Opinion | In New York City, Democracy Is a One-Party Affair

By Mara Gay

Ms. Gay is a member of the editorial board.

New York City’s local elections are in full bloom, and all through town, Democrats are having a rollicking time.

Saturday night, Maya Wiley supporters were treated to a concert by the Strokes.

Outside the first in-person mayoral debate last week, rival campaigns gathered on West 57th Street. Instead of a brawl, though, a dance party broke out. Paperboy Prince, a rapper running for mayor, performed, belting out a tune about affordable housing. “House, everybody needs a house!” he shouted as voters bopped to the beat and nodded in approval.

In the crowd, Moises Perez of Washington Heights said Ms. Wiley was No. 1 on his ranked-choice ballot in the June 22 primary because she was “unapologetic about her progressivism.” Also, he said, “New York City needs a woman, a Black woman, for a change.”

Nearby, supporters of Eric Adams and Maya Wiley put aside their differences over whether to defund the police and danced together in a circle, rocking out to the Pharrell Williams song “Happy.”

After suffering through four years of Donald Trump — and eight years of Mayor Bill de Blasio — New York Democrats are in the mood to celebrate. The only problem? Democracy in New York City has become a one-party show.

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