New Yorkers Welcome Bill de Blasio’s Leftist Utopia
New Yorkers don’t really vote anymore. In yesterday’s mayoral election, where the Democratic candidate, Bill de Blasio, trounced Republican Joe Lhota, less than 9 percent of the city voted. Regardless, he’s now set to become the first unabashedly left-wing mayor of New York City in 20 years, and he’s put together an impressive base of white liberals, blacks, and Hispanic voters. Now both sides of the political spectrum expect him to turn the city into a leftist utopia, following a decade of billionaire incumbent Michael Bloomberg making life awesome for city elites.
Exactly what kinds of changes are in store under de Blasio’s Sadinista-loving administration? I spoke to some experts on urban policy and de Blasio’s pals across the city’s political scene to get a sense of exactly what’s coming.
De Blasio ran on a promise that he’d address the city’s massive wealth gap. Constantly referring to New York as “a tale of two cities,” where super rich Manhattanites ship their kids to DJ schooland outer-borough minorities don’t even have two pennies to rub together.
De Blasio intends to raise taxes on the rich to fund universal pre-K and expanded after school programs. To do this, he’ll need his pal, and old boss in Bill Clinton’s Department of Housing and Urban Development, Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign off, which is tricky to say the least. But the need to reorder the local economy is obvious, as Bloomberg has been content to lionize the city’s wealthy for their occasional outbursts of charity. “In many ways, New York is like a spoiled child, living off Wall Street money and the investment of the local rich,” explains Joel Kotkin, professor of urban development at Chapman University and former columnist for the New York Times.