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How a Trump Presidency Will Affect New York City

By Jeff Mays | November 3, 2016 2:12pm | Updated on November 9, 2016 2:43am
 Donald Trump speaks at the New York State Republican Gala at the Grand Hyatt on April 14, 2016.
Donald Trump speaks at the New York State Republican Gala at the Grand Hyatt on April 14, 2016.
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

MIDTOWN — There will be a New Yorker in the White House come Jan. 20, but not the one most people in New York City voted for.

President-elect Donald Trump is a native New Yorker who was born in Queens and keeps a home in Manhattan, but most experts DNAinfo New York spoke to said a Trump presidency could have an uncertain or negative impact on the city.

"It's hard to imagine what a Trump presidency will look like because there is nothing to anchor our understanding," said Angelo Falcón, president of the National Institute for Latino Policy.


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Trump's proposed educational plans — such as wide use of charter schools, vouchers and private school tax credits — are all likely to be in play. Other proposals such as eliminating the U.S. Department of Education would free New York City from some regulations, but cost the city billions in aide.

David Bloomfield, an education professor at Brooklyn College and The CUNY Graduate Center, said both candidates' hands might be tied by the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced No Child Left Behind earlier this year.  

"In short, the federal role has been vastly curtailed so that the Common Core and high stakes testing are now largely in state hands," Bloomfield said.

Clinton likely would have increased federal aid to early childhood programs and to K-12 district and charter schools.

Trump's higher education plan could "receive guarded bipartisan support if it provides support for middle class students without busting the budget based on his tax plan," Bloomfield said, but would likely favor for-profit programs such as Trump University, which is being investigated in several states.

Trump's campaign has taken direct aim at the Black Lives Matter movement, Mexican immigrants, and immigration from predominantly Muslim countries, capitalizing on fears of each. Trump has caricatured African-American neighborhoods as dangerous places where people get shot just walking outside of their homes.

Many experts believe Trump's victory is due to fear of the country's shifting demographics as America becomes more brown.

Christina Greer, a professor of political science at Fordham University, said Trump's election may very well be the start of difficult times for people of color and immigrants in the United States.

"The problem now is that so much of his vitriolic rhetoric has to be backed up with policy. If you say you are tired of immigrants, let's kick them out, then some people who voted for you are going to be expecting that policy," said Greer.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has hopes the city's many infrastructure needs could proceed with help from the federal government. The city has crumbling bridges, overcrowded subways and has launched ambitious transportation projects such as a Brooklyn-Queens streetcar and citywide ferry service.

Both Clinton and Trump agreed that the nation's infrastructure is crumbling and in need of repair.

Trump has said he would create an infrastructure fund that would sell bonds to investors to finance $1 trillion in improvements. The New York Times' editorial board said Trump's infrastructure plan, combined with his proposed tax cuts, don't bode well for the nation's finances.

"Everything with Trump, even his infrastructure plan, comes down to 'Can we make money?' Sometimes you need to have policies that are there to help people and that will not make money," said Greer.

With New York’s record high homeless population hitting 60,000, the city will need help from the federal government to make a dent even with the ambitious affordable housing plan from the de Blasio administration, experts said.

“Neither of the candidates have made cities or housing a priority,” said Alex Schwartz, professor at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at The New School. “Neither have talked about how low-income people simply cannot afford housing.”

One way to address the situation, he said, is to raise the minimum wage. “If Trump were elected, who knows what to believe. He’s said essentially zero on this issue other than that cities are war zones, which is ridiculous,” he said.

If Trump enacted drastic reductions in corporate income taxes or other taxes, it could hurt affordable housing, since much of it is being built nowadays through low-income housing tax credits for those who invest in affordable housing, he said.

Both candidates talked about bolstering infrastructure, and there’s been a growing movement among New York City advocates to use infrastructure spending to help the city’s public housing, which has a capital repair deficit of nearly $17 billion, he said.

“If you’re able to use a tiny portion of new infrastructure spending on public housing, that would be really desirable outcome,” he said.

Crime has continued to fall to record lows in New York City while other cities, such as Chicago, are seeing tremendous spikes in homicides.

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill and de Blasio have praised the continued crime drop in spite of a 97 percent reduction in stop-and-frisks and have lauded the hiring of thousands of more officers and the introduction of a community policing program.

Trump has said stop-and-frisk, which a federal judge ruled was violating the rights of black and Latino men in New York City, was a good tool that should be expanded to other cities to help restore "law and order."

READ MORE: Donald Trump Touted the Merits of Stop-and-Frisk. Here Are the Facts

Trump has also characterized the areas where blacks live as dangerous places where you get shot walking to the store. And he has also vowed to crack down on terrorism with "extreme vetting" of people from Muslim countries entering the United States.

"If Mr. Trump wins we might see more involvement in the [NYPD's] departmental, tactical and operational deployment, to focus more on certain communities that might be perceived as potential terrorist and criminal threats," said Maria Haberfeld, a professor and co-director of the NYPD Police Studies Program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "I think we might also see more militarization of the [police] department."

Whether Trump won or lost, the exposure of his children Ivanka and Donald Jr. have been increased as they were publicly key to his campaign.

READ MORE: Here's Who Might Run Against Bill de Blasio in 2017 — And Who Already Is

"The thing to watch is what happens to the Trump kids," said Adele Malpass, chairwoman of the Manhattan Republican Party. "You could think about them as rising stars in the party."

Some have suggested that Donald Jr. should run for mayor of New York City and he has said he's open to the possibility, although his father ruled it out on his behalf.