Yesterday the city overwhelmingly voted in Bill de Blasio as our next mayor -- 73% to 24%. He will be our first progressive, our first Democrat, in 20 years. In a generation. For two decades, the city has suffered under the autocratic, authoritarian regimes of Giuliani and Bloomberg. Together, they demolished New York as we knew it, replacing its warm architecture with a city of frigid glass, replacing its colorful, creative people with dull, robotic consumers. They turned it into a narcissistic, sociopathic city. For 20 years, our leaders spouted their twisted values of greed, entitlement, and control, inviting others like themselves to come join them.
Yesterday, the city said goodbye to all that. Yesterday, the city overwhelmingly agreed: Enough already.
New York Times
First we said no to Christine Quinn, a continuation of Bloomberg. Then we said no to Joe Lhota, a continuation of Giuliani. Both no's were big, loud, and sweeping. We said yes to something new.
While it remains to be seen what de Blasio will do as mayor, what he has said holds weight. Words are powerful. Already, he has changed the rhetoric--and that changes the way people think and feel. We have gone from Bloomberg's ugly refrain "We want rich from around this country to move here. We love the rich people,” to speeches and slogans of egalitarianism and empathy.
Now we want de Blasio to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, but speeches and slogans are actions. Talking is doing. Every writer knows that. The new first lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray, knows that. She's a poet. There will be a poet in Gracie Mansion--a black, queer poet!--and an activist for social justice in City Hall. Whatever the new mayor does from here, it cannot be denied, this is really something new. (Bloomberg attracted people like himself to the city--plutocrats, sociopaths--maybe now we'll get a town filled with queers, poets, and leftists. I can dream, can't I?)
After 20 years of living under the thumbs of the cops and the billionaires, the city is in desperate need of something new. We need a psychic shift. We just got one.