Politics and the Suburbs: The Big Picture

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Our February weekly series starts today: Politics and the Suburbs with Larry Levy, executive director of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University.
Today's topic: The Big Picture: How the suburbs influence national politics and the 2010 elections.


Lawrence Levy

Comments [21]


here we go. this whole conversation is about latent racism. too bad racism isn't on the same footing as antisemitism

Feb. 09 2010 10:40 AM
Allen from minnesota

put birth control in the water

Feb. 04 2010 11:56 AM
David from Great Neck

Was busy during Levy but heard the segment. Suozzi lost only because he was stupid: he didn't take Mangano seriously and had no compaign compared with 2001 and 2005. I volunteered for him both times, especially when he ran against DiNapoli, who was my assemblyman.

Most Nassau property tax is school and library much as 70% and the County has nothing to do with it. The remainder is Village, Town and County tax. Suozzi, who used to be an excellent communicator, did not bother with this and is now in the private sector. Meanwhile, the new Republican Nassau Legislature, already raised its salary structure and is going to repeal it this month due to the outcry. Again: a failure to communicate. We need to eliminate school districts, myriad special districts and other non-essential bodies. Would be a huge savings. Then we might also trum the cops' pay, which has long been the highest in the US.

Feb. 04 2010 11:24 AM
Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

The suburbanization of America in the '50s and '60s - driven by cheap oil prices - is at the root of many of our present problems. I think DE-suburbanization and RE-urbanization should become the new "American dream." However, that should also mean much better apartment housing, more spacious, with larger patios and more amenities. We should give most of the countryside back to farmers and wildlife as it once was, and only go out there for touring and for picnics on weekends and not to muck it up.

Feb. 04 2010 11:11 AM
kai from NJ-NYC

@ Hugh - You're right about America's unique position of passive voters/citizen participation, possibly due to America's unique culture of consumption ahead of civic-mindedness. People in America primarily want more "stuff" rather than getting deeper into issues or looking around at what other people are dealing with. ("Do for self")

The other tremendous characteristic of Americans' is that over the last 30 years or so, we want more without paying for it. Who cares about things like ever-increasing use lines of credit or not paying taxes for services that people find necessary.

Feb. 04 2010 11:06 AM
David from Hempstead

Long Islanders who gripe about property taxes should read Tom Brokaw's editorial in the NY Times from last year, Small-Town Big Spending:

"New York State has about 10,500 local government entities, from townships to counties to special districts. A year ago a bipartisan state commission said that New Yorkers could save more than a billion dollars a year by consolidating and sharing local government responsibilities like public security, health, roads and education."

If you hate property taxes so much, you should be willing to see the local services in your town/village consolidated with those of other nearby towns.

I agree with Bob's comment on police pay. Too much money is spent on local police forces on Long Island.

Ironically, many of those who complain about property taxes receive their pay checks from those same taxes.

Feb. 04 2010 11:05 AM
Cynthia from long island

NYCers know where Long Island is! They screw up our parkways every weekend during the Summer when they go to the Hamptons and Montauk!!!

Feb. 04 2010 11:01 AM
antonio from the republic of park slope..

@ Michael..
wait! isn't there just ocean after jfk?

(from a nyer.. who can't believe there is so much flora and fauna in LI that so many nyc folks are oblivious to..)

Feb. 04 2010 10:58 AM
CJ from NY

When Clinton was in office, the local politicians were largely Republican. Whether there is a connection or not, the feeling is times were better with local Republicans and a Dem in the White House.

Feb. 04 2010 10:57 AM
bob from huntington

You can't talk about LI without addressing the high taxes, and you can't address the high taxes without addressing the fact that LI has the highest paid police and teachers in the country.

With some of the best students in the country, (Ivy League colleges routinely are overwhelmed with applications from LI students) teachers can make a better case for their salaries than police. The lack of serious crime on LI has more to do with a generally local good economy and changing demographics. So why do LI police make more than 100K after only 5 years on the job? And they can do this with little more education than a GED.

Feb. 04 2010 10:56 AM
antonio from the republic of park slope..

staten island is the only borough that voted for mccain, they still think its 1955..

Feb. 04 2010 10:55 AM
Andy from Brooklyn

re: Michael [5] -- and they all think Public Enemy and Lou Reed are from the city.

Feb. 04 2010 10:53 AM
Lauren from Woodbury, NY

I'm a second generation suburbanite, and grew up in Nassau County.

I remember my Dad telling me to vote whatever I like, but do NOT register Democrat if I ever wanted to work in Nassau county.

Feb. 04 2010 10:53 AM
hjs from 11211

any chance of a muli-party democracy in the USA?

Feb. 04 2010 10:51 AM
Gerry G from Easton, PA

the embrace of government was not a conscious decision by most people who moved to the suburbs. they just wanted more space and "better" schools.

Feb. 04 2010 10:50 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

How can Mr. Lehrer make grand statements about voters thinking about "what it is to be American" when a "large turnout" is something like 35% ?!

In the 'landmark' 2008, turnout was still only around 52 or 53 percent.

Americans remain uniquely passive among the major democracies of the world.

Feb. 04 2010 10:50 AM
Michael from Rockville Centre,

Brian,why the sudden intrest in the Burbs.Did't think anyone from WNYC even knew how to get to Long Island.

Feb. 04 2010 10:48 AM
smithered from Somerset Cnty, NJ

As a kid Warren, NJ was where we went to get raw milk, horseback riding lessons, etc. Outsiders were shunned by the local rustics. A couple decades later, Warren is little more than a textbook case of a non-zoned McMansion explosion, SUVs, and lots of well off families from north Jersey and other countries who have no idea of their town's history. The last working farm in town was just viciously put out of business -- and fined -- for the smells of its horses.

The same type of furious, self-entitled conservatives who fought against suburbanization just a generation ago are now raging for it.

Feb. 04 2010 10:47 AM
Nick from NYC

Can you or your guest define the boundaries of the "suburbs"? Some people commute up to 2 hours or more to work in NYC. Is it just anywhere that there is a community that mostly works in the city? And what about the psychology of that word? Which is more suburban, Forest Hills, Yonkers, or Hoboken?

Feb. 04 2010 10:46 AM
Cynthia from long island

Why do Supermarkets keep getting zoning approval? There are 6 supermarkets within a less than 2 mile radius of where I live and now a 7th is being built. A new Stop and Shop is being built less than three blocks away from Waldbaums and about 6 blocks from Path mark.

Feb. 04 2010 10:46 AM
Peter from Central New Jersey

You should have Robert Lang (Brookings Institution)on your show. He is the expert on the politics of the suburbs.

Feb. 04 2010 07:57 AM

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