And a third (!) of the city was rezoned:
But the paper also spent time dissecting why many in the city feel that the very things that made the Mayor's tenure so transformative also helped to hurt the city. Anyone even half following the Occupy Wall Street protests in the fall of 2011 would have picked up on the Mayor's opposition to the protests. His criticism, at the time, was that "this isn’t an occupation of Wall Street, it’s an occupation of a growing, vibrant residential neighborhood in lower Manhattan," a dismissal symbolic intent of a protest staged in a park surrounded by the city's most powerful financial institutions — or, that to the mayor, that symbolism didn't speak as loudly as the narrative of another rising, affluent, residential community cropping up in his city. The Times, however, goes further: "Mr. Bloomberg seems to imagine that any impulse short of adulation will shoo Wall Street away," adding:
Several weeks ago he publicly denounced Eliot Spitzer, not for his domestic failings but for his wish to curtail the worst instincts of the banks and to maximize their utilitarian value. (“This is our industry,” the mayor said. “We’d appreciate it if someone recognized that this is our tax base.”) Presumably, in Mayor Bloomberg’s most terrified imagination, the true agenda of someone like Mr. Spitzer is to bundle up Wall Street in Bubble Wrap and send it to Connecticut, leaving in its place only a bottomless container of Pepsi.
On that note, let's look at what's happened to the 1 percent over the mayor's tenure, via the Times:
— In 1985, the top 1 percent of city residents made 15 percent of the city income, which the Times notes is more or less in line with the national figures.
— In 2002, the beginning of Bloomberg's term, the top 1 percent of city residents made 27 percent of the income.
— In 2013, the income share for the top one percent is 40 percent. And while income inequality is a national problem, the Times notes that New York's figures are almost twice the national average.
— In the city's most affluent neighborhoods, including the financial district, family incomes rose by 55 percent on average over the past decade, the real median income less remained the same. Meanwhile, the poverty rate in the city reached a 10-year high in 2011.
In a poll, published as part of the Times's package, just 3 percent of the city population thought the mayor's policies favored poor people. Most said that the mayor favored the rich, while 70 percent thought he spent too much time worrying about Manhattan, as opposed to the other four boroughs of the city. There's also the matter of his $13,000 custom bathtub.
It's not quite clear exactly how much credit or demerits the mayor should get for any of the two Bloombergs outlined here — he neither built the 2013 New York singlehanded, nor catalyzed the income inequality endemic in the city, but the Times is convincingly making that case that, no matter what, Bloomberg's name is branded onto much of what changed in the city over the past decade.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.