Our choice: De Blasio for mayor

Bill de Blasio (center) in Stuy Town with TenantsPAC Board Member Anderson Fils-Aime, Treasurer Mike McKee, Board Member (and ST-PCV Tenants Association President) John Marsh and Tenants Association Board Member Margaret Salacan (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Bill de Blasio (center) in Stuy Town with TenantsPAC Board Member Anderson Fils-Aime, Treasurer Mike McKee, Board Member (and ST-PCV Tenants Association President) John Marsh and Tenants Association Board Member Margaret Salacan (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

With Mike Bloomberg soon to end a 12-year reign as mayor, New Yorkers will have an incredibly important decision to make in the general election in November, but perhaps even more so in the September 10 primary.

This particular mayoral race is so cluttered it’s become hard to decipher one candidate’s rhetoric from the next at times, and following the candidacy of Anthony Weiner, it’s been hard to take much of it seriously. Still, we hope that voters won’t be so turned off that they won’t show up at the polls, especially if they care about issues like affordable housing. And if they do, we believe that the best choice for mayor, on the Democrat side, is Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

A month ago, de Blasio, making a campaign stop in Stuyvesant Town, was endorsed by TenantsPAC, and with good reason. While his “tale of two cities” tagline is getting mocked at this point, Manhattanites living in luxury housing simply because they didn’t have the option of moving into regular working joe housing, know that there is absolute truth to de Blasio’s (and a few other candidates’ talk) about the disappearing middle class.

De Blasio has said he believes the city has an obligation to Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village and keeping housing affordable. Unlike the current mayor, he doesn’t believe the market should simply be allowed to “do its thing.” In a recent op-ed in this newspaper, de Blasio elaborated on that to say this:

“Residents need stability in their lives again, not endless speculation by real estate developers who are only concerned about their bottom line. PCV/ST needs to be preserved as a community where middle class New Yorkers can afford to live and raise their families, and as mayor I will work to make sure that this community and other affordable housing units are protected and preserved.”

De Blasio has also said if elected, he would make sure all new residential development includes some affordable housing, and that the mayor could work with (or put pressure on) the governor to get results in Albany like repealing the Urstadt Law.

Granted, there are other candidates who’ve also promised to be tenant-friendly.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has committed to reforming the Rent Guidelines Board, which she’s blasted as a “kangaroo court.” She also, at a Tenants Association candidate forum, said she would use the mayor’s “bully pulpit” to bring CWCapital “to the table” on Stuy Town issues. However, her flipping on other issues, such as paid sick leave, and her working with Bloomberg to overturn term limits so he could run for a third term make her hard to trust.

Former City Council Member Sal Albanese is also a tenant-friendly candidate. In fact, he is probably the most tenant-friendly of the bunch. As mayor, he said he is committed to the building and preservation of 210,000 units of affordable housing, and he isn’t accepting campaign donations from developers. Unfortunately, he isn’t exactly up there in terms of name recognition, and this means at this point, he’s simply Nader-ing it, running knowing he could be taking votes away from a Democratic candidate who might otherwise have an actual shot at winning.

By contrast, de Blasio, with his near-daily celebrity endorsements and the relentless use of his bi-racial family in his marketing, understands that he’s gotta do what he’s gotta do get his name out there.

On the Republican side, we will make our endorsement for mayor in the next issue, as we have yet to decide on a candidate who seems genuinely interested in protecting the city’s middle class, in particular its renters.

Our picks for City Council member for District 2 as well as borough president will also appear in the next issue of Town & Village.

Correction: In the print edition, we wrote that there would also be an endorsement for Council, District 4. However, there will not be a primary for this district.

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