A socialist mayor could be a tribune of and for the people. What agenda might he advance? Here are some possibilities:
*Launch a mass action campaign for single-payer health care, “Medicare for All,” free for everyone, recognizing health as a human right.
*Put the city’s resources on the side of the poorest workers, like those in the food chains and garment shops, and demand a $15-an-hour minimum wage, sick days, pensions, and vacations with pay.
*Find or build housing for every homeless person.
*Support tenants defending rent controls and extend rent control to small businesses as well.
*End the illegal stop-and-frisk practice of the Police Department by withdrawing Bloomberg’s appeal and abiding by Judge Scheindlin’s decision that 600,000 persons a year, mostly young people of color, had their 4th and 14th amendment rights violated.
*Dismantle the police state surveillance of New Yorkers. Take the street cameras down. Get the police spies out of the mosques and Muslim communities. Stop police collaboration and office-sharing with Wall Street bankers. Get the police out of our grassroots political organizations.
*Allow for street protests without pens and nets and videotaping of activists. Apologize for collaboration with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security in raiding and breaking up the Occupy Wall Street encampment. Restore the Handschu consent decree limiting how police can spy on New Yorkers.
*Prosecute the banksters who crashed the economy in 2008 and then got bailed out with our money.
*Work to implement a municipal tax code that eliminates all regressive taxes like the sales tax. Replace them with taxes on Wall Street financial transactions and support higher corporate taxes.
*March on picket lines with teachers and students to roll back cuts in education financing and tuition.
*Declare New York City a “Demilitarized Zone” within the USA where the peace movement is encouraged in its opposition to our country’s illegal, immoral, obscenely expensive, and seemingly endless wars abroad.
*Make education and actions about human-caused climate change the number one priority which if not controlled will doom us.
Michael Moore, echoing FDR, proposed a second Bill of Rights in our visionary new book Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA. Moore wrote of the goals that might guide a socialist mayor: “That every American has a human right to employment, to health care, and a free and full education; to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and eat safe food; and to be cared for with dignity and respect in their old age.”