This is why I’m defending Mayor Bill de Blasio against his opponents: Nicole Malliotakis (R) State Assembly and Bo Dietl (I) Public Advocate.
I took the time to write this Op Ed to explain that, sitting in “Any” chair-of-power is more complicated than it looks from the outside. Today’s Politics is hard, and for the “Newbies” on the block believe they can solve all the (ills) of New York City “Day-One,” are in for a rude awakening.
“I’m going to squash Terrorism and ISIS, Day-One!”
Anyhow, let’s jump into the issues shall we. One of the toughest arguments is: “He’s Anti-Police!”
Mayor de Blasio became the (enemy) of Police when he ordered Stop-and-Frisk as “Racial Profiling!” The PBA suggested it would be next to impossible to do their job without (frisking) suspects. Problem is, those subjects were often 99% People of Color!
Police were fine targeting subjects of color to entrap them as criminals, since the persona is; if you’re Black, and out after 10 p.m., you must be unemployed, on drugs, selling drugs, or committing crime… It’s a misconstrued “Profile” that went by the way of the dinosaur during the 20th Century. Nobody sells Crack anymore because nobody wants to spend the mandatory 10-years in Jail, and those sentences have been dropping steadily since 1998.
One fallacy that “Wasn’t” considered: Crime is DOWN and so is “Stop & Frisk!”
That means the quality of life, (i.e., getting mugged, robbed & shot) by anyone is down. Drug related arrests are down, and overall crime is down…
A Quote from “The Observer” in September 2015 said:
“I felt sorry for Mayor de Blasio when every cop I interviewed cast him as the enemy…”
Yet, de Blasio hired 1300 “Additional” officers while in office!”
He also asked police officers to go back to the “beat” to engage neighborhoods in high risk crime areas to form a bond with the local neighborhoods they patrol. It’s another reason why Crime is down!
Unfortunately, what’s still up — Homelessness! Another tough subject without any “Easy” answers.
Let me be clear, Bill de Blasio had No control over neighborhood gentrification. In the last five years, the inner-city has become inundated with Millennial “Trust-Fund” babies whose parents can help them pay the average $2300/month rent on a one-bedroom apartment in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick and Crown Heights, with even higher rents in Park Slope, Stuyvesant Heights, Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Homeless shelters are at full capacity. The “Housing Connect” website has a lottery system of low-income, as well as mixed income housing, but they’re both (way-off) in terms of Rental Prices vs. Income Affordability.
If there is a rent-stabilized, low-income apartment for less than $1000/month in NYC (excluding Staten Island), there are over 90,000 applicants. The demand for ‘Affordable Housing’ is almost next to impossible to keep up with. So while his opponents suggest that they’ll do “More” to combat the homeless problem, my question is “how”
As it stands now, even requisitioning a local neighborhood Hotel to act as a “temporary” housing residence is met with community resistance. The “Not in my Backyard” syndrome prevents opening additional, temporary Homeless shelters in more upscale neighborhoods. In other words, “They’re NOT having any of it!”
Landlords that participate in the Section 8 Voucher Program receive “Tax Break” incentives to rent to low-income individuals have slowly dropped out over the years, but still receive Tax Abatement Credits.
“ProPolitica” did an Exposé on the Tax Abatement Credit landlords receive but continue to charge market-rents in return (Link): https://www.propublica.org/.../thousands-nyc-landlords-ignored-rent-caps-got-tax-breaks-didnt-qualify-for and,
How landlords sidestep tenant protections in New York City.
Mayor de Blasio is aware of this infraction and is taking steps to rectify the 421A Program to ensure Landlords are in Compliance with Affordable Rents or they risk losing their 421A status.
The abuse of charging higher rents is why New Yorker’s are being forced out of their apartments. There are more affordable, “available” apartments than landlords let onto. They just choose to make them “inaccessible” to appeal to the upper-crust; oh, and those with a 750+ Credit Score and sometimes 41x the rent in earnings. You do the math: $2100/Month times 41. That works out to about $86,100K year in salary you must earn to afford the rent!
So what are Nicole Malliotakis and Bo Dietl going to do to combat Homelessness? EVERYTHING!
Okay… Sounds good!
Are you going to “make” the Block Association(s) that protest opening a Homeless Shelter on their block “take-in” what they consider Undesirables?
Are you going to build “more” Affordable Housing and (force) Landlords to rent to people who can’t afford to pay more than $800/month?
Good Luck with that!
The re-gentrification of Brooklyn and Queens has made these boroughs uninhabitable, as well as un-affordable. Even earning a minimum-wage of $15/hour still won’t afford you a one-bedroom Apartment in NYC!
Saying you can do a “better job” with Homeless issues, Transit issues, Budget issues, Job issues, Affordable Housing issues, Minimum Wage issues, etc., all sounds like music to OUR ears.
Homelessness is real; people don’t want Shelters in their neighborhood, and they don’t want to Rent to Section 8 Vouchers anymore… Yet we still have a Moral and Ethical obligation to ‘house’ the (displaced) until they can find “Affordable Housing” and get back on their feet.
This problem is bigger than either of de Blasio’s competitors can imagine. Talk sounds good, but when you’re faced with the “real-life” implications of Supply-and-Demand, there are more than 50,000 displaced families who NEED long-term, stable, affordable housing that’ll take years to fix.
Transportation issues: Washington has been cutting Infrastructure since Obama took office. Our Transportation hubs are crumbling! If Congress would’ve adopted the Infrastructure Jobs Act of 2010, we could’ve prevented the NJ Transit Tube shut-down during this past summer. Seven years later, and it’s costing us twice as much to fix an aging, dilapidated tunnel that hasn’t been serviced, pretty-much since it was built!
The MTA is no better. Although I suggested that if they cut the current 400 lawyers down to 150, they could probably save $100 Million, not to mention we don’t need fancy, Glass, Corner Bus stop waiting. Having buses and trains be on-time, and not over-crowded would help New Yorker’s complain less, considering how much we “pay” to stand to-and-from work!
You can’t get Blood out of a Turnip — The same way you can’t get funding from Washington to fix a system that’ll ultimately pass on the repair-cost onto the consumer anyway.
I believe Bill de Blasio is the most qualified to continue addressing “Real”