Dear Senator Bernie Sanders,
It has recently come to our attention that you will be joining Mayor Bill de Blasio aiding in his reelection campaign On October 30th. We are encouraging you to reconsider. Despite the public image De Blasio may try to embrace, we do not find him to share the values other progressives cherish. For example, his affordable housing plan runs on a 421-a tax exemption that benefits the rich; the units are hardly affordable to low-income communities. He is privatizing public lands across the city, turning playgrounds and supermarkets into skyscrapers. To make matters worse, he has failed to address the disparities that exist in NYC tax property assessments and has denounced a lawsuit currently in process claiming that the NYC property tax assessment is racially biased, and affects low-income communities and communities of color the most.
Mayor De Blasio continues to publicly advocate Broken Windows, a racist policing policy that has led to various deportations and disproportionately affecting African-Americans. De Blasio has also been one of the biggest forces of opposition to various police reforms (e.g., the Right to Know Act) and has been reluctant to shut down Rikers Island in an expedient timeframe. Also, De Blasio's Housing Plan does not help low-income families. In a recent study by the Real Affordability for All coalition (RAFA), de Blasio's plan covers only14 percent — targeted households earning about $25,770 for a family of three (which is 30 percent of the Area Median Income). And some believe he has helped add to the homeless crisis by not producing enough apartments for these low-income families. His refusal to call for an eviction moratorium and his rezoning efforts have only displaced more low-income residents.
In addition, De Blasio has done little to address the NYC housing and homeless crisis. His refusal to call for an eviction moratorium, and his rezoning efforts have only displaced more low-income residents. Rich white neighborhoods have also been spared from housing the homeless population. Homeless shelters are being disproportionately placed in African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods. His continued support for the development of the BQX (a proposed streetcar line) and welcoming of Amazon potentially locating their second headquarters here when both actions will only worsen gentrification is deeply troubling. Mayor De Blasio has even publicly smeared panhandlers.
For all these reasons above and many more, we are asking you to renege any support for De Blasio in his reelection campaign. You have become a symbol and leader to this progressives movement when one was desperately needed and we feel it’s very important that you express support for figures who share our values. Our fear is that by supporting figures like De Blasio, you do a disservice to this movement by weakening the aura you currently provide. We are also concerned that by providing such support, you legitimize elected officials who many progressives are not happy with, thus, making the life of those on the ground fighting for reform only harder.