Wednesday, August 14, 2013

De Blasio for New York

After 12 years under the billionaire mayor Bloomberg (4 more than was legal), the city has undergone massive, catastrophic change. In his drive to create a "luxury city" built exclusively for the wealthy, Bloomberg rezoned nearly 40% of the city's land mass, and much of that was up-zoning--knocking down old buildings, evicting residents and businesses, using eminent domain to steal people's property, so the real-estate developers could erect towers of glass loaded with amenities for the super rich.

Under Bloomberg, we watched our small mom-and-pop businesses struggle and die, while national and global chain stores proliferated exponentially like bedbugs. Many of those small businesses had been in the city for decades, run by third- and fourth-generation families. If you tally up all that history, well over 6,000 years of independent business were lost during the Bloomberg era.

Rents and home prices skyrocketed as neighborhoods were gentrified, and then hyper-gentrified. In Harlem alone, prices went up 222 percent between 2000 and 2012. The cultural heart of the city has atrophied, as artists can no longer afford to live here. The rich got richer and the poor got poorer, as the city's inequality gap is now on par with parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

Vital parts of the city had their souls ripped out. Coney Island was leveled and is becoming a suburban shopping mall. Times Square was turned into a suburban shopping mall. Bleecker Street was turned into an upscale suburban shopping mall. I could go on...


We desperately need the anti-Bloomberg. That is why I am endorsing Bill de Blasio for Mayor of New York City. With a focus on repairing inequality, he's the only candidate who's saying "We need a real break from the Bloomberg years." The rich are afraid of him. He wants to tax the wealthy and "Take money away from big company subsidies," turning it into loans and tax incentives for small businesses. He wants to save our hospitals and create affordable housing. He was the only candidate in last night's debate to say that the real-estate industry is a problem for the city. As he said, "this city has been available to everyone, it's been open to everyone, anyone could make it here. That is now slipping away."

We need a mayor who will stop the bleeding. Bill de Blasio is not perfect, but I believe he's our best choice for the next mayor of New York City, and he's getting my vote. (Also, I'd like to stop writing this blog and if Quinn wins, the vanishings are sure to continue.)

42 comments:

Brandon V said...

Here here. I am so happy to see him pulling ahead in the polls. We need a bold, true progressive to throw the brakes on this train.

John M said...

Right on, Jeremiah. I'm with you, Bill gets my vote.

Eileen said...

My son & I are both voting for Bill De Blasio. So happy he is pulling ahead in the polls. The media has been so pro-Quinn that it enrages me. I worked at St. Vincent's for 15 years, and Quinn did nothing but aid in their demise. Check out how much money her pals the Rudins have donated to her. She could care less about working New Yorkers. Had to practically have a gun held to her head to vote for sick days for workers. She's a monster. Go Bill!

marjorie said...

He seems impressive. What do people think about Thompson?

Brendan said...

Yes!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you!

BrooksNYC said...

Team de Blasio!

In four-plus decades, it's the most anxious I've ever felt about a NYC mayoral election. There's so much at stake.

Kyle Campion said...

But, but, but what if all the Russian oligarchs and Middle East prince's sell their investment condos and leave the city en masse? What if the wealthy revolt and sell their Park Ave co-ops and move to Orlando?? Who will maintain our 12 year run of no MTA fare hikes, affordable housing programs and thriving schools? We simply can't afford to risk aleniating a group of people who have done so much for us and our fine city!

In all seriousness, at this point, De Blasio is the only candidate (outside of Liu) who has consistently shown that he "gets it" and is serious about addressing some of the serious problems in this city outside of the size of one's soda.

When you think about it, the last 12 (if not 20) years of this city have been completely top down government ruling with little to no local say in highly important manners. If anything needs to change it is that and I find it hard to believe there's anybody out there who could possibly do worse than Bloomberg in that respect.

Lets hope for the best.

Anonymous said...

What does your follower Quinn and her lackey Douchebag Berrios have to say about this? Will you betting phone calls and voice messages from her from now on?

The Primary is for De Blasio to lose. He better stay the course.

Anonymous said...

Oh, please Brendan. You're secretly voting forQuinnberg, so that she can continue the midwesternization of NYC.

Miss Phoebe said...

