In theory, everyone wants to embrace Mayor de Blasio's message of equality for all. Of course we do. But I can't help feeling left out of his allegedly "progressive" rhetoric. It's almost like he's blaming people for being successful and he seems to enjoy engaging in class warfare. I'm still amazed that his message resonated with so many New Yorkers that he achieved a landslide victory.
If New York is such an exclusionary place fit for only the wealthy, as de Blasio would have us believe, then why has the population grown by over a million in the last decade? And despite what you may hear, a lot of our new neighbors are immigrants seeking the American dream, not hipsters brewing their own beers. New York is a city where our minority population is the majority. You can look it up.
And those immigrants are succeeding here. We can all point to someone we know who came here with nothing and achieved the American dream. Not everyone succeeds, of course, but that's pretty much the way it is and has been in every form of government throughout the history of the world.
Of course, we should help the least fortunate among us. Can we do more? Yes. Let's raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for one thing. But are we doing a lot? Yes, again. We are not the Scrooge of American cities. Far from it. In a fine New York Times article , veteran reporter Michael Powell correctly points out that New York City does more than most any city in the country to help the poor among us.
"While several speakers [at Mayor de Blasio's Inauguration] on New Year's Day condemned the condition of our homeless shelters, it is worth keeping in mind that the city stands nearly alone in declaring that homeless people have a legal right to shelter," Powell wrote.
Got that? We are nearly the only city in the country where there is a recognized legal right to shelter.
I'm curious to see what Mayor de Blasio actually does, but I hope he stops pointing the finger at successful people. The city didn't do so bad by him. Now that he's moved to Gracie Mansion, maybe he'd like to open his own doors to allow a homeless family to live in his now-empty row house in Park Slope for the next four years? Now that would be progressive, Mr. Mayor.