Yesterday, The Nation wrote an excellent piece about New York City Mayor candidate, Bill de Balsio (D) that won over my support:
Lost in the media frenzy of the Anthony Weiner/Carlos Danger fiasco, de Blasio has been proving to be the anti-Mike Bloomberg candidate that the Big Apple needs, especially when it comes to the stop-and-frisk laws, which heavily target African Americans. De Blasio has been pushing hard to pitch to the black community that he is the candidate who is looking out for their interests:In running for mayor, de Blasio has promised to tackle the city’s inequality crisis head-on, harnessing what he has called “the most powerful local government on earth” to bring affordable housing, living-wage jobs, universal pre-kindergarten and genuine opportunity to the city’s millions of forgotten residents. “My job is to help New Yorkers live in New York,” he told New York magazine in a recent interview. The words sound nice, but what makes them compelling is the fact that de Blasio has backed them up with a platform that The New York Times has described as “the meatiest material presented by any candidate to date.”
There is a lot to like, from proposals on education and homelessness to public safety—but among the ideas that we found most persuasive is his unusually diverse economic development strategy, which embraces not only job creation but also enhanced labor protections and long-overdue investments in New York’s once-great public universities. De Blasio was a major force behind living-wage and paid-sick-leave legislation—indeed, he fought for much stronger bills than those ultimately passed by the City Council—and his platform contains additional policies to increase wages for the city’s working poor. He is also steadfastly pro-union, which is both a welcome change and a crucial one after twelve years of an administration so hostile to labor that all 152 of the city’s public unions are without contracts. And in an effort to stanch New York’s affordable-housing crisis, he has put forward an ambitious plan to build or preserve nearly 200,000 affordable-housing units over the coming decade, while pledging to remove wasteful tax breaks for real estate developers.
Perhaps most unexpected is the centerpiece of de Blasio’s platform: a city income-tax surcharge on New Yorkers earning over $500,000 a year to provide truly universal, full-day pre-kindergarten to every child in New York City—a game-changing investment in the next generation of New Yorkers. The revenue from this surcharge would also fund after-school academics, athletics and cultural programming for every middle-schooler. It is notable that de Blasio made this tax proposal in the belly of the beast, at a meeting of the city’s corporate leaders.
Finally, de Blasio has been one of the fiercest critics of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy, which has seen hundreds of thousands of young black and Latino men wrongly detained and subjected to searches. And of the candidates, he has been the most vocal and persistent supporter of a bill to prohibit racial profiling and impose greater police oversight. He has also pledged to replace Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who stubbornly defends stop-and-frisk. - The Nation, 8/8/13
A big factor that is helping de Blasio's candidacy is his family's involvement on the campaign trail:“I’m a Brooklynite, I’m someone who has worked on issues that people in this community care about deeply,” Mr. de Blasio told Politicker when asked why locals would support him over Mr. Thompson. “I think it comes down to what you believe in. It comes down to–I’ll really make a change, whether it’s taxing the rich, whether it’s changing stop-and-frisk. And I think people are listening for that.”
Mr. de Blasio touted his support of the Community Safety Act, a package of bills passed by the City Council that would, among other proposals, create an inspector general for the NYPD. The act was vetoed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and remains deeply unpopular with police officers. Mr. Thompson, though a critic of stop-and-frisk, does not support the legislation.
“I think people are listening to those details. I often think voters are real nuanced at paying attention to the facts,” Mr. de Blasio added, cutting short his appeal to shake hands with a voter.
“Talk to him! He’s here to talk to you!” a volunteer barked behind him. “What are your issues?”
Many of the voters Mr. de Blasio and his aides corralled belonged to immigrants from Caribbean countries, a notable slice of the electorate that the public advocate has made a centerpiece of his campaign strategy. He and his wife, who is of Caribbean descent, often attends events like the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival and his electoral bid recently scored the endorsements of Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, who is of Jamaican descent, and legendary singer Harry Belefonte. - Politicker, 8/7/13
Recently, de Blasio's son, Dante, appeared in an ad that helped define de Blasio as the anti-Bloomebrg candidate:The focus on family, which is expected to intensify as the Sept. 10 primary approaches, is a deliberate attempt to humanize and distinguish a candidate who remains relatively unknown to New York City’s far-flung electorate.
