Over 20 Democratic presidential hopefuls are attempting to remove President Donald Trump from the White House in 2020.
Getting to Know Mayor Bill de Blasio
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is not the first mayor of “Gotham City” to run for President of the United States.
But, Mayor de Blasio is hoping to become the first to ascend straight from New York City Hall to the Oval Office.
And the mayor hopes that his record while in city hall will convince Democratic voters that his track record in the nation’s largest city will translate into success in the nation’s capital.
In the past, New York City endured the legacy of being a city of high crime.
But when de Blasio took office, he vowed to reduce crime by improving police/community relations.
He halted the stop and frisk tactic that police used in which they could stop and frisk anyone at anytime for any reason.
The victims of the stop and frisk procedure were often Black and brown residents of the city’s poorer neighborhoods.
Ending the stop and frisk procedure reduced police stops by 93 percent.
Although de Blasio ended the stop and frisk practice, his decision did not come without controversy.
Many of his critics believed that halting the stop and frisk practice would lead to a higher crime rate in the city.
However, after ending the practice, crime has gone down every year in New York.
He required police to wear body cameras, take implicit bias training and go through retraining in de-escalation.
With the stigma of marijuana use and possession gradually disappearing in American society, de Blasio decriminalized low-level marijuana possession, sending many drug cases to civil court instead of criminal court.
Furthermore, de Blasio understood how the criminal justice system could lead to discrimination against Black Americans when it comes to obtaining jobs.
Mayor de Blasio championed the “Ban the Box” initiative, which prohibits employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal record.
He also launched and expanded initiatives that reduce the number of people on cash bail.
Those programs and policies have led to the lowest incarceration rates for any big city in the United States.
Mayor de Blasio has also tried to reverse years of systemic racism and discrimination by addressing housing issues in the “Big Apple.”
Throughout his administration, de Blasio has made affordable housing one of his key priorities.
As mayor, he has created 122,000 affordable housing units, which houses over 275,000 New Yorkers.
Additionally, he implemented a two-year rent freeze, which prohibited landlords from raising rent on tenants for two years.
The rent freeze helped 2.5 million tenants across the city stay in their homes.
He implemented an anti-eviction program, which gives legal council to tenants facing evictions and has helped 100,00 renters stay in their residence.
“Everything should be about our families, what everyday people are going through, what working people are going through,” said de Blasio. “Here’s the bottom line: We have a country that’s favored the one percent now for literally 40 years. The rich have gotten richer. Everybody else has been pretty much treading water.”
The 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful also committed over $5 billion to public housing infrastructures, the biggest investment in New York’s history.
The mayor also has a history of protecting the rights of immigrants, even if that means going toe-to-toe with President Donald Trump.
When President Trump threatened to withhold funding to New York unless the city cooperated with ICE, de Blasio took Trump to court and won.
The mayor barred ICE from city properties.
Since 2014, the city has invested more than $90 million to provide free legal assistance to undocumented immigrants facing deportation from America.
Mayor de Blasio also created IDNYC, which gives identification cards to undocumented immigrants so that they can benefit from city services.
He also supported New York state legislation that allowed undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses.
Mayor de Blasio also knows that receiving a quality education will change some of the inequalities that exist in America.
As mayor, he established free full day pre-K for every four-year-old and he hopes to extend that to the early childhood program for three year olds.
This policy is significant because of the high cost of daycare.
With full day education for pre-K and early childhood, many lower-income parents can work full days and/or avoid the exorbitant cost of after-school childcare.
Under de Blasio’s leadership, high school students in New York have achieved the highest graduation rates and the lowest dropouts rates ever.
The mayor also helped provide free breakfast and lunch for all students.
Furthermore, de Blasio helped provide free SAT for all high school juniors in New York City.
The de Blasio administration also made an investment in Computer Science for all ensuring that all students had the computer skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century.
The presidential hopeful has even addressed healthcare in New York City.
He launched NYC Care, which guaranteed quality healthcare for all New Yorkers.
The city invested $60 million to fight the opioid crisis.
New York also invested $1.8 billion to improve local hospitals.
The Center for Health Equity started under de Blasio’s leadership to serve vulnerable communities that do not always have access to quality healthcare.
But despite his record in the nation’s largest city, de Blasio has yet to receive much support in his presidential bid.
At a recent campaign event in Iowa, de Blasio only managed to bring in a crowd of 15 people.
At the Iowa State Fair “Cast your Kernel” poll; de Blasio received zero percent in the fair’s unscientific presidential poll.
And according to RealClearPolitics, de Blasio is poling at only 0.3 percent.