Tough, Efficient Mayors Win Nod from Worried Big-City Voters

By Marshall Ingwerson, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, November 4, 1993 | Go to article overview

Tough, Efficient Mayors Win Nod from Worried Big-City Voters


Marshall Ingwerson, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


BLACK mayors were elected in overwhelmingly white cities from Seattle to Minneapolis this week, while white mayors were elected in cities where whites are in the minority.

In city after city facing social and economic decline, many voters clearly want mayors who are tough, effective, and dollar-efficient. Urban voters are opting for more police on the streets and harder bargains with public employee unions instead of redistributing wealth.

In some cities, blacks and whites still hew to racial divisions, but many voters around the country are clearly willing to cross lines of race and party to get conservative administrators.

In New York, where whites are 43 percent of the population and 4 of 5 voters are registered Democrats, white Republican Rudolph Giuliani became mayor Tuesday. At the same time, Hartford, Conn., voters elected a white independent, Michael Peters, to replace the first black woman elected mayor of a major US city.

Those are only the latest indications of a growing trend. Just a few months ago, Richard Riordan, a white Republican, won the mayor's office in overwhelmingly Democratic and nonwhite Los Angeles. A year ago, mostly nonwhite and Democratic Jersey City, N.J., elected white Republican Bret Schundler mayor. And the year before, Philadelphians chose conservative white Democrat Ed Rendell.

The upshot of these elections: The nation's five largest cities, rich ethnic stews where no one race dominates the electorate, are now run once again by white mayors - the two largest by Republicans.

Yet black mayors are gaining ground in cities where whites are predominant. This week, Seattle's first black mayor, Norm Rice, was re-elected in a landslide, as was Cleveland's black mayor, Michael White. Minneapolis elected its first black mayor in Sharon Sayles Belton. So did Rochester, N.Y., in William Johnson Jr.

Running a city is an increasingly difficult job. The backdrop for many urban elections this year is an eroding tax base as middle class residents - black and white - leave for the suburbs and beyond. Many businesses follow them out of town. But the problem is not just the money; it is also the social order that middle class families bring to neighborhoods.

In New York City, residents of all classes and incomes are seeing violent crime rise, city services decline, and incivility increase. Although the law requires a balanced city budget, New York is currently heading toward an $800 million deficit this fiscal year and $2 billion in each of the next two fiscal years, says Joseph Viteritti, a management professor at New York University.

The new mayor will have to make some very tough decisions in the next few months to pull the city out of its financial nosedive, Dr. Viteritti says. The fundamental question that New York and many other older Northern cities have to ask themselves, he says, is whether they can afford to pursue an agenda of redistributing wealth to the poor anymore. "I just don't think the resources are in the city to do this kind of thing anymore," he says.

Another close analyst of city affairs, Cooper Union history Prof. Fred Siegel, says the question is not New York's redistributive agenda but whether the city's bureaucracy can make that or any other agenda work. "As it stands, we have a 19th century bureaucracy in New York," including pneumatic tubes for sending messages. "It's the last stronghold of centralized bureaucracy in the world." Tough guy for New York City Hall

Voters may have sensed in Mr. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Tough, Efficient Mayors Win Nod from Worried Big-City Voters
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.