So I Guess I Should Endorse Someone for Mayor....

The year's mayoral race has been a big yawn, mostly because of the low key styles of the two men running. Frankly neither candidate for Mayor has made much of an impression on issues that would really prepare NYC for an energy scarce future.

Bloomberg has done an adequate job of taking care of many practical issues that has mollified the middle class, while not irritating the minority communities as much as his predecessor. The smoking ban showed that he was willing to take on quality of life issues that had an impact on people's health and dry cleaning expenses. The property tax increase showed that he was not simply a tax cut crazy right wing nut.

On the issues that I care about in light of the coming energy crunch, he has a pretty mixed bag. He did not fight hard against the MTA's fare increase or proposed service cuts. He originally backed ideas like tolling East River Bridges and building a freight tunnel that would have done much to allievate the incredible volume of trucks that come through the Manhattan central business district every day. But he quickly backed down when faced with minor local opposition. I hope that if he does win a second term, he will have more political freedom to get important projects like that done.

However the primary reason I cannot support him centers around the way he has limited free speech and allowed the NYPD to engage in brutal tactics with protestors and demonstrators at Republican Convention, particularly those on bikes. Since then Bloomberg has labeled the monthly Critical Mass ride a political "demonstration" that requires a permit from the city. As a result, the NYPD has rountinely arrested dozens of people on bikes that are simply riding their bikes together in large numbers - often tackling bikers without warning while they are stopped at red lights or more dangerously, while they are still in motion. This is unacceptable and should be the shame of NYC. This fits with a pattern that Bloomberg has set in restricting the right of large groups of people to gather to make a political statement - particularly the anti-war protests of the Iraq invasion.

As for Freddy Ferrer, he has run a good, honest campaign, talking about issues of social and economic equity, but he has been outspent and is clearly running far back in the polls. He's not an inspiring candidate, but I think he would govern well. He's now really campaigning for a respectable showing after a lifetime of public service. A vote for Ferrer will now most likely simply be a protest vote against Bloomberg's anti free speech policies.

If only my bike hadn't been stolen.  I'd have the opportunity to be run down and arrested.

But that's the price I pay for leaving my friend outside overnight in Brooklyn's Clinton Hill.

Personally, I would like to take this opportunity to express my dismay at the lack of attention to politics in my particular neighborhood... and NYC in general.  Perhaps it's because I came form a town as politically charaged as Madison.  People had a lot less to distract themselves with, and more time to focus on voting.

I have yet to be approached by somebody urging me to register to vote for the Mayoral election.  That being said.  Is there a good place to do so?  I've been living in NYC for 2 months now.  I finally have my world together enough to focus on putting down my name and address on a registration card.

New York is definitely a hard place to get people to focus unless it's something very NIMBY oriented - people work hard and play hard, leave the details on too many things to others to deal with. And I'm sorry Hydro, but the registration deadline passed a few weeks ago. Definitely register though, we will probably have a competitive Governor's and Senator's race next year.