Decentralize New York City!
New York’s Forgotten Borough Is Persecuted
Some New Yorkers have a devolution message for our Manhattan elites: let us go.
The battle between liberty and runaway big government is a history of imperious empires crushing political, economic, and geographic minorities. We see such a battle in New York City, whose Manhattan-based municipal government, operating in a mostly one-party system, persecutes a unique part of the city called Staten Island as well other distant areas.
The city’s enforcement of covid regulations has been harsh on the island. Staten Island’s bars and restaurants have been badly hurt by city and state regulations. But Staten Islanders, whose political preferences are different from those of the city’s ruling powers, had had many grievances for years before the covid lockdowns.
A Battle for Local Liberty
Staten Island is so unlike the rest of New York City that many of its citizens have been trying to win a decentralization battle for decades. Indeed, in the 1993 municipal elections Staten Islanders voted overwhelmingly to leave New York City.
Ultimately, Staten Island and some other overtaxed New Yorkers in this mismanaged sprawling city hate being governed by a Manhattan ruling class that often scorns and misunderstands “outer borough” residents. (i.e., those not living in Manhattan). This Manhattan ruling class quietly regards most of us as bunch of Guidos, Archie Bunkers, or local Babbitts. We are the New York City version of “deplorables.”
It is the essence of imperious government: a big political unit will not let a small unit quietly succeed. The nature of imperial government is always to hold on to everything.
Staten Island to the Mayor—We’re Not Like You
Staten Island, unlike most of the radical leftist parts of New York City, is somewhat right-wing. It went for President Trump in the last election. It is more suburban that the rest of the city. It has a lot of Italo-Americans. It has different attitudes about the police than much of the rest of the city, especially a city council and mayor who have reduced police funding. Staten Island residents depend less on the egregious city/state transportation systems through their nightmare government agency, the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority), and more on the use of private cars.
Republicans Joe Borelli and Steven Matteo, two city council members, recently offered legislation to create a task force to examine the feasibility of Staten Island seceding from the left-leaning Big Apple.
“If the city wants to continue going in a radical progressive direction, please just leave us behind!” said Borelli. He believes left-wing mayor Bill de Blasio has no understanding of the borou
Article from Mises Wire