We endorsed Cy Vance for Manhattan District Attorney last month, and we are eager to see Bill Thompson win tomorrow's primary election and take on Mayor Bloomberg in November.
With Thompson's likely victory tomorrow, we can only hope that the media will be ready to end its infatuation with Mayor Bloomberg and start to hold him accountable for his administration's policies and failures.
Voting Is A Sacred Activity
As we pointed out previously, voting is a sacred activity:
It has long been a cliché to many, but it is a truth that one cannot ignore. For many of us, our ancestors died to give us the right to vote. To squander that vote or to relinquish it because of inconvenience would be obscene, whether we have faith that our individual votes will shape the outcomes of elections or not. Because the 15th Amendment (1870) and the Voting Rights Act (1965) were victories secured by the blood of our ancestors, every election day is a sacred day, and we show our respect for those who made our votes possible by going to the polls and by encouraging everyone we know to join us in that sacred activity - tomorrow and every election day of any sort.
Remember the Importance of the NYC Mayor
As we have also stated previously, Bloomberg should not be seeking a third term. He should be apologizing for his failed leadership in his second term. In NYC's system, the Mayor has far more power than all other institutions of city government combined. The NYC Mayor's power is far greater than that of all other big city mayors. So, when someone uses that power to abuse NYC's residents, that person must not be permitted to continue that abuse. As we stated in July of this year:
Mayor Bloomberg has surpassed his previous demonstrations of arrogance with his granting of retroactive raises to nearly 7,000 members of his staff. In essence, the Mayor's team will receive bonuses representing the additional earnings they would have received if the raises had begun 16 months ago. They get a 4% raise for all of last year and a 4.16% raise for all of this year. As absurd as the bonuses and raises appear on their face, a broader context illuminates how unacceptable this latest mayoral maneuver really is.
1) The Mayor demanded that City Council change the City Charter to allow him to seek a third consecutive term, despite two referenda in which the people of New York City voted overwhelmingly to disallow Mayors to serve for three consecutive terms. In arguing for the third term, Bloomberg has suggested that the intense economic and fiscal crisis facing New York City requires keeping Bloomberg in power (ignoring the fact that Bloomberg got us into this mess). Bloomberg's answer to the economic and fiscal crisis is to give huge bonuses and raises to his staff. Now, at least one of the Deputy Mayors will have a higher salary than the salary provided to the Mayor's office by law. The third term seems unwise.
2) At Manhattan Viewpoint, we have been highly critical of the Mayor's decision to use sales taxes to balance the city's budget. The Mayor's obsession with protecting high earners from taxation has resulted in a painfully regressive budgetary approach that relies on poor people to pay more taxes to fill in the budget gaps created by the
economic downturn and by the Mayor's unfortunate reliance on Wall Street
revenues during his first 1.5 terms. It is ultra-shameful that a mayor who so
thoroughly believes in regressive taxation would be so generous to his own
senior staff during a fiscal crisis. He is demanding that poor people pay more
so that he can pay his top advisers more.
3) Bloomberg is setting a record pace for stopping and frisking people of color. He has given the crime of "walking while black" the official City Hall stamp of approval, and his administration is retaining all of the personal information of those that are stopped. 90% of those stopped are non-white even though whites who are stopped are 2.5 times more likely to have illegal substances or weapons in their possession. Yet, Bloomberg will stop and frisk more people of color this year than any mayor has ever stopped in New York City.
4) The Mayor chose to reject federal aid from the Obama administration because it would have expanded the availability of food stamps to more poor people.Bloomberg
is demonstrating the type of leadership that suggests he should have had only
one term and should certainly not attempt to impose a third term on our great