“The Dream of a Middle-Class New York,” really brought forth my understanding of the change within recent years, perhaps the last decade, of a mayor’s true political power for positive change.
Example: “Inequality, after all, is a product of global economic forces and national policy choices” (New York Magazine, 28). But, is it really? Can there be nothing done to alleviate the the inequality within cities via the regional or local governments? This might be true in the past, but Mayor Bloomberg/De Blasio and political figureheads in general recently within larger urban settings have proven that more can be done by those who once had ‘more rhetorical power’ than anything else. Mayor Emanuel (Chicago), Peterson/Ballard (Indianapolis), and Bloomberg/De Blasio (New York City) are just a few off the top of my head who have taken the burden and action into their own hands as the federal government continues to be at polar opposites, successfully getting nothing done. They become the political figurehead leading ideas to change the public and corporate culture within cities to alleviate the affordability burden.
I attended the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) meeting this past week as the kickoff for finalizing the public input on the mayor’s plan to ‘bring’ affordability to Seattle’s housing ‘crisis’ (those terms are used lightly due to their use at the meeting, but I have no evidence nor time to prove whether they are true or not currently.) It was somewhat enlightening to hear from both sides of the spectrum: a variety (whether stacked or not,) of pro-HALA supporters figuratively led by Mayor Murray & A LOT of Wallingford residents very apparently anti-HALA. (I use the term somewhat enlightening as there were apparent attendees who were most interested in complaining their same point continuously.) Although the HALA is now seen as both a mayoral and city council joint venture, it’s great to realize it stemmed from the Mayor’s Office.
In my opinion, it’s great (almost relieving) that those who were once only seen as political figureheads are now using their political power to change and better problems at the most local level.