Law School Discussion

Who was the most effective new policy mayor? Koch...Dinkins...Giuliani?

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aye drove on the cross bronx expressway and through times square the other day...very different than aye remember the seventies...the eighties...the nineties...the oo's...aye remember the murders in cypress hill...east new york...the riots in crown heights...and some of these men have had interesting boasts and accomplishments regarding nyc...quite enigmatic characters.




On January 1, 1990, David N. Dinkins was sworn in as the first African American mayor in New York City history. Born in Trenton, New Jersey on October 10, 1927, Dinkins graduated magna cum laude from Howard University with a degree in mathematics and later received his law degree from Brooklyn Law School. He served in the Marines in Korea and later married Joyce Burrows, the daughter of Harlem Assemblyman Daniel Burrows. He briefly practiced law in New York City and began his steady ascent in politics. He served as a district leader, was elected a Harlem state Assemblyman in 1966, served as President of the Board of Elections from 1972-73, and City Clerk from 1975-85, before winning election as Manhattan Borough President in 1985. In 1989, he ran for mayor, defeating Mayor Edward I. Koch to win the Democratic nomination. Dinkins went on to defeat Rudolph W. Giuliani by 47,000 votes, the narrowest electoral margin in New York City history.
Dinkins' inauguration speech was punctuated with references to oppression, human rights, and the need for equality. He vowed to be "mayor of all the people of New York," and declared: "We are all foot soldiers on the march to freedom."

Dinkins helped fulfill his prediction that the "bells of freedom will ring in South Africa" by being a national voice in favor of anti-apartheid sanctions. He fought to have the city divest itself of $500 million worth of pension fund stock invested in companies that do business in South Africa and secured passage of a bill that allowed the city to rate banks on their opposition to apartheid. Among his other accomplishments were creating the office of Special Commissioner of Investigations for schools, creating a system of after hour youth centers called Beacon Schools, and working to create an all civilian police complaint review board.

Known for his reserved public demeanor, Dinkins was sharply criticized for his handling of racial strife in Crown Heights, a boycott of Korean Grocers in Brooklyn and civil unrest in Washington Heights. Dinkins faced a $1.8 billion budget deficit when he entered office which grew to $2.2 billion by the time he left office. The economy remained sluggish throughout his term, preventing the enactment of much of his agenda. He ran for reelection in 1993, but was defeated by Rudolph W. Giuliani. Dinkins still remains active in New York City politics, hosts a weekly radio show, and teaches public affairs at Columbia University.







On January 1, 1994, Rudolph W. Giuliani became the 107th Mayor of the City of New York; four years later, the city he inherited has undergone an unprecedented transformation. The early 1990's were a difficult period for urban centers across America, where the ravages of drugs and violence were most acutely felt and left the greatest number of casualties. Nowhere was this more the case than in New York City. While cynics declared the city ungovernable, New Yorkers yearned for change.
Rudolph Giuliani was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1944, the son of working class Italian immigrants. He attended Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, Manhattan College in the Bronx, and New York University Law School, graduating magna cum laude. In 1970, Giuliani joined the office of U.S. Attorney and was later named Chief of the Narcotics Unit before becoming Executive US Attorney. He was named Associate Deputy Attorney General in 1975, and after spending three years in private practice, was named Associate Attorney General in 1981. Giuliani was appointed United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York in 1983, earning national acclaim for his prosecution of organized crime figures, drug kingpins, and white collar criminals. In 1989, Giuliani ran for mayor and was defeated by David Dinkins.

Giuliani ran again for mayor in 1993, this time as the candidate of the Republican, Liberal, and Independent—Fusion parties. His message of fiscal responsibility and attention to quality of life concerns resonated with New Yorkers, who elected him over incumbent David Dinkins. Giuliani used the occasion of his inauguration to stake out an ambitious agenda for change, and to reach out to New Yorkers by touring the five boroughs. He called upon New Yorkers to "look anew" at their city: "Dream with me of a city that can be better than the way it is now. Believe with me that our problems can be reduced, not magically resolved. Plan with me to make the realistic changes that will actually make people's lives better than they are right now, and work hard with me to apply these plans to improve our city." Between 1990 and 1993, the murder rate in the city averaged 2,000 a year, 340,000 jobs disappeared or moved elsewhere, and taxes were increased $1.5 billion. Upon taking office, Giuliani set out to reverse New York City's downward spiral and improve the overall quality of life.

To reduce crime, he implemented a "zero tolerance" approach, placing an emphasis on enforcing laws against nuisance crimes as well as serious offenses. Since 1993, the city has experienced an unprecedented 44 percent drop in overall crime and a 61 percent drop in murder, making New York the safest large city in America.
 
