Thursday, November 7, 2013
GOOD LUCK, MR. de BLASIO
WE'LL SOON SEE WHAT YOU'RE
REALLY MADE OF
New York City Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio with his Family
TAGS: NYC MAYOR-ELECT BILL de BLASIO, LANDSLIDE VICTORY,
FIRST DEMOCRATIC MAYOR SINCE 1989, HOW WILL HE GOVERN?
APPOINTING NEXT NYPD COMMISSIONER, NON “MANHATTAN-CENTRIC”
AGENDA, NEW CABINET APPOINTMENTS, MANY CHALLENGES,
MAKING GOOD ON CAMPAIGN PROMISES
(Thursday November 7, 2013, NYC) And the people have spoken.
By an overwhelming majority that was a convincing plurality that included a coalition comprised of New Yorkers across the entire demographic strata of voters, Democrat Bill de Blasio is the Mayor-elect of America’s largest city. There has been more than enough post-election analysis, commentating, and dissection of his landslide victory that we need not re-examine that well-trod turf. Suffice to say that New Yorkers apparently have had enough of the Giuliani – Bloomberg Era and voted as much against the current Mayor as they did for the next. The pendulum of politics swings at various tempos from place to place, election to election, and it has taken 24 years for the people of New York City to return a self-described “progressive liberal” Democrat to City Hall. But the intoxicating glee in evidence as de Blasio surrounded by family, friends, campaign operatives, volunteers, supporters and the press may be short lived. No winning candidate in any election can possibly make good on the grab bag of promises they made during a long primary and general election process spanning over a year.
Mayor Bloomberg and de Blasio met yesterday for about an hour and one can only imagine what transpired between them given de Blasio’s commitment to reverse many of Bloomberg’s signature policies and practices once he is sworn in on January 1, 2014. While de Blasio and his family are packing for the move to Gracie Mansion and the Mayor-elect is naming his transition team, the brilliant luster of his convincing electoral victory will begin to fade rapidly as the daunting nature of the job he so desperately sought begins to become all too apparent. The Mayor of the City of New York is often referred to as “America’s Mayor” Mr. de Blasio must first establish himself early in his term as being an effective Mayor of NYC. Democrats across the country can celebrate in his huge victory but their support is meaningless as the day to day challenges of the job become more tangible to him. His previous position as Public Advocate did little to prepare him to govern a City that is often unwieldy, tempestuous, and he will have to quickly learn how to prioritize his agenda. The campaign is over, you won, Bill. Now what?
Minutes after his inaugural speech and the photos ops are concluded the actual business of his job will begin. Given the broad collation he assembled and handed him victory, those very same diverse and often disparate sects will begin clamoring for his attention and they will not be patient for very long. Patience, especially among those who see themselves as members of long-suffering, excluded, ignored, and otherwise without “political clout”, is always in short supply. Mr. de Blasio may find himself strapped into a roller coaster seat in a New York minute if he is seen as more cautious and tentative in his first days and weeks in Office than he was advertised to be.
FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS
Among the thorny thicket of pressing issues Mr. de Blasio will find himself in on January 1, 2014, includes an issue he ran heavily opposed to; the notoriously mischaracterized and misunderstood NYPD policy known derisively as “Stop and Frisk.” (In reality the policy is Stop, Question and maybe Frisk) His selection of a Police Commissioner to replace the highly regarded Ray Kelly will be a key indicator of what de Blasio’s policing and policy imperatives will be. His selection will be scrutinized by the public, particularly the aggrieved minority communities, and Members of Service (MOS) of the NYPD very carefully. It will be seen as representative of his broader agenda and governing philosophy. In Commands, Precinct Houses and Units across the City, MOS are waiting to see who the next Commissioners will be before they decide to stay on the Job or “take the 20 and go”. Some speculate that his appointment will be a “minority” from within the ranks or, perhaps, an “outsider” unfamiliar with the culture and history of America’s largest Police Force. For the first time since a few months after the September 11, 2001 terrorists attacks here, there will be a new Commissioner and it will remain to be seen he or she maintains some of the Intelligence, Counter-terrorism and other security-minded initiatives in place or they opt to scale them back or eliminate them entirely.
