A New Mayor, A New Day

The Real New Yorkers welcomes Bill de Blasio and his family to the NYC mayoralty.

Bill comes from my former neighborhood, Park Slope, and has lived there since well before tykes carelessly tossed $850 Burberry jackets to the floor of the playground at PS 321, and left them there, without a care.

To me, this is a story about the incremental change needed — now — to improve our city.  Real New Yorkers know that, once upon a time, it was the East Side and a few other enclaves where the uber-rich could be found.

Now?  NYC is largely a richy-rich world.  The non-rich are getting pushed out.  No, strike that.  Steamrolled out.  The prevailing attitude has been:”hey, if you can’t afford to live here, get the eff out.  And stay out!”

Real New Yorkers need to be able to live in their own city. Young adults from around the country, and energetic go-getters from all over the world need to be able to make New York their home.

Mayors can do only so much.  This is understood.  But by changing the dialogue, by recalibrating the tonality, many disinfranchised NY’ers can again feel like they at least have a fighting chance.

The ongoing decrease of crime in this city continues to impress, especially when marked against other cities such as Chicago, LA, Houston, DC, Detroit and Baltimore.  Kudos to the NYPD and the community policing approach first started many years ago under David Dinkins, who initially hired Ray Kelly.  A tweaking of stop and frisk will not ruin the quality of life in this city.  Instead, it will improve it, since the numbers show that the policy does nothing but clog up the system with unnecessary collars.

For all of Bloomberg’s vaunted managerial and entrepreneurial expertise, he kicked the contract can down the road and left a blow-out-the-doors, $2 billion deficit ahead.  What’s more, his tin ear got the goat of Real New Yorkers.  Kathy Black as school chancellor? Seriously?

And yes, let’s talk about schools, since Bloomberg said, way back when, that his mayoralty would ultimately be judged on the state of the schools when he left.  After upping the budgets and getting metric-centric, the kids are still flailing.  They were taught to pass tests, not “learn.”  There’s plenty of work to be done to improve the education level of our kids in our public schools, and if it takes an incremental increase on top earners’ income taxes, so be it.

Bloomberg, Bermuda awaits. Mayor Bill de Blasio: welcome.