New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ended weeks of speculation and snickering by the New York City press corps on Thursday morning, when he joined the already overcrowded field of Democrats who are chasing their party’s presidential nomination.
When Bill de Blasio first ran for Mayor in 2013, his campaign vigorously peddled his narrative of a “tale of two cities” which focused on the perceived inequities that he claimed divided what is perhaps the world’s most diverse city. Now, as he takes his act on the road, it’s just a little ironic that he’s named his Political Action Committee the Fairness PAC; because as mayor, he’s been just about anything but fair.
Mayor de Blasio hasn’t been fair to the over 400,000 residents of the New York City Housing Authority’s buildings where many of the tenants live in slum-like conditions, with no heat or hot water, in apartments with lead paint on the walls, and criminals roaming the halls. (This is the same mayor who recently proposed seizing private buildings from “bad” landlords).
Mayor de Blasio hasn’t been fair to the roughly 1 million children who attend New York City Public Schools. He’s managed to squander more than a billion dollars on programs that don’t educate and high-paid consultants that don’t produce. He hasn’t been fair to the faculty who want to teach and all the kids who want to learn by lessening the disciplinary authority of teachers, which leads to chaos in the classroom and puts students’ safety at risk.
Mayor de Blasio hasn’t been fair to the over 76,000 homeless that a recent HUD report has living in our city’s streets and shelters. For a good part of his first term, he denied a homeless problem existed. Then, when he could no longer deny it, he decided to throw billions at the problem. Sadly, the streets are still filled with the homeless and the only people who seem to have benefited are the operators of the scores of hotels that have become de facto shelters where the city pays over $500 per room per night.
Mayor de Blasio definitely hasn’t been fair to the men and women of the NYPD. He’s made the rights of the criminal his priority and he has effectively decriminalized everything from fare-beating in the subway to defecating in the streets. He’s placed regulatory handcuffs on the world’s greatest police force while refusing to negotiate long overdue pay increases for one of the lowest paid police forces in the region. Other first responders like our city’s life-saving EMS members have a starting salary of just $30,000, which sends a message quite contrary to that in his campaign launch video titled “Working People First.”
And, in Bill de Blasio’s New York, where the property tax levy has skyrocketed 44 percent in just five years, the working class subsidizes the property taxes of the wealthy. Our city’s low-and-middle income neighborhoods pay an effective property tax rate that is double or triple the rate paid by homeowners in the city’s most affluent neighborhoods in Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn, including the mayor’s own home in Park Slope.
The list on how Mayor de Blasio has been unfair can go on and on. Mayor de Blasio has scammed New York’s taxpayers big time; wasting billions upon billions of their hard-earned tax dollars on an array of progressive policies and programs that simply aren’t working, while all the time orchestrating a pay-to-play form of government that is clearly ethically challenged. Just this week, two of his pay-to-play cronies pleaded guilty to funneling illegal contributions to his 2013 campaign for mayor.
I wish Mayor de Blasio luck in his run to become the Democrats’ presidential nominee; he’ll need it. And if he shows up campaigning in your hometown, stop by and hear his stump speech and ask him this simple question, “How are things going back in New York?” Oh…and also tell him, “Nicole Malliotakis says hello.”
Nicole Malliotakis represents portions of Brooklyn and Staten Island in the New York State Assembly and was the Republican nominee for NYC Mayor in 2017. She is currently a candidate for Congress in NY-11.