A celebration in Flushing, Queens (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)
When I first entered office in 2013, I joined other elected officials in the time-honored tradition of attending ribbon-cutting ceremonies. Most of the time, these were for hotels, fancy restaurants, and even luxury condos.
Hard-hat and shovel in hand, I said the usual things about economic growth and prosperity that these projects would hopefully bring to Flushing, and we were all rewarded for this “insight” by the media.
This was the status quo—enabling...