As I type this, party planners will set up confetti on nets in the ceiling, soon to rain on the ardent and diverse supporters of presumed Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio. NYC will have voted him in by the largest margin of any mayor in the city’s history. With a populist message and a charisma in stark contrast to current Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s recent curmudgeonly press conferences, de Blasio isn’t just a candidate who stands against his predecessor, but for a clear platform that gives New York back to the blue collar workers. People have made a lot about de Blasio’s children, one of whom sports an afro akin to Questlove’s, but as powerful as imagery is, I believe people are ready for a serious change and de Blasio represents that more than the other candidates pushed to the fore.
Voting, as simple as it seems, is not enough. It never was.
When I see the history of suffrage, especially as it pertains to people of color and women, I see a struggle to get the opportunity to vote for the right candidate as conscious citizens should. I also see movements that didn’t stop at the legislative house. Whatever your particular brand of activism is, let’s have it. Having Bill de Blasio as mayor (as with any candidate the people elect) won’t be enough to enact change. Voting is but the first step in a long line of things we do from voting period to voting period.
Congratulations to the de Blasios, and I’m ecstatic about the chance to see progressivism return to the city. Maybe every municipal worker in the city will finally get a renewed contract. Yet, I also know I can’t put my feet up now that Bloomberg’s out. The political process includes voting, but it’s not the end-all-be-all. For many of us, it’s just the beginning …