Generally speaking, we’ve shied away from any overly gung-ho endorsements of Mayor de Blasio as a spotless, infallible liberal savior who’ll immediately (or ever) turn New York into a uniformly affordable-yet-bustling utopia, because c’mon, this is politics. Also because learning how to manage expectations (your own and those of others) is one of the biggest keys to happiness in this life. But. But! Here is at least one issue on which de Blasio is already doing direct 180 from Bloomberg, most likely with concrete and very nice results.
What happened is that Jerry Delakas, who’d run a beloved magazine stand in Cooper Square since 1987, was evicted from his post in 2011 by the Bloomberg administration based on claims that the spot’s lease wasn’t legally in his name. This, in spite of specific dying wishes from its former owner that Delakas inherit the lease and stay put.
He’s been fighting the decision ever since, and after making his case to de Blasio at a recent Gracie Mansion meet-and-greet, the new mayor, who told Delakas that he was familiar with the story, told him that his eviction was “a great injustice,” and reportedly instructed an aide to “get on this immediately.” A representative for the mayor confirmed to the Daily News, “We are working to reach a better outcome.”
Does this mean that we’ll all soon be living in a populist paradise, with nary an unfair wage or new condo development in sight? Well, of course not, but it does represent a marked change of pace from the past twelve years, and the possible reversal of a draconian decision that’ll make a real difference in the life of at least one New Yorker (and many more who care about him). And after all this time, that’s nothing to take for granted.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.