Mayor de Blasio and New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito have taken what was once known as a liberal New York City government and turned it into a radicalized government, and nowhere is that more evident than in the City Council.
Last year, a number of councilmembers in support of the anti-police rhetoric of the “Black Lives Matter” movement blocked traffic on Broadway. A few weeks ago, some councilmembers stopped standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. A few days ago, most members of the City Council took to singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a beautiful song but an inappropriate song opening a Council session when it is made clear that the purpose of singing it was to make a political statement.
The three Republican members of the Council did not participate.
New York City has a population of eight and half million people. It is the most diverse city on Earth with the most nationalities, ethnic groups, religions worshipped and languages spoken of any place on the planet. We are often described as the Capitol of the World. But, in the end, when all is said and done, it is an American city.
With all that comes a responsibility to be sensitive to the many moving parts of our city. And although I would prefer that the city government be conservative, I know that it should never be radical. Radical by definition is extreme and as such insensitive to many who do not agree with its view of government.
The New York City Council and its mayor, with each passing day, show themselves to be more and more out of touch with a growing segment of the population. Whether it be the bag tax, disregard for the broken windows theory of crime prevention or building homeless shelters without community input, more and more of the city’s residents wonder what “Was the City Thinking?”
In just a few days, one election will be behind us and another one looming 12 months down the road. That election will be for mayor and the City Council. If you do not like how your city government is run, and what the Council is saying and doing, this would be a good time to express yourselves. It is through that early expression that good community leaders develop the desire to take on the system, run for office and bring about change.
Speaking of elections, I for one will be happy when November 8 comes and goes. I have what is known as “political fatigue.” And if I have come down with it, I suspect the whole nation has been affected.
There is a known cure that works in every case: Going to the polls and casting your vote. By the time you come home, you will feel a lot better. You will be able to sleep again and you will even find that there are things on TV worth watching.
Take my prescription for better political health. Vote on November 8. And if you have a child, take that child to the polling place with you so he or she can experience what voting is all about. It will be a good civics lesson that will pay off years later when it is your child’s first time to vote and he or she remembers going to the polling place with mom or dad.