It’s the dawn of a new chapter for New York City
Good news New York: the new year has finally arrived – and with it, thankfully, a whole new day for the city and state.
Think about it: Mayor Bill de Blasio’s reign of error is finally over. Arrogant and dictatorial Governor Andrew Cuomo is gone, hopefully forever.
Incoming mayor Eric Adams, who takes office on Saturday, offered encouraging signs on how he will change things and restore the city. Better yet: more than 90 percent of the city’s adults have been vaxxed, and even more are naturally immune after being exposed to the virus.
Finally, there are reasons to hope for New York, but also to worry.
Let’s face it: Gotham has shrunk dramatically over the Blasio-Cuomo years and not, as de Blasio claims, just because of COVID. Violent crime is spiraling out of control. Homeless people, the mentally ill and drug addicts have taken to the streets.
Failed public schools languished for years under de Blasio, even as he squandered millions on consultants and focused on bogus “racial” issues, and as Albany capped the number of successful public charter schools for appeal to teachers’ unions. When COVID hit, schools went from lousy to almost useless as children had to learn through computer screens.
Even the city’s budget is in a worrying state: De Blasio has inflated municipal staff and increased spending to three times inflation – before COVID has hit. Uncle Sam has shipped billions to the city to deal with pandemic aid, taking spending to $ 103 billion this year. But that kind of spending is not sustainable, especially if post-pandemic income is slow to return.
Adams seems to be aware of these issues. He put crime at the top of his agenda, and the reason is clear: The shootings in 2021 overtook those in 2020, which was double the number of the previous year. Murders also surpassed 2020, which was up 44% from 2019.
Adams, an ex-cop, actually supports police and know what to do: he has championed the “smart” use of arresting, interrogating and searching suspects and plans to reinstate undercover officers who have focused on removing illegal weapons. He opposes the funding of cops and parts of state bailout rules that prevent judges “from exercising the discretion necessary to keep violent individuals in jail.” He criticized the judges for their excessive indulgence. And as for the homeless and the mentally ill, Adams is committed to providing them with the services they need.
All of this is extremely encouraging. Yet changing the Blue York status quo is a monumental lift: Adams, for example, will have to persuade Albany lawmakers, who now include many radical anti-police officers, to correct bail reform laws.
Lawsuit and federal comptroller restrict city’s use of stop-and-frisk. By decriminalizing low-intensity crime, city council has essentially banned police from broken windows, which has been found to be critical in reducing the city’s crime rates.
Additionally, some city attorneys, like Manhattan’s new District Attorney Alvin Bragg, act more like defense attorneys, protecting criminals rather than enforcing the law. If Bragg or another prosecutor refuses to help stop the chaos, the new mayor can push the governor to remove him and / or use his chair as an intimidator to force changes.
To fix the schools, Adams brought in an extremely promising chancellor, David Banks, who is not afraid to admit the dismal failure of the system.
“Any agency that has an annual budget of $ 38 billion” but leaves 65 percent of minority children without academic skills is “outrageous,” he says. “It’s a betrayal.” Banks and Adams hold educators to account. They also want to expand gifted and talented programs, so that children of all races and backgrounds have a chance to benefit.
The new mayor also appears open to the creation of at least a few more charter schools in the city, an absolute must if students are to have any chance of escaping failing schools. Yet, once again, it is up to Albany to raise the ceiling on the city’s charters, and the teachers’ union is committed to fighting the accountability of its members.
Read more: Adams showed common sense in addressing the business community and signaling the end of the progressive view that corporations are there to be reduced to taxpayer dollars and otherwise looked down upon, used as goats. emissaries and regulated.
“This will be a place where we welcome businesses,” Adams promises. “The government must do its job to create an environment conducive to growth. “
If it can help businesses recover from the pandemic and lockdowns and maybe even grow, that would not only help the economy and bring the city’s unemployment rate (9%) closer to that of the country ( 4.2%); it would also bring in more tax revenue to support the budget.
Yet de Blasio’s spending plan leaves billions in deficits for years to come, and any increase in COVID restrictions will only further hurt businesses. Adams will therefore have to put his new anti-waste office to good use to shed the grease.
Gov. Kathy Hochul can also prove problematic, trying to appease far-left progressives as she runs for governor. And progressives, unions and other vested interests will put pressure on their own agendas.
All these challenges would be formidable for any new mayor. Yet Adams represents the best hope the city has seen in years. And even Hochul can still be a force for good. As the sun rises on a shiny new chapter for Gotham, New Yorkers should support both.