Dear Commons Community,
The New York Times has endorsed Bill de Blasio for mayor. This is a major decision on the part of its editorial staff. The Times endorsed Christine Quinn during the brutal Democratic Party primary and was much more aligned with her platform especially with regard to education. In today’s endorsement, education is mentioned in passing and instead concentrates on public safety, poverty, affordable housing, and budget management. Here is an excerpt:
“During the Democratic primary scramble, the largest and most rancorous in decades, we gave our endorsement to Christine Quinn, citing her record as the City Council speaker. But it was Mr. de Blasio who proved far better at connecting with voters — and at being a persuasive advocate for his ideas. The ideas are good ones: Mr. de Blasio is right on public safety, and on the need to rein in the Police Department’s unconstitutional use of stop-and-frisk tactics and restore its frayed ties to the community. He is right about the crisis of affordable housing, and he has the most comprehensive plan to attack it. His goal of expanding access to preschool education is a noble priority for the city.
And he is giving a voice to the forgotten New Yorkers — the 46 percent living in or near poverty, the 50,000 living in homeless shelters, the millions living outside the zones of economic security and gentrified affluence. The city has had many successes in the Bloomberg years, but its rebirth is incomplete.
Public advocate is in many ways a negligible job, but Mr. de Blasio has used its bully pulpit well, to push for progress on affordable housing, health care and other issues, raising their profile (and, not accidentally, his own). His résumé — as regional housing official for President Bill Clinton, manager of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s first Senate campaign, eight-year member of the City Council — has been called scant preparation to run an enterprise of 300,000 employees and a $70 billion budget. But Mr. Bloomberg also had limited government experience; he learned on the job, filled his administration with highly capable professionals, and became an effective mayor.
We’re confident Mr. de Blasio can do the same, as he will have to, and quickly. There will be budget holes to fill and deals to strike with dozens of testy municipal unions.”
New Yorkers are confident too!