Last week Democratic candidate Bill De Blasio and Republican candidate Joe Lhota had there first public debate on local news channel ABC 7 with moderator Bill Ritter. The debate was heated and called many of the obvious differences in the candidates and their plans for the City of New York starting the first of January 2014.
Recently with the motorcycle gang and SUV incident on the West Side Highway the candidates were asked about how they would handle that situation. Lhota said he “wouldn’t sit down and have coffee with motorcycle groups” it appears that Lhota doesn’t want a relationship between the NYPD and the community. De Blasio wants to bring back a sense of community between both the NYPD and Community, that includes motorcycle groups, explaining that these kinds of acts are unacceptable and these folks that did this are going to face jail time. De Blasio made it clear that we need to end the policy of Stop and Frisk in New York City and we need to have a brand new police commissioner under the new administration. Lhota believes that we need to use stop and frisk as a tool but it needs to be done differently, and he wants too keep Ray Kelly as Commissioner in the 2014 Administration
Charter School is a big issue among parents of children who attend those schools across the New York City Area. Bill de Blasio mentioned that ninety five percent of the schools in NYC are public schools, and five percent are charter schools. Bill de Blasio mentioned his plan to tax people in New York City who make half a million dollars or more a year and use that money to fund Full Day Pre-K for children in NYC. Mr. Lhota believes that charter schools are public schools, even when they have millions of dollars of there own, that they should not pay rent for their property.
Mr. de Balsio has a plan to find support and resource training for teachers across the city; he also has a plan for the retention of teachers and again discussed his early childhood education plan of full day Pre-K.
Mr Lhota also agrees that teachers need more resources and training. However the discussion on his afflication to the Tea Party is a big issue for many about Mr. Lhota. He declared he is Pro Choice and Pro Marriage Equality and Pro Gay Rights, however he has the support of the Conservative Party and the Tea Party of Staten Island. He also wanted to have the Affordable Health Care Act delayed by a year. Joe Lhota is playing both sides of the game, sides that don’t see eye to eye on these issues.
Both candidates answered questions about the Affordable Housing issue in New York City. They have two very different plans; they both provide numbers for goals to build more affordable housing. Lhota makes it clear “I DO NOT believe inclusionary zoning” We must demand that all new buildings being built need to provide Affordable Housing to the city.
Lhtoa wants to declare a Housing Emergency as of January 1st. . Lhota said he would build 150,000 over years, that won’t be possible if he does not believe in “ inclusionary zoning” one again Lhota is one clear on his plan with his views on the issues.
Bill de Blasio wants to make sure that No New Yorker is left behind. He wants to address the inequality of this city. He has the endorsements of President Obama, former President Clinton, and former Sectary of State Clinton, and he was her regional director of Housing. He currently is Public Advocate and he has a grassroots approach too most of his work.
Lhota doesn’t seem to see the divide in the city. He makes a point of his direct management skills. He was Operations Deputy Mayor under Mayor Giuliani. He was the Chairman and CEO of the MTA. He gave tax breaks, which the moderator mentioned was 16 million a year.
De Blasio mentions that 46% of New Yorkers are at our near the poverty. We need to admit the problem and than fix it. De Blasio mentioned that Lhota believes in trickle down economics. He believes that his idea about full day Pre-K is just what the progressive and Democratic Party should support bold and big ideas on issues.De Blasio has a plan to build 200,000 Affordable Housing units over the past 10 years.
This debate made it clear that Bill de Blasio is the best candidate for the job of the 109th Mayor of New York City. We need to bring the Democratic Party back to City Hall. We need to have a strong group of Progressive Democratic Leaders in New York City. He has the plan to bring the people of New York City together to support the interests of all groups, while making sure the issues we all share as being important are taken care of.