The perfect storm of crime, drugs and social decay in Washington Square Park is helping shape the local race for City Council.
Marte is a progressive who wants to de-weaponize cops and reduce their presence around the city. Toboroff is a long-shot candidate running on a pro law-and-order platform.
Political observers and local residents wary of the city’s decline say Maron, who has street cred among the district’s deep-blue Democrat base and a willingness to challenge party orthodoxy, is gaining momentum.
“We need law and order in the park. We need to arrest and prosecute drug dealers,” Maron, a public defender and mother of four from SoHo, told The Post. “I want New York City to be a city where we can raise our children, rely on public schools, walk down the streets and ride the subways safely.”
Washington Square Park became a tragic symbol of the city’s decay when it was overrun this year by drugs, lawlessness and late-night raves that defied a long list of unenforced city ordinances.
The Post earlier this year found a “drug den” of addicts in the park injecting and smoking hard drugs in broad daylight, while in recent days the landmark was overtaken by pot peddlers brazenly selling pre-rolled joints from tables as if at a flea market.
Local residents are looking beyond one-party rule for a solution to the continuing crisis.
“It’s not about race, religion or party. It’s about law and order,” one lifelong park neighbor told The Post. “I am registered Democrat. I’m not voting Democrat ever again. Look at what they’ve done to our city.”
The voter believes Maron has a chance to pull off a Tuesday surprise because she “is the only adult in the room.”
“Certain issues are at the forefront of everyone’s mind,” said Willam Kelley, the executive director of The Village Alliance. “You can’t walk around the neighborhood without noticing things are different now than they were pre-COVID.”
High on the list of concerns, he said, are the city’s failure to care properly for the addicted and mentally ill, many of whom inhabit Washington Square Park, and recent bail reform laws that put dangerous repeat drug offenders back on the street within hours of being arrested — if they’re even arrested.
“Bad policies are ruining our city,” said Maron. Both Marte and Toboroff failed to respond to requests from The Post for comment.