Lew's View: Mayoral transition - New York News

Lew's View: Mayoral transition

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Lew Leone is the vice president and general manager of WNYW-FOX 5. He is taking to the airwaves with his thoughts on current affairs. It's called "Lew's View." The views expressed are not necessarily those of the station or its employees.

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Have you heard about the talking transition? It is billed as "an open conversation about the future of New York City." The idea is to give New Yorkers a voice and inform the new mayor's agenda. The organizers of this movement believe that in order to be effective Bill de Blasio must listen to what the people have to say.

They, rightly, point out that he will inherit a $70 billion budget with 250,000 employees and be responsible for enforcing all city and state laws in the 5 boroughs. As the current public advocate, de Blasio is in charge of 32 people so this will be a rather large step-up in job responsibility.

The centerpiece of this movement is a huge tent on Canal Street. It kind of reminds me of Occupy Wall Street without the sleeping bags. The tent is in place for two weeks culminating with a town meeting on November 23.

All day long inside the tent there are discussions, music acts, talent shows, painting and cake and coffee. Visitors to the tent can post suggestions on an old school bulletin board or they can go to their website and email a suggestion to the new mayor. You can view many of the discussions online.

I can save you some time. Here are the ideas in a nutshell:

  • Raises for all union workers
  • More career and technical education
  • Don't stop and frisk anyone
  • Don't suspend bad students from school
  • Cheaper housing for everyone
  • Higher taxes on the rich
  • End the war on drugs

And then, some more radical ideas:

  • Redistribution of wealth
  • An alternative economic system
  • Additional school holidays for religious reasons

I went down to check it our first hand. I think it is a good idea to give the people a way to express their ideas. As the next mayor, Bill de Blasio will have many decisions to make.

Let's hope the ideas he and his team garner from the transition tent help him develop into an effective leader. In the meantime, I'll take this opportunity to invite to post this good luck card on the transition wall.

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