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The Promise and Perils of Bill de Blasio If Elected Mayor of NYC: 9 Power Centers to Keep Your Eye On

Success won’t be easy, but if de Blasio plays it smart, he could keep fooling people all the way to a more humane inclusive NYC.
If all goes as predicted today, November  5, Bill de Blasio  will be the new mayor-elect of NYC, and by landslide proportions.  De Blasio’s  achievement is an extraordinary one, and comes as a shock to many of the big-time establishment players who have exercised almost blanket control over New York politics for decades.
De Blasio’s  election raises high expectations among his voters eager for a change in tone and priorities in the Big Apple. The high hopes apply as well to millions of people across the country hungry for a sign that progressive populism is alive and has a future in the face of the nation’s extraordinary march toward massive inequality. The wealth and earnings gap is clearly evident in NYC, but also across the nation where the levels of homelessness, people in poverty, and those living paycheck to paycheck number well over 100 million, and people are hurting in ways that defy comprehension.

As the first progressive NYC mayor since David  Dinkins (’90-’93) de Blas io follows a combined 20 years of the pugnacious Rudy  Giuliani, and the wealthiest guy in New York, Michael Bloomberg. The tall, lanky, mild-mannered, sometimes even goofy de Blasio  is a very different kind of leader for NYC, and one who has clearly been underestimated. He maneuvered himself brilliantly in a campaign that stayed on message about his " Tale of Two Cities," and stuck it to pretty much the gamut of political power in New York, from Bloomberg, to Governor Andrew Cuomo, and to the media—from the manipulative NY Times to the rancid NY Post.  

When you throw in Ray Kelly and the stop-and-frisk crowd, the school  privatizers, the real estate industry, and even all the hungry unions that didn’t support de Blasio  in the primary, you can see just how much of a victory he has won, and how potentially treacherous the path to success might be.

What will happen in a de Blasio  administration that launches in January is already a topic of high hopes and immense speculation. To state the obvious, success won’t be easy, but if de Blasio  is as smart and savvy as his allies suggest, he could keep fooling people all the way to a more humane and inclusive New York City, showing that there is more than one way for the Big Apple to thrive.

To be sure, de Blasio  begins with enormous goodwill from the rank and file, millions who want him to succeed and be a part of the city where they no longer feel left out. Whether the myriad fans and supporters can stick for the long haul and not be quickly annoyed when de Blasio  doesn’t do everything and be everything they want him to be, will be a first test of hanging onto his constituency. This is crucial because a popular mayor is a big weapon in fighting the entrenched power centers, especially when everyone was pretty much against him in the primary.

One political insider who didn’t wanted to be identified because he has to work with all of the political players said that many don’t realize just how good de Blasio  is at politics, how knowledgeable he is about the agencies and the workings of city government.

"I don’t think success is going to be that hard. True, it is a challenge for a mayor to fundamentally grapple with inequality, but he can do much, like build affordable housing, set a new tone, say some bold things early and act on them in a first 100 days with a willing city council. "

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