Full Court Press
After some bruising coverage of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to cancel a handful of charter school co-locations, MSNBC’s Morning Joe returned to the issue a third time today.
This morning’s show featured a handful of young children learning as they would at their embattled Success Academy charter school: playing chess, solving multi-step fraction problems, making molecular models and, for one student, “doing some writing before she dances.”
First Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris today defended his new administration’s press shop, which has come under growing fire in recent weeks after a series of alleged faux pas.
During a Crain’s New York Business breakfast this morning, Mr. Shorris was asked directly whether the mayor needed to beef up his communications team, which includes a handful of veteran campaign staffers, but few with extensive experience in the notoriously difficult New York City media scene.
After Mayor Bill de Blasio took a pounding on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today for his sometimes critical approach to charter schools, Gov. Andrew Cuomo scheduled an appearance on The Brian Lehrer Show to praise them.
Not only are charter schools not a threat, Mr. Cuomo said, but they are part of the solution to failing public schools, which he called “the civil rights issue of our day.”
As Seen on TV
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first deputy mayor this morning provided a rosy assessment of the administration’s tenure so far, concluding that “we’re in a pretty credible place,” despite a “few bumps along the way.”
Speaking to business leaders, lobbyists and reporters at a Crain’s New York Business breakfast forum in Midtown, Mr. Shorris broke with the mayor and acknowledged the pace of appointments in the administration has been “a bit slower than some.”
Planes Trains & Automobiles
Mayor Bill de Blasio spent nearly half an hour this morning talking education on Morning Joe, where he got an earful from the show’s hosts, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, who hammered the new mayor for his allegedly antagonistic stance toward charter schools.
“I don’t understand your positions on charters,” stated Mr. Scarborough. “The waiting list is 50,000. And it’s not a bunch of rich kids from Manhattan that want to get in there, it’s some of the poorest, most disadvantaged children of colors.”
hangin' in the blogosphere
Mayor Bill de Blasio today named Meera Joshi, the former general counsel at the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), as his pick to lead the agency.
Mayor de Blasio took his pre-K campaign to the blogosphere this afternoon, inviting a group of parent bloggers to City Hall for a discussion on preschool and after-school programs, which he is fighting to expand.
“We need Albany to hear concerns of parents in our city and provide the resources,” said Mr. de Blasio, who has launched a massive push to try to convince lawmakers in Albany to approve a tax on the city’s richest residents to fund the programs.
by the numbers
Mayor Bill de Blasio traveled to Chicago yesterday for a panel discussion with three of his most high-profile colleagues, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Atlanta’s Kasim Reed and Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel.
With political consultant David Axelrod leading the conversation, the group acted like a lineup of old friends, ribbing each other over recent weather woes, and joining together to herald the role of cities and criticize the federal government’s lack of investment in them.
Taxing de Rich
Only 39 percent of registered voters in the city approve of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s job performance, according to a new Wall Street Journal-NBC 4 New York-Marist poll.
While many believe the mayor cares about average person, is fulfilling his campaign promises, and can bring the city together, two months into his tenure, just 10 percent of those polled described his performance as excellent, while 29 percent described it as good. Another 37 percent gave it a fair rating and 20 percent said he is doing poorly.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, though jubilant about Mayor Bill de Blasio’s desire to expand universal prekindergarten across the city, stopped short today of endorsing his plan to hike taxes to fund the program.
Appearing with Mr. de Blasio in the Bronx to promote the Catholic Church’s partnership on the pre-K expansion, Mr. Dolan refused to specifically back Mr. de Blasio’s plan to raise taxes on the city’s wealthiest residents to fund pre-K and after-school programs.