It’s not too early to think about the general election in New York City

Christina Greer Ph.D. | 9/21/2017, 11:53 a.m.
I am going to try my best not to finger wag my dear readers of the Amsterdam News.
Polling station voters sign Nia Sanders

I am going to try my best not to finger wag my dear readers of the Amsterdam News. For those of you who were eligible to vote, I know many of you voted in the Sept. 12 municipal primaries for mayor, public advocate, city council, judges and even district attorneys (depending on your borough). However, far too many eligible New Yorkers did not vote at all and the citywide turnout was an embarrassing 14 percent among eligible voters. That means 86 percent of New Yorkers who are citizens and of age chose not to vote in the “mayoral primary.” For a city that has roughly a $1.3 trillion GDP, one would think that they would be more interested in the elected officials who are in charge of making policy and allocating the money we pay in taxes. I apologize for my finger wagging tone, but this abysmal turnout cannot be repeated Nov. 7. There is far too much at stake.

The NYC general election will take place Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, and for many local city council races, the winners have already been chosen. Several candidates survived crowded primaries within their own party and are now running unopposed in November. Therefore, if you are unhappy with the candidate on your ballot for certain city council races, you must wait another four years to vote this person out of office. That is the way democracy works.

Of great importance is the mayoral race that will take place in November as well. Mayor Bill de Blasio was victorious in the Democratic Party primary and will face Republican Nicole Malliotakis. There are several issues I hope you will look for in each candidate. What stances do the candidates take on education, pre-K, community policing, sanctuary cities, job creation, affordable housing, NYCHA, homelessness, transportation efficiency and the NYPD among other issues. I believe parties matter. How does each candidate articulate his or her vision in relation to the larger party? Where do they deviate? What are the nuances they are able to articulate?

New York City has not seen a two-term Democratic mayor since Ed Koch, so one cannot assume the election is “in the bag” and sit it out based on how they feel the mayor is going to do when challenged by a 36-year-old Republican and relative political novice. If you care about your family, community and city, it is imperative you listen and learn about the candidates and challenge them on their positions. We cannot afford to sit on the sidelines or assume that all politicians are the same two evils. As the election and subsequent incompetence of the current inhabitant of the White House have shown us, all things are possible when citizens don’t engage in the political process.

Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream” and the host of The Aftermath on Ozy.com. You can find her on Twitter @Dr_CMGreer.