New York City’s rat problem isn’t necessarily new — I’ve seen my fair share of them over the years, skittering across the subway tracks and running into alleyways. However, it appears to be getting worse, so much so that the city has its own “rat czar,” Kathleen Corradi, tasked with getting the problem under control. She was there on August 12 when the first Anti-Rat Day of Action was held in Harlem, and one woman in particular had some harsh words for Corradi.
- Ruth McDaniels knows what a menace the rats can be. McDaniels, the president of the Harlem Street Tenants Association, described the rats in some pretty amazing detail, telling CBS, “We’ve had rats the size of Crocs just running up and down the street. Like a Croc shoe? An average size eight, running up and down the street.”
- Now that’s a vivid picture. Shortly after the CBS segment with McDaniels’ colorful description aired and was posted online, it immediately went viral. At the time of writing, it’s had over 18 million views on TikTok.
- People are loving the creativity. “The Croc shoe is sending me,” one person wrote. Another commented, “We love a queen that’s creative with her unit of measure.” Another person joked that they first thought McDaniels was referring to a crocodile, saying, “At first I was like: ‘Hold up, you got rats the size of crocodiles?’”
- All jokes aside, this is a serious issue. Corradi told crowds in her speech that the city was taking major action to get the rats out of town. “Rats need food, water, and shelter to survive,” she said. “Today, we’re going to cut off their food source and reduce their habitat, take away the places they can live.”
- Corradi became the rat czar in December 2022. Her official title is “director of rodent migration,” and it’s part of Mayor Eric Adams’ promise to deal with the rodent issue. Corradi was chosen due to her “virulent vehemence for vermin” and her “background in urban planning, project management, and government.” However, what tipped her for the role over her fellow candidates is her “drive, determination, and killer instinct to fight the real enemy.”
- The city is spending $3.5 million to deal with the rats. In addition to its “accelerated rat reduction plan,” the city has also hired 19 full-time and 14 seasonal employees to hit the streets and get rid of the rats for good.
I’m obsessed with this woman using crocs to measure the size of rats pic.twitter.com/PlzVzqPwwZ
— Gail Platt’s Stinkhole (@katecrimed) August 15, 2023