By SAMUEL MARTINEZ, age 11
Bill de Blasio defeated Joe Lhota in New York City’s election for mayor on Tuesday, November 5. During their campaigns, both candidates focused on issues involving education and social services, but held different beliefs as to how to make them work.
With 99 percent of the vote counted, Democrat de Blasio won 73.3 percent of the vote, compared to Republican Lhota’s 24.3 percent of the vote. Additionally, the Green Party’s Tony Gronowicz had 0.5 percent, and Adolfo Carríon with the Independence Party had 0.8 percent.
De Blasio’s education policy focuses heavily on pre-K and after school programs. Before the election, he said he would raise taxes on people who earn $500,000 and above to fund the programs. He believes the programs are in the interest of children’s education and safety.
On BilldeBlasio.com, the mayor-elect said he intends to fight school closures, which he did for several New York City schools while serving as public advocate. He also said he wants to improve special needs education, noting that only 31 percent of special-needs students graduate from high school.
Joe Lhota had little to say on education on JoeLhotaforMayor.com, but he repeatedly showed interest in “doubling the number” of charter schools. Later, at an Association for a Better New York (ABNY) speech, he challenged the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) to implement a merit pay system, create more charter schools and to support the new teacher evaluation system.
De Blasio emphasized a need to reduce class sizes in schools, which he said on his website was “critical for boosting learning,” and stated that he wishes to improve student transportation issues. He will reduce the amount of time students spend riding the bus, and “ensure parents are notified” if busses are delayed by 15 minutes or more.
De Blasio will be the first new mayor in New York City since 2002 when he takes office in January, 2014. He will succeed Michael Bloomberg, who held office for three terms. He will also be the first Democrat to hold mayoral office in the city in 20 years.
The offices of Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota did not respond to requests for comments.