Friday, February 7, 2014

Three Reasons I'm Glad I Voted For Bill de Blasio

I voted for Bill de Blasio for mayor of New York City, and I like what I see so far. De Blasio is moving forward with the progressive agenda on which he campaigned, as seen in three fronts: reforming stop-and-frisk, universal pre-K for NYC children and paid sick leave:

Stop-And-Frisk: New York City will settle its long-running legal battle over the Police Department’s practice of stopping, questioning and often frisking people on the street — a divisive issue at the heart of the mayoral race last year — by agreeing to reforms that a judge ordered in August, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday.

In making the announcement, which he said he hoped would end a turbulent chapter in the city’s racial history, Mr. de Blasio offered a sweeping repudiation of the aggressive policing practices that had been a hallmark of his predecessor, Michael R. Bloomberg, but that had stoked anger and resentment in many black and Latino neighborhoods. He essentially reversed the course set by Mr. Bloomberg, whose administration had appealed the judge’s ruling.

Paid Sick Leave: New York City’s top elected officials said on Friday that they would greatly expand the reach of a measure mandating paid time off for sick workers, a cherished cause of the national left that had long been resisted by local business leaders.

...A bill unveiled on Friday would require businesses with five or more employees to provide up to five compensated days off to full-time workers if they, or their family members, fell ill. The benefits would accrue for 360,000 more New Yorkers, and affect 40,000 more employers, than under a weaker version that passed last year, which included only companies with staffs of 15 or more.

Universal Pre-K: On Monday, Bill de Blasio traveled to the State Capitol with a paramount wish: permission from the Legislature to raise taxes on New York City’s highest earners, which would pay for prekindergarten classes and after-school programs.

...On Monday, in a bid to address concerns about the pace at which he could expand prekindergarten enrollment, his office released a 14-page plan laying out how the city could have many classes ready by the fall.


Michael J. Mand said...

I agree on all three points. I would just like to see de Blasio stop criticizing his predecessor as often as he does. Although some criticism is deserved ("Stop and Frisk" e. g.), for the most part New York City is a better place because of Michael Bloomberg and that should be recognized and appreciated. Also I still say that income inequality can be addressed without the use of the divisive rhetoric that many (not me) believe to have gotten him elected in the first place. The best way to effect change is to convince someone that change is in his or her better interest, not to chastise for previous bad behavior. Especially when that someone doesn't believe he has behaved badly and holds most of the cards as well. I fear that the "us versus them" nature of de Blasio's message will be ineffictive, ultimately. Let's hope I'm wrong.

Jeff Tone said...

You've repeatedly criticized de Blasio for "divisive rhetoric" without giving any examples of it. Actually, there are no examples. A passage from his inaugural speech epitomizes his message: "...we do not ask more of the wealthy to punish success. We do it to create more success stories. And we do it to honor a basic truth: that a strong economy is dependent on a thriving school system." De Blasio makes clear that he is not interested in chastising individuals. Instead, he is indeed making a case for the ways in which change benefits everyone.