By CHRIS BUTERA & ALEX ELLEFSON
A cross-section of voters on Tuesday night reacted to the end of the Bloomberg regime and ascendance of a liberal reformer to the top post in New York City with a mixture of hope and wariness.
Many voters said that Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio would bring a much-needed change to the city in terms of jobs, housing and the school systems.
“He’s like a breath of fresh air right now,” said Queens voter Sheila Richardson, 63. “I think he’s much more in touch with the people than Bloomberg was.”
“He has the best program,” said MTA bus operator Lincoln Jones “It’s going to go in a different direction and it’s going to be a good thing. It’s going to make a whole lot of difference and it’s going to be for the better. Affordable housing, pre-k and the situation regarding Stop-and-Frisk will be better defined.”
De Blasio’s competition, Joseph Lhota had interesting congratulatory words for the new Mayor, “Despite what you may have heard, we are one city. We are five boroughs, but we are one city, one people and I do hope our mayor understands this before it’s too late. It was a good fight and a fight worth having.”
The main concern of voters was whether de Blasio would stick to his campaign and aid New Yorkers.
“I hope de Blasio will not be a flip-flopper to the unions because that’s who’ll put him in,” said John Vetter, director of ticket services for Brooklyn College’s performing arts theater. “Our union, DC 37. are big supporters and we hope he doesn’t forget about us.”
Not all voters were optimistic.
“I think de Blasio has liberal agenda,” said Chaya Gershbaum, a Brooklyn parent. “I think it’s going to be worse. If you think soda bans were bad it’s going to be much worse. I wish I were in Texas right now.”
Brooklynite Bobby Thomas, 36, said he hoped that de Blasio would make housing more affordable. “Brooklyn is becoming another Manhattan where it’s all about the rich,” he said. “Immigrants came over here to work hard. They got on their seats, started a family business and then bought a house. New York has always been a melting pot for opportunity, but now it’s all about real estate.”
Regarding de Blasio’s stance on the “Stop-and-frisk” policy, activist Barbara Williams said “Because his son is African-American, he knows what it’s like to tell your son that because you’re black you might be stopped. Those are conversations that a lot of African Americans have with their kids.”
“I hope it means better times for the middle class and for the unions – which I’m part of,” said Michael Katz, a teacher who voted Lhota but remained optimistic. “Right now we’re without a contract for four years. I hope he keeps the city running safe and smooth.”