So after 12 years of reign by billionaire Mayor Mike Bloomberg (now the 12th wealthiest individual in the U.S.), we’ll soon vote (Nov. 5) for our next mayor. The third and final debate is scheduled for Wednesday at 7, on NBC.
The New York Times is reporting that the Democratic candidate, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, stands to defeat Republican candidate Joe Lhota by a historic landslide. Lhoto was a deputy mayor under former GOP Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former head of the MTA.
DeBlasio has said that he would fire Police Commissioner Ray Kelly if elected, and put the brakes on stop-and-frisk. Lhota has defended the practice but said there’s “no room in this city for racial profiling.” He says he would overhaul the practice.
In August, a federal judge ruled that the city’s stop-and-frisk practice violated citizen’s Fourth Amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure, and targeted Latinos and blacks. The city said it would appeal but if de Blasio takes office in January, the city’s response will likely reflect his opposition.
DeBlasio has also come out against charter schools, saying he would charge them rent to use space in public schools. He singled out Eva Moskowitz, head of the Success Academy charter school chain, which operates an elementary school in the city’s School of International Studies/School of Global Studies building at Court and Baltic.
Moskowitz wrote an op-ed for the New York Post challenging deBlasio’s stand.
There are things that Bloomberg has done well that one hopes can be continued — mainly, his greening of the city and emphasis on building beautiful parks and public spaces, in the face of shrinking city budgets. There’s currently fast progress on Brooklyn Bridge Park, one wonders what’ll happen when he leaves office….