HARLEM, NY – Last week, Law Enforcement Today spoke exclusively with the Republican nominee for the 13th Congressional District of New York, Lovelynn Gwinn, regarding her thoughts about current events and her campaign.
Gwinn was asked what set her apart from her opponents in the race.
Gwinn talked about owning and living in a house in Harlem. She has lived in the area for the past 20 years. Gwinn has a background in economic revitalization, works in real estate, is a landlord, and is accessible to the people.
She believes being accessible as a House Representative will be one of the keys to her success.
When Gwinn has spoken to her neighbors and members of the community, they also share the same concerns in the direction the city has been headed underneath democratic leadership. They also feel that her main opponent, current democratic House Representative Adriano Espaillat, is disconnected from his constituents.
Yes! It's official! I am running for Congress! NY 13 https://t.co/PpuRi4Xn3K
— Lovelynn Gwinn (@Love4Congress) March 11, 2020
Residents have complained to her that they are never able to talk to him, to share their concerns on what is going on in the city and nation. Gwinn said that she will make herself available to anyone that wants to talk with her, to be the public servant the people deserve.
When asked why she decided to run, she mentioned her concerns on how the pandemic was being managed in the City and State and the way in which current democratic elected officials were managing the city business.
Gwinn was also unhappy with the level of taxes that the city requires in order to live there.
Frustrated, she considered moving until she called a friend. Her friend reminded Gwinn that she is a fighter who does not back down, instead of moving to another state, she should run for the district seat and make a change in order to better the 13th district.
Gwinn had initial concerns merely because she has not historically been a politician and did not know how to run a political campaign. She decided to meet with Harlem and Manhattan GOP leaders to hear what they had to say.
At one of the meetings in Manhattan, she was shocked when asked to get up and speak to the room. Gwinn spoke from the heart about her concerns and the crowd reacted by giving her a standing ovation.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the GOP leaders endorsed her political bid.
Gwinn was able to receive guidance and help from a friend who had run for Congress in Texas. After getting her campaign set up and forming a team, she realized that running a traditional campaign was impossible due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gwinn pointed out that there have never been campaigns run in this type of atmosphere before and that doing so created a “strange and precarious kind of place.” Typically, those who are running for office are able to “meet people and invest and do things” as people expect, but, she was forced to run her campaign through social media and other online forums.
— Lovelynn Gwinn (@Love4Congress) April 15, 2020
Gwinn began making phone calls to people in order to get her message and vision for the district out. Trying to give the people a different choice, a different option.
She felt that people who “have run on the republican ticket really haven’t done much since 2018.” In that campaign, they were only able to raise $10,000 which she points out is not enough to get any type of message out to the public.
Gwinn said that she is getting fundraising dollars, but she also invested over $10,000 of her personal funds in order to get her campaign moving.
When speaking of current events, Gwinn pointed out that the rioting, looting, and defunding of police have caused a plague-type atmosphere in the City of New York.
She adds that crime has “gone through the roof,” and that she has been getting alerts on a citizens app (an app in which she receives local crime reports) multiple times a day.
Prior to recent events, Gwinn said that she had not gotten any alerts on it for the three years she has had it installed on her phone.
Gwinn believes that part of the increase in crime is due to the disbanding of the anti-crime unit and the bail reform that was recently enacted. She said that the bail reform basically means that suspects are just arrested and released which means that they will “just commit crimes over and over.”
She believes that the city is headed in the wrong direction and that somebody has to “stand up” to make a change.
Gwinn believes that she is that person because she does not back down, will not be “bullied, will stand up to bullies,” and will not shy away from difficult tasks.
For her, failure is not an option.
Law Enforcement Today asked Gwinn if she considered herself to be pro-police and she replied:
She advised that, as a landlord, she has had many interactions with police over the twenty years she has lived in Harlem. Each time she has dealt with the NYPD, she has been always had positive interactions.
“I’m a person of color, I’ve always been treated with respect.”
Gwinn added that, although she does not understand the overall hatred of police, she does believe that there have been a couple of “bad apples” as of late.
