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nyc democratic mayoral primary debate june 2021

NYC Mayoral Debate Review

In the Debate, McGuire Moved up a bit, Donovan Moved Down & ...

nyc things to do this weekend nyc manhattan queens brooklyn staten Island bronx things to do nycJune 7, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. Some small amounts of rain are expected on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - but at a below 50% probability - except Wednesday early afternoon. The temperature highs will be in the mid 80's on Tuesday and Wednesday, dropping to the mid 70's on Thursday and the mid 60's on Friday. The temperature lows will go from about 70 on Tuesday and Wednesday to about 60 on Thursday and Friday. The winds will be between 3 - 10 mph, being calmer in the first couple of days, and a bit more windy toward the end of the week. The humidity will be between 70% and 90% through the week.


The First Live NYC Mayoral Debate was Wednesday June 2nd

nyc things to do this weekend nyc manhattan queens brooklyn staten Island bronx things to do nycIt was nice to see all of the major candidates on the same stage talking the issues, as for the first time the debate was live. I went in with Garcia, Morales and Yang near the top of my list; with Adams, Stringer and McGuire at the bottom; and the other two - Donovan and Wiley - in the middle.

I came out of the debate a bit less certain of Garcia, more convinced by Garcia and unchanged on Yang. Wiley stayed in the middle, probably dropping a notch, as she triggered concerns that she may be trying to do too much, too quickly, and thus may fail. Based on what I've seen over the years, you can't lead from the fringer.

Shaun Donovan shot down into the middle of my bottom tier, where Stringer championed the bottom slot. McGuire moved up to the top of the bottom tier, while Adams moved up into the middle tier, pulling neck and neck with Wiley. I'll show you a before / after graphic later this week.

So why the changes?

Donovan Loses Because He Spent his Time Attacking de Blasio, Instead of Offering any New Ideas / Solutions to the Problems Faced by NYC

I think Shaun Donovan has been reading the NY Post and watching Fox News a bit too much. These news outlets are owned by Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch who uses his media outlets as one big propaganda machine which seems designed to manipulate the perceptions of his audiences by omitting key facts and sensationalizing trivia [he was late] and hyping allegations [fake news corruption]. Donovan doesn't seem to understand that de Blasio went unchalleged in the last election and defeated Malliotakis by a landslide.

So Shaun wasted his time trying to position himself as the un-de Blasio, in a manner not unlike what former Congressman Max Rose did, when running for re-election against Malliotakis on Staten Island. Rose lost.


McGuire Moved up Because he Wasn't a Total Suit, but still Remains on the Low End

How's that for a backhanded compliment? McGuire's solutions to the gun violence, is to shut down the gun shipments coming in on I-95. His solution to helping the NYC economy recover is to subsidize MWBE businesses by helping provide workforce training and enhanced technology solutions, and he suggested enabling parochial schools [non-profit religious groups] to do charters rather than for profit hedge funds - although he didn't rule out hedge funds. And in what is a typical Republican stance, he recited his distaste for government, as if we were living in America a couple of hundred years ago, when the west was wild, the buffalo roamed free.


Wiley has a Lot of Ideas, but can she Deliver?

Maya Wiley blustered her way through the beginning of the debate, before calming down and making sense. She's an attorney and civil rights activist, and as such, comes with progressive ideas, that I think may be ahead of their time. She wants to create 100,000 jobs by employing people from within communities to build their own affordable housing. She attacked Andrew Yang for his promise of creating 150,000 jobs, when his company only grew to 150 jobs. Yang explained that the company he ran wasn't where the jobs sprouted up, but rather by enabling all of these grassroots entities to start their own companies and efforts.

Wiley also said she would move $1 billion from the NYPD to provide universal care for 100,000 families. That she would stop hiring at the NYPD and something about the Police Academy and investing in people. On education Wiley said that she was educated in an overcrowded charter school, but I didn't catch anything about what she would do vis a vis education. And she told voters to hire her because she has courage.


Morales Appeared a Stronger Candidate than I First Thought but ...

Of the eight the top and second tier candidates, the one I had least exposure to was Dianne Morales. Morales was an educator, most recently working for the Phipps Company in NYC. She talked about jumpstarting the economy by working with non-profit community groups, funneling 80 cents on the dollar back to them. She, and for that matter, none of the candidates talked about how they were going to fund their grandiose job creation efforts.

When it came to education, Morales talked about how the curriculum at many schools doesn't resonate with many in the student body and therefore fails them.

