What the City Needs in the 2017 Election
by Anthony Stasi
May 13, 2015 | 5431 views | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It's an understatement that Mayor Bill de Blasio is not having an ideal first term in City Hall.

He was successful in getting his universal pre-K program off the ground, but he has lost a lot of support from the uniformed services. He has also seen some cracks in the progressive fault lines, where he has split with the speaker of the City Council.

There is still enough time for the mayor to rebound, but this is the time an opposition party should be preparing to mount a challenge. The problem that the GOP has is that there are just not that many eligible Republicans with viable government experience.

Few, if any, are household names. The party can run a good administrator-type with so-so appeal, but that puts them right where they were in 2013. They could “donate” their line on the ballot to a more conservative Democrat, which they basically did with Michael Bloomberg.

At least that option comes with no strings attached; Bloomberg did not hire many young Republicans to places of significance.

The 2017 election is a chance for the Republicans to re-establish a footprint in the city, even if the party does not win back City Hall. The problem has more to do with planning. Are they planning to build a campaign to win back the city?

A city this large needs a two-party system, or at least a competitive political system. There may be some primary activity that the mayor will have to deal with, but there should also be a general election that gives voters a choice.

The Man Who Can Save Boxing

Remember boxing? We are not used to seeing sports fade away, especially in America, where sports can become a big part of our belief system, but boxing has faded in the last 20 years.

A reason for this could be that although this is a rough sport, the narratives of the fighters are important. Joe Lewis gave Americans a chance to cheer as an African-American champ was at the top of the sport, even becoming a symbol of American might and anti-Nazism. Rocky Marciano was champ when thousands of Italians were coming ashore to the U.S.

The stories of the fighters are important, however fighters in the last 20 years have not had great narratives. But that could change.

Enter Saul “El Canelo” Alvarez. Alvarez fought last week and improved his light-middleweight record to 46-1-1. He is an exiting fighter in a time when boxing appears less and less exiting, due in large part to the explosion of mixed martial arts.

Canelo gets his nickname from his red hair, which is not very common in his home country of Mexico. A Mexican champ from an impoverished town in Mexico, however, might be just what boxing needs.

Canelo’s only loss came to Floyd Mayweather, who despite being a great champion, is not a people’s champion. Canelo can be a people’s champion.

Boxing will always be with us, even though it is at a low point right now. Fathers and sons have always watched big fights together. I remember watching most of Marvelous Marvin Hagler’s fights with my father. I’m not so sure mixed martial arts has that same familial affect, although it is a successful sport.

If boxing is still a popular sport 20 years from now, it will likely by because a guy that grew up stealing chickens in Mexico saved it, and that is good enough for us.

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