Mayor Bill de Blasio was sworn into office on Jan. 1 and wasted no time attempting to deliver on promises made during his campaign.
Although it has been just over one month, York students and faculty had much to say about what De Blasio has done since his swearing-in ceremony and what they hope to see from him in the future.
Pictures surfaced after the first winter storm of him and his son shoveling snow in front of their house, but many Queens residents were dissatisfied with his lack of action when it came to cleaning up their streets.
“I think people have to give him some time, he just got into office,” said Political Science major Kiston Djasson, 24.
The expectations are high for New York’s newly-elected democratic mayor, given the 12-year reign of Bloomberg made many New York City residents feel their interests weren’t in mind.
“Mayor Bloomberg was a Republican, he was all about the rich getting richer and his concerns were not about the common folk,” said Jonelle Isaac, a double major in Geology and English.
De Blasio’s push for equal treatment and stronger community is already being touted publicly by his announcement that he will be boycotting the city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade because the event’s organizers have barred members of the LGBT community from identifying themselves if they wish to march in the parade. De Blasio is the first mayor in 20 years to boycott the parade since David Dinkins.
Another component of De Blasio’s winning platform was his pledge to curtail the stop-and-frisk program of the NYPD, which he said back in August of last year at a York College event was a failed policy and should be stopped.
However, De Blasio has re-appointed Police Commissioner William Bratton, who said that De Blasio was never against stop-and-frisk, just the execution of the policy. Bratton explains that it is not the act that is the problem, but instead the racial profiling and push to fill certain numbers.
“I think he has a lot of promise, I’m very excited about what potentially could come from his leadership,” said history professor George White. “I think people who are active in communities are going to have to continue pushing him to get the things that we want.”
De Blasio is also working to have affordable housing built in low and middle class neighborhoods. He’s appointed Carl Weisbrod to handle the city planning commission and hopes that city planners will help him accomplish his goal of building 200,000 affordable homes within the next 10 years. De Blasio chose Weisbrod, who has worked as a partner in the real estate consulting firm HR&A Advisors, because of his experience in repairing neighborhoods and “his success in getting deals done,” De Blasio told the Times, saying Weisbrod was a man who could “drive a hard bargain.”
In his efforts to increase affordable housing in low and middle class neighborhoods, he’s also chosen Shola Olatoye as his New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) chairman as of Feb. 8. Olatoye will serve as vice president to the chair for the nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners, a national organization dedicated to building low-income housing. The New York Daily News reports that Olatoye has pressed “for speedier development of affordable housing to help the record number of homeless families find a decent place to live.”