Vote Ourselves In
There's another important question to ask, a question about the shape city government should take.
If we don't already have a law that allows the calling of a referendum by petition -- as California has -- then we need one. But we should also demand more of our Council politicians.
Looking at a third Bloomberg term, we have a city where a technocratic executive branch rams the legislative for whatever it wants. While it's often efficient, that technocracy also pays lip service to real accountability -- Bloomberg lieutenants are more interested in spinning an obvious failure into looking like a success than admitting they made a mistake and trying something different -- and manipulates statistics to look like transparency. The legislative branch, through their political organizations, really control the judicial. And if the executive is plagued by occasional incompetence, the legislative branch is absolutely rife with corruption. Discretionary funding goes to non-profits whose employees later "volunteer" to carry petitions, if they're not legislators' relatives; favored lawyers become judges, and others are paid to play with the money of the helpless thanks to appointments from surrogate's court; Council members allegedly take kickbacks to help grease the wheels in the land use committee.
We can talk about weakening the executive and restoring power to the legislative branch of city government. But with such a notoriously ignoble body, is bringing them more clout really what we want to do? Is it possible to stock our city council with progressive legislators? With people who have integrity? I know such people exist in politics. I seen 'em! But are there enough of them to run our city?
Bloomberg's powers should be reduced through referendum in his third term. But the City Council, for having little responsibility, has become stocked with irresponsible people. The voters of New York should grant themselves greater ability to serve as a check against both of them.
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