hangin' in the blogosphere
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.
Bill and Bloomy
Bill de Blasio, who is often described as indecisive by those who work closely with him, waited until the last possible minute to decide on his wedding ring, too.
The mayor described the ring-hunting experience at an unrelated press conference this afternoon when an eagle-eyed reporter noticed that his distinctive, silver-and-stone wedding band was missing from his finger.
Mayor Bill de Blasio asserted today he would build on Michael Bloomberg’s far-reaching and personally-financed initiative to help young minority men, but said he had no immediate plans to ask his billionaire predecessor for another check.
The nearly $130 million program, known as the Young Men’s Initiative, was created in 2011 and aimed to help underprivileged black and Latino men land jobs and avoid prison. Mr. Bloomberg himself covered about a quarter of the cost with his own cash; George Soros, a de Blasio ally and chair of the Open Society Foundations, also pitched in $30 million.
first lady firsts
Mayor Bill de Blasio today formally clarified his wife’s role in his administration, confirming previous reports indicating she would likely chair the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.
He also named Gabrielle Fialkoff, the chair of his inauguration, as a senior adviser and director of his Office of Strategic Partnerships. Ms. Fialkoff, who worked with the mayor on Hillary Clinton’s first senate campaign, will oversee public-private partnerships for the administration, including the fund.
The First Lady
Chirlane McCray made her first solo appearance as first lady last night, kicking off a panel on black immigration at the sprawling Christian Cultural Center in East New York.
Ms. McCray took the stage an hour late and spoke for less than 10 minutes in front of an audience gathered for a discussion of The Black Institute’s new “G Project,” which aims to identify first to fourth-generation black immigrants.
New York City’s new First Lady, Chirlane McCray, will not receive a salary for her work at City Hall, the mayor’s office said this evening.
However, her new chief of staff, former Al Sharpton aide Rachel Noerdlinger, will make $170,000 a year. She will be based in the Office of the Mayor, and will be paid as a City Hall employee, the office said.
I had to laugh when I read recently that Bill de Blasio, the Democratic candidate for New York City mayor, is leading the polls, because voters supposedly like his interracial family. It reminded me that, years ago, my wife tried to convince me to run for elected office.
“You’d be a great politician,” she argued at the time. “Why not give it a try?”
Election Day: 2013apalooza
The Daily Show weighed in on Tuesday’s election results last night, and celebrated mayoral winner Bill de Blasio’s “incredibly awesome family”–at one point donning an afro wig to try to be more like Mr. de Blasio’s famous son, Dante.
“Adopt me?” asked host Jon Stewart after playing a clip of the family on victory night doing their signature dance move, “The Smackdown.”
Dowd But Not Out
Judging by the horde of cameras alone, Election Day is Bill de Blasio’s day.
The public advocate and his wife voted near their Park Slope home this morning, meeting a storm of cameras and reporters as they ambled into a local library to vote. Mr. de Blasio, leading his mayoral rivals comfortably in all of the latest polls, brushed off any talk that he would vault past 40 percent and avoid a runoff in the Democratic primary.
Don’t expect Margaret Sullivan, The New York Times‘ public editor, to join those calling for columnist Maureen Dowd to be axed over what they charge is a serial pattern of inaccuracy.
The Observer reached out to Ms. Sullivan to find out if she planned to weigh in on Ms. Dowd’s latest controversy: significantly misquoting a mayoral candidate’s wife so a policy-laden argument had the aura of a political cheap shot.