Juan González on De Blasio’s Watershed Mayoralty

New York City has had its share of larger-than-life mayors – from Koch to Giuliani to Bloomberg – but none have transferred power to the working class as aggressively as Bill de Blasio. That’s the argument made by former longtime New York Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez in his new book, Reclaiming Gotham – an in-depth account of de Blasio’s rise to power as part of the nationwide progressive movement. By Gonzalez’s calculations, the reforms de Blasio has instituted in his first term transferred more than $20 billion to New York City’s working and middle class residents – a stark contrast to the corporate-oriented policies that have dominated American cities for decades. But Gonzalez is also quick to criticize de Blasio for lacking a vision for a potential second-term and failing to rein in New York City’s increasingly unaffordable housing stock – even calling on the mayor to fire his deputy mayor for housing.