Headline: Don’t ignore us—again
Someone needs to send the mayor a memo like the one I began above.
A few weeks ago, a tax lawyer I know responded immediately to one of my posts on the ups and downs of our new mayor with a simple statement. "All my clients hate him," he wrote. There was a list of specific grievances, but the most important message is that they felt he didn’t care about them or their problems or the role they play in making New York prosperous.
Consider what happened last week, when his own deputy mayor for economic development unveiled a major new report on the tech industry in New York. Mr. de Blasio crashed the event—tieless to supposedly fit in with the tech theme—and then talked about his victory in winning pre-K. That shows a lot of interest in the concerns of tech people.
A few weeks earlier, a new roller coaster was commissioned at Coney Island. Michael Bloomberg would have been there to talk about how important tourism is to the city and how he would make sure that industry boosted the fortunes of that part of Brooklyn. In this administration, not even a deputy mayor showed up. It was an event worth only the presence of the president of the city's Economic Development Corp.
On a more substantive matter, could Mayor de Blasio have shown less interest in the concerns of business people—primarily those running small companies—as he pushed through and basked in the triumph of the broader, toughened sick-leave bill?
I know the mayor and his aides are in contact with the business power brokers, but that is not enough. It is time for him to acknowledge the people who run the businesses that make the city work and to make it clear he understands that a thriving economy is high on his priority list.
Thursday would be a good time to start.
Director/Business Reporting Program/CUNY J School
Columnist/Blogger for Crain's New York