From a Guardian Angel to long-shot Republican mayoral candidate, Curtis Sliwa officially launched last-minute bid for head of the city on Monday morning.
Outside Madison Square Garden and Penn Station on the blustery Ides of March, Sliwa joined a small crowd touting signs boosting the leader of the volunteer crime-watcher squad who gained notoriety in the 1970s and 1980s.
“Today is the official launch of the Curtis Sliwa for Mayor campaign and it is premised on the idea that we gotta take back this city. This city, if you noticed of late, has been crime ridden,” said Sliwa, wearing his trademark red beret that’s become emblematic of the Guardian Angels.
Nevertheless, crime, NYPD and homelessness were all major buzzwords that Sliwa drove home during his campaign declaration. However, no talking point could outweigh that of the numerous sexual misconduct allegations surrounding Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Sliwa urged all current mayoral candidates to call for the immediate removal of Cuomo.
“I am calling on every mayoral candidate — Democrat, Republican, Independent, whomever — to join me in solidarity to demand that Cuomo resign now. Here’s a man who is reasonable for the no bail bill that has released many men and women back into the street who are a danger to themselves and others,” Sliwa said.
Sliwa says one of his promises is to both look for increased policing while also stating that he will hold them accountable for misconduct.
He also announced that he has stepped away from his talk-radio career to focus on this campaign, telling amNewYork Metro during a Q&A that the reason for throwing his hat into the race now was predicated on no other candidate running with the values he says he stands for.
“If a woman or a man had emerged and would have addressed some of these issues with common sense, there is no doubt I would still be before that microphone,” Sliwa told amNewYork Metro.
In addition to denouncing current Mayor Bill de Blasio as “The worst mayor in history,” Sliwa also pledged to help for those suffering from homelessness and mental health issues, as well as abolishing animal shelters that euthanize unclaimed pets.