Rain on my Parade
The International Man
In an apparent slip of the tongue, Mayor Bill de Blasio today said he had skipped yesterday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the Rockaways because it excluded some groups–even though he had marched in the same event last year.
“My approach has been to embrace parades that are inclusive. And that’s the standard we’re going to hold,” he said today during the St. Pat’s for All Parade in Sunnyside, Queens, when asked why he’d skipped Saturday’s event, which drew criticism from some in the Sandy-ravaged neighborhood.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, today weighed in on the escalating tensions in the Ukraine, where a standoff with the Russian military has led to a full-blown international crisis.
The new mayor, who seems eager to comment on foreign policy topics, including Israel and sanctions against Iran, sharply criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for his incursion into the Crimean peninsula.
Mayor Bill de Blasio today dismissed the notion that he’s dragged his feet in filling his new administration, insisting that very few posts remain vacant.
“I’m not a lawyer … but I will be on the watch for premises that may not be accurate. A large number of agencies is a debatable point,” said Mr. de Blasio when asked about the criticism at a press conference today announcing three new hires.
Steve Banks, the chief attorney at the Legal Aid Society, has been appointed to lead the city’s Human Resources Administration, and Nisha Agarwal will serve as commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this afternoon.
Mr. Banks has lead the organization, which provides free legal service, since 2004. Three years earlier, he ran unsuccessfully against Mr. de Blasio in a City Council race.
Bill Bratton will march in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a decision that will separate the police commissioner from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s and the City Concil’s official boycott of the Irish-American celebration.
Parade organizers have drawn fire because they do not allow groups with signs or banners identifying themselves as LGBT to march.
preaching to the choir
Mayor Bill de Blasio took another step today to reverse the previous administration’s schools agenda, withdrawing nine co-locations approved last year, including three for Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academies.
“If there is one thing school communities should know, it’s this: we’re going to do things differently,” Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said in a statement. “Today, we are turning the page on the approach of the past. We are going to listen and be responsive like never before, and that will be reflected in everything we do.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomed about 200 supporters to Gracie Mansion last night to urge them to do all they can to push his plan to raise taxes on the city’s richest residents to fund universal pre-K.
Members of the crowd, which included the Rev. Al Sharpton and other prominent clergy members, as well as labor leaders, developers, education activists and administration officials, were asked to get their friends and colleagues involved in pushing the “UPKNYC” plan to reticent Albany lawmakers, according to those in attendance.
de Blasio on de Blasio
Mayor Bill de Blasio may have a seemingly endless parade of celebrity backers, but actor Liam Neeson will likely never be one of them.
The Irish star denounced Mr. de Blasio on The Daily Show last night, once again taking the mayor to task for his vow to ban horse-drawn carriages in the city.
As Seen on TV
Mayor Bill de Blasio today acknowledged that his young administration had endured several “bumps” in its first two months, but said it’s still too early to judge his progress.
In an interview with ABC 7, Mr. de Blasio also denied that he’d grown “testy” with the media, despite a spate of negative coverage, beginning with his decision not to shutter schools during the last major snow storm and a call he placed to police on behalf of an arrested supporter.
As California ramps up its efforts to recapture “runaway” film and television production leaving the state, industry insiders here are counting down the days until Mayor Bill de Blasio announces his pick to lead the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting.
Mr. de Blasio’s short list is now down to a handful of contenders, according to sources close to the transition process. They include independent film advocate Michelle Byrd, former Community Board 1 Chair Julie Menin, Pat Kaufman, who lead the state’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development, and Roberta Reardon, the former co-president of SAG-AFTRA. Also mentioned: Lisa Cortes, an independent film and music producer whose was the executive producer on the critically acclaimed Precious.