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Sep 20 2019

Welcome Home Bill

While an improvement over past Mayors which memorably includes such recent disasters as Koch, Giuliani, and Bloomberg, de Blasio kind of got the Obama Nobel (for not being W) and has proven to be of middling competence and unremarkable impact except that he’s going to use the Cincinatus/Washington method of peaceful transition of power.

Truth be told his next logical step is a stand up fight against Andrew Cuomo who’s never going to be President either. De Blasio was always one of the weirder Democratic contenders, more so than Marianne Williamson (Oprah’s Spiritual Advisor) and Andy Yang who as far as I’m concerned has the top bid for my vote at $12,000 (I am open to other offers and I’m told I’m an influencer). Nobody in New York likes him anymore because he’s kind of an arrogant jerk. On the other hand there’s a lot of undervibe about Democratic corruption in Albany (all true unfortunately) and if Bill could grab some of that energy he might be a contender and not a bum.

And nowhere near as good as Zephyr Teachout.

De Blasio’s Back: Here Are 6 Major Problems He’s Facing
By Michael Gold, The New York Times
Sept. 20, 2019

After five months of a presidential campaign that generated more shrugs than buzz, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday that he would end his candidacy and focus on his full-time job running New York City.

The clock is running out on Mr. de Blasio’s time in office — term limits prevent him from running for re-election in 2021. As he ventured out on the campaign trail, some New Yorkers complained that their lame-duck mayor’s attention often seemed focused elsewhere.

But as Mr. de Blasio returns to New York, he still has more than two more years in office to build on the progressive track record he promoted in states far from Gracie Mansion and tackle problems confronting his constituents.

Police

As he returns full-time to City Hall, Mr. de Blasio will need to address a restless rank and file.

Central among them: a number of recent suicides that have left the Police Department reeling. Officials want Mr. de Blasio to push through a proposed bill that would direct the department to make more mental-health resources available to officers.

Throughout his presidential bid, Mr. de Blasio was criticized for his handling of the case involving Daniel Pantaleo, the police officer whose chokehold led to Eric Garner’s death in 2014.

When Mr. de Blasio declined to support calls for firing Mr. Pantaleo, the mayor was criticized for failing to take responsibility after he said he would let the disciplinary process play out.

At the same time, officers were furious when Mr. de Blasio promised justice for Mr. Garner on the debate stage just weeks before Mr. Pantaleo was fired by the police commissioner, James P. O’Neill.

Education

(W)hile Mr. de Blasio traversed the country, the conversation at home began to test the limits of his willingness to tackle inequality.

A simmering conversation about desegregation boiled over, and a mayor who pledged to “shake the foundations” of the nation’s largest public school system has instead watched activists on the left and his own schools chancellor, Richard A. Carranza, call for more sweeping — and polarizing — changes than Mr. de Blasio appeared willing to support.

Mr. de Blasio now faces questions about structural inequities, particularly a two-tiered system that allows families with means to escape poor-performing traditional schools by enrolling in more selective schools and gifted and talented programs.

A panel the mayor commissioned recommended eliminating gifted programs, along with selective admissions policies for some middle and high schools, and instead create more magnet schools and enrichment programs.

Transportation

For years, Mr. de Blasio and New York’s governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, have been at odds over who should take responsibility for the problems afflicting the city’s aging transit system.

Officials at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority called on the mayor this week to help fund the agency’s ambitious $54 billion plan to fix the subway. They want him to write a check for $3 billion to pay for new elevators at 70 stations to improve accessibility.

Safer streets

Vision Zero, aims to eliminate traffic deaths by 2024. But bicyclist deaths are up this year, and there have been a series of high-profile crashes in the city.

Two children were killed this month, including a baby in a stroller who died after a driver jumped the curb in the Bronx.

After the baby’s death, transit advocates urged Mr. de Blasio to show that he cared.

“This crash represents a chance for Mayor de Blasio to demonstrate real Vision Zero leadership: Go to the scene of the crash, stand with the child’s family, and tell New Yorkers that he will do whatever it takes, right now and for the remainder of his time in office, to bring an end to the carnage,” the group Transportation Alternatives said in a statement.

Public housing

Mr. de Blasio faces an uphill battle turning around living conditions in the nation’s largest public housing system, which is home to one in 14 city residents.

The underfunded agency that oversees public housing, the New York City Housing Authority, needs more than $32 billion to repair unreliable elevators, outdated boilers and faulty roofs, which have left the city’s 176,000 apartments with leaks, mold and widespread heat and hot water outages.

The situation grew so dire that the federal government threatened to take over the agency and intervened earlier this year, appointing an independent monitor to supervise the agency, known as NYCHA.

Homelessness

The city has nearly 79,000 people who are homeless, including an estimated five percent who are living on the street and sleeping in parks and subway cars.

His plan to open 90 new shelters over five years has fallen considerably short. The administration has been slowed by neighborhood opposition and, in some cases, lawsuits.

Only 26 new shelters have opened, leaving thousands of New Yorkers in hotel rooms and private apartments that the city is using as shelters.

Advocates for homeless and low-income people say the solution is housing, but Mr. de Blasio has resisted calls to change his housing plan to better target the city’s most vulnerable households.

Last year, Nathylin Flowers Adesegun, a 73-year-old woman who is homeless, interrupted one of Mr. de Blasio’s regular morning workouts at the Park Slope YMCA to urge him to build more housing to get people out of shelter.

The confrontation, captured on video, helped galvanize a growing bloc of advocates and elected officials, putting more pressure on Mr. de Blasio.

“The mayor has been really stubborn on this, really ignoring the fact that the housing crisis is concentrated particularly among people who are literally homeless and low-income New Yorkers,” said Giselle Routhier, policy director at the Coalition for the Homeless.

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