To stimulate the city's stagnated economy, Giuliani reduced the tax burden by eliminating the Commercial Rent Tax in most areas of the city, reducing the Hotel Occupancy Tax, and eliminating the Unincorporated Business Tax. As a result of these targeted tax cuts, the hotel and tourism industries are thriving, 180,000 private sector jobs have been created, and a national financial magazine named New York City the most improved American city in which to do business. Giuliani also cracked down on organized crime to lift the illegal tax the mob had exacted on certain New York City industries for generations. As a result, the Fulton Fish Market, the carting industry, and the city's main convention center have been liberated from organized crime, saving businesses and consumers hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

Faced with a $2.2 billion budget gap upon taking office, Giuliani lowered projected spending by $7.8 billion through a series of cost cutting measures and productivity improvements. He reduced the city's payroll by over 20,000 jobs without layoffs. He kept the rate of spending below the rate of inflation for the first time in New York City history and created a $500 million reserve fund.

In 1993, 1.1 million New Yorkers were receiving welfare. To bring an end to a philosophy that encouraged dependency on public assistance, Giuliani implemented the largest workfare program in the nation. Since his welfare reforms were enacted in March of 1995, 340,000 people have been moved off the rolls, saving $650 million annually in city, state and federal funds. To date, 175,000 people have completed the Work Experience Program, which provides welfare recipients with training to find permanent employment.

Giuliani is also credited with introducing a new level of accountability and higher standards of performance into the school system. Working with Board of Education Chancellor Rudolph Crew, school based budgeting has been enacted, providing for an accurate account of Board of Education spending. New programs aimed at providing computers, arts education, and tutoring, have also been implemented. Reading and math scores are now on the rise. Giuliani is also negotiating to have the Police Department assume responsibility for creating a safe environment in New York City's public schools.

Giuliani's sweeping reforms and hands-on style of leadership have prompted many comparisons to Fiorello LaGuardia [in fact, one of Giuliani's first official acts as chief executive was to move LaGuardia's desk back into the Mayor's Office]. Pledging to wage a comprehensive assault on drug abuse, and vowing to sustain and improve upon the successes of his first term, Giuliani ran for reelection to a second term in 1997. With the support of an unprecedented coalition of city leaders that transcended political, religious and ethnic affiliations, Giuliani defeated Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger — making him only the second Republican reelected as mayor since Fiorello LaGuardia.
















 
 





 

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Re: Who was the most effective new policy mayor? Koch...Dinkins...Giuliani?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2007, 02:51:57 PM »
Edward I. Koch was elected the 105th Mayor of New York City in 1977. Born in the Bronx of Polish Jewish ancestry, Koch's family moved to Newark, New Jersey during the Depression and later moved to Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn when he was a teenager. He left City College when he was drafted into the Army, where he became a decorated combat infantryman, achieving the rank of sergeant. He received his law degree from New York University Law School in 1948. As an active member of a Manhattan reform club, the Greenwich Village Independent Democrats, Koch ran successfully for district leader in 1963 against Carmine DeSapio. Koch was reelected in 1965 and elected to the City Council the following year. In 1968, he was elected to the House of Representatives in a district that hadn't sent a Democrat to Congress since 1934. He was reelected four times, earning a reputation as a competent legislator and a champion of many social causes. In 1977, he sought the Democratic nomination for mayor among a crowded field of candidates. Koch won the primary and went on to defeat Liberal Party candidate Mario Cuomo in the general election. Described in the infancy of his mayoralty as a shy and retiring man, Koch used his inauguration to send New Yorkers a message of redemption: "These have been hard times. We have been drawn across the knife-edge of poverty. We have been shaken by troubles that would have destroyed any other city. But we are not any other city. We are the city of New York and New York in adversity towers above any other city in the world."
With New York City's treasury near empty, Koch restored the city's credit in his first term through a series of budget cutting measures, enabling the city to enter the bond market within a few years and raise capital funds. As the city's fiscal prognosis began to brighten, so too did the mood of New Yorkers. The characterization of Koch as low key was soon revised after he took office, with his ebullient personality, and his trademark greeting, "How 'm I Doin'." Under Koch, the city's annual budget doubled to $26 billion and approximately $19 billion was spent on capital projects in the 1980's.

Koch, who vowed to be the first four term mayor, sought reelection in 1989. However, he was confronted with a series of government corruption scandals. He also faced heated criticism for his combative dealings with other public officials and the press. He lost the Democratic primary to then Manhattan Borough President David Dinkins.

He has remained extremely active and popular since leaving office, practicing law in New York City, lecturing, authoring books, serving as a newspaper columnist, hosting his own radio show, and more recently, serving as a television judge on the popular show, "The People's Court."