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Fri May 8, 2015, 12:28 PM


Hey You Old Hippies... Take A Gander At The Picture Below... [View all]

Mayor Bill de Blasio's Crusade - RollingStone (Long, But Worth It)


Mayor Bill de Blasio's Crusade
Bill de Blasio is trying to remake America's biggest city — and he doesn't plan to stop there

By Mark Binelli RollingStone
May 6, 2015

Bill de Blasio, the young activist. Todd Maisel/Polaris


One afternoon in early April, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio strode onto the back porch of Gracie Mansion, the Upper East Side mayoral residence, to bask in the city's first truly warm day of spring. It had been an exacting winter, and as de Blasio folded his long frame into a wicker chair, he announced merrily, "It's my first outdoor meeting of 2015!" When the weather suits, the mayor likes to do business out here, taking advantage of the spectacular view of the East River and the Triborough Bridge. A pair of soccer nets have been set up on the lawn, where de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, occasionally kick a ball around with their son, Dante, a high school senior.

At six feet five, de Blasio is the tallest mayor in New York's history, and most chairs aren't exactly built to fit his kind. Seated, he often winds up looking crouched and angular, as if he's mentally readying himself for an especially difficult yoga pose. At political events, where he's required to stand beside other speakers or greet constituents, he has the courteous giant's habit of stooping slightly. His rhetorical focus can make him seem intense: His hooded eyes and hawkish features conjure a bird of prey, and his voice, despite its swallowed timbre, has a tough, prosecutorial edge. But the intensity is undercut by an ever-present air of mild distraction, and by the goofy Brooklyn-dad side of de Blasio that occasionally emerges in public settings.

Earlier that afternoon, de Blasio had convened a closed-door meeting of national progressive thought leaders and elected officials. There was Sherrod Brown, the populist senator from Ohio, and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy. The novelist Toni Morrison showed up, delighting de Blasio and McCray. Other attendees included Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation; Arizona Congressman Raϊl Grijalva, chair of the House Progressive Caucus; and Van Jones, a former Obama adviser. They'd all come together to begin work on a new version of the "Contract With America," only this one would be a product of the left, focusing on economic policies — a set of line-in-the-sand principles that progressives, and their candidates in 2016, could rally around. It was a surprising choice of inspiration for de Blasio, the mission's unlikely Danny Ocean: Looking to rejuvenate the Democratic Party, he'd turned not to Bill Clinton, whose strategy of triangulation the mayor openly repudiates, but Newt Gingrich.

"Look, the New Democrat approach, from my point of view, didn't work," de Blasio told me that afternoon. "That governing approach didn't stop the progression that led us to a thoroughly Republican House and now Senate, and a national debate that doesn't even address the real issues. The economic crisis of today — the only parallel is the Great Depression. That's just a fact. The difference is, there's no light at the end of the tunnel now."

For five terms, supposedly liberal New York had been governed by a Republican (Rudolph Giuliani) and a quasi-Republican independent (Michael Bloomberg). So when a full-throated progressive like de Blasio bounded into City Hall in 2014 with an astounding 73 percent of votes in the general election, it felt like more than simply a mandate for local change. To leftist Democrats around the country, long frustrated by what they saw as the thwarted hopes, tactical errors, compromises and outright betrayals of the Obama administration, the ascension of one of their own to one of the highest-profile elected offices in the country made for a momentous, potentially thrilling development. Just as past mayors had taken advantage of New York's unique status as a cultural and media capital to globalize their agendas — think of the far-reaching influence of Bloomberg-era public-health policies like the smoking ban, or the way Giuliani exploited his reputation for "cleaning up" the city by starting a lucrative international consulting firm specializing in security and policing — could de Blasio use the singular platform provided by his new position to showcase, as brightly as a Times Square billboard, the civic benefits of unfettered liberalism?


Much More: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/mayor-bill-de-blasios-crusade-20150506

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Reply Hey You Old Hippies... Take A Gander At The Picture Below... [View all]
WillyT May 2015 OP
joeybee12 May 2015 #1
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hrmjustin May 2015 #3
WillyT May 2015 #4
UTUSN May 2015 #5
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octoberlib May 2015 #9