Political Accountability: What Does NYC Mayor de Blasio Do Before Noon Each Day?
When Western democracies, like the US, were founded or emerged hundreds of years ago, the assumption was that democratic politicians would carry good intentions; that they would run for office to service their electorate, not to make themselves into celebrities.
Well, with the rise of social media and a media class, more politicians than ever before are existing behind this barrier that separates them from the people that elected them. As such, they are able to conduct their days with erratic scheduling, plotting for future presidential runs, and engagements that have little to do with their roles and responsibilities.
One current American politician that represents this kind leadership is New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Famous for being a “sleepy” politician that will not allow any engagements on his schedule before 12PM each day, Bill de Blasio frequently has tabloids running after him, trying to figure out what he’s up to. The thought has not entered his mind that he owes it to New York’s citizens to tell them not only what he’s doing from 9am to 11am, but a step further – what he has achieved.
In one New York Post piece, after a few days of observance, it was found that de Blasio does not emerge from his home until 9:30AM every day, immediately taking a black SUV to the gym. After that, he showers and makes his way to his political headquarters, often not accepting guests or visitors until noon.
As you can imagine, a lot of work can be completed before noon. And he’s the payroll of New York’s citizens. That’s a lot of time that seems to have been tossed to the wayside so de Blasio can do what he wants without transparency or accountability.
A quick comparison is revealing. Rudy Giuliani, hardly one with lights switched on, nevertheless met senior staff at 8AM in City Hall, taking calls at 5AM. Michael Bloomberg met with people as early as 7:15AM at City Hall. Both stand in contrast to de Blasio who articulates a growing elitist class of politicians that have Americans feeling disenfranchised and dissatisfied with the current system.
How Do We Make the Unaccountable… Accountable?
Government accountability is not very meaningful in Western democracies. People simply don’t feel like they can trust their elected officials, and with good reason. When people that lead, in this case one of the most important cities in the world, can’t make it to work at noon without any public explanation, we are clearly live at a time when politicians don’t feel compelled, don’t feel accountable to the people.
Politicians owe it to the people to publicly disclose their calendar of events. Transparency needs to be demanded, or at the very least, term limits that can bring the abusive behavior to an end. If de Blasio listened to what his New Yorkers wanted from him, he would know that three in four New Yorkers do not want him to run for president. Managing NYC is hard enough especially if nobody seems to know what you’re doing before noon; why is he then considering a run for the country’s presidency?
So, what is de Blasio doing before noon each day? Is he plotting his next power grab, sleeping in, vacationing, mingling with celebrities, enjoying the gym, and doing anything but representing the people that elected him? Who knows! Yet given we’re paying his salary, we should know – and we should know what he achieved for us every single day.
Through a combination of voting these unaccountable politicians out of office, demanding term limits and open scheduling, with the support of infiltrating technology, we can push for a meaningful form of government which responds to us and is accountable to us, the people.