BY Ibrahim Khan
Andrea Elliott’s masterpiece project in the New York Times documenting the tribulations of a loveable Brooklyn girl named Dasani through the unforgiving maze of social services in New York City became an instant classic. With each word in the five-part series, Elliott unmasks the countless rips in the fabric of our social safety net.
As I read through the gripping ordeal that shines a light on the corners of our society so often left in the dark, I imagined the article forming a giant exclamation mark on what’s undoubtedly been the year of exposing inequality.
This year New York City voters elected a mayor who rode an unapologetically populist message to Gracie Mansion. Back in January, Bill de Blasio was mired in poll numbers that would make the New York Knicks’ record seem hopeful. To put it bluntly: de Blasio had seemingly no path to victory. Or so it seemed — until his message started to resonate. By aggressively and plainly talking about rising inequality and the marginalization of working people, de Blasio didn’t just capture attention, he captured votes.
After winning the Democratic Primary by a narrow margin, de Blasio never looked back and easily swept the general elections. In a telling tale of the times, de Blasio brought his progressive rhetoric and sharp focus on economic inequality to the general election campaign and the voters rewarded him, electing de Blasio by a historic margin in a city that hadn’t chosen a Democratic mayor in 20 years.