However, she points out that is normally for any industry and that you cannot treat a whole group of people “badly, or, or chastise them because of a couple of bad apples. That doesn’t make any sense.”
— MAGA (@weeksey007) June 21, 2020
When asked about qualified immunity and if she believed it should be removed, she responded that getting rid of it is “ridiculous.”
Gwinn said that officers need to have it because they have to make split second decisions and they have to be able to make those without fear.
“I think that the minute you take that immunity away, they are gonna second guess themselves” which could cost them their lives. Qualified immunity “has to stay.”
Gwinn was asked specifically about her thoughts regarding defunding the police and she said:
“We can’t have defunding. They need more training.”
She then explained that she does not believe there is an epidemic of police brutality as the media and democratic leaders say. She believes that police agencies should get more public funds in order to enhance the training they receive.
Gwinn then explained her belief on the defunding the police movement, as it pertains to New York City. She believes that it is a “money grab.”
They claim that they want to “reinvest” in the community, but she believes that really means “launder some money from some certain individuals” and shift it to social programs that are “run by family and friends by whatever politician and circle it back to themselves.”
She points out Mayor de Blasio’s wife and the “850 million dollars that she can’t account for” through the New York Thrive, which she believes is a failure.
Law Enforcement Today asked Gwinn about the groups of people who had taken over a portion of the city in front of City Hall, specifically two days in which NYPD moved in to remove the crowds, were attacked, and retreated.
She said, “sadly” the Mayor does not support the NYPD and probably told them to stand down:
“I don’t support that. When you’re in law enforcement, you need to have the full power of being in that position. It’s like being a parent, you know, you don’t let you child misbehave an then stand back” because someone disagrees with you taking action.
Officers should not retreat, should not be “abused and humiliated.” Gwinn said it’s “shameful” that the Mayor does not stand by the NYPD.
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When asked about her thoughts of the officers who are trying to retire en masse from the NYPD, she said that she did not “blame them”:
“[The] level of demoralization…these people put their lives on the line for the public every single day. When they do not have their support of their elected leaders, it’s very sad.”
Gwinn said there is a role reversal in New York, the officers are treated like “criminals and the criminals are treated like heroes.”
She said that the NYPD is appreciated by the majority of the city and that it is the politicians and the democrats that are behind the push to defund police, demoralizing them, and not giving them the proper authority to do their jobs.
She said that it’s just “not right.”
Gwinn was asked about the Capitol Hill takeover in Seattle and she shared her perspective. She believes that it was allowed because the public does not necessarily believe things unless they see it firsthand.
People had to see how democrats were handling it and how they responded to the issues caused by it. Gwinn acknowledged that President Trump could have solved it with the National Guard, but, she believes that people had to see how detrimental democratic leadership is and hopefully they will make better choices in elections.
🔴 Lovelynn Gwinn has won the Republican primary for New York's 13th Congressional District.https://t.co/PoXlo93hly
— POLITICO elections bot (@politicoelex) June 24, 2020
Law Enforcement Today asked Gwinn about her thoughts with immigration and she said that “legal immigration is great,” we need people in the country that worked hard to be here and have the American Dream.
However, illegal immigration harms people, specifically those who came here legally and worked to become citizens. She believes that illegal immigration drives down wages and is overall damaging for the community because illegal aliens get free health care and other incentives from the government
Gwinn spoke of her grandfather who came here from the Philippines. She remembers when he became an American citizen and how proud he was of his accomplishment. Gwinn said that they took a trip to Washington DC because he wanted to see the things he had to learn about in order to become a citizen. Gwinn said that he truly understood the value of being here legally and becoming a citizen.
In closing, Gwinn spoke of her Second Amendment views and how she believes that Americans have a right to have firearms legally. She believes that people’s concealed carry licenses should be reciprocal like driver’s licenses, in other words, if someone is licensed to carry in one state, they should be allowed to carry in all states.
Overall, Gwinn just wants to see the City of New York do better, improve for all citizens and visitors.
She believes that change can start if she wins this election.
Gwinn wants to show people it is possible for a republican woman to win in New York and believes that will give other people courage to run in the future.
She has been told it is impossible for her to win, but, as we already know, Gwinn will not back down.
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