In an announcement on Thursday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed a new plan that would allow the city government to go in and seize buildings where landlords have forced tenants out of their home. The proposal has the support of liberal groups in the area, but de Blasio’s critics say his proposal is nothing more or less than “straight communism.”
In an interview with Fox News, de Blasio’s opponent in the 2017 mayoral race said she was shocked by the proposal.
“My first reaction was: Is this communist Cuba?” state Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis said. “ I can say that as a daughter of Cuban refugees who fled Castro’s Cuba in 1959, this is what happened to her family, she had her home taken, my grandfather had his gas station taken. This is extreme even for Mayor de Blasio, because we know that he has socialist leanings, but this is straight communism and I think it’s very scary to America-loving, democracy-loving people.”
The idea goes something like this.
Landlords in New York City have a tendency to force tenants off their property by letting the property become virtually uninhabitable. When or why they do this, it’s unclear, but we assume that these tenants aren’t necessarily the best folks. Not necessarily the kind of people you want taking up space in your apartment building. In any event, whether or not it’s a fair or just way to run your business is beside the point. New York city officials have it within their means to issue fines and other coercive methods to enforce whatever codes there are under the law. They should concentrate on doing so.
Instead, De Blasio wants to authorize the city to actually confiscate private property and turn it over to a “community nonprofit” whose mission would be to “treat tenants with the respect they deserve.”
New York, under this mayor, is “pursuing new local law to seize upwards of 40 of the most distressed multiple dwelling buildings annually and transition them to responsible, mission driven ownership.”
This isn’t the first time, by any means, that de Blasio has flirted with communism.
“I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be,” he said in 2017. “Look, if I had my druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed. And there would be very stringent requirements around income levels and rents.”
He credited that way of thinking to his “socialist impulse.”
Reminder: This guy is thought to be running for president in 2020. Worth watching out for.