Former New York City mayor and former DSA member David Dinkins died this week at age 93. David Duhalde examines his mixed legacy as a democratic socialist in Jacobin. Here’s an excerpt:
He was a resolute figure, and a committed progressive, that governed during a time of continued fiscal crisis, concerns over crime, and growing racial tension.
These three factors conspired to lead to his defeat in 1993, after just three years in office, to Rudolph Giuliani, the city’s first Republican mayor in decades.
Dinkins’s involvement in organized democratic socialism rose and fell throughout his life, but he was never ashamed to be associated with the socialist cause. In 1990, during his inaugural year as mayor, Dinkins gave a welcoming speech to a meeting of the Socialist International organized by DSA; the full text of his speech can be found in the November–December 1990 edition of Democratic Left.
Click through to read Duhalde’s full obituary for New York City’s first and only Black mayor.