The signs of recovery in New York City are everywhere: vaccinations are on the rise; Curfew for restaurant and bar ends; Occupancy restrictions relax in offices, stadiums and gyms. By July 1, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city should be “fully reopened”.
After more than a year of death and economic devastation, New York is entering a new and uncertain period of recovery – and the candidates fighting for the city’s next mayor are making radically different bets about New Yorkers’ mood and priorities and how best to bring the city back to life.
As the mayoral candidates approach the June 22nd Democratic primary, sharp differences emerge as to how this immense task is to be approached.
Andrew Yang, the former presidential candidate and current front runner, has positioned herself in the race as the city’s ultimate cheerleader, making accelerating the city’s reopening a central point in his news. Scott M. Stringer, the city administrator, describes a number of crises in New York and promises to be a progressive mayor who will “make hell out of the city”.
Maya Wiley, a civil rights attorney who is particularly concerned with issues of racial justice, often calls for a “rethink”A fairer city after the pandemic. And Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams, suggests that public safety is a requirement for progress, often speaks of his experience as a former black police captain pushing for change within the system.
“I don’t want people to say, ‘We want New York City to be just happy again,” said Adams on a recent campaign appearance in Queens, even if he promised brighter days. “For too many New Yorkers, the city has never been happy.”
The question of how the city is recovering is very popular with New Yorkers: a current one Spectrum News NY1 / Ipsos poll found that 34 percent of likely Democratic primary voters polled saw reopening businesses and the economy as a top priority for the next mayor, after curbing the spread of Covid-19 and closely followed by crime and public safety.
The challenge for all candidates is to offer the right mix of experience and empathy, energy and foresight to attract a diverse electorate who have experienced the coronavirus crisis and its aftermath in very different ways.
More than any other candidate, Mr. Yang expects New Yorkers to want a hopeful mayor with a simple message about the speedy reopening of the city after an extremely challenging year.
Part of Yang’s lead in the sparse public polls can be traced back to the recognition of names from his presidential campaign, but a number of veteran Democratic strategists say he also chose a tone that resonates with many voters who look out for it are to deviate from the pandemic.
“It’s spring 2021, not spring 2020, and New Yorkers are increasingly optimistic and hopeful about the future,” said Howard Wolfson, longtime advisor to former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who is neutral in the race. “So far, Andrew Yang is the person who best captured this feeling.”
He and his competitors agree that New York needs to reopen as a livelier and fairer place than when it closed, and they put forward a wide range of policies and leadership arguments to illustrate how they would do exactly that.
Mr. Yang, who says he wants to be the Poverty Reduction Mayor, has one Set of policy proposals around major city themes, many of which start with a simple recipe: speed up the city’s opening and cheer on New York’s promises. On Tuesday, for example, he asked the state to do so Loosen restrictions In bars and restaurants, the reopening of these facilities was “business critical”. He also suggested a Basic Income Program for the poorest New Yorkers, a less expansive version of the universal basic income he promoted as a presidential candidate.
However, a big part of his strategy is also to attend reopening events like opening day at Yankee Stadium and explaining that New York must be open for business. He promised to host “the largest post-Covid celebration in the world. ”
The test for Mr. Yang will be whether voters believe he has sufficient management experience and knowledge of the city to carry out the intricate reconstruction work, which he happily welcomes. And his efforts to fuel the city’s business don’t always end up: he recently had a disastrous appearance in front of a celebrity L.G.B.T.Q. Democratic organization where attendees felt it was more focused on discussing gay bars than political issues.
“We need someone to steer the ship but not make too much promises – don’t tell me we’re going to be Disneyland next week,” said Donovan Richards, Queens borough president. He spoke widely about the field, but when asked which candidates found the right balance in tone, he pointed to Mr. Adams and Mrs. Wiley. He intends to give a confirmation in the coming days.
Several of Mr. Yang’s rivals have argued that he is ill-equipped to run the city in a moment of breathtaking challenges. Many are working to create sharper contrasts with him, an effort that could culminate in the first debate on May 13th.
