Mayor Bill de Blasio will occupy City Hall for another four years. That’s what happens to incumbent Democrats facing a moribund local Republican Party in a city still seething at the election of President Donald Trump.
Kudos to the mayor. Now it’s time to get down to work.
This campaign didn’t test de Blasio much. He was never forced to propose big new plans or promises. But never fear. We’ve provided a list of some issues the mayor must tackle starting Wednesday:
- Money for the MTA: De Blasio does not control the subway system, but he can help improve it. That starts by working with Gov. Andrew Cuomo to fund upgrades. There are a few ways to find the money, but a good one would be adjusting tolls into parts of Manhattan, which would raise money and encourage use of mass transit.
- Better buses: The mayor has much more control over buses, and a true transit mayor would do everything possible to add and speed Select Bus Service routes to supplement the subway system.
- Criminal justice reforms: He must recommit himself to police-community relations. He promised police training on hidden racial biases in early 2016. Now that program’s launch is not even projected until next year. Get it going. Anger over police shootings of civilians has not subsided, as seen after the acquittal this week of the off-duty officer who shot and killed Delrawn Small in Brooklyn last year.
- Close Rikers Island: The mayor promised to shut down the jail complex in 10 years. He must jumpstart the plan to get a closure close to reality, rather than justmaking it the next mayor’s problem.
- Stay focused on NYC: The big win might encourage de Blasio to reach for the national spotlight. New York, however, won’t be a launchpad unless he does his job here. That means talking about schools and supportive housing more than controversial statues. It means skipping the twists and turns of progressive punditry, instead focusing on smart steps to protect soft targets from terror attacks.
If he does that, he’ll be respecting all those who voted for him on Tuesday.