Those were the two primary topics of Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis’ press conference this morning, the first by design and the second by circumstance. Malliotakis held a press conference on the steps of City Hall to promote a plan to significantly expand City services for severely mentally ill persons. She was joined by DJ Jaffe, an advocate and executive director of Mental Illness Policy Org.
Malliotakis’ plan calls for action in several categories, including expanded legal efforts to compel hospitalization via use of “Kendra’s Law,” review expiring orders of protection, scrutinize mentally ill inmates before release, expand mental health courts and psychiatric capacity of hospitals, support relevant non-profit agencies and greatly expand the number of supportive housing units. Malliotakis did not provide a cost estimate for the wide range of expanded services, offering only the general proposition that keeping mentally ill persons out of prison will be a cost-saver.
Malliotakis was again asked about Charlottesville and President Trump’s “many sides” statement. (My exchange with Malliotakis on this topic Sunday is available here.) As detailed in an earlier post, Malliotakis today characterized the Charlottesville violence as “disgusting” and decried the use of “Nazi flags, KKK propaganda” but tried to avoid addressing Trump’s statement. Initially saying that she had not seen the president’s Saturday statement, Malliotakis eventually said that the president “should have been more forceful” in his statement.
Here is the full press conference (Q&A begins at 15:40):