Let the rich flee from the city. Let the luxury condos crash. Let the working class move into those condos! This city is run by US, the workers paying over 30% of our income in taxes. Don't believe the lie that we need the rich and the ZERO taxes they pay.

laura said...

kyle 1:48pm- the rich will never move to orlando. they're not going anywhere. this does seem like the best choice for mayor, "J" is correct. lets hope he can do something if he wins.

Kyle Campion said...

Laura and Miss Phoebe,

I was just being sarcastic - sorry, I can't help myself sometimes!

But yeah, anyone who suggests that a few reasonable tax increases is going to cause them to run for the hills is being disingenous. Like I've said before - if the city is doing so well then why is there always these talks of not having enough money to fund "xyz". It's a joke.

Little Earthquake said...

Compelling argument. I don't vote, but if I did, I might vote for him.

Anonymous said...

Is Laura different from laura?

Quinn, Bloomberg, however are the same. Definitely.

Ed said...

I'll admit Thompson impressed me, and this was a surprise, during his stealth campaign the last time round. I think either represent a break compared with Quinn or Lhota, with De Blasio better on rhetoric and Thompson having a slightly stronger resume. I think both are basically establishment types but have some hope that either administration would represent a turn towards sanity.

The tactical situation is that it will almost certainly bet two of Thompon, De Blasio, and Quinn in the runoff, so if your main goal is to block Quinn, you should consider voting for the one of the alternative pair (Thompson, De Blasio) who is polling less strongly, in the hope that they both make the runoff. However, the problem with being too tactical is that polling for city elections is really unreliable.

I have to admit that I am having a hard time with Quinn's appeal. If you are pro-Bloomberg in your orientation, shouldn't you prefer Lhota, who at least has shown some administrative ability? Otherwise, Quinn just doesn't have much of a record other than keeping the (still fairly powerless anyway) city council quiescent.

Quinn ain't no Queen said...

You know, with Quinn following you, she's gonna take all these points and regurgitate it and make this into her campaign promises, position, and platforms. She'll be making statements such as "we watched our small mom-and-pop businesses struggle and die", "independent and small businesses were lost", etc/ Just you watch 'til the next debate on she'll plagiarize all these points.

everettsville said...

Anonymous, what's with the drive-by attacks on Brendan? Not helpful or interesting. Own up and express your own opinion or don't bother.

laura said...

kyle 4:16- i was being sarcastic too.

Brendan said...

Thanks everettsville. I've learned it's best not to engage this troubled person.

Anonymous said...

MAYOR BLOOMBERG HELPED DESTROYED MOM & POP NEW YORK.

He has been aggressively trying to Europeanize the city which is STUPID and will never work. But it looks like a lot of the newcomers seem to think this is what NYC is all about. HOW SAD.

Anonymous said...

Being a contrarian and an unapogetic gentrifier does not help too. And defending the contrarian gentrifier does not help either. Jus putting him in his shoe.

Di Blasio will win but he'll suck at the position. The following term will be Spitzer, Quinn, or someone else, but not Bill.

dwg said...

John Thompson is an equally good candidate.

Anonymous said...

Coney leveled? Huh? Coney actually has more amusements than it has in many, many decades. And Mayor Bloomberg has been a pretty great supporter of keeping the honky tonk in Coney Island.

Anonymous said...

Lots of misinformation here J. Times Square began gentrifying, or re-gentrifying 20 yrs ago with Mayor Phantom of the Opera.

Moreover, Coney Island also began (re)gentrifying when the Mitchell Lamas went coops and the Russian invasion began also 20 years ago.

Sinestra said...

By honky tonk, do you mean chain stores and corporatized amusements? Coney has been leveled and rebuilt in his image- mall style, "branded" and fake

Anonymous said...

Yes vote Team De Blasio. Tax the rich, discourage the growth of business, encourage greater dependency on the state and blast the bullhorn of victimhood and feed the grievance industry.

Vote for Bill De Blasio so when NYC becomes Detroit you have no one to blame but yourself.

Anonymous said...

Really. I love it how people become all idealistic during a race like this. I'm all for all of De Blasio's positions--in an ideal and nonexistent world. And who's to say he knows anything about running this city in all of its complexity? Jumping on the De Blasio bandwagon shows nothing more than that one is stunted in a perpetual adolescence. Grow up and think about the pragmatic future of a great city. Vote for someone who has shown she knows how to get things done rather than someone who's likely to set the city back to Dinkins days.

