News / USA

New Yorkers Elect First Democratic Mayor in Decades

Democrat Bill de Blasio Wins New York Mayoral Racei
Carolyn Weaver
November 06, 2013 5:30 AM
New York City voters have elected a new mayor, Bill de Blasio, and put the city under Democratic party control for the first time in 20 years. De Blasio, a Democrat, entered the race with a huge lead over the Republican nominee, Joe Lhota, in a city where registered Democrats already outnumber Republicans six to one. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Democrat Bill de Blasio Wins New York Mayoral Race
Carolyn Weaver
New York City voters elected a new mayor, Bill de Blasio, putting the city under Democratic party control for the first time in more than 20 years. De Blasio, a Democrat, entered the race with a huge lead over the Republican nominee, Joe Lhota, in a city where registered Democrats already outnumber Republicans six to one. 
He appealed to voters with a populist agenda and interracial family: his two children and African-American wife, writer Chirlane McCray, whom de Blasio says will have an important role in his administration.
Running from his position as the city’s public advocate, the middle-class Democrat from Brooklyn could hardly have been less like the incumbent mayor, billionaire Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent Michael Bloomberg.
A liberal with progressive economic policies, de Blasio professed little sympathy for Wall Street. At every campaign event, his message was the same: New Yorkers want a “break” from the Bloomberg years, when, he said, 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,” he said at the last Democratic debate.
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 being 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 proposal 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. Critics, however, noted that raising taxes would require the approval of the New York state legislature, which is currently controlled by Republicans.
Multi-Ethnic Appeal
Some observers say a television ad featuring De Blasio’s teenage son, Dante, sporting a huge afro gave de Blasio a big boost in multi-ethnic New York. The image of the candidate’s son as a young African-American man hit home among some New Yorkers angered by what they see as racially discriminatory police practices, including stopping and searching suspects - mostly men of color-without probable cause.
“He’s the only one who will end a stop-and-frisk era that unfairly targets people of color,” Dante says in the ad.
Voters on Election Day said that however appealing de Blasio’s family is, it was his policies that attracted them.
“He relates more to an average working person, I feel, than not just the other party, but also the other candidate,” New Yorker Ron Katz said outside a polling site in Brooklyn.
“I feel he represents the needs of my family and community. He’s from our community, he’s worked hard in our community,” said Charlene Clark.
Keeping Crime Under Control
De Blasio's opponent, Republican candidate Joe Lhota, a former deputy mayor, appeared with former Mayor Rudy Giuliani in the last days of the campaign. Lhota hammered at the theme of his campaign commercials: that crime in New York would rebound under the liberal de Blasio.
“The progress is fragile, I’ve been saying this from day one,” Lhota told reporters as the campaign wound down. “Anybody who believes that the reduction in crime and enhanced quality of life cannot go backwards is kidding themselves.”
That message resonated for some New Yorkers, such as Lhota supporter Kevin Conway.
“He’s into the cops, at least he wants to keep the stop and frisk. I think it’s safer. I’d rather be safe in the city,” Conway said.
However, Lhota entered the race far behind in the polls and never caught up. Throughout the campaign, de Blasio maintained a lead of about 40 points over his Republican rival. The new mayor of New York will be inaugurated on January 1st, 2014.
Additional reporting by Victoria Kupchinetsky and additional camera work by Sergey Gusev and Daniela Schrier contributed to this report.

You May Like

Isolation, Despair Weigh on Refugees in Remote German Camp

Refugees resettled near village of Holzdorf deep in German forestland say there is limited interaction with public, mutual feelings of distrust

Britons Divided Over Bombing IS

Surveys show Europeans generally support more military action against Islamic State militants, but sizable opposition exists in Britain

Russia Blacklists Soros Foundations as 'Undesirable'

Russian officials add Soros groups to a list of foreign and international organizations banned from giving grants to Russian partners

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: dOOMED from: MED CITY
November 06, 2013 8:24 AM
Another New World Order technocrat, to run your state-run Fascist life. Bill de Blasio will be the next mayor of the nation’s largest and most important city.
He will be the first Democratic mayor of New York City since 1993, when Rudy Giuliani defeated David Dinkins amid high crime rates and racial strife. De Blasio worked in Dinkins’ City Hall, and prior to that volunteered with the radical socialist Sandinista movement in Nicaragua.

At age 26, de Blasio “went to Nicaragua to help distribute food and medicine in the middle of a war between left and right. But he returned with something else entirely: a vision of the possibilities of an unfettered leftist government.”

De Blasio, who currently holds the largely symbolic position of “public advocate,” will now have the chance to put that vision in action. He campaigned far to the left of his opponents in the Democratic primary, promising to roll back education reforms opposed by teachers unions and raise the city’s already high taxes.

Welcome to the Fascist States of America.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle reports from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs