ortega Ralph R. Ortega

My parents were Democrats, and I assumed the rest of my family was until I was old enough to visit relatives in Florida in the 1980s and found the majority were Republicans. On a recent call with my niece Angie, she asked, ”How is it in New York with all the crime and migrants?” I responded defensively, saying her perceptions of the migrant influx and crime weren’t accurate, and that city officials say crime is actually down. “I don’t believe them!” she fired back, before teasing me about my politics. “Where did you go wrong?” she asked.

In a follow-up call, I asked if she was a proud MAGA Republican. “I’m a proud conservative,” she responded. I was intrigued by how much she followed New York news living so far away. She said news outlets, including Fox, were “bullshit,” and that she relies on conservative commentators like Benny Johnson, Candace Owens and Tucker Carlson, among others, to get her news and make her own opinions. As for New York, she flipped on believing public officials when their messaging aligned with what pundits have said about crime and migrants. “I am going to think there’s obviously an issue with New York when you’ve got your own mayor on TV and on everything (else) talking about how bad it is, or your governor. So, yeah people are going to think this way. Many companies are closing. Malls, markets, restaurants closing up shop,” she said.

I argued negative perceptions have been New York’s greatest challenge, but she called me out. “You look at everything, YouTube and all these videos all over the place. New York looks like a shitshow,” she said. “There’s got to be a little bit of truth somewhere in there.”