Re Quinn's supposed tendencies to yell and scream and generally act histrionic: Do you seriously think these would be regarded in the same light if she were a man?

And re term limits: I don't believe in term limits. There's something called voting out an incumbent you don't like. That's giving someone a limited term.

D. Berrios said...

First, I want to thank Jeremiah for not censoring people who may not agree with him.

Second, I have never called anyone out of her or his name, but people have done that to me. It does not speak well for civil discourse to attack those who disagree with you.

Third, I do not work for Christine Quinn or Michael Bloomberg, or the City of New York. I am not a plant. I strongly support both of them. I link to our great city's website because I think it's important to remember what people are voting for.

Fourth, if Mayor Bloomberg could run again he would win. There are people on here who are recent arrivals to New York. But people who lived in the city for longer than a sunrise can remember the city under Democratic control in the past. Under Abe Beame it nearly went bankrupt. Under Ed Koch the crack epidemic raged out of control and it became one of the most violent cities in the United States. Under David Dinkins there the was the summer of wilding and a race riot in Brooklyn.

No one who has lived in New York for most of her or his life ever wants to go back to this. Under Rudy Giuliani the city was beautified, became safer, and grew. Under Rudy Giuliani we no longer had to look at the remains of the elevated highway on West Street but got a riverside park that people visit every day. We had a mayor who knew how to respond after the horror of 9/11. We had a mayor who fought crime every single day. His only blind spots were on race and loyalty to some of his unsavory friends, like Bernie Kerik.

Mike Bloomberg has won three straight elections. Where were the liberals last time, when Thompson ran? They didn't even want to chance not having Mayor Bloomberg continue to turn the city around. It is now the envy of the world. People come on this blog and talk about hating the changes. But without a doubt, they'd be complaining if we were in the old, dirty, dangerous, racially torn New York. That might have worked if you were in your 20s and escaped being shot or mugged, but with a family? Thousands of New Yorkers lost their lives during those years.

What has Bill DeBlasio done? He talks a good game, but people should just remember the 1970's and 1980's, when tax-and-spend types ran the show. Ask any of the people terrorized by the crack epidemic if they want to go back to that. To warehoused buildings. To rapes and murders with abandon. To garbage strikes. To trains plastered with graffiti. Christine Quinn is liberal but also knows how to help New York running. She has worked closely with Mayor Bloomberg and will continue to do so.

To the person who asked about Joe Lhota, he doesn't have a chance of winning. He has a low key personality and his association with the MTA is a major turnoff.

Ultimately the voters will decide. But consumers are deciding with their feet and wallets, and they love the New York Mike Bloomberg has created. New Yorkers and visitors. The city keeps drawing people every day. Somebody is doing something right.

Thank you for letting me post.

everettsville said...

D. Berrios, I think you present a false choice: New York as one giant crackhouse (bad!) vs New York as one giant prosperous chain-store mall (good!).

This false choice and tendency to ignore the real economic and cultural issues is familiar to people who read this blog.

(Kudos for your courage to wade into enemy territory, by the way)

Anonymous said...

You want sanitation strikes, doorman strikes, teacher strikes? Vote De Blasio. You want high crime, diriter streets? Vote De Blasio. You want someone who won't because he can't stand up to unions? Vote De Blasio. You want unions to get paid more while they work less? Vote De Blasio. You want a mayor who'll be getting kickbacks from special interst groups? Vote De Blasio. You want more free money, foodstamp, housing, and welfare, while hardworking people work to get paid? Vote De Blasio.

De Blasio 2013. Yes, he can. And no, he can't.

laura said...

d. berrios: thankyou. evertsville: thankyou. this is really hard, i dont like 2 extremes. growing up in NYC, i remember the hell that dinkins brought, my family was part of white flight in the early 70s. (i already lived in chelsea). i did like giuliani for many reasons, but the last thing i want for NYC is to be a tourist trap, a mall town. (i like the high line, some gentrifaction is good). on the other hand, special interest groups are in the way. why is it 2 extremes?

laura said...

miss phoebe, you want a marxist revolution? you too would be victimized. i think i will re-evaluate de blasio. why do you hate indivuals who have made $$? this is getting creepy.

Caleo said...