A number of candidates believe that while the electorate – while confident of New York’s strengths and hopeful for the future – also want a seasoned government veteran who exudes knowledge of the political system when it comes to how to navigate recovery.
Shaun Donovan, the Obama administration’s former housing secretary, is trying to brand himself as “the man with the plan” 200-page proposal with ideas ranging from introducing a skills-based training program to facilitate job opportunities to creating “15 minute neighborhoods” to make good schools, passageways and parks more accessible. He often notes that he worked with President Barack Obama and President Biden to demonstrate his ability to face important moments for the country.
- Who is running for mayor? There are still more than a dozen people in the running to become New York’s next mayor. The preselection will take place on June 22nd. Here is an overview of the candidates.
- What is a ranking poll? New York City started voting in the primary this year, and voters can list up to five candidates in order of preference. Confused? We can help.
Kathryn Garcia, the former sanitation commissioner, has a particular focus on promoting small businesses and combating climate change. She pushed for one Single city permit for small businesses to overcome bureaucratic hurdles. Ms. Garcia is a city government veteran with affection for her hometown but blunt understanding of the depths of New York’s challenges.
You and other longtime officials like Mr. Stringer and Mr. Adams argue that a deep familiarity with the city government’s navigation is critical to managing the city’s reopening.
Mr. Stringer often says the city faces interlocking crises related to economy, social justice and health inequalities. His long list of ambitions with accompanying long plans contains a promise for “universal affordable housing. “Mr. Stringer’s ability to represent his case has been hampered in recent days by sexual assault allegations, which he denies.
Other competitors with less campaign experience argue that they offer a new perspective on how to tackle the city’s greatest challenges.
Ms. Wiley, a former lawyer for Mayor Bill de Blasio, describes herself as an unconventional candidate with a background in advocacy for racial and economic justice. you highlighted “50 Ideas for NYC” including a suggestion to invest in upkeep, in part from pay more informal caregiversand she suggested a $ 10 billion investment program aimed to create jobs and improve infrastructure in communities across the city.
Dianne Morales, a left-wing former nonprofit executive, has called for a complete overhaul of the city’s “system”, noting the inequality that the pandemic has exacerbated. She supports ideas such as “basic income relief for every household” and sees issues of racial justice and public safety as the core of the reopening and restoration of the city. She is pushing for far-reaching proposals such as $ 3 billion in cuts on the budget of the New York Police Department reinvested in community responses.
Gale Brewer, the president of Manhattan borough, said it was difficult to gauge how to talk about reopening because people have very different priorities depending on their circumstances.
“How do you get New York City up and running again and include everyone? That’s the problem, “she said. “The city is pretty divided.”
In January, Mr. Adams – who showed up as a candidate with a worker background focused on tackling inequality – more than launched 100 ideas for the future of the city. In recent weeks, however, he has also emerged as the candidate most clearly focused on combating armed violence. “Public safety,” he often says, “is a prerequisite for prosperity.”
Raymond J. McGuire, a former Citigroup executive who had a troubled childhood, sometimes declares “no jobs, no city” as he poses as the best steward of the city’s economic recovery with a plan he claims will bring back 500,000 jobs. And in a token of his feeling for the mood of the voters, Mr. McGuire did published an ad It follows, “Ray McGuire: the serious choice for the mayor.”
Even until 2022, the future of the city will be uncertain: tourists may not fully return until 2025, a dynamic that is having a significant impact on New York’s standing as a global capital of culture. Many companies will adopt hybrid work strategies by combining work from home with traditional office hours and threatening to permanently transform Manhattan. and many small businesses that closed during the pandemic may never reopen.
In a city marked by deep racial and socioeconomic inequality, candidates who want to form a broad coalition need a message and tone that can be shared with employees overjoyed to leave their homes as well as New Yorkers who are concerned about evictions and unemployment.
“For a large number of people living with this pandemic,” said Queens county president Richards, “their question will be,” Are you reopening the city to whom? “