Targeted hammer blows for hizzoner

How will it look? Nuts-and-bolts logical as such inquiry is, when occasion demands it, it fails oftentimes to receive the due consideration it should. We’re all too familiar with scant attention being paid to the appearance of things when folks are hell-bent on a single-minded objective, so much so that, as particular action is undertaken, what public reaction might ensue gets tossed aside recklessly or contemptuously as a non-factor. So it is with the players involved in what has every appearance of a takedown effort now underway in this city. You would be hard-pressed to come up with an example more befitting “the quintessence of brazen” than big kahunas of real estate in New York City crying foul against Mayor Bill De Blasio, because his policies are compromising their revenue intake and affecting their ability to plough funds into building-stock upkeep and / or improvements.

It probably bears noting again that we’re talking about New York City. The very one we hear being cited ad nauseam for its unflattering place at the top of the rankings of cities where real estate prices and rents have gone through the roof. In this city, at this time, real estate interests have had a media ad campaign going, slamming the mayor for having made victims of them. Clearly, not a case where much attention was paid to the “how would it look” factor.

As is frequently the case, the aphrodisiac that is power probably holds the key to why real estate chieftains around here obviously thought it eminently saleable, this laying on New Yorkers a tale about the weakened state of their finances, thanks to the current real estate climate brought about by De Blasio. You’ve got to really think of yourself as possessing marketing skills unmatched anywhere to ooze confidence about making that case.

The real estate people aren’t alone in the organized whacking of the mayor for public consumption. Supposedly a union representing city cops, or someone or some entity doing its bidding, has also had a media ad campaign going, slamming De Blasio, because of the city having allegedly become unaffordable. Cunningly, this spot, featuring a non-white immigrant (either actual or role-playing) wife of a cop, goes for a variation on the stock image of a member of New York’s finest. And unwittingly, to be sure, the ad pokes holes in the claim being made by the real estate guys, that the money flow for them is not as it should be.

What the ads have in common, of course, is their “Get De Blasio” intent. Which, albeit fair game in the political arena, nevertheless has about it a bit of an odd feel, given that, particularly with respect to that real estate ad, the mayor is being lambasted evidently because of an overarching progressive agenda, about which, to his credit, he has been very up-front both prior to and since assuming office. Most concerning, perhaps, is the very notion of serious pushback against progressive policies in New York City. For some slice of the city’s demography, that may be cool. For the lot of us, it doesn’t fit. Are we being delusional in thinking that serious opposition to any progressive aspects of a social agenda in this city is really aberrational? Or should we have placed greater stock in what some have called a deliberate attempt that’s been underway to transform the city — those murmurs and those actions that gave us pause (like a glut of bike lanes that moved the needle on parking woes in the city from “acute” to “impossible”)?

“They are white and rich,” was how one source connected to city government characterized the nature of the opposition to Mayor De Blasio’s progressive agenda. Blacks and Hispanics, he said, don’t share the view that progressive policies are anathema here. Indeed, why wouldn’t people of color, and whites as well, who aren’t in the middle and higher income strata, not favor policies that provide, for example, that a certain portion of new housing stock in the city be earmarked for persons of lesser income? We continue to believe that this, much more than the obvious chicanery of some real estate high rollers, defines what true New York values are all about. Good for the mayor, if he’s all for reflecting that Big Apple image.

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