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We are witnessing a fascinating political science experiment unfold in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio won the office by tapping into the protest vote. Millions of New Yorkers had become disaffected with Billionaire Bloomberg and his “1% ilk”. His trampling on the civil rights of “people of color” with his NYPD Stop and Frisk policies only added to the desire for a mayor who would be the opposite of the 5’7″ tall Bloomberg. So, the people elected a 6’5″ Catholic mayor, who promised to help the working class and poor.
Bill de Blasio’s platform pledged to restore justice and create more of a level playing field for the people living in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. That message was so appealing to candidates seeking the presidency that 2016-hopeful Hillary Clinton made sure to be seen at the January 1st inauguration of Mr. de Blasio. Bill Clinton swore him in.
Then, real-life tests hit the new mayor, in the form of two snowfalls. To his credit, Mayor de Blasio honored his campaign promises and sent the snow plows out more evenly distributed to all five boroughs. For the first time in memory, people in Manhattan did not see immediate plowing of the streets.
Well, that has already caused backlash in the press. The New York Post ran headlines, such as “Turmoil as de Blasio botches early snow“, and “De Blasio getting back at us for not plowing“. Three weeks into office and he seems to be the worst mayor ever.
There will be many more tests of the mayor’s idealistic platform of spreading the social services more evenly throughout all five boroughs. Look for city council members in Brooklyn to demand more park patrol officers in Prospect Park, paid for by Manhattan’s Battery Park City and Hudson River Park Trust, for example.
The political science experiment to watch unfold is whether idealism, and the striving for a Utopia where the less affluent can get the same level of social services as the Upper East Side, can really work, or whether reality will bite Bill de Blasio in the political ass.
To the cynic, the outcome of this social experiment seems inevitable. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to watch Mr. de Blasio try to please the other four boroughs and Manhattan at the same time. New York City is Manhattan-centric, and the people living there feel that they deserve better social serves, since they pay more in taxes.
It will require a skilled BS artist to pull this off. Fortunately, the Clintons are advisors to the de Blasio administration.
After denying for more than a day that the Upper East Side was not ignored by plows, the mayor finally admits that the job was botched. The news never mentioned the fact that many other regions, such as Battery Park, were also ignored.