When a powerhouse bloc of the city’s biggest business leaders pleaded with the mayor this week to stop dithering and do something to stem the rapidly declining quality of life in New York amid a sharp uptick in violent crimes, he responded with a brief tweeted message that closely echoed the recent responses he’s given to reporters during his daily briefings.
“We’re grateful for our business community and are partnering to rebuild a fairer, better city. Let’s be clear: To restore city services and save jobs, we need long term borrowing and a federal stimulus — we need these leaders to join the fight to move the City forward,” the mayor tweeted about 90 minutes after the letter went public.
The “my hands are tied” brush off did not sit well with the Partnership for New York City, and on Friday the group responded. It includes the heads of over 160 major corporations including JetBlue and Goldman Sachs, who in their letter said their employees “will be slow to return unless their concerns about security and the livability of our communities are addressed quickly.”
Put politics aside, they scolded, of the mayor’s penchant for blaming either President Trump and GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for not being forthcoming with relief aid or state legislators from his own Democratic Party for not allowing the city to borrow $5 billion to forestall its massive shortfalls.
Focus on making the city great again, the corporate titans once again pleaded on Friday.
Kathryn Wylde, head of the Partnership for New York City, said the mayor is just plain missing their point.
“It’s great that the mayor acknowledged our letter, which was intended as an offer to help him deal with the biggest crisis this city has ever faced,” she told The Post Friday.
“Business leaders will continue to advocate for federal aid to make up for New York’s COVID-19 losses. At the same time, we think that most New Yorkers are less concerned about the city budget than affirmation that their city is healthy, safe, and on the road to recovery.
The task may be hard, if not impossible for de Blasio, a term-limited mayor with just over a year left in office whose own aspirations for higher office — a Quixotic bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination — flamed out almost as soon as it started, who has in one breath appealed to President Trump’s New York City roots for federal funds and then turned around and taunted the Queens native by painting “Black Lives Matter” directly in front of Trump Tower.
“That is going to require dropping our political and ideological agendas and focusing on a shared, pragmatic vision for the future,” Wylde said. “Hopefully we have started that conversation and it will get some positive results.”