La Guardia was the 99th mayor of New York City for three terms, from 1934 to 1945.In the middle of Greenwich Village, in New York City, a statue of a short man represents one of the most famous and effective mayors the city had ever led. In 1929, New York City was full of corruption and vice managed under the clutches of the corrupt political faction that was in Tammany Hall. Jimmy Walker, a Democrat backed by Tammany Hall and current mayor of New York City, would be running for re-election against the Republican maverick Fiorello L. LaGuardia was known for being a man who despised corruption and crime and was seen everywhere as an honest man who wanted the best for the city, rotting because of corruption.
Not to surprise anyone, the honest candidate would lose by the widest margin in the New York City mayoral elections to a man put in power by a corrupt political machine. This would not be the first time that LaGuardia would run for mayor, because in 1933 the position of mayor would reopen, since incumbent Jimmy Walker would be forced to leave office due to a political scandal. By 1933, LaGuardia would rise to the office of mayor and begin his term with tough anti-crime policies and fierce opposition to the corruption that plagues the government. The first order of business to directly combat corruption in Tammany was to clear the City Council of any redundant or unnecessary posts.
Many Jimmy Walker employees had been hired through a sponsorship system to reward loyalists for their support of the machine. LaGuardia made sure that this patronage system no longer existed. Instead, it hired employees based on their skills and merits, not on the basis of who they knew politically. This process would allow different demographic groups to work together in the city council.
This was a progressive change compared to the previous administration, which had employed puppet charges to collect payments without control. Immigrants, African-Americans, and women worked under the LaGuardia administration. By the time the posts were remodeled and new employees were assigned, the City Council would symbolize how New York could function without the clutches of corruption. While LaGuardia had already taken action against Tammany Hall, he was still one man and needed additional help to combat political corruption.
In an agreement with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the two men would agree to help each other to carry out their political agenda. Roosevelt, the former governor of New York, would help the current mayor of New York City in an emblematic battle against corruption that both men despised. By properly implementing Roosevelt's New Deal, the federal government would reimburse LaGuardia by stripping Tammany Hall associates of federal sponsorship to help tear down the political machine. Tammany Hall's influence was steadily declining, as Fiorello appealed to the citizens of New York as an honest politician who sought to do what was best for his citizens.
Not only did LaGuardia have direct support from the federal government, but it also put New York City in the national spotlight more than ever. The news of their success in the fight against corruption would spread across the country, as their efforts would be detailed in national news coverage and iconic images. Tammany Hall's diminishing influence wasn't enough to satisfy LaGuardia's hatred of crime. He soon joined New York City gangs in 1934, directly opposing monopolies and gambling.
This chapter of LaGuardia's policies had a personal connection with him because of his Italian heritage. He considered that Italian gangs that sowed fear among citizens were an embarrassment for Italians, and their use of vices had deeply offended his personal feelings. Monopolies in the food business were rampant exploitation because Italian mobsters had many vendors on their hands collecting and extorting money to obtain exotic products. Those who caused the most unrest in the food business were the vendors who sold artichokes.
Italian mobsters took advantage of these honest sellers to collect a percentage of the profits earned from the sale of artichokes. To directly combat this, LaGuardia would implement a controversial decision to ban the sale and trade of baby artichokes so that Italian mobsters could not take advantage of street vendors. He announced on the streets of the city that it was a necessary measure and apologized for the direct impact that vendors who worked hard in businesses had. The difficult decisions that LaGuardia would have to make would ultimately be effective in diminishing the influence of gang crime.
The policy would be withdrawn after just three days as sellers complained about the plummet in sales of other products. However, because New York was under national control for a long time because of LaGuardia, the FBI took notice and cracked down on the illegal sale of artichokes and monopolies. After ending the illegal artichoke trade, LaGuardia worked to increase sales from legitimate artichoke stores through restaurants to help the domestic artichoke trade and small businesses. LaGuardia's personality as practical mayor would be a defining characteristic of Little Flower.
The integrity of their character was demonstrated by directly targeting street vendors and helping companies recover their revenues thanks to the artichoke ban. The fact that the mayor proposed that vendors would get back on their feet shows how much LaGuardia cared about the livelihoods of its citizens. Years after the artichoke war ended, LaGuardia continued to ensure that sellers who sold artichokes could return to making profits. LaGuardia's hands-on approach won the hearts of New Yorkers and the beloved mayor was forever established as one of New York's best leaders.
While crime was not fully dispelled under LaGuardia's supervision, its influence on the city was greatly reduced. The efforts made by the grand mayor would help bring New York out of a dark period, fraught with government corruption and criminal vices. It's only right that modern New Yorkers defend the legacy of a mayor who rose to the occasion when the city needed him most. Born to an Italian mother and a Jewish father in New York City, LaGuardia was already linked to New York City from the moment he was born.
Roosevelt crossed party lines, brought federal funding to New York City and cut off the sponsorship of La Guardia's enemies. Later, La Guardia chased the mobsters with force, and in a radio speech addressed to the people of New York with its distinctive voice, it stated: “Let's get the bums out of the city.”. When she refused, Tammany went to the New York Supreme Court and successfully filed a lawsuit to keep Kelly's name off the ballot. Before taking office as mayor, La Guardia represented Manhattan in Congress and on the New York City Board of Councilmen.
This fateful year would make him New York's Deputy Attorney General, propelling him into the world of politics. LaGuardia, a Republican who appealed across party lines, was very popular in New York during the 1930s. Representative of New York's 14th district, which stretched across Manhattan between 3rd and 14th Streets, encompassing Greenwich Village. The five approaches consisted of restoring finance and providing a free market, developing aid programs, eliminating political corruption, replacing patronage positions with merit-based jobs, and turning New York into a modern city.
As mayor, during the Great Depression and World War II, La Guardia unified the city's transportation system; expanded the construction of public housing, parks and airports; reorganized the New York Police Department and implemented federal New Deal programs in the city. He graduated from New York University Law School in 1910, was admitted to the bar that same year and began practicing law in New York City. Along with New York City Council President Newbold Morris, La Guardia converted the building into the New York City Center for Music and Dance. It was during this time that the port of Rijeka played a vital role in connecting the Austro-Hungarian Empire with the United States, offering direct passenger service between Rijeka and New York.