mister d and family

In theory, everyone wants to embrace Mayor de Blasio’s message or 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 probably 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 NY Times article today, 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…”

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.


  1. Filomena Abys-Smith says:

    Paul, I’ve always understood why we are so connected, it’s because we came from the Hood and didn’t play the poor victim. We took what this Great City has to offer and ran with it. We worked hard and eventually that hard work turned into the American Dream. Too many New Yorkers expect perfection, not realizing that only Heaven holds that title. Earthly perfection is in the CONSTANT attempt at correcting inequality. We, of course will never reach this perfect city, this perfect country, but at least we are trying. “That’s as good as it gets.” I hope the New Mayor of the Greatest City in the World will continue this constant struggle. Filomena Abys-Smith – Italian-American immigrant from the Hood.

  2. john melia says:

    paul- in the main all you point out is true. no doubt deblasio will continue nyc’s role in caring for the least among us. i think the rhetoric that freaks out white people needs to be heard. our nation, and city, for working men and women, has not since such a lack of balance nor disparity in income in more than a century. this century of greed has hurt us more than we can measure. Sixty years ago corporate taxes supported more than 50% of the federal budget. today corporate taxes contribute less than 2%. rhetoric is a powerful tool and if you dont think people like bloomberg and his fellow oligarchs are creating this plantation mentality among workers, start talking to minimum wage workers or any service employee. it is “yes, massa” time when they tell you you’re lucky to have a job. i am out there among them. it is much worse than is being told. here’s hoping that people rise up against the bosses and say Enough, pay us for the fruit of our labor. it’s bad out there paul, real bad.

  3. Paul LaRosa says:

    you’re an intelligent guy John so i respect your opinion. i would love to see his ideas and i hope they work. basically, to survive in new york, you need to have a decent rent. if you have that, somehow you can make it. both you and i know guys and girls who’ve lived in Manhattan for years on working incomes but only because they got into the housing market at the right time. let’s see what shakes out…..

  4. john melia says:

    thanks paul. i have always marveled that you are a great reporter and still haven’t become cynical and jaded after all these years. let’s face it many of the public figures you have had to cover in your career “ain’t worth a bucket of warm spit,” to paraphrase a late Vice President, referencing his own job.

  5. Paul LaRosa says:

    john, you’ll be happy to know i have my share of ‘jaded moments’ ….:) happy new year!

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