Bill de Blasio Keeps Focus on Brooklyn Hospital

Mayoral front-runner Bill de Blasio stands with Long Island College Hospital workers and healthcare union during a conference today.

Mayoral front-runner Bill de Blasio stands with Long Island College Hospital workers and healthcare union during a conference today.

Bill de Blasio, who was arrested last June while protesting the imminent closure of  Long Island College Hospital, isn’t letting the issue go.

The mayoral front-runner stood today with union members and hospital workers to protest the layoff of 500 hospital workers, which he plans to fight in court.

“If you take away the personnel, the hospital effectively dies,” Mr. de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, declared to reporters at a press conference in front of the hospital’s playground. “We’re going back to court. We are simply not gonna take it,” he added later.

Mr. de Blasio announced that community members are requesting a court order to “stop these layoffs dead in their tracks,” which he argued was a matter of public safety.

“Effectively what SUNY is trying to do is close LICH at all costs and somehow put a legal fig leaf on it. So it’s just once again SUNY proposing and pursuing a closure plan, just not admitting it out loud,” he said.

Hospital workers and union members during event today.

Hospital workers and union members during event today.

“There’s something wrong when you close hospitals that people need,” piled on Jill Furillo, executive director of the New York State Nurses Association.

“These layoffs that SUNY has submitted is in fact the closure plan, it’s in the first phase of their closure plan, which has been rejected by the judge,” she added. “If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck and I don’t what else kind of thing it does about a duck—it’s a duck!”

For his part, Mr. de Blasio said he would not stop until he reaches the “ultimate victory,” of handing over LICH to a new provider.