4 Reasons Why Michael Bloomberg Isn’t Good for Black Voters [Opinion] - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise magazine Fall 2019 issue

Based on Forbes magazine’s list of the wealthiest individuals, Michael Bloomberg is the eighth richest person on earth. Some voters think that Bloomberg is reaching for the stars if he attempts to run for president of the free world. The former mayor of New York City sees a path to victory despite unsuccessful presidential primary bids by his predecessor—Rudy Giuliani— and successor—Bill de Blasio. If Bloomberg decides to join the crowded field of Democratic candidates, he will be met with fierce opposition from both sides of the political aisle—and the black community.

There are four reasons why blacks won’t vote for Bloomberg:

1. Stop—Question—and—Frisk:

The citywide crackdown on gun violence was supported by the infamous stop-question-and frisk (SQF) policy wherein police stops increased seven-fold under Bloomberg’s 12-year reign as Mayor of New York City. Although gun shootings and related deaths declined sharply and was lauded by mostly non-black residents. The cavalier style of policing disproportionately violated the constitutional rights of Black and Latino men in poor neighborhoods.

A New York Civil Liberty Union report highlighted that since 2002, over 5 million New Yorkers have been subjected to the SQF policy with an overrepresentation of targets being Blacks and Latinos—nearly 9 of 10 SQFs were found to be innocent. Hence, 90% of the people subjected to the policy had their constitutional freedoms subjected to a loose discretionary policy implemented by NYPD under the Bloomberg mandate. Community organizations that have a nationwide reach like Black Live Matter would likely be activated to protest a Bloomberg candidacy.

SQF was eventually outlawed by legislation passed by New York City Council against Bloomberg’s will. However, the residual impact of the policy left indelible scars of resentment and hostility between urban communities and NYPD. Although the pain of SQF still lingers today, NYPD has made a diligent effort to transform into a community policing model that seeks to build relationships to keep everyone safe in the post-Bloomberg leadership. [NOTE: Over the weekend, Bloomberg issued an apology regarding his stop-and-frisk policy]

2. Lack of affordable housing in New York City:

The Big Apple has always been a place with an above-average cost of living. There was a time when residents held a decent job with an honest side hustle to make ends meet. During Bloomberg’s era of terror on the working-class, gentrification spread rapidly like a pandemic without a panacea to provide a financial cure for families to reestablish a foothold to avoid eviction and homeless shelters. The cost of rents, commuting, taxes, and other overbearing city policies created a monthly budgetary dilemma for struggling families to decide between shelter, food, and other life necessities.

A sharp and steady rise in rent rates naturally occurs amid gentrification but the impact was compounded by Bloomberg tax policy on multiple-family dwellings and commercial properties, which had seen a rise in property taxes. How did the tax policy impact the average renter?

If taxation on property owners of multiple-family dwellings and commercial real estate sharply rises, then that cost will be passed on to renters to bear the financial burden. Now, years after Bloomberg’s, his legacy will be one that officially made New York City unaffordable.

3. Bloomberg is extremely wealthy:

There nothing wrong with creating wealth and leveraging the freedoms in America to reach your fullest potential. But philanthropic giving does not cover up the damage Bloomberg has done to make everyday living tougher for those striving to survive in New York City. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren recognize such and have built political careers on attacking the wealthy with the mantra of ‘pay your fair share’ and promoting fiscal policies that introduce ways to tax high-income and wealth at higher rates. The combined attacks on the wealthy will only get louder if Bloomberg enters the race; especially, if he spends $5 billion of his wealth to try to buy the Democratic primary. Sanders immediately issued a press statement and started to fundraising with the message to Bloomberg, ‘you’re not going to buy this election.”

4. Gangster political tactics:

The mayor of New York City is restricted to two terms. Well, unless you’re a multi-billionaire on Forbes list of the wealthiest. Bloomberg let it be known that he is not status quo and not the average New Yorker when he ran for a third term despite being legally bound by a two-term limit.

In 2009, after Bloomberg strong-armed the City Council to pass legislation to overturn a voter-approved maximum two-term limit. If this wasn’t arrogant enough, Bloomberg had the same lawmakers shut the door behind him so that no other mayor can be given the same opportunity to run for a third term. Such actions are politically thuggish by all accounts. A public servant with this entitlement mindset should not be allowed to lead America.

Other than the above flaws that should prevent Bloomberg from the Oval Office, Mike is a nice guy.