Mayor de Blasio’s term ends this year and he won’t be missed

Gage+Skidmore+%7C+Flickr

Gage Skidmore | Flickr

Dani Heba

It’s bad when the mayor of New York City eats pizza with a fork and knife. That’s just the tip of the worst of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is near the end of his second and final term as mayor and who will certainly not be missed.

“I’ve thought about this and I want to know, what’s being done?” Nicole, a Brooklyn mother, terrified about witnessing a shooting in open daylight, asked de Blasio on WNYC radio, The New York Post reported.

Her question is a perfect summary of how New Yorkers feel about their mayor: what is being done about everything?

De Blasio initially rose to fame in 2013 during his mayoral campaign, promoting progressivism before it was as widely popular as it is today. Staunchly opposing former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “stop-and-frisk” policy, which was ruled unconstitutional in federal court in 2013, de Blasio gained support from his position on it.

However, in a sign of what was to come in the de Blasio administration, he nominated Bill Bratton to be New York City Police Department commissioner. Bratton held the same position under former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s administration a decade prior, where he introduced the “stop-and-frisk” policy. So much for consistency, de Blasio.

Crime is a big stain on de Blasio’s reign as mayor. Since Giuliani’s time as mayor, crime had been decreasing in New York City consistently. That changed under de Blasio.

In 2020, New York City shootings matched their totals from 2018 and 2019 combined, a report by The New York Post shows. Gunfire struck 1,868 people across 1,531 different shooting incidents in that year.

This trend doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. As of March 26, Gothamist reported that 246 people had been shot across 220 different incidents this year, up 40% from that point in 2020 and 66% from that point in 2019.

Yet, despite the statistics showing that crime has clearly been getting much worse in the past two years, de Blasio continues to downplay the trend, saying that New Yorkers are not “living in fear.”

“I’ve talked to New Yorkers all over the city. They are focused on this city coming back. I do not believe New Yorkers live in fear,” de Blasio said following the shooting of a Kansas tourist on March 7, Fox News reported.

In addition to crime concerns, New York City now mounts the nation’s highest tax rates. New legislation cements this, which will see some high-earners paying up to 52% on marginal income tax.

High tax rates and high crime rates have been driving people out of New York City for years now, with the COVID-19 pandemic-related closures being the tipping point. Many will never return.

“I suspect Florida will soon rival New York as a finance hub, due in part to the ‘Tax and Spend’ policies in New York,” Leon Cooperman, billionaire former hedge fund manager and CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, who fled to Boca Raton, was quoted as saying in a report
from Seeking Alpha.

This trend wasn’t even new because of the pandemic, it was just elevated by it. According to Bloomberg Wealth, in 2019 New York City was losing 376 residents per day to domestic migration.

Despite an overall failure by de Blasio during his time as mayor, he did accomplish something: establishing universal pre-kindergarten.

What started by targeting the lowest-income neighborhoods, universal pre-k has more than tripled the city’s enrollment of students into pre-k classes.

In 2013, prior to the program’s initiation, the city had enrolled 19,000 children in pre-k. As of 2019, that number had jumped to about 70,000.

High crime, high taxes, hypocrisy and fleeing residents are issues de Blasio will be remembered for in his term for mayor. While he certainly wasn’t the worst mayor ever, it will be a breath of fresh air for New Yorkers to elect and install a new mayor by this year’s end.