The Villager endorses de Blasio for mayor

Many Downtown voters could still smell the 9/11 fires 12 years ago — the last time New Yorkers were certain they would be getting a new mayor.

Today, the odor is a distant memory to some, a vivid one to others. But many who will be voting for the city’s next leader on Nov. 5 were too young or too far away from New York to remember.

It underscores the point that the city is in a far different place than it was when Mike Bloomberg took over in 2002.

We think Bill de Blasio is the best candidate to succeed Bloomberg. We like his plan for the city and his approach.

He wants to use some of our city pension funds to help finance 200,000 units of new affordable housing over the next 10 years. The plan will not only combat the housing shortage, one of the city’s most vexing problems, it will also spur economic activity, creating jobs.

De Blasio has made education the centerpiece of his campaign — committing to expanding full-day pre-K and after-school programs. He would be the first mayor to have a child in the public school system, which as we said previously, would send a powerful message to parents, particularly those who have felt they have had no voice in their children’s education.

He seeks a minuscule tax rate hike on the city’s wealthiest residents to pay for his education expansion. Critics say the tax plan will be dead on arrival in Albany, but that ignores the fact that the idea has caught fire with voters, giving it political momentum. De Blasio’s ties to Governor Andrew Cuomo go back two decades and, we believe, his plan has a realistic chance of passing.

De Blasio, currently the city’s public advocate, knows full well the daunting economic challenges he will face as he will have to negotiate long-overdue contracts with the municipal unions. His pro-labor outlook should give him a much better chance to get the unions to accept less than all of the retroactive raises, as well as the health and pension benefits, that they are expecting.

His main opponent, Republican Joe Lhota, a former deputy mayor under Rudy Giuliani, has run a misguided, lackluster campaign, which calls into question his credentials as an administrator.

We’ve heard irrelevant talk from Lhota about the Sandinistas, and suggestions that de Blasio somehow wants to take us back to the dark, crime-ridden days of the ’70s and ’80s.

The reality is that de Blasio has made it clear that one of his top contenders to become police commissioner is Bill Bratton, who was the best commissioner under Giuliani. It was actually Bratton’s successors who helped feed Giuliani’s well-deserved reputation for being the most divisive mayor in recent history.

Lhota would likely be somewhat of a departure from Giuliani, but not enough for our comfort.

De Blasio, on the other hand, made a particularly strong impression during the campaign with his fight to keep hospitals in Brooklyn, including Long Island College Hospital, from closing, even getting arrested at a protest to save L.I.C.H. In August, he led a “Hospitals Not Condos” rally outside the site of the former St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village. While not promising — at least, not yet — to restore a full-service hospital to the Lower West Side, de Blasio’s message of keeping our hospitals open — and restoring healthcare where it has been lost — was deeply heartening for many in our community.

For many voters, this is the real essence of what de Blasio represents — a sense of hope that things can be different, that the interests of regular New Yorkers, as opposed to big development and big money, will be protected. His candidacy represents a “reset” moment.

The Villager endorses Bill de Blasio for mayor on Tues., Nov. 5.

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3 Responses to The Villager endorses de Blasio for mayor

  1. Let me get this straight: you claim that unions will somehow ease back on their demands because of de Blasio's "pro labor stance"? Really? When was the last time any union willingly gave any concessions to anyone — let alone one of their friends in office? What a naive, delusional assertion to make. Reckless too.

    • Nonetheless historically accurate. A promise of a better contract in a pro union administration has always allowed labor to accept less than either promised or asking. Security against the takeaway is paramount in iffy economic times. And the fact that there has been no contract at all shines yet another light on Bloomberg policy. Cynically goading union laborers into organizing for and supporting developers, out of necessity, while leaving municipal employees twisting in the wind without the security of a contract. His anti-union, pro-privatization policies laid bare. Leaving the tough work of a contract to the next Mayor shows only lack of backbone or unwillingness, or both. An absolute abandonment of his oath, and an insult to city employees.

      As for deBlasio, time to stop using your kids in ads, and get down to the business of talking about safety and security. It matters to Democrats too. When you start making lefties nervous, it's time to open your mouth and join the conversation. Crime isn't going to be solved overnight, no matter how egalitarian a city we work hard for. Chaos, as we all know from then and now, can erupt in unexpected ways. Especially here in the Village, where on top of other crimes, we have to deal with extra layers of club going drunkenness, street theft, event violence, and bias attacks. Get with he program Bill. You can't take this for granted.

  2. Thomas Williams

    I do not know what to make of this article of endorsement. You state that de Blasio is going to protect the interests of regular New Yorkers as opposed to big development yet he tells you to your face he’s going to use pension money to build affordable housing. Who’s going to build these units? Big developers are going to get money to include a small amount of affordable units in their BIG DEVELOPMENTS. These affordable units go mostly to politically connected parasites, in case you hadn’t noticed, that’s how its done now.

    You say you’ve heard irrelevant talk from Lhota regarding crime ridden days of the 70s and 80s… How irrelevant is it if de Blasio has run on anti police platform driven by misinformation about the stop and frisk tactics used by police for over 30 years now? The last time the police slowed down on a mayor was during the Dinkins administration, we all know how that turned out.

    The ridiculous notion that he is going to fund education expansion by a miniscule tax on the wealthy is more than laughable. If he gets Cuomo’s backing to push it through, people are just going to remember that Cuomo is also a burden to society and the fallout is going to be very serious.

    Mr. de Blasio seems like a person who will say or do anything to get elected and has been searching for validation his whole life. The administrative staff at The Villager seem to have really missed the boat on this one.

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