Fiorello LaGuardia is known as the most popular mayor in New York City history. A man of the people, he served from 1934 to 1945 and his legacy lives on today. From overseeing an end to the Great Depression to transforming the city’s infrastructure, LaGuardia was a man of action. He changed New York as we know it. But what would he do if he were mayor of New York City today? Let’s take a look.
by David Stone
Public Transportation Overhaul
LaGuardia’s first order of business would be to update and improve public transportation systems in the city. During his time as mayor, he improved subway lines and established smart bus routes.
Today, commuters deal with overcrowding, filth and crime on subways and buses that are often unreliable and behind schedule. LaGuardia would prioritize public transportation by implementing modern technology. He’d push for automated train operation systems and speeding up bus times.
He would also create more efficient routes, connecting existing ones to reduce congestion or creating express lines to shorten commute times. But since the MTA owns mass transit in New York, he’d have to leverage his political skills to get things done.
Affordable Housing & Education Reforms Under a 21st Century LaGuardia
He understood that without safe, affordable housing options people cannot thrive. And thus, he proposed legislation that provided more housing assistance programs for low-income families.
If LaGuardia were mayor today he’d continue this fight by pushing for stronger rent regulations. He’d support building more social housing units and expanding tenant protections against eviction.
Additionally, he would focus on improving education access by reducing tuition costs at City University of New York (CUNY) schools while increasing their quality through better funding support from the state government.
LaGuardia Would Lead the Battle Against Crime
From his time in the House of Representatives through running the city as mayor, LaGuardia despised crime, especially the street crimes that trouble New Yorkers today.
He also took on the mob, battling vice and gambling operations. But although a model mayor, he couldn’t conquer both because crime is endemic.
Certainly, though, lifting morale among the ranks of the NYPD would be a focus. His passion and commitment to good, clean government inspired others who believed the city could be better.
Police corruption continued. It still does, but sagging morale sets the stage. LaGuardia would make it better.
Cultural Revitalization & Environmental Protection
LaGuardia’s passion for culture extended beyond just music or art; he understood that culture is an integral part of any city’s identity and should be celebrated with enthusiasm.
To honor this concept today, LaGuardia would work hard to revitalize neighborhoods with cultural centers focused on music or art appreciation; these could be used as gathering places for residents or host events such as live concerts or artist workshops.
Along with preserving culture, he would also make sure the environment is respected by instituting policies like plastic bag bans, effective trash collection schemes and creating incentives for companies to switch over to renewable energy sources like wind or solar power.
Finally, he’d advocate for green spaces such as parks that can provide a much-needed respite from urban life while also reducing air pollution in cities like New York where it is especially high due to traffic congestion.
Summary: What Would LaGuardia Do?
Fiorello LaGuardia was one of the most beloved mayors in New York City history because he worked diligently towards improving the quality of life for all its citizens—no matter their income level or background—and made sure everyone had access to basic services such as healthcare and education while still keeping an eye out for unnecessary wastefulness in government spending.
If LaGuardia were mayor today, his primary focus would certainly include improving public transportation systems through modern technology upgrades combined with affordable housing initiatives aimed at providing safe living environments for all residents.
Cultural revitalization projects such as neighborhood arts centers would be high on his agenda along with making sure NYC remains a healthy place by continuing its environmental protection efforts.
All in all, it’s safe to say that LaGuardia wouldn’t shy away from tackling any challenge facing his beloved city.