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Congratulations, Mayor Bill de Blasio

Elinor Tatum | 11/7/2013, 2:36 p.m.
Elinor Tatum

We have a new mayor in town, and boy, is he in for the ride of his life. Winning in a landslide victory, Bill de Blasio has shown that he has support from every sector of this city—from every race, ethnicity and even party. He beat his competitor by almost 50 points, making it the largest margin of victory for a nonincumbent mayor. He will also be the first Democrat to hold that office in over 20 years.

So what can we expect? What should we expect? What we can and should expect is a more transparent mayoralty, where things will not just be done by dictate. I hope we will see a mayor who believes that the ideas and wishes of others need to be considered in the direction that the city goes in. We can expect that there will be a hard road ahead, and not everyone will be happy with every decision. That is just part of politics. What we should expect is real conversations with the unions—and we know there are some 125 public unions without contracts—that will be very honest and real. And we know not everybody will leave the table happy. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has left the next mayor with a lot of cleaning up to do, and that cleaning up will be messy but absolutely necessary.

As we have seen over the Bloomberg years, money has been taken out of essential programs, yet many have not been that harshly impacted because Bloomberg’s private funds have been put back into them. But what will happen now? Will that money still be there?

The issues of education and how to move forward to make sure every child has a good education will be paramount in this new administration, and Mayor de Blasio’s quest for universal pre-K is a noble one. I hope we can figure out how to fund it. And as for policing, stop-and-frisk as we know it is near the end. But what is next? Who will be our next police commissioner?

We at the Amsterdam News have one suggestion: Deputy Chief Kim Royster. She is one of only three Black women ever to attain this rank and is one of only two still serving on the police force today. She would be an interesting choice and one that would make it clear that change is needed.

Our new mayor has a lot of opportunities and a lot of inherited issues that he will need to address. But we believe he is equal to the tasks, and I must say we are glad that he will be taking the reins of this city. Another four years of Bloomberg’s ideas and Rudy Giuliani’s ideals wrapped up in Joe Lhota would have been a disaster for all New Yorkers.