In a strong piece explaining why Mayor Bill deBlasio should resign now, Republican candidate for Mayor, Michel Faulkner, outlines how best to serve NYC.
When Bill de Blasio announced his candidacy for mayor, he pledged to change City Hall from one that “too often has catered to the interests of the elite rather than the needs of everyday New Yorkers.” But he quickly and clearly betrayed those everyday New Yorkers in the name of cynical deal-making.
De Blasio has abandoned them and the very idea of public service. It must be regained if New York City is to return to its proper glory.
I recently returned from a reunion at my alma mater, Virginia Tech, where I was reminded of our school motto “Ut Prosim” — Latin for “that I may serve.” I’ve been fortunate to have been the recipient of both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education from Virginia Tech. That phrase has always had a special meaning in my life.
After a brief stint within the administration of Liberty University, my call to serve brought me to New York — to run a soup kitchen in Times Square. I’ve served the public with HIV/AIDS- and diabetes-awareness and prevention programs.
And now my desire to serve this city takes a new turn as I seek to become New York’s next mayor.
The term “service” can have many different meanings — especially in public life, but ideally, we elect politicians to serve the greater public interest. They take an oath promising to uphold the law and use their power to help the people, not themselves. Over the past few weeks, it’s becoming clear that de Blasio isn’t living up to his oath.
Now, I’m not an attorney, so I won’t weigh in on whether the mayor broke the letter of the law, but it’s clear that with the recent statement from the Board of Elections recommending an investigation of de Blasio’s “willful and flagrant” violations of campaign law that there’s plenty of smoke, and that usually means there’s fire.
The fact that the mayor and his team were intimately involved in directing campaign contributions from people who were doing business with the city (or wanted to do business with the city) to campaigns outside of the city; that he was soliciting massive contributions for his own personal political slush fund from the most powerful political interests in New York, from labor unions to real-estate developers and hedge funds, proves change is needed.
Rather than take responsibility for his actions, de Blasio called the Board of Elections statement a political “hit job.” The city doesn’t need this distraction — there are far too many important items to be addressed: jobs, education, housing, public safety.
It’s crystal clear the people de Blasio was elected to serve are not going to get what they voted for.
Now, one could easily argue that de Blasio has been an ineffective mayor on the merits. Whether one considers his failures in terms of affordable-housing creation, his lack of education reform, his terrible relationship with the NYPD and the consequences of increasing crime and homelessness on our streets or, most notably, his abject failure to help those who came out in huge numbers to support his election, the “have nots” he talked so often about in 2013 continue, thanks in large part to de Blasio, to have not.
But at a minimum, New York City desperately needs true public servants who would put the well-being of the city above their own selfish interests. As I look back on my 30 years of service here, I know that I will always put the people’s interests ahead of my own — the residents of New York City deserve no less than that. De Blasio has failed in this capacity, whether found guilty or not of any crime.
The mayor should do the city a favor and step down now and save us the ugly ordeal that lies ahead. Failing that, the city at least deserves better in its next mayor.
Michel J. Faulkner is a former New York Jet, current pastor of New Horizon Church and a candidate for New York City mayor.