Despite the NYPD’s public criticism of Bill de Blasio (D) in the last two months, the majority of New Yorkers are actually pleased with the mayor’s work.
To give the mayor an “SAT score” after his first year in office, a new poll from NYI and Baruch College combined an evaluation of the leader with general attitudes about the state of the city’s services, as well as perceptions of the city’s overall direction. Nearly 60 percent of the population approves of de Blasio’s work, while 80 percent of New Yorkers are content with the city’s services. And 53 percent of respondents believe the city is headed in the right direction.
Support for the mayor is divided along racial lines, however. De Blasio maintains an 82 percent approval rating among African Americans, who make up 18 percent of the city’s population. Only 44 percent of white residents, approve of his job performance.
Nevertheless, general satisfaction with the mayor suggests that anger directed at de Blasio by some members of the NYPD have undercut his standing with his electorate. Tensions between de Blasio and some city police officers began after the Democratic leader voiced concerns about racialized policing. When a grand jury decided not to indict Officer David Pantaleo in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, de Blasio expressed concerns not only as the mayor but also as the father of a bi-racial son.
Former mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) later suggested that de Blasio was the real racist, and many officers blasted the current mayor for a perceived slight against them. When two officers were shot and killed in their patrol car, the president of the largest police union in the city said de Blasio had blood on his hands. Police protests of the mayor led to a dramatic slowdown of police arrests, which cost New York millions in lost revenue.