What Will Mayor de Blasio’s Second Term Look Like? The State of the City 2018
The State of the City 2018 was held this year on Valentine’s Day, February 14, at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn. After prayer invocations at the start of the meeting, and then initial remarks from First Lady, Chirlane McCray, Mayor de Blasio took the podium. He began by explaining his goal for the next “three years, 10 months and 15 days,” that remain for his administration, announced what his top goal as mayor is: to make New York City the “Fairest Big City in America.”
His plan to create fairness for all 8.5 million New Yorkers hinges on a 12-point plan, which he laid out in his address in addition to providing booklets.
The 12-Point Plan to Make New York the Fairest Big City in America
Listen to the Voice of the People: The first point is not so much a part of the plan, but a mandate to make certain that the goal of increasing fairness becomes a core component of his administration. De Blasio called this first point listening to the voice of the people, but in fact it was questioning each decision as to whether it will make New York City the fairest big city in America, and to those questions answered yes.
Make the Safest Big City in America Safer: Part of having a safe city is having fair policing. The plan to make New York safer is based on extending the deeper neighborhood policing. “We’ll keep crime low, while keeping arrests low as well. We’ll use policing, precision policing strategies to focus on the worst crime and the worst problems and we’ll create more trust and accountability by having body cameras on all of our patrol officers by the end of this year.”
3-K for Everyone, Now: Pre-K for all New Yorkers was a major part of de Blasio’s original platform, now it will be extended to early childhood education for all 3-year-olds. Specifically, this means reaching all 3-year-olds by 2021. De Blasio feels this is one of the surest ways to achieve equality for all.
Affordable Housing: This point was light on details, but highlighted previous accomplishments and vowed to reach “more New Yorkers than ever before in our history.” This means stopping illegal evictions, preserving affordable rents and moving more families into new affordable housing
More Better Paying Jobs: Once again the mayor highlighted achievements of the previous term, including added benefits. De Blasio pointed out that right now, there are so many jobs open, so his goal is to make certain that more of those jobs, especially the better paying ones, end up in the hands of residents of the five boroughs. He pointed to 700,000 jobs with salaries of $50,000 or more, and wants to see New Yorkers filling those positions
Protecting Our City and World from Global Warming. When the US pulled out from the Paris Accords last year, NYC led the movement to join with other major US cities to fight global warming without federal support. This term will see that battle implemented. This means more buildings required to cut emissions, more electric vehicle charging stations, and an all-electric city car fleet. Also New York will be going after the corporations that have contributed to the current state of the world, divesting $5 billion of pension fund investments from fossil fuel companies and suing five of the largest petroleum companies to have funds for implementing future protections from global warming.
The State and Federal Levels: On the state level, this includes championing school equity throughout New York State. It also means working with Albany to fix the subway crisis. De Blasio believes a millionaire’s tax will help mitigate the damage done by what he calls the “biggest give-away to the wealthy and corporations in our history, the Trump tax plan.” De Blasio views this tax as the solution to the subway crisis, but is adamant that progressive taxation enacted in the city must raise funds that stay in the city and are not funneled back to Albany. For Washington, protecting DREAMers and fighting for New York’s fair share of funds for infrastructure initiatives
Fighting the Opioid Epidemic: De Blasio plans to take on this epidemic with the same zeal as the Zero Initiative which has so effectively reduced traffic fatalities. This will be accomplished through grassroots outreach to families affected and holding the pharmaceutical companies liable.
Accessible Mental Healthcare for All New Yorkers: ThriveNYC is the initiative created to see this implemented.
Equal Pay for Equal Work: Create gender equity and uproot all discrimination.
A Fairer City Is a Safer City: But this does not mean the goal is more arrests, but less crimes being committed leading to less arrests. A fairer NYC continues to reduce the jailed population of New York. He also addressed the plan to close 85-year-old prison facilities at Riker’s Island which continues to move forward
Public Housing: De Blasio first discussed what he’d accomplished in the previous term: “we have invested $2.1 billion in capital dollars and $1.6 billion in expense dollars in NYCHA, nothing like that happened in the previous history of the city.” He then announced that the 400,000 residents of NYCHA will continue to be a priority for his administration. He pointed to the success of Queens Bridge Houses, and explained that the goal is to spread that success throughout the system in all boroughs, to fix the roofs, provide internet access, and safety throughout all public housing.
The final new initiative that the mayor announced was a plan to encourage and increase democracy in New York City by amplifying the voices of New Yorkers. De Blasio defines a fairer city as a democratic one, and that means getting people voting. He has created a 10-point plan called Democracy NYC. Points include encouraging more people to run for office, making voting more user-friendly, lobbyist interaction disclosures, and sharing New York’s high quality cyber security with other cities and states.