Mayor Bill de Blasio marked his first 100 Days in office on Wednesday with a speech to the public, offering evidence of his progress so far in tackling income inequality, despite pushback from “powerful interests,” he said, who do not want to see change.
He quoted Plato in the opening parts of his speech: “‘The beginning is the most important part of any work, for that is the time at which the character is being formed.’”
It has only been three months since the mayor has been in office and, in many ways, it is still too early to judge his performance. But since the mayor has started the conversation, how do New Yorkers rate him so far?
A New York Times/NY1/Siena College poll this week showed that about half of New Yorkers approved of de Blasio’s job performance; 31 percent disapproved; and 19 percent said they were undecided or did not know enough about him to make a judgment.
“We weren’t sent to City Hall to change New York’s character. You sent us here to restore New York’s proud legacy as the progressive city,” said the mayor at Cooper Union’s Great Hall. “In the first 100 days, we’ve already taken great strides.”
The mayor touted:
- A 26 percent decrease in pedestrian fatalities
- Improved NYPD-community relations
- More potholes filled (nearly 289,000 potholes filled this quarter, versus 115,000 at this time last year)
- Universal Pre-K
Some of his future plans include:
- Retrofitting NYCHA housing developments with energy-saving build-outs
- A move away from high-stakes testing in the schools as a means of student promotion
- Saving and protecting 200,000 units of affordable housing
- Revamping the city’s Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts.
“It will not surprise you that we’ve experienced some resistance from some powerful interests.There are some people who have a stake in the status quo, who don’t want to see thee changes,” he said.
“It’s expected that you experience opposition when you try to make changes of this nature; it’s nothing surprising, its nothing new. Our responsibility is to look that in the face and continue our work and deepen our work. Because the real power, the real power resides with the people.”