Al Sharpton, who clashed endlessly with the Giuliani administration, doesn’t sound thrilled with Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s decision to re-appoint Mr. Giuliani’s police commissioner as the city’s top cop.
In a statement released this morning just as news of Bill Bratton’s appointment was trickling out, Mr. Sharpton, who has had a warm relationship with Mr. de Blasio, offered a mixed assessment of Mr. Bratton’s record, which includes stints as chief of both the Boston and Los Angeles police departments.
Walk this way
Emboldened by Democrat Bill de Blasio’s decisive win in the mayor’s race, the state’s Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus today rolled out a new agenda and pushed Albany to “walk the walk” in passing progressive legislation.
Joined by Rev. Al Sharpton, the lawmakers pressed their case to nearly 250 elected officials, union members, and community activists seated in the auditorium of Baruch College.
The Tall Man Cometh
After a full week without public events, Bill de Blasio emerged Saturday morning at Rev. Al Sharpton’s weekly National Action Network rally in Harlem, where the new mayor-elect rallied cheering supporters with a promise of “aggressive” progressive change.
Walk this way
Mayoral front-runner Bill de Blasio today backtracked on his claim that he is a “fiscal conservative,” saying that he should have dubbed himself “fiscally responsible” instead.
During a speech yesterday in front of the Association for a Better New York, the Democrat—who has run the race as a liberal progressive, vowing to raise taxes on the rich and address growing income inequality—claimed that he is, in fact, a “progressive activist fiscal conservative, but … still a fiscal conservative.”
The mayoral candidates made their final pilgrimage to Rev. Al Sharpton’s House of Justice this morning, making their case to Harlem voters as they scramble for support in the campaign’s final stretch.
All of the Gracie Mansion hopefuls have been aggressively courting black support, crisscrossing black neighborhoods and vying for the endorsements of prominent black leaders. But one of the biggest prizes–Mr. Sharpton himself–has chosen to stay mum–a decision that has been seen as a particular blow to Bill Thompson, the only black candidate in the race.
The overtones were impossible to ignore this morning as Mr. Sharpton took pains to stress that he wasn’t playing favorites and tried to convince those in the audience that there was no bad blood between him and the five candidates present: Bill de Blasio, Christine Quinn, John Liu, Anthony Weiner and Mr. Thompson.
Critics of the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk practice, including many of the candidates vying to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg, applauded a judge’s ruling this morning declaring the city’s current use of the tactic unconstitutional.
In a round of strongly worded statements, the Democratic hopefuls repeatedly said the ruling reaffirmed what they already knew: police had overstepped their boundaries by stopping hundreds of thousands of young men, overwhelmingly young black and Latino, on insufficient grounds.
A week after the jury reached a not guilty verdict in the murder trial of George Zimmerman, a mixture of anger, despair and resilience permeated the scorching air outside of the NYPD headquarters on Saturday, where protesters had assembled on behalf of slain 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Reverend Al Sharpton was at the helm of the proceedings, which brought together superstars Beyoncé and Jay Z, a slew of mayoral candidates and Mr. Martin’s mother, Sabrina Fulton, who has been dubbed the “matron of the movement.”
The five leading Democratic mayoral candidates–sleeping bags, gym shorts and bouquets in tow–spent last night sleeping in a Harlem public housing development, heeding Rev. Al Sharpton’s call to “dramatize” the many maladies residents of the city’s massive housing system face on a daily basis.
“We started hearing how people were ignored and I said the thing to do is, not only bring the candidates but to dramatize the issue. All of us stay in the development one night,” Mr. Sharpton said last night at the Lincoln Houses, a development nestled next to the East River. “One night’s not going to solve the problem. But one night is going to dramatize that there’s an issue because the media will have to going forward say, one of the central issues in this city is people in public housing.”
After being labeled a victim of the Al Sharpton/Jesse Jackson coalitions by some of her more fervent fans, the drama of Paula “Sambo Burger” Deen took a turn last night when Sharpton, confronted by TMZ on the street, cautioned against judging Deen’s actions from over 40 years ago as a barometer for her current situation. (Reverend Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition is still planning on investigating Deen’s hiring practices.)
And though Reverend Sharpton was promoting not a defense of Deen, but merely saying she deserves a fair trial based on current evidence, Ms. Deen took his words as a sign of support.
Rev. Al Sharpton was forced to fly to Atlanta from Miami given the closures of all city airports. The civil rights activist, who had been in Florida for a voting rights rally and to encourage early voting over the weekend, will be taping his evening MSNBC program PoliticsNation from an Atlanta studio. Read More