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September 16, 2005

The Case Against Bloomberg/For Ferrer

Some New York City Democrats are supporting Mike Bloomberg's reelection and, while I can understand the appreciation of Bloomberg's general competency, but the reality is that Bloomberg has fought to undermine progressive possibilities in this very Democratic city and acted as an apologist for Bush's failures post-911.

I just can't vote for Bloomberg given his vetos of every decent piece of legislation coming out of the City Council.
* Bloomberg vetoed the Equal Benefits Bill to require businesses receiving city contracts to provide equal benefits to domestic partners.
* Bloomberg vetoed legislation that would allow welfare recipients to count GED and English language classes toward work requirements.
* Bloomberg vetoed legislation which would require pharmacies that do not carry emergency contraceptives to post signs indicating that they are not sold at that location and vetoed a bill requiring hospitals to inform rape victims that emergency contraception is available and to offer it if requested.
* Bloomberg vetoed a bill to allow applicants to apply for food stamps online or by fax.
* Bloomberg's vetoed the "Tenant Empowerment Act," a measure to give tenants in some affordable housing programs an opportunity to buy their buildings.
* Most recently, he vetoed the Health Security Act to require large companies selling groceries (read Wal-Mart) to provide health care for their employees.

Most vetoes have been overridden by the City Council, but Bloomberg has also repeatedly gone to court to overturn some of the laws in court, showing his hostility to these progressive initiatives.

And Bloomberg publicly attacked the City Comptroller for using City ownership of shares in Winn-Dixie supermarkets to demand the company adopt a policy ending discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

And the silence of Bloomberg in the face of Bush's assaults on urban America and lack of funding for security in NYC is disgraceful. The largest city in the nation should be an advocate against Bush's anti-urban agenda and Bloomberg has failed in what should be his national role. He may make the local trains run on time-- and yes 311 is good -- but that's not enough.

So I'll be voting for Freddy Ferrer. He has a good solid progressive record and he will, if nothing else, not veto all the legislation that Bloomberg has. And I actually do like his strong commitment to affordable housing backed by an honest admission that it will take serious money from new taxes.

At the city level, housing is possibly my number one issue and Ferrer is taking the issue . Here's the summary of his platform on housing:

As Mayor, Fernando Ferrer will target four goals for creating an affordable New York:

a.. Require that 30 percent of newly created units be set aside for moderate and low-income individuals in targeted "growth zones" -- and provide substantial financial incentives for developers to set aside an
additional 20% of the units for affordable housing.
b.. Dedicate $8.5 billion over ten years for the development and preservation of 167,000 affordable housing units throughout the City.
c.. End tax giveaways to developers who refuse to include affordable housing in their new developments.
d.. Provide real Mayoral leadership in Albany and Washington, D.C. to fight for housing resources for New York.

Nothing flashy but it's exactly what's needed.

So that's how my vote is going.

Posted by Nathan at September 16, 2005 07:44 AM