Thursday, November 14, 2013

Advice for Mayor Bill

Michael Kaminer at the New York Observer asked "some of the city’s biggest influencers, agitators, opinion leaders and larger-than-life characters" what advice they have for Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio.



They also asked me (and the Naked Cowboy). Here's some of what I said:


read the rest here

Some favorites: Alec Baldwin wants to see a dedicated space for public protest. Lady Bunny says, "Don't price out the creative people who make this city sparkle." Jay McInerney calls for secession from the United States of America. Frank Rich wants to see Times Square stop being a "quasi-food court for idling suburban tourists." And there's lots more.

What's your advice to Bill? 




18 comments:

Ms. said...

Now that you are the Mayor, please pay attention to the frail, the disenfranchised, the talented and the ordinary. Make community possible again. Practice compassion. Gather smart people to help shape progressive policy that solves problems sustainably. Stop building glass towers that block the sky. Avoid politicians, and seek out diplomats. Find ways to finally repair the Sandy damage. Take the earth into consideration, and respond intelligently to sea rise and global warming. Let a million million flowers bloom, actually and metaphorically.

This City is a man made monster.
Good luck

Crazy Eddie said...

Once you are in this postion of power, don't go "Viva Zapata" (see the movie, you will understand) on us

VisuaLingual said...

I no longer live in the city and probably never will again, but I watch this election closely. Jeremiah, I hope that there is a renewed focus on independent retailers. You may find it interesting [and sad] that Cincinnati's outgoing progressive mayor is being celebrated for bringing more chains into the city:

Cincinnati’s New-Found Buzz Helping Attract Retailers to Region

Hurray for progress.

maximum bob said...

Stop the war on small businesses:
UPS and Fedex trucks should not be relentlessly ticketed. Stop ticketing
trucks and vans making deliveries to small businesses. Stop the sanitation
fines because some slob threw a gum wrapper on the sidewalk in front of your business. Stop the mob tactics of the restaurant inspectors. Stop harassing food vendors. Stop with the fines already!
This city has become a Gestapo nightmare, despite the highest taxes in maybe the whole country, they are constantly nagging and chipping away with unfair fines and extortion to produce extra revenue. If there must be fines, let them be reasonable, not crippling.

Brendan said...

I'm sure Alex Baldwin's heart is in the right place, but what he's proposing is just a glorified GW Bush-/Bloomberg-style "Free Speech Zone."

How about actually recognizing our Constitutional right to free speech and assembly in public?

Little Earthquake said...

Declare yourself Mayor for Life, where a Generalissimo uniform, and start putting heads on spikes. Then you can accomplish anything!

Bogframe said...

Put a stop to the Corporatization of Coney Island. Our last mayor gave control of most of the amusement zone and all of the Boardwalk businesses to Zamperla, an Italy based company. Force Thor Equities to either allow independent ride operators onto his dead zone on either side of Stillwell Avenue or sell it back to The City. Evict the illegal businesses on the north side of Surf Avenue and invite arcade operators in at reasonable rents. Coney Island has been the workingman's refuge for more than a century. Don't allow greedy developers and corporations to price us out of there.

Goggla said...

Go, Jeremiah!

Yes, stop the bloodsucking of small businesses and the working middle class. Have some respect for history and cultural preservation.

Ed said...

I haven't read the whole article, so I will comment only on Jeremaih's contribution.

Jeremaih is thinking in the right direction, but I think "maximum bob"'s approach should be tried first. The disappearance of local small business isn't simply a matter of economics, of commercial rents being driven up by demand. There was a big component of harassment from city agencies to drive small businesses away.

The fact is that property in New York is owned/ controlled by only a handful of people, which itself is a major problem, but one of those problems that are pretty much impossible to solve (at least peacefully). The control is so tight that it will be a struggle even to put or even keep in place reasonable restrictions on the use of the property.

Also keep in mind that the Mayor has less formal power than most people think. Since the 1970s, all legislation worth taking the trouble to enact has to be passed by the state legislature, even if it affects only New York City. Even Bloomberg couldn't get big parts of his agenda through because of this. Something like commercial rent control definitely falls into this category.

Finally, everyone seems to forget the role of property taxes. Property taxes are tied in with rising rents because landlords pass property taxes along to their tenants, and less directly in that as real estate prices rise, property valuations rise and the city gets more money, so for the city government the incentive is always to push for higher property values. In the long run this kills the city by driving the bulk of businesses (and alot of talented workers) away, leading to a collapse of property tax values! Bloomberg got a big property tax increase through right after he took office.

On the other hand, I don't see why the Mayor couldn't simply order city agencies to stop harassing small businesses, and to follow up (the Mayor-elect has already publically criticized Bloomberg's lack of follow-up) to make sure it happens. That would provide some immediate breathing space. The rest of the problems are difficult enough that they can't be tackled "100 days" style, you have to get the state government on board, figure out how to handle the lost revenue, and also deal with the problem that in this as well as in other American cities, real estate is simply more powerful than the Mayor.

Annie O. said...

How about actually recognizing our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms?

Anonymous said...

Keep Ray Kelly

Anonymous said...

Bill, please get all of the mentally ill homeless off the streets. They are ticking time bombs! And Make Nice with the NYPD, otherwise your first term will be a living hell, that's for sure.

Brendan said...

1:07, are you saying that if he doesn't "make nice" with the NYPD, they're going to sabotage him? I've seen that said elsewhere on the internet.

It's weird that some people think they're DEFENDING the police by saying that they really are blackshirt thugs who don't answer to civilian authority....

laura r. said...

annie O 12:16pm, yes right to be armed. also the stop & frisk should be re instated, in certain cases. not everyone should be armed, & they need a permit! oh yes i would love to see NYC as another country & sucede. they tried this before, didnt work. jeremiahs advise was correct across the board. also the comment about the homeless, they need housing. i think the other stuff (my concerns) will not work out. some mosques should be investigated. but there is more saudi $$ in the US than you know, they rule across the nation. my other concern (guiliani did a good w/it), is immigrants from the 3rd world driving cabs. that needs a complete uhaul. given the history of the mayor, he may help the small business owner.

Anonymous said...

More support for independent business, and more restrictions on corporate chain stores in residential areas. Maybe even keep them out in those areas altogether. In general the out of control luxury take-over has to come to some sort of plateau. The middle class deserves a place in NYC too, ya know. I mean really.

Anonymous said...

Well said.

But can he please also make the subways work right?

Anonymous said...

Don't be a lame duck mayor in an empty chair. But more importantly, Don't ever be like Bloomberg.

Don Reed said...

Bill: We live across the river. Please do not come to visit our town. Thank you.