Bill De Blasio Debates New York vs Florida This Friday, April 15 | Shore Fire Media

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10 April, 2023Print

Bill De Blasio Debates New York vs Florida This Friday, April 15

“Is Florida Eating New York's Lunch?” De Blasio argues NO, Reihan Salam argues YES

Last year was a banner year for those trading the New York chill for the Florida sun. More Empire Staters packed up and moved to the Sunshine State last year than any year in history; a 39% uptick in relocations. And it’s not just retirees. Unfavorable tax policies, growing homeless populations, and recent crime spikes have all contributed to a Florida population rate that is outpacing New York’s, including so-called one-percenters, such as Donald Trump and Carl Icahn. In fact, recent census data revealed that 1.6 million former New Yorkers (or 8% of Florida’s total population) now call Florida home. Does that mean it’s a better bet? Those who argue “yes” often point to the numbers, which don’t lie, they argue. There is indeed a reason as to why so many New Yorkers are heading south, where their money can last longer, their health can benefit from warmer climates, and their sense of safety can be markedly improved. Others say that ‘blue state’ policies are a better choice in the long run and that as the effects of the pandemic recede, New York will rise in popularity once again. In that context, award-winning debate series Intelligence Squared U.S. will tape a virtual debate on the question: “Is Florida Eating New York’s Lunch?”

Arguing “NO” is Bill De Blasio, mayor of New York City from 2014 to 2021. Arguing “YES” is Reihan Salam, conservative political commentator, columnist and author who since 2019 has been president of the Manhattan Institute.

While the debate will not be released widely until May 5, via public radio, video and the Intelligence Squared U.S. podcast, press are invited to attend and ask questions at the live virtual taping on Friday, April 15 at 4:15 PM ET. Media can email for virtual access.


* Bill de Blasio: mayor of New York City from 2014 to 2021 
Bill de Blasio is an American political leader who served as the 109th mayor of New York City from 2014 to 2021. A member of the Democratic Party, he held the office of New York City Public Advocate from 2010 to 2013. De Blasio started his career as an elected official on the New York City Council, representing the 39th district in Brooklyn from 2002 to 2009. In 2014, de Blasio created a groundbreaking initiative which ensured that early childhood education became a universal right in the five boroughs. The universal Pre-K and 3-K programs in NYC have become a national model. During his tenure, NYC financed the preservation and construction of over 200,000 affordable homes, the most created by any administration in the City’s history. In 2019, de Blasio launched a first-in-the nation, 6-point action plan to end long-term homelessness. After leaving office, De Blasio served as a Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. De Blasio graduated from New York University with a B.A. in Metropolitan Studies and from Columbia University with an M.A. in International Affairs

* Reihan Salam: conservative political commentator, columnist and author who since 2019 has been president of the Manhattan Institute 
Reihan Salam is the fifth president of the Manhattan Institute. Since joining MI in 2019, Mr. Salam has overseen the creation and launch of a number of new initiatives, including the Policing and Public Safety Initiative, dedicated to addressing the nation’s crisis of urban violence. He has recruited some of the nation’s leading scholars, journalists, and civic leaders to help foster economic opportunity, educational excellence, individual liberty, and the rule of law in America and its great cities. Mr. Salam is the author of Melting Pot or Civil War? (Sentinel, 2018), the co-author, with Ross Douthat, of Grand New Party (Doubleday, 2008, and a contributing editor at The Atlantic, National Affairs, and National Review. Before joining MI, Mr. Salam served as the executive editor of National Review

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