Gristedes CEO: Progressives Are Regressing New York

December 1, 2020 Updated: December 5, 2020

New York billionaire and CEO of Gristedes Foods, John Catsimatidis, criticized the progressive policies adopted by New York State and New York City.

“Let’s tell the truth. Progressives are not progressing our city. They are taking it backwards. They’re taking it backwards to the days when we were worried about the radios in our cars because somebody’s gonna break into them,” Catsimatidis told Jan Jekielek, the host of The Epoch Times’ American Thoughts Leaders program.

Catsimatidis rebuked progressive officials for using the words “black lives matter” but not really caring about the African-American community.

“They want to defund the police. We support New York City police. The people in Harlem, I have talked to the people in Harlem, they want to be able to dial 911 and get police support. They can’t dial BLM Black Lives Matter and get support from them,” said Catsimatidis.

Gristedes Foods is the largest grocery chain in Manhattan. Due to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus lockdowns and fear of looting from Antifa and Black Lives Matter protests, businesses in Manhattan have been fatally damaged.

“They have almost destroyed New York City, the theaters districts are closed, the streets are are almost empty,” said Catsimatidis.

Many rich people in New York City live in Suffolk County in the summer and return to the city after Labor Day. But Catsimatidis said after this Labor Day weekend, 3 out 5 of those people are still in Suffolk County, reluctant to go back to their apartments in Manhattan.

“The people don’t want to return to New York because they feel unsafe walking around the streets,” said Catsimatidis.

Catsimatidis said he has put some big construction projects on hold, waiting to see who’s running the state and city after September 2021 because the governor and the mayor don’t share his ideas about how to run the state and the city.

“They don’t realize that capital has the ability to go elsewhere,” said Catsimatidis.

“I love New York, but it cannot be run by people that are not pro-America, pro-New York City, and pro-capitalism,” said Catsimatidis said.

Catsimatidis once ran for the New York City mayor in 2013 as a Republican liberal.

The mayor and the city council of New York City have been pushing to repurpose the largest prison in the city at Rikers Island and the project has been widely rejected by communities over safety concerns.

When asked about the truths about New York that aren’t getting out, Catsimatidis said “the truth is putting all the criminals on the streets in New York and handcuffing the police department instead of the criminals.”

Follow Jan on Twitter: @JanJekielek