Mayor Michael Bloomberg today warned that should his successor, whoever that might be, not follow his lead on education and crime, the city risked a return to the bad old days.
"All I can say is, whoever follows us, if they don't continue improving the school system and giving the parents choice and letting people who want to start schools like charters, you're gonna see people saying, 'Wait a second, if I can't send my kid to school here, I'm gonna move," said Bloomberg today, during his regular Friday morning radio appearance on the John Gambling Show.
"Same thing happens if crime goes up, same thing happens if the school system doesn't get better," he continued.
Bloomberg was referring to the sort of demographic movement that doomed New York City in the 1970s.
Several of the candidates running for mayor this year are doing so on an explicitly anti-Bloomberg premise, promising to soften, if not reverse, several of his education and crime policies.
All of the Democratic candidates, for instance, have called for slowing down the proliferation of charter schools, and some have called for a moratorium on locating them alongside regular public schools in city-owned buildings.
All of the Democratic candidates have also promised to lessen the NYPD's reliance on stop-and-frisk. Some are also supporting bills that would also create an inspector general for the NYPD and allow New Yorkers to sue the NYPD for racial profiling in state court.
"And you say big cities will be resilient," said Bloomberg. "It took us a long time to come back from something that we destroyed pretty quickly in this city...You don't have to wait around to destroy it. You just have to convince people you're going to destroy it."
There you have it - keep charterizing the city school system or beware a return to 70's.