In a meeting last week described by one staffer as “the most depressing pep talk,” Bill de Blasio, New York City’s beleaguered mayor, asked members of his administration to keep the faith amid proliferating controversies. “He told us that no one is going to thank him for ‘not being dead,’” the staffer told Gothamist, “because the homicide rate is down and Vision Zero is working.”
Keeping his constituents alive is just about the lowest bar an executive officer needs to clear in order to not be deemed a total failure, but, then again, it is important to be grateful for the little things. After all, one’s risk of getting hit by the L train diminishes significantly when it shuts down for 18 months. And just this weekend we walked across the street without looking both ways—turned out we didn’t have to, because it was yet another pedestrian plaza. (Might have rolled our ankle stepping off the curb, though. Ouch!)
Violent crime is down, and members of the NYPD—itself wracked with corruption scandals—are too demoralized to indiscriminately shoot random innocent civilians. Still, there must be a part of the mayor that’s hoping someone gets run over by a horse-drawn carriage, right?
“He said we should put our heads down and focus on our good work,” the mayor reportedly told staffers. “He told us that the media will never be on our side.” Has he considered reminding the media how lucky they are to be working at a time when, thanks to declining circulations and industry consolidation, everyone in the media is so much less likely to die in a freak printing press accident?