Labor Watch

Labor Watch: De Blasio and Friends: Unions bring a Far Left government to power in New York City

De Blasio and Friends
Unions bring a Far Left government to power in New York City (PDF here)

By Alec Torres

Summary: Ever wonder what it would be like if radical unions and their allies gained control of New York City? Wonder no more. With the critical backing of the nation’s most powerful union local, SEIU 1199, and with advisors like Patrick Gaspard of SEIU (and the Obama White House) and Bertha Lewis of ACORN, Mayor Bill de Blasio is pursuing policies that threaten the future of the world’s most important city.

[Note: Many of the individuals and organizations in this story have been subjects of previous reports by the Capital Research Center. See, for example, Organization Trends May 2011 (ACORN) and September 2013 (the community organizers’ network) and Labor Watch December 2009 and January 2010 (SEIU) and November 2013 (Local 1199’s role in Obamacare).]

New York City, once prosperous and free, is entering an unnecessary age of darkness brought on by the foolishneess of bad governance. The new mayor, Bill de Blasio, is an unapologetic admirer of Soviet-backed thugs, a supporter of the Occupy movement, a foe of school choice, and a crony of the same sort of leftists who destroyed Detroit, once the nation’s richest city and now a ruin. With likeminded ideologues in command of other key offices, de Blasio’s power within city government is near absolute. His closest backers, Service Employees International Union Local 1199 and its radical allies such as the former ACORN organization, dominate city government at nearly all levels.

It’s enough to make one long for the days of Michael Bloomberg.

“We are called to put an end to economic and social inequalities that threaten to unravel the city we love. And so today, we commit to a new progressive direction in New York. And that same progressive impulse has written our city’s history. It’s in our DNA.” De Blasio spoke these words on January 1, 2014, the day he was inaugurated as mayor of New York City.

It was the first time in exactly 20 years that the city had a Democratic mayor. But de Blasio is not merely a Democrat, nor even a traditional JFK-type liberal, but a self-described and unabashed Progressive. His mayoral campaign revolved around a Tale of Two Cities narrative: there is a rich New York and a poor and exploited New York, and the latter requires more and bigger government to succeed. “Inequality” was the buzzword of de Blasio’s campaign, and the casual observer would have been led to believe the greatest threat facing the average
New Yorker was the fact that someone else in New York earned more money than he did.

After 20 years of rule under Rudy Giuliani, a Republican, and Michael Bloomberg, a Republican-turned-independent, the leftists in a city known for its leftism burst forth with pent up energy. Now the city’s highest offices—elected and unelected—are filled with Progressives, who have little respect for constitutions and other limitations on government power. (Click here for the rest.)