By DYLAN JENNINGS ’17, Staff Writer
The victory of Bill DeBlasio in the most recent mayoral election in New York City has the political world abuzz. After Mayor Bloomberg’s long time as “America’s Mayor,” this election has shown that the citizens of NYC are clamoring for a change in direction in the way the city has been run. For the first time in over 20 years, NYC will have a Democratic mayor who is an unabashed progressive. His time in office will mostly be marked by an increase in economic liberal and progressive priorities that have been long neglected by Bloomberg.
DeBlasio set the tone of his administration during his acceptance speech, the New York Times reported that when walking onto the state, he played the song “Royals” by Lorde. He set the tone that his administration hopes to target the extreme amount of inequality and unfairness that exists within the system for those not in the top income bracket. His plan has multiple parts; one of them is to raise taxes on the highest earners in the city to pay for universal pre-K, which is a noble goal and one that could have great effects upon the education system in NYC.
Beside intentions of improving pre-K education, DeBlasio also wants to help address the lack of affordable housing within NYC with plans to build two hundred thousand new units of housing. He also intends to tackle the lack of livable incomes for the working poor and public sector workers in the city. Many of these policies were not supported by Bloomberg, a centrist who is considered to be much cozier with Wall Street and big business.
But what is expected to be the biggest departure for DeBlasio from the Bloomberg Administration will be the policy of “stop question and & frisk.” This policy, pushed by Bloomberg and the police commissioner, Ray Kelly, has been accused of unfairly targeting blacks and minorities within NYC. The policy is viewed as racist by DeBlasio and ran a major part of his campaign in seeing it repealed.
He wants to work on repairing the relationship between the police and various communities, mostly non-white that have seen these policies unfairly target the people within their districts.
DeBlasio’s victory this past Tuesday by close to 50 percent shows that Mayor Bloomberg’s policies have lost popular approval as Lhota, the Republican challenger, ran mostly on keeping Bloomberg’s policies intact.
The people of New York City wanted different leadership, they wanted a mayor who was actively targeting and tackling the vast income inequality and trying to make the lives of the disenfranchised, the poor, and the lower income class better. DeBlasio wants to see their standards of living get better and not just continue to support and aid those who do not need it by their government.
It will be years before DeBlasio’s victory truly ushers in a more progressive NYC, whether the underlying problems are addressed and progress has been made in reversing them. But one thing is for certain: a Democrat trounced a center-right Republican by close to 50 percent because he ran on fighting income inequality and the idea that the way wealth and prosperity is created by simply cutting business taxes and regulations. Hopefully ,Democrats across the country look at DeBlasio and see that liberalism can be a winning agenda. The city has had Republicans for the past twenty years just elected a liberal Democrat to office, and it is going to be interesting to see how he does.