As someone who mourns the loss of the best of Old New York everyday, I do find myself agreeing with DBerrios in many ways.
I moved to NYC in 1988, and being a young man capable of dealing with any kind of hassle or confrontation in the street, which were common occurrences back then, is what allowed me to enjoy the city and it's street life.
In all the reminiscing about the old days it can be easy to forget just how violent and out of control NYC was back then. This city had the highest rate of violent crime in the country for many, many years. That crime affected everyone, and left many thousands dead, and many more injured and scarred in it's wake. The murder rate peaked in the early 90's at just over 2,500 murders a year. That's a lot of dead people. And that's not counting the armed robberies, assaults,rapes and general mayhem.
Every one of those incidents affected multiple lives and families. All of my close friends are native New Yorkers, Italians and Jews and Puerto Ricans who were born and raised in the Bronx and Brooklyn, and their memories of personal, daily experience with that mayhem affects their choices when voting. As much as I despised Giuliani at the time he was mayor, I listen to my friends who grew up here in the 70's, and how that violence affected them and their families and communities. Many New Yorkers felt completely powerless in the face of all of it. Hence, the satisfaction that came when Giuliani was elected.
As much as I mourn the loss of old New York, I understand the visceral reaction many native New Yorkers have when contemplating a return to any aspect of the dysfunction and decay of the old days.
I know it shouldn't have to be a choice between the worst of the 70's and 80's and the antiseptic city we have today, but it's difficult to think any one person can affect one aspect of the city as it is today without opening the door to the worst of the past.
Many older natives remember a relatively clean and very livable city of the 40's,50's and 60's being transformed almost overnight into a very violent place where criminals operated with impunity in broad daylight. The people telling me these stories aren't racist Republicans, they're working class ethnic New Yorkers, and their feeling and opinions about the old days matter.
I agree that DiBlasio says the right stuff, but how much he can actually accomplish is another matter altogether. I realize that under Bloomberg, old ethnic New York, as well as the middle class generally, is being pushed out of the city with no mercy in sight, but a one term DiBlasio could end up making all the right noise and all the wrong moves and set the stage for the return of some rather unsavory aspects of the old city at it's worst.
You can call it fear mongering, but as I've matured, I've decided to listen carefully to the genuine fear and unease many natives have about any possible return to the bad times, and I have yet to see a candidate who can potentially bridge the gulf between the best of New York and the worst, and trust me, the worst can appear very quickly if given a chance.

Brendan said...

Crime almost certainly has more to do with large-scale demographic and social trends than with any particular city government. Crime has plummeted in nearly every American city over the last 20 years and no one fully understands why. Electing a liberal mayor is not going to magically reverse a whole constellation of trends and turn the clock back to the 70s.

Sinestra said...

Wow! Really everyone? So if you support improving the lives all the people of NY, not just wealthy/ tourists then you are voting for NYC to be a shit-hole full of strikes, garbage and crime? or neglected like Detroit? Since NYC is made up mostly of us regular folks, it is so sad that people don't see that we can have a safe, clean city that TAKES CARE OF ITS OWN, not just the wealthy and well connected.. It is possible

Spines said...

For all those suggesting that Bloomberg has cut crime and that de Blasio will be a return to the 1980's crack epidemic, I would point out that crime fell dramatically nationwide during the same time period, indeed it fell throughout most of the western world. Did Giuliani/Bloomberg fight crime worldwide?
For more info, read this excellent issue of the Economist: http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21582004-crime-plunging-rich-world-keep-it-down-governments-should-focus-prevention-not

Little Earthquake said...

Was supporting Atlantic Yards, condos on the Gowanus, and opposing its Superfund cleanup part of DeBlasio's "break from the Bloomberg years"? Doesn't sound much different to me.

Spines said...

De Blasio supported Atlantic Yards because a reasonable amount of low income housing was included. He opposed the superfund site designation because it would create a mandate without providing funds for the cleanup.

evi said...

Thank you for this post. Truth be told, I have given up on ever seeing a stop to the building of a the Luxury City and suburbanization of NY. Thank you for holding on and staying strong.

Anonymous said...

De Blasio is too nice. Unions, Spitzer, Cuomo will be walkingall over him. You need a dick or a c--- to run this town.

Little Earthquake said...

http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/32/10/32_10_mm_toll_bros.html