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Police Union Leader Joins Charter Maven Eva Moskowitz in Trying to Reverse Result of Last NYC Mayoralty Election

The vicious attack on NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio by the head of the New York Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) --who said the blood of the two police officers cruelly gunned down on a Brooklyn street “was on the Mayor’s hands” and urged police officers to turn their backs on the mayor at public events -- is not the first time in the last year that a major public figure in New York urged defiance of the Mayor’s policies. Charter-school entrepreneur Eva Moskowitz took a similar stance taken several months ago when she demanded that the Governor and the Legislature end the Mayor’s efforts to restrict charter school co-locations and to limit the number of new charter schools created in the city.

In each instance, Mayor de Blasio was attacked as a dangerous radical—betraying the city’s best traditions and undermining the people’s access to first-rate public services. His critics accused him of launching a virtual “coup” against the successful policies of Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg—strategies that helped NYC to escape from an epidemic of crime and disorder marked by drug epidemics, an uncontrolled murder rate, squeegee men and beggars, and schools that didn’t work.

They ignored one simple fact with their media onslaught: Mayor de Blasio followed through on promises that he made during his successful campaign for the mayoralty.

Bill de Blasio elevated himself from the darkest of dark horses to decisive victor in the primary — in which he soundly defeated presumed frontrunners Christine Quinn and Bill Thompson — and in the general election — in which he routed Giuliani protégé Joe Lhota — by staking out a position as the anti-Bloomberg in four key areas:

  • End stop and frisk and racial profiling by the NYPD
  • Eliminate charter-school preferences and the closing of allegedly “failing” public schools
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  • Oppose hospital closings
  • Encourage affordable housing rather than market-level construction

Polls showed that the first two initiatives resonated most strongly with the electorate. So it should come as no great surprise that the new Mayor moved to implement both when he took office, gradually moving the city away from stop and frisk, and concentrating his efforts on expanding Pre-K and after-school programs rather than creating new charter schools. The public gave him a clear mandate to do both.

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And guess what?

The citizens of the city still support him in both instances, which explains why Ms. Moskowitz appealed directly to the Governor and to the Legislature to fund her schools, and Mr. Lynch used the media to press his campaign of defiance against the Mayor and the Police Commissioner.

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They will not defeat Mayor de Blasio’s re-election bid because the policies they oppose are precisely the ones the citizens of New York City voted for.

Mark Naison
With A Brooklyn Accent