News / USA

New Yorkers Sound Off on Election of Democratic Mayor

 New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio (C) walks through a crowd of reporters as he arrives for a meeting with Mayor Michael Bloomberg at City Hall in New York, Nov. 6, 2013.
New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio (C) walks through a crowd of reporters as he arrives for a meeting with Mayor Michael Bloomberg at City Hall in New York, Nov. 6, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Adam Phillips
— On Tuesday, New Yorkers overwhelmingly voted to elect Bill de Blasio, an unabashed liberal, to be the Big Apple's next mayor. A sampling of New Yorkers shared their views of Mayor-elect de Blasio, who will be the first Democrat to hold the office in two decades.

In what many analysts say was a rejection of the conservative style and fiscal policies of outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a solid 70 percent of New York City voters chose Democrat Bill de Blasio to lead the city for the next four years.

Alec, a 30-something Manhattan resident, supported de Blasio, but is uncertain about the possibility of real change. "I am pretty glad that we are finally going to have someone who is not a corporate overlord. But I highly doubt that he is going to be all that different because how much power does he have opposed to the city council, the real estate developers, etcetera? But I am glad that we have a nominally progressive guy. He seems cool."

De Blasio supporter Celia Reiss liked some of Bloomberg’s policies, but not what she views as his dictatorial style. “… but de Blasio, I think, is going to be good for the basic heart of New York - hopefully stopping the stop and searches [most of minorities], [and] helping to raise the minimum wage - to get a living wage here in New York. I feel he is going to be more on the side more of a lower and middle class people that need the help. I am excited!”

As a fellow liberal, “Gene” likes de Blasio’s politics, but as a bar owner, he is unsure what de Blasio’s election will mean for his small business.

“[With] a liberal mayor it is really hard to say, in this kind of business, whether we will have more scrutiny, more heat or whether we will have less. So it is a nervous time in the next couple of months, until we get a feel for what this guy is doing,” he said.

During his mayoral campaign, de Blasio often spoke of New York as a divided city. He contrasted the tiny super-wealthy international elite, centered almost entirely in Manhattan, with everyone else, including the city’s ethnic and racial minorities. Most New Yorkers live in the city’s other, less glamorous, four boroughs, and many of them, he said, are barely scraping by.  

That message resonates with Manhattan resident Chris Lund over his morning coffee. “He can not do everything he wants to do, but I think the direction he wants to take city is needed at this point. Rescuing people in the middle and at the lower ends that have been neglected and also the [non-Manhattan] boroughs that have been neglected.”

Lund said he thinks de Blasio’s ascent from his role as public defender to the mayoralty may be a mere stepping stone on the way to national office.

“I was listening to de Blasio’s speech, and I think it was his acceptance speech, [and] there were echoes of Robert Kennedy for me. There was an attention to a broader spectrum of Americans. I think once the urban populations of this country listen to him that they will respond the way New Yorkers have."   

De Blasio will be sworn in as New York City’s 109th mayor on New Year’s Day 2014.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid