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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

If You See Something, Say Something.

"If you see something, say something. " New York City's slogan to help prevent terrorism has very important ramifications. The slogan implies that in addition to all the Government resources , the City also relies on the vigilant eyes and ears of the public to help keep the City safe.

Obviously , the police cannot be everywhere at the same time.Not only can everyone participate in protecting our City, but it is imperative that we take an active stance and become aware of our surroundings in order to make it more difficult for the terrorists to accomplish their objectives.

The Slogan "if you see something, say something" does not have to relate only to acts of terrorism.In my opinion, the slogan should refer to every part of City life that needs improvement.

New York City is the greatest city in the world. The city has many culturally diverse neighborhoods, with great food, entertainment, interesting personalities, and miles of opportunities for anyone who seeks employment or education.

Unfortunately , there is also a dark side.

For the past two years, the focus of my activism has been to improve the City's aging transit infrastructure, endless traffic jams, lack of parking, and the unfair practices of traffic enforcement.Quite simply , I want to make New York City a friendlier place for people to live, work, and visit.I have also tried to empower the public and wake them from a state of apathy.

I believe that there was a certain degree of altruism when traffic & parking laws were written.The laws were written to improve public safety for pedestrians and motorists.

New York City rakes in over $600,000,000 a year in parking fines. It has become painfully obvious that the city is no longer interested in public safety but rather in collecting revenue. The biggest clue to this equation is written on the orange envelope that comes with a parking summons."Make all checks payable to the Department Of FINANCE."

With such a large amount of money at stake, there is too much opportunity for corruption and lack of discretion by the ticket writers of the Traffic Enforcement Agency.All too often, these poorly trained officers treat the public obnoxiously and can often be seen violating the same laws that they are supposed to be enforcing , thereby creating a public safety hazard and offsetting the reason they exist in the first place.

I have entertained millions of users with videos showing my confrontations with these traffic officers who are abusing their authority.

Although I am happy to make people laugh and entertain them, my ultimate purpose is to inspire dialogue and effect positive change on these issues in order to make life easier for everyone in the city.

I hope that the public outrage will force city hall to rethink its strategies and remove ambiguous signage, find ways to improve the flow of traffic, create more parking, provide more training and supervision for the out-of-control traffic enforcement agents, and show more compassion and discretion in summons writing.

I hit the streets armed with a video camera.When I see a public official behaving improperly I videotape it and call the 311 system and file an official complaint.

The only way that city officials can continue to abuse the system is if we turn a blind eye and give them the free pass to do so. Obviously, I cannot be everywhere at the same time. If we want to make the city a better place we have to all work together.It is our responsibility and civic duty to help prevent terrorism , and also official misconduct and malfeasance.

Therefore, "if you see something, SAY SOMETHING !"


Jimmy Justice.