A minority of registered voters in New York City cast their ballot in the recent election for mayor.
The voters overwhelmingly chose Bill De Blasio. De Blasio ran on a platform describing a “tale of two cities,” One rich and one poor. He said inequality robs the poor for the benefit of the wealthy.
After 8 years of Rudolph Giuliani and 12 years of Michael Bloomberg, voters were ready for a big change. Giuliani was a tough, conservative prosecutor. Bloomberg is a billionaire who tried to make the city respond to his personal choices. For example, Bloomberg proposed the ban on large sugary sodas.
It turns out that both were good mayors. For example, they succeeded in dramatically lowering crime rates.
Bill De Blasio helped manage Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the U.S. Senate. He was a city councilman from Brooklyn. He was elected Public Advocate of New York City. His opponent said De Blasio lacks the managerial experience to be the mayor.
He wants to change the world, or at least the city. He is pushing for a tax on the wealthy. The tax is intended to finance a citywide pre-kindergarten program.
He wants to hold down rents, encourage affordable housing and raise minimum wages.
The municipal unions are among his allies. They have been without a contractfor four years. They expect him to find money for raises and back pay.
Mr. De Blasio made use of his family in the campaign. His wife is black. He is white. They were symbols of the diversity that De Blasio says is the strength of the city.
The intentions of the new mayor are clear. Improve the life of the have-nots. But New York City is a world-class city. It has many very wealthy people who pay a lot in taxes. They will resist changes that affect them.
New York City is in for a turbulent ride in the coming years.
Source: The New York Times January 3, 2014