His rivals have privately groaned that he is turning his personal life into political theater and have wondered whether it will turn off potential supporters. But Mr. de Blasio said his wife and children put as much or as little time into the mayoral race as they wished, and he scoffed at those who questioned the family’s motives.
“It’s our lives,” he said. “We are portraying our lives, our values as a family.”
In a city where white residents are becoming a minority of the voting population, the family-centric strategy has allowed Mr. de Blasio, who is Italian-American, to portray himself as a paragon of modern, middle-class, multicultural New York: Ms. McCray is black and the couple has two children, Dante and Chiara, 18.
His aides argue that the tactic has bolstered his credibility on the issue of education, since his children attended public school, and portrayed him as a moral family man in a campaign marked by sex scandals.
It has also, Mr. de Blasio’s aides said, reinforced his message that he represents a stark break from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a wealthy white divorced father who sent his children to private academies. - New York Times, 8/8/13
De Balsio's heavy focus on the effects of the stop-and-frisk policy also earned him a big financial backing which he will need to win:The 15-year-old, whose towering Afro has become a star of the mayor’s race, says his dad is the only candidate “who will end the stop-and-frisk era that . . . targets people of color.”
De Blasio’s African-American wife also appears — part of an effort to appeal to black voters. Ad consultant Bob Chartuk said the spot will “resonate with the exact segment he’s targeting, black voters.” - New York Daily News, 8/8/13
And just recently, de Blasio launched a new campaign strategy to make public housing a serious issue:Liberal philanthropist and businessman George Soros re-emerged in the political spotlight on Tuesday, officially endorsing public advocate Bill de Blasio to be the next mayor of New York City.
“I am endorsing Bill de Blasio for Mayor because I believe he has the talent, vision and ability to lead New York City,” said Soros in a statement issued by de Blasio’s press team.
In particular, Soros cited the public advocate's support for universal prekindergarten and opposition to New York City’s controversial stop-and-frisk police policy, which critics say unfairly targets black men.
“Bill de Blasio has cut through the rhetoric on stop-and-frisk, and alone advanced concrete policy changes that can mean far fewer innocent New Yorkers are subject to this demeaning practice while reductions in crime are maintained,” Soros said. - Yahoo! News, 8/6/13
You can check out de Blasio's website here:Public housing residents will finally be able to see just how far behind NYCHA is in fixing up their buildings.
On Friday, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio will launch the NYCHA Watch List — a “hall of shame” website that lists all of the authority’s backlogged repairs .
Modeled after his popular “Worst Landlords” list, NYCHAwatchlist.com does what NYCHA executives never have — let residents and the public who pay their six-figure salaries see just how deep that backlog is.
“NYCHA is a black box,” said de Blasio, blasting the agency’s bad habit of keeping information from its 600,000 tenants.
The Watch List ranks the worst developments and gives the brutal details — such as how long it takes for an exterminator to go after rats, mice and roaches. - New York Daily News, 8/9/13
I admit, I was an early supporter of Weiner's campaign but looking back, it was for the wrong reasons. I never believed he should've been forced to resign due from Congress because of the "Twitter scandal" and was a big fan of him during the health care debate when he strongly argued for the public option. But the recent developments with his scandals strengthen the argument that Weiner is the type of guy who will get himself caught in stupid and embarrassing scenarios setting himself to become easily blackmailed by anyone. Not to mention brooklynbadboy, who's opinions I greatly respect, made some pretty valid arguments:
I was also still very angry about Mark Sanford (R. SC) beating Elizabeth Colbert Busch (D. SC) in the special election thanks to the dirty and shady smear tactics that suggested that Colbert Busch had an abortion. Sanford is one of those "family values" hypocrites who shouldn't have won, even in a red state like South Carolina. So I guess you could say my support for Weiner was for pure revenge. I thought at the time that if a Republican who was caught in a serious sex scandal and abused his power could win a congressional race, why couldn't a Democrat who's "scandal" that barely reached Sanford levels make a political comeback as well? My motives for supporting Weiner were wrong and I apologized. But I am now proud to be supporting a real progressive changer who I believe will do great things for one of the greatest cities in the world.
Be sure to catch de Blasio in next week's debate which you can check out here:
And if you would like to donate or get involved with de Blasio's campaign, you can do so here: