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Retail politics vs. policy positioning: a contrast between the Markowitz and Stringer "State of the Borough" speeches

OK, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer is running for mayor. And he presides over a borough that, unlike Brooklyn, doesn't have an identity independent of the city at large nor, arguably, needs one.

But it's still worth noting how Stringer's State of the Borough Address, unlikes Markowitz's version, focused on policy. From the preview:
First, I’m announcing a plan to cut taxes for working and middle class families. It’s simply not right that in New York City someone who makes $50,000 per year pays the same city tax rate as someone who makes $500,000 per year. I’m proposing that we create a more progressive income tax system that restoresfairness and boosts the economy. You can read more about my tax plan in today’s Wall Street Journal.
Second, we should make housing more affordable by creating a larger fund to rescue foreclosed buildings. We should then work with non-profit developers to renovate these properties and turn them into affordable housing.
Third, at a time when small businesses are having trouble getting loans, we should create an alternative lending source for them. A city-run program is running successfully in Philadelphia, and we should use that model here to unlock the capital that small business owners need.
Also, from the speech, Stringer talked about racial profiling:
We all owe a huge debt of thanks to our brave men and women in blue.
But I have to tell you – I am troubled by a critical police strategy.
Last year, the NYPD stopped, questioned and frisked nearly 700,000 New Yorkers -- most of them for no reason at all.
In 94 percent of the stops, no arrests are made.
In 99.8 percent of cases, no gun is found.
And 85 percent of those stopped are Black or Latino.
The conclusion is inescapable: stop and frisk as currently practiced is riddled with racial profiling, and that is making us ALL less safe by breeding distrust across whole communities.
By the way, here's the word count per speech:
  • Stringer: 4,190
  • Markowitz: 11,246


  1. Good for Stringer! The stop and frisk policy is something that definitely needs to be addressed. For the first time, I am actually considering him as a Mayoral candidate.


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