Democrats Take City Hall
After 12 Bloomberg Years
And Eight Under Giuliani
Henry J. Stern is the founder and president of New York Civic.
Monday, December 30th, 2013

This is a time of transition in New York City government. A twelve year period of relative tranquility is ending and a newly elected administration is starting in. Ideologically, from what they say, the Bill de Blasio administration wants to make a sharp turn to the left, viewing Bloomberg as a creature of the old regime. Certainly the substantial vote by which he was elected gives the new mayor a popular mandate. It is not clear, however, exactly what that mandate is for.

Is it for balancing the budget, or borrowing to close the gap? Is it for reducing expenditures or embarking on new programs like all day kindergarten? Is it for stricter law enforcement or against some police practices?

Mayor Bloomberg leaves office amid substantial public satisfaction with the job he has done over the last twelve years. The administration has been honest and its statements generally reasonable. Every now and then the mayor got into trouble for saying something, usually true, which offended people, but there has been nothing which would get him thrown off television.

Voters Term Limit Bloomberg to Three
As They Did Koch, Cuomo and Pataki
Henry J. Stern is the founder and president of New York Civic.
Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

t has been some months since we last wrote about New York City's shifting political tides. During that time, there have been a number of reversals of fortune with regard to candidates and their prospects for reelection. There has been a greater willingness by the public this year to turn the rascals out than there was in the recent past. Reputations rise and fall. Reelection once appeared to be perfunctory in New York's gerrymandered, machine controlled one-party districts. That is no longer the case, but there is still a long way to go on the road to fair and competitive elections.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965, a landmark Federal law, was adopted a generation ago to offset attempts to suppress the popular vote or create obstacles for those who tried to vote. For many years this pattern of unofficial discrimination kept minority voters from the polls, thus diluting their political influence. In districts with substantial minority populations, election outcomes did not necessarily reflect the will of the majority of the voters.

A Compilation
Monday, September 2nd, 2013

The first round of voting in the 2013 New York City municipal election is rapidly approaching and New York Civic wants our readers to be ready. The best way for us to ensure that happens is to arm you with the knowledge you need to make the most informed decision you can about those vying for the honor to serve you. Every New York City voter will be able to cast at least five choices toward the make-up of the city government. This fall we will choose what our next legislative body looks like, who will lead our boroughs, our chief fiscal officer, someone to ensure every constituency is heard equally and a chief executive.

Several news and research organizations have done much to vet the candidates by interviewing, reviewing and following the candidates throughout the campaign season. We have gathered many of them here, so that you may have a comprehensive look at candidates positions.

Edward C. Sullivan served in the New York State Assembly from 1977 to 2002.
Monday, July 8th, 2013

For the last nine years, New York Civic has published articles about New York City and State government and politics. From time to time, we send our readers articles that others have written which we believe have particular meaning and value for New Yorkers.

Today, we submit to you, “Come Home to Reason,” written by Edward C. Sullivan, an intellectual who served 22 years in the New York state legislature, chairing the Assembly Committee on Higher Education until he retired voluntarily in 2009.

We think Mr. Sullivan’s article is a valuable contribution to the public dialogue. We hope that you think about what he is saying.

As long as our legislature includes people like Ed Sullivan, hope will remain.

Neighbors See Red
On Asphalt Green
Henry J. Stern is the founder and president of New York Civic.
Friday, June 7th, 2013

Local issues tend to attract little public attention except by individuals and corporations who think they will be discomfited or enriched by proposed facilities that the city or state is trying to build. The antis claim that hardship will result from any change to the city map, and that any new construction will aggravate the residences and business in the surrounding area and add to overcrowding at their local schools. The old saying N.I.M.B.Y. (Not In My Back Yard) has morphed into B.A.N.A.N.A. (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody).

In some situations claims of local hardship are valid. In other cases they are not. However, it is not sound public policy to decide major matters on the basis of the opinion of small groups of people who will be benefited or harmed by a particular plan.

What responsible citizens should do while dealing with issues before the community is to measure the benefit the project will provide against the harm, both now and in the future, and try to judge what is the long term interest of the neighborhood and the city as a whole. These expectations may change quickly as new facts may be discovered about a proposed project, its sponsorship, its cost and the impact of construction on the neighborhood.

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