Bill de Blasio has been mayor for just over 20 months, but he’s been the commanding presence on New York City’s political stage for two years—since he stormed from behind to win the September 2013 Democratic primary outright, before cruising to general-election victory in November.
It’s been a bumpy ride since then, through the questions about the speed of the mayor’s transition, to his early dealings with the press, the victory on pre-K, the loss on charter schools and the many crises and controversies that attend life as America’s most prominent local official.
The big question is whether de Blasio remains the progressive leader he promised to be. To answer that, one has to decide what it means to be a progressive mayor and how well de Blasio has matched that description in both intention and delivery.
On September 4, the Urban Democracy Lab at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University hosted a panel to raise and discuss those very questions. Moderated by Mary Rowe of the Municipal Art Society, it featured Azi Paybarah from Politico New York, Jennifer Fermino of the New York Daily News, and yours truly. You can view the full program below or check out the video snippets here.