Mayor Still Sees Reelection as Mandate
The 2017 Mayoral and City Council elections are over. Only 22% of eligible voters went to the polls. It is the lowest voter turnout in history.
Mayor Bill DeBlasio reelected with two-thirds of those who voted ran against an ‘accidental’ candidate, Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis. She announced her candidacy at a time when most pundits were expecting John Catsimatidis to make another run at the position. She told him that when and if he announced she would step aside. A little known real estate millionaire had already announced but was making little progress. She became the candidate when Catsimatidis decided not to run and the real estate neophyte dropped out.
Nicole was sincere, ambitious, hard-working and unprepared to run for Mayor. She did not have a single idea to present to the public. Several major newspapers and good government groups refused to endorse either candidate.
Although DeBlasio received more than 726,000 votes that is only 8.5% of the entire population of the city.
What does this election really say about our city?
That the corruption of the Democratic Party in this one-party town will continue unabated, whether it is the buying and selling of real estate to benefit real estate developers, the taking of money in return for favors, or anything else – whether the DA thinks there is true illegality or not according to the now infamous 2016 Supreme Court decision.
And that the Trump Presidency will be seen as a stain on every Republican candidate in the city and probably in the State whether the party actually tries to win elections or just simply goes along with the games Democrats play so they can have a piece of the pie.
But it also says this: that within the city there remains a sense of true liberalism as evidenced by the votes for some of the Liberal Party candidates for the City Council.
Each of the seven ran in heavily Democratic districts. Pushed aside by the party in favor of selected candidates they ran as independents on the Liberal Party line and did better than other third party candidates even though they did not overcome the odds against them to win their elections.
Mainly they ran hard on real issues and on the issue of truth, fairness and for the rights of all residents in their districts. While the odds were against them as regards money and numbers, the odds for humanity were firmly behind them causing results that no expert would have predicted.
While the Liberal Party has not been the overriding influence on city elections that it once was, two things remain clear: that there are some very good people wanting to run for office and pleased to be supported by the Liberal Party; and that New Yorkers continue to understand that the meaning of liberalism can be found in actions not in ‘progressive’ talk followed by no action.
The fact that a so-called progressive Mayor can abide the horrific problems in our schools – by making believe they don’t exist shows us a truth not revealed in his reelection. He looks ahead to making the schools better than ever and may or may not know the truth about the schools that he will not tell.
Graduation rates are up for those graduating in six years not four…and many graduate with a push out the door. Studies indicate that only 25% of high school graduates are ready for college or work. Just recently Comptroller Scott Stringer reported that the school system was not teaching its disabled youth as demanded in a court order and that bullying in the system was far worse than ever. The School Chancellor promises change but no change comes.
Despite the fact that news media reported four months ago that moldy and rotten food was being served in school lunchrooms nothing has been done to stop it. It has been learned that school executives have been wined and dined by a number of firms selling food to schools. It is a 750 million dollar business.
Letitia James, just easily reelected to a second term as Public Advocate has known of all of this and has been silent.
Any real progressive who talks constantly of affordable housing but refuses to lift a finger or spend a dollar to help 500,000 people living in NYCHA is nothing more than a big mouth.
That New Yorkers will get four more years of this inaction with lots of promises and little real progress is not a guess. It actually explains quite neatly why barely more than one in five of us bothered to vote.
Although he would be loath to admit it, the real mandate for Bill DeBlasio came from the 78% of New Yorkers who “voted” no for this Mayor’s record by staying away. That is a mandate of a different sort than he believes he has…
As we move forward into another election year – that for Governor – the Liberal Party is proud of our candidates for the City Council. Their voices were heard. And will be again.