call to arms
Mayor Bill de Blasio, in a rare display of anger, today railed against Albany lawmakers, slamming Senate co-leader Dean Skelos for refusing to bring to vote the mayor’s signature plan to tax the rich to fund universal pre-k and sounding a call to clergy leaders to mobilize on its behalf.
“The gauntlet’s been thrown in Albany. We will respond,” the mayor told religious leaders and elected officials gathered at the Bethany Baptist Church in Brooklyn, at a breakfast organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton to support the universal pre-K funding plan.
In his first cable TV appearance since becoming mayor, Bill de Blasio paid a visit to Rev. Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show, where the two chatted about the end of the city’s appeal against a prominent stop-and-frisk ruling, Hillary Clinton’s potential presidential campaign and a top Sharpton aide’s role in the de Blasio administration.
Unsurprisingly, the two behaved like old friends. Mr. de Blasio thanked Mr. Sharpton for leading an anti stop-and-frisk rally, while Mr. Sharpton hailed the new mayor as a rare politician who could keep his word.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave an unusually animated speech in front of Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network this morning, at one point borrowing a phrase from the once controversial civil rights leader.
“The reverend used a new term … ‘agitation freaks.’ I love that one, I love that. Albany has a lot of agitation freaks,” the governor told the audience at the House of Justice in Harlem, using the term Mr. Sharpton had coined to describe people who are angry all the time just for the sake of being angry.
Newly-elected City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the Rev. Al Sharpton went after the media this morning, accusing the city’s news outlets of being out-of-touch with voters.
In her first major appearance since Wednesday’s vote crowning her the second-most-powerful elected official in the city, the progressive firebrand told Mr. Sharpton’s National Action Network in Harlem that this year’s election victories signaled a sea change in New York that the mainstream media resisted.
Walk this way
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.
The Tall Man Cometh
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.
Walk this way
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.
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.