"Rudy Giuliani for Mayor—Decisive Leadership for a Change!

A flyer from Rudy Giuliani’s successful 1993 bid for mayor of New York City foregrounds the candidate’s commitment to the policing of petty crimes in schools and on the streets.

A 1993 campaign flyer paints New York City then–mayoral candidate Rudy Giuliani as “tough on crime,” foregrounding the prosecutor’s commitments to fighting crime and enhancing public safety. In describing Giuliani’s plans for “education,” “crime,” “economy and jobs,” “quality of life,” and “choice,” the pamphlet repeatedly refers to schools and streets as the settings where Giuliani will confront crime, with an emphasis on petty crime and drug-related offenses. Rooted in the Broken Windows theory of policing, confronting petty crime is paramount to the candidate’s strategy: the flyer calls out panhandlers, squeegee operators, and vandals as menacing symptoms and signals of an unsafe city. Giuliani describes plans to staff administrative and non-police functions of the New York City Police Department with civilians, a strategy referred to as “civilianizing,” thereby freeing more officers to patrol schools and streets.

The flyer features photos of New York-native Giuliani with his wife, mother, and two kids in New York’s parks. In an effort to occupy a centrist political lane, Republican candidate Giuliani ran his campaign under the banner “Republican-Liberal candidate,” and the flyer reflects these efforts by distancing itself from historically conservative republican agendas. Giuliani advocates positions now widely perceived as liberal such as protecting reproductive rights and Social Security disability benefits. Still, the flyer’s commitment to the increased policing of petty crimes in schools and on streets represents nascent conservative agendas which persist in local and national politics to this day.

Entry Author
Buell Center (sz2950)