Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mayor de Blasio’s Abhorrent Start


 Mayor Bill de Blasio has done nothing but stumble out of the gate since he was sworn in three months ago.


Mayor Bill de Blasio (Photo:Politicker.com)
For over two months to start 2014, Mother Nature has given New York City snow, and lots of it! Aside from garbage back-ups throughout the city, and a salt-shortage, specific districts were not plowed, such as districts that did not vote for de Blasio in November - smells fishy. Also, de Blasio did not close schools during one of the worst storms during the winter-vortex. Schools have only been closed eleven times over the past few decades, but most New Yorkers agree with me, this should have been the twelfth. About 45% of students showed up to class, while many more college students and faculty stayed home.

When asked why, Chancellor Carmen Farina said, “It’s a beautiful day!”




 The mayor did not close schools that day because the city does not want to pay teachers for staying home. It’s very simple. It is all about the money. Many argue that the schools should have remained opened because parents rely on the schools to feed the children and to watch them while they are at work. It is not the responsibility of the government or Department of Education to feed and shelter these children. It is the responsibility of the parents to feed and shelter the child, and if the schools are closed for safety reasons, then you must find a way to feed the child. If that means taking a day off of work, then so be it. Maybe the parent will hire a babysitter or go to a daycare center. There are many options. Schools should have been closed because it was too dangerous to travel. New York State was in a state of emergency, as declared by Governor Cuomo, and the National Weather Service said not to drive. Mayor de Blasio even said himself not to drive and to be very careful, yet the schools remained opened!

I’ll tell Mayor de Blasio what my mother always told me, “Safety first!”


Mayor de Blasio is also diverting over two hundred million dollars in funds from charter schools to public schools, according to The Economist. The mayor is forcing a few charter schools, such as three Success Academy schools in Harlem, to close and leave hundreds of confused students and parents in a jam come next year. This has stirred many people to create ads on television to protest the mayor’s decision. On top of everything, the New York Post has reported that Mayor de Blasio is now being sued by both parents of charter and public schools. Charter schools are suing in hopes that de Blasio will overturn his decision, while union activists along with Public Advocate Letitia James and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito are suing over where charter schools are being re-located.


(Photo:NY Post)
According to The Daily News, Charter schools have a history of success in New York over the past few years. Math scores in 2012 surpassed those of public schools by 20%, and English scores by 16%. With a random lottery for admission, charter schools allow many underprivileged children to receive a good education, while giving an option other than the local public school. Mayor de Blasio is a strong advocate for public education, especially since the UFT overwhelmingly supported him. To return the favor, the mayor is giving millions back to the public schools. One reason for this is that charter schools do not have teacher unions, so to help protect teachers, de Blasio is adding funding to public schools.


One of Mayor de Blasio’s main goals as mayor is to make roads safer. This means lowering the speed limit, cracking down on jay-walkers and giving out more tickets. I will be the first one to say Mayor de Blasio is a contradiction! A few weeks ago, the mayor was caught speeding through red lights with his security guards. He was apparently running late. He was also caught jay-walking last week before his morning jog. As mayor, he feels that he does not have to follow the laws. His, now infamous quote, “A tale from two cities” is now accompanied by “Do as I say, not as I do”. But the mayor forgot, leaders lead by example. Another incident happened about a month ago. The mayor’s friend, a reverend from Queens, was arrested for outstanding warrants. The mayor made a quick phone call to the precinct; the reverend was released. New York is quickly becoming the mayor’s fantasy world, one for him and his friends to do as they please. Nobody is above the law, especially a radical contradicting mayor.


The mayor’s approval rating has dropped to 39% this week. This is lower than President Obama’s 40%. Both are lower than the infamous drug addicted, party animal mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, whose approval rating has been around 45% all year. One of many reasons as to why New Yorkers already disapprove of the mayor is the firing of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. I was a big Ray Kelly fan. The mayor appointed Bill Bratton, who used to be the commissioner years ago. Bill de Blasio appointed Bratton mainly because he is against the stop-and-frisk program. The City Council has 48 Democrats, compared to only 3 Republicans. So Mayor de Blasio should have an easy time getting things done, especially after Governor Cuomo’s election this year.


New York City has voted for a liberal renaissance. Well New York, are you enlightened yet?