At the risk of being lambasted by my Republican friends and acquaintances, let me begin by asking the following question. How long will western society survive with growing poverty if the wealthy receive benefits and priority not given to those less wealthy?
It can be argued that Bill de Blasio’s mayoral campaign revolved around this very issue. Personally I am not his biggest fan, but I wonder if the very criticism he received on the night of the snowstorm of January 21, 2014 was indeed validation of his position.
I do not live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan so I am unable to make any accurate claims in this article regarding the specific events that took place. However, what I do know is that there is a lot of money within that community and I am fairly certain that many of the residents are used to a certain treatment based on their financial status. So when there is a complaint that the snow did not get removed fast enough, I can’t help but wonder if this is more a product of there now being a level playing field than about there being a poor response to the storm.
The administration was criticized for taking too long to remove snow from certain areas of the Upper East Side, while areas of Brooklyn were completely cleared. DeBlasio campaigned on the idea of one New York and equal treatment for all 5 boroughs. The question that needs to be asked is whether or not the slower pace at which the snow was removed from the Upper East Side was more a reflection of him keeping that promise than it was of him not being properly prepared. It is fairly easy to predict that many Manhattan residents will say it is the latter, especially based on what they have been used to over the years, but we all know that people often give opinions based on personal bias rather than fact. I can’t help but wonder if Bill de Blasio’s remarks about being able to do more for the Upper East Side may be more a reflection of political pressure than of culpability. If indeed this was a product of local government giving equal treatment to all its citizens, it represents a shift in policy rarely seen so clearly on such a large stage in a major U.S. city. I for one would like to see the results of an investigation purely to know the answer to this question since it carries great significance. Personally I make no claims to knowing what the answer actually is, but can’t help but hope it represents an equality not usually provided to the less fortunate.