While Michael Bloomberg’s tenure has been widely (and unfairly) criticized as being overly “Manhattan-centric”, de Blasio has promised to be the Mayor of “all of NYC” emphasizing his commitment to the plethora of issues that are unique to those who live in the sprawling “outer Boroughs” of The Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. Yes, there are huge income and education disparities in our City as well as significant differences in the all-important “quality of life issues”. These have “been decades in the making” as de Blasio observed in his victory speech Tuesday night in Brooklyn and they will require a concerted effort both in and out of City Hall, within the City Council and out in the Communities still plagued by many of the social problems they have been for generations. The Mayor elect’s promise of a more representative government more attuned to those who have not benefited from much of New York City’s resurgence as a thriving international City and global mecca for tourists, is laudable. The means and methods by which he opts to tackle these problems also remain to be seen. His campaign rhetoric notwithstanding, he has offered very few specifics. But, that is what campaigns are for these days. Charge up your “base”, appeal to the masses, lambast the status quo and blame it for all the ills of a City of almost 10 million.
Now that the madness of the campaign is concluded we will just have to wait and see what our new Mayor will do in the first 100 days of his Administration. The 100 day marker has been applied to Presidents, Governors and Mayors for many years and, although it is a very short window to peer through, the shadowy outlines of the future can be glimpsed. Mr. de Blasio will name his Cabinet; make hundreds of appointments to various agencies, commissions and departments. He will begin to fill in the blanks of many of his policy initiatives that spoke to those who voted for him. Regardless of whom we did or did not vote for or, if we even voted at all, we can have some measure of guarded if not skeptical optimism. Who knows; we might all be surprised. Perhaps, pleasantly surprised.
Good luck, Mr. de Blasio. You wanted it, you got it. Let’s see what you do with it.
Copyright The Brooding Cynyx 2013 © All Rights Reserved
Sunday, November 3, 2013
STAY THE COURSE OR CHANGE IT?
MUCH AT STAKE COME TUESDAY
A clarification from The Brooding Cynyx
TAGS: NYC MAYORAL ELECTION, OUR CONTROVERSIAL POST, ENDORSING JOE LHOTA,
A MAYOR’S PREROGATIVES, NY CITY CHARTER, MAYORAL AUTHORITY,
NYPD COMMISSIONER, NYPD POLICIES & PRACTICES,
RAY KELLY, POST 9-11-01 NYC
AN EDITORAL MESSAGE TO OUR READERS
(Sunday, November 03, 2013 Elmhurst, Queens NYC) By late this coming Tuesday night we should know who our new Mayor will be. What we will not learn until later down the line is the composition of his Administration; who he will chose to fill all the various appointed positions from those he will surround himself with in City Hall to the myriad other posts and positions that fall within the scope of the Mayor’s prerogative. The New York City Charter endows the Mayor with a wide range of authority allowing him (both candidates are men) to shape City policy and practices across the wide swath of agencies and departments. He will name his Deputies, Legal Counsel, and Advisors and appoint hundreds of his political supporters, Party operatives and cronies to positions of influence and power. Once the votes are counted and the results confirmed we will have elected far more than one man to run our City.
Arguably, the most important appointment the Mayor can make is choosing the next Commissioner of the NYPD. The Police Commissioner is the second most powerful person in any Administration and that post has certainly become one of national and even international importance given the nature and prominence of New York City. In our opinion and, everyone is entitled to have one, Ray Kelly has steered the largest Law Enforcement Agency in America, the most professional Police Department in the world admirably, with integrity and the proper mixture of management and leadership. His tenure stretches back to the months after 9-11-2001 when he was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg in January 2002. He has been at the helm ever since and has received high praise from many quarters for advancing NYPD policy and procedures in everything from the impressive reduction of street crime to the development of the premier municipal (actually the first) Intelligence Division in America if not the world. The Special Units including the widely praised and trend setting Intel Unit, Counter-terrorism, Atlas, Cobra and Hercules Units as well as other specialty Squads within the Emergency Services Unit have in many ways revolutionized urban policing in the new world that was delivered unto us on an Election Day in September 2001. But this is not a discussion about Ray Kelly or any of the controversies that have been the byproducts of some of his innovations in methods, strategy and tactics. It is highly unlikely that the next Mayor will keep Ray Kelly in One Police Plaza or if he would be willing to stay.
PHILOSOPHY NOT POLITICS
In keeping within our tradition The Brooding Cynyx try to avoid controversy by steering clear of overt political and religious issues. There have been and will be times that current events have prompted an opinion or commentary in these often thorny realms of public discourse and debate. For the most part we have not offended our regular readers, followers and visitors.
