Guest post by Michael Ragusa, Candidate for City Council District 47
When I first stepped on to an FDNY Ambulance in 2015 to serve the City of New York, I saw the decline of this city firsthand, at the helm of Bill DeBlasio. Fast forward to 2017, a City Councilman named Justin Brannan was elected in my lovely neighborhood of Bay Ridge and used his progressive tactics to ruin what was once, one of the most coveted places to live in NYC.
My name is Michael Ragusa, and I am running for City Council in District 47 (formerly 43). I am currently an investigator for New York Health and Hospitals on the infamous Rikers Island. I protect our beloved healthcare workers from violent inmates that progressives like DA Bragg want to release. I never was one to get involved in politics until 2020- after I saw the government’s overreach with Covid-19. Between the extended closings of small businesses, vaccine and mask mandates (even when the virus wasn’t considered to be a ‘threat’), it seemed that these types of politics were only helping one party move their narrative forward: the progressives.
Growing up as an Italian- American in Brooklyn, my family, friends, and I mainly kept to ourselves as things in the neighborhood were great- block parties, kids playing baseball in the streets…no one had a care in the world. Fast forward to 2020, I watched as our current councilman single handedly blacklisted businesses in the district because they didn’t agree with his outlandish COVID rules. He would announce on Twitter, telling his followers to avoid these businesses and that they should not support them. Why you ask? Well, one could easily blame it on the fact that they didn’t want to check patron’s “vaccination statuses,” but that wasn’t the case. Most of these small business owners didn’t vote for him or donate money to his campaign, as they knew what the outcome of his victory would be. Suffice it to say, this felt like a direct retaliation to these constituents- all because they did not agree, politically.
That’s when I said enough is enough- and started calling him out via social media and in person. People in Bay Ridge started approaching me and thanking me for standing up to this bully; explaining that no one has ever called out his one-sided, bullying ways. My whole life, I have been an anti-bully, stemming all the way back to high school. I felt (and feel) my district is being bullied and there is no end in sight.
Bay Ridge once was a Republican strong hold until 2018. We saw our beloved senator Marty Golden, who held office for 18 years, succeeded by another progressive named Andrew Goundardes. This was the beginning of the end of the Republican regime in Bay Ridge, much to the dismay of many. Joe Biden won our district in 2020, and Justin Brannan was re-elected the same year (albeit not by many votes). Since then, crime has been on the rise in the district and the current councilman denies it and even mocks constituents who ask about it. He also voted to DEFUND the police in 2020, resulting in a $475 million dollar budget cut to our beloved NYPD. As a first responder who works with the NYPD daily, this infuriated me. How can the best and most diverse police department in the world, pay the price for something that happened in Minneapolis? If you want to know the answer, ask him. When BLM and Antifa came to Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights to protest and loot our “Mom and Pop” storefronts, I was out on the front lines with likeminded people defending our neighborhood. What did the current councilman do to stop these protests? Absolutely nothing. In fact, one could argue he encouraged it. He stated in a tweet, “Antifa means you are anti-fascist, if you’re anti-antifa, you are a fascist.” Yikes.
I was approached in May of 2022 about running for City Council and announced my run in July of 2022. Since then, I’ve stood in alliance with Lee Zeldin in protecting our schools from the wild liberal agendas, supported Rudy Giuliani in helping fix the issue of crime, stood with my fellow City workers in getting the pay they deserve, and conducted Toy Drives for local orphanages and more. My platform is simple: fix our quality of life, lower the crime, FUND our police, fix the DOE, and get our fellow New Yorkers the mental help and quality of life they need and deserve. No one wants to see a guy defecating in the middle of 3rd avenue, right? I have the resources to make this happen: many connections to law enforcement, the support of America’s Mayor Rudy Giuliani (whether you like him or not, NYC saw its best times under his guidance), and have developed sound relationships with other city entities and workers. We need to give ALL city employees a raise and show them we are thankful for them. Never once did I hear someone call 911 and ask if a Police Officer, Firefighter, or EMT was vaccinated when I was on the job. I will clean up this district, literally and figuratively, like the days of Rudy Giuliani. If most of you have been following my campaign, you know I tell it like it is, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.