News / USA

An 'Anti-Bloomberg' Surges to Fore in New York City Mayoral Election

'Anti-Bloomberg' Surges to Front of New York Mayor's Racei
X
September 06, 2013 6:03 PM
After 12 years of Democrat-turned-Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City is getting ready to elect a new mayor. The frontrunner, a Democrat, could hardly be less like Mayor Bloomberg in his outlook and policies. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Carolyn Weaver
After 12 years of Michael Bloomberg, New York City is getting ready to elect a new mayor. Front-runner Bill de Blasio, a middle-class Democrat now serving as the city’s public advocate, could hardly be less like the billionaire Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Independent Mayor Bloomberg.

In recent weeks, polls have found, support for de Blasio has surged to more than 40 percent of likely Democratic primary voters, putting him far ahead of the earlier front-runners, Christine Quinn, speaker of the city council, and former city comptroller Bill Thompson.

The second-highest elected official in the city, de Blasio has been dubbed the "Anti-Bloomberg." He's a liberal with progressive economic policies, and not especially sympathetic to Wall Street. At every campaign event, his message is the same: New Yorkers want a “break” from the Bloomberg years, when, he says, big business and the wealthy were catered to at the expense of ordinary New Yorkers.

“Right now in New York, we’re living a tale of two cities, almost half of New Yorkers are living at or near the poverty line and the middle class is disappearing,” as he put it at the last debate of the Democratic candidates.

In an interview with VOA, De Blasio praised Bloomberg’s policies on the environment and public health, but said that the pressing needs of most New Yorkers were neglected.

“I’ve also said we should tax the wealthy, and that’s another big difference: I want to tax the wealthy to help our public schools,” he said, referring to his plan for funding all-day pre-kindergarten and after-school programs. The plan would raise the marginal tax rate from about 3.9 percent to 4.4 percent on people whose annual income tops $500,000.

The candidate’s biracial family - his wife, poet Chirlane McCray, is African-American, and they have two teenagers - is another source of appeal, especially among black voters. Many appreciate De Blasio's sharp opposition to New York’s “stop-and-frisk” policing practices - which a federal judge recently found unconstitutional and ordered reformed. Mayor Bloomberg has defended them as necessary for public safety, and the city has appealed.

Although most New Yorkers are Democrats, the city has not had a Democratic mayor since 1994. The leading Republican in this year’s race is former Metropolitan Transportation Authority chief Joseph Lhota, whom Mayor Bloomberg reportedly plans to endorse if de Blasio is the Democratic candidate. But polls show less enthusiasm for electing a Republican this year.

Additional reporting/interview by Victoria Kupchinetsky; camera by Daniela Schrier and Sergey Gusev.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid