Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Memo to the Mayor-elect

Eight days after his election, Mayor-elect Bill De Blasio is getting down to the unglamorous work of the transition. He's hiring staffers and administration officials, setting policy priorities, working on his inaugural speech, and contemplating a move to Gracie Mansion.

Lots to do with the clock is ticking towards midnight January 1st 2014!

You don't get to become the mayor of this town without being a pretty bright guy, and nearly everyone agrees that De Blasio is plenty smart. But, this being NYC, we're literally crowded with smart people, including captains of industry, other politicians, and celebrities of every stripe. All of them probably think they'd be a great mayor and have lots of advice to offer the soon-to-be 109th Hizzoner. 

This slide show article has lots of people offering advice and it is telling. Most of them want De Blasio to craft policies that will benefit their businesses and industries. Others offer platitudes: better schools! lower crime! more affordable housing! improve transportation! None of them are offering advice on how he would actually pay for and implement any of this stuff. They just want him to do it.

Now I'm not a leader of anything or a celebrity so certainly my advice to the mayor-elect is even less important. Unlike these people and most people in this town, I don't think I'm the smartest person in the history of creation. In fact, I'm 99.999999999999999999999% sure I'm not.

But I'll give it a try nonetheless. 

Dear Mr. Mayor: please keep your promises, do your best, and don't listen to the critics. Don't forget the people who supported you and ignore the people who didn't. Don't take any attack lying down. Raise taxes on the rich, provide universal pre-K, provide job training programs, and build more affordable housing. And be straight with the people about how you're going to pay for it.

That's it. That's my advice. Hope he follows it. Then again, remember, I don't claim to be that smart. 

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