This comment resonated with me, as during the CoVid pandemic and before, I had taken to watching PBS documentaries that cover the history of African Americans, other ethnic minorities and women, that raised my awareness of how the entire system has been skewed toward white males. I think we all recognize that we, as a society, need to open up parallel channels, curriculums, institutions, arts, culture and media for other gender(s) and other ethnicities to live up to the philosophies embedded in the U.S. Constitution.

Bear in mind that the institutions were designed a long time ago, when the U.S. was primarily a white, male dominated society, and so in the historical context they served their purposes well enough for many years, which is why the institutions and programs survived. But things have dramatically changed over the past couple of hundred of years, and the institutions and the curriculae must keep pace with the times.

Again on education, Morales said that the schools need to use the city as a classroom, which will expand the space available for learning, not to mention leveraging the tremendous resources available to us here. She said this will expose and excite kids to the possibilities that may await them if they perform. I thought this was an excellent idea.

Morales ended the debate by saying she's a single mom of two kids. She's imperfect. She faced inequalities and challenges and when she fell, she got back up, and that's what has made this city great and will see us through.

I did a bit of research after the fact, and Dianne Morales has had some campaign management issues, including the loss of a top manager and a union, so these management / leadership issues also need to be factored into people's voting decisions.


Andrew Yang - Remained One of My Top Three but ...

There's no doubt that Andrew Yang is a very personable, likeable guy. He is easily the one with whom I'd most enjoy sitting down with to have a beer. Does that matter? To an extent. Part of any leadership position is selling your ideas, program and ultimately self. But I can't say that likeability has ever been the driving impetus behind someone getting my vote.

Yang was attacked by a number of the other candidates, perhaps because he continues to be one of the leading candidates and because he is so likeable. One rival said Yang missed a number of NYC Mayoral votes. So what? Another accused him of overpromising on jobs [that exchange is explained above] - even as most of the candidates promised hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs.

Yang wants to get the kids back in school. He rightly noted that sports and socializing are both important to building / rounding out the full person [team building and interpersonal skills respectively]. Yang was the only of two to give a straight answer regarding his second choice [Garcia]. Donovan was the other and he said Wiley. All the others said that they hadn't yet made up their minds [yeah].

Yang also said that now is a good time to reach out to the disadvantaged by using some of the federal money to enable high speed internet to all [he noted that 29% of kids didn't have access to high speed internet during the pandemic]. He gave de Blasio a B for overall performance, which is an assessment with which I agree. Everyone else I have spoken to who is critical of de Blasio seems to rely on mega billionaire Murdoch's mendacious media [primarily Fox News & NY Post, but also Channel 9 TV and the Wall St Journal and increasingly ABC TV] which leave out de Blasio's accomplishments, sensationalize any short term negatives, and hype allegations and innuendo while leaving out key facts.

Yang also noted that he had more grassroots donors than any other candidate on stage. But it's worth mentioning that he likely leverage the donor database he built while running for president.


Garcia, Stringer & Adams have been Covered Previously

In our reporting leading up to the debate, we had previously posted reports covering Garcia, Stringer and Adams. As you can probably tell, I'm not hot for any of them, but conversely I find only a couple of the candidates that truly put me off. What you have left, is a number of interesting candidates, with widely varying qualifications, a couple of whom are strongly supported by vested interests, who in my mind are looking to plunder the public purse.

The two public office holders, Stringer and Adams, appear thus far to have been the biggest beneficiaries of special interest cash. That is in part why they're down near the bottom on my selection set. Stringer has repeatedly appeared to favor those who fund him over those who voted for him, while Adams seems one of the most conservative candidates running on the Democratic ticket. It's worth mentioning that Adams was a Republican, and that Australian born billionaire propagandist Rupert Murdoch's NY Post has endorsed Adams. Miser Murdoch seems never to give something for nothing, which is why I consider this tidbit worth noting.

This is why Garcia is still on top for me. Because so far, we've not seen those strong special interest ties, she is apparently competent having served well in both the Bloomberg and de Blasio Administrations, and appears to have one of the best backgrounds / skillsets needed to be an effective mayor.

This is not an endorsement, as I'm a jaded voter, who doesn't really trust most folks in public office. A few have surprised me to the good, but most have not surprised me with the bad. It's a democracy. We get a choice. And then we cross our fingers and hope for the best. And if it doesn't work out, we try to change things the next time around.

Thanks for paying attention and have a good week.

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