Last week we posted a blog http://broodingcynyx.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-thinking-new-yorker-should-vote-for.html that garnered an extremely rare and surprising amount of criticism. We do not filter negative comments nor do we ignore negative e-mails or other contact. We firmly believe our blog should be as interactive as possible and encourage interaction with our readers. That said we feel compelled to offer a few words of clarification given the poor reaction that particular post received.
Our post was written as a New Yorker who feels strongly that the looming Mayoral election is extremely important for many reasons. Our top concern is regarding whom the ultimate victor is, either Bill de Blasio or Joe Lhota that their appointment of the person to serve as the next Commissioner of the NYPD is the single most important decision the new Mayor will make and has, by far, the most ramifications and repercussions across all strata of City life and beyond.
As has been heavily reported in the local media the differences between Mr. de Blasio and Mr. Lhota are as polar opposite as can be in all the most important issues and challenges we will face going forward. In what has become a largely apathetic, cynical electorate those of us who do vote should be as well informed about the policy platforms of these two men so we can make a thoughtful, measured and educated decision. The New York Times published a very concise head to head comparison of the two candidates on their stances of topics from education to taxes.
The political definitions of Democrat and Republican have changed in the last 20 years and those changes are not more in evidence anywhere else in the country as they are in the Northeast and New York City in particular. Cleary both Rudi Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg would not be considered as “Republicans” anywhere else. The same might be said of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Giuliani made his mark on our City as a “Republican” in fiscal and management issues while disavowing most of his Party’s social and cultural imperatives. Bloomberg was the handpicked successor to Giuliani and soon after his election he switched his Party affiliation from Republican to Independent. Historically the Democrats have been seen as Liberals with the Republicans as Conservative. However as the ever evolving political landscape across the country amply illustrates even those definitions have been subject to subdivisions, alterations and some malleability. Governing has become far too complex for the black and white simplicity of such ideological divides.
WHY JOE LHOTA?
The Brooding Cynyx endorsement of Republican Joe Lhota seemed to be the focus of the most consternation among our audience. In our view as New Yorkers we feel Mr. Lhota is more likely to keep lumbering ship that is NYC on a steady course, a very similar course as has been plotted and navigated by Giuliani and Bloomberg. We also view Mr. Lhota in a more favorable light when it comes to matters of crime and policing.
As for Mr. de Blasio, since the NYC Democrats have been out of City Hall since the Giuliani defeat of David Dinkins 20 years ago, they appear to anticipate his victory and see Mr. de Blasio as a kindred gate keeper who will allow them to flood back into appointed positions and political prominence. Mr. de Blasio has long been a vocal critic of the NYPD, an ardent supporter of increasing citizen review boards the NYPD must answer to as well as stating his intention to dismantle much of the policing infrastructure and practical practices of the Ray Kelly tenure. We feel that the old school Democrats de Blasio would surely build his Administration with, true liberals of whom this City is a bastion, would not serve us well. This is not an election to take lightly.
Our position was at least partially validated in today’s New York Daily News in a column written by Denis Hamill. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nypd-officers-suicides-lesson-new-mayor-article-1.1505191. Clearly the unfortunate death of PO Robert Cedeno should not be exploited for political purposes; Mr. Hamill mentions it only to call attention to and emphasize the depths and scope of the challenges the next NYPD Commissioner will face. Our post we are addressing today was written prior to the tragic death of PO Cedeno. We respectfully wrote about PO Cedeno last Friday http://broodingcynyx.blogspot.com/2013/11/rest-in-peace-officer-cedeno.html .
The Brooding Cynyx do not shy away from criticism, actually we welcome all comments and opinions no matter whether or not they comport with ours. Some wrote us calling the post in question here a “liberal rant”. It was atypically removed from a group Facebook page, a group that we have long supported and contributed to. We respect the rights of FB and web page administrators and moderators to control the content on their sites. We did perceive some of the criticism as harsh but, politics is almost always bound to incite passionate exchanges. We have said our piece. Now we will just have to wait for Tuesday night. Hopefully as many New Yorker’s as possible will get out and vote. We will all live with the consequences for the next four years.
Copyright The Brooding Cynyx 2013 © All Rights Reserved