Rain on de Parade
Following Mayor Bill de Blasio announcement that he will break with a recent tradition and refuse to march in the Fifth Avenue St. Patrick’s Day parade, the City Council has announced it will do the same.
Brooklyn City Councilman David Greenfield is tired of property owners neglecting to clear their sidewalks of snow and ice this winter.
Armed with dozens of complaints, the councilman, who represents Borough Park, Midwood and parts of Bensonhurst, is proposing a new law that would increase the fine to delinquent residential and commercial property owners and use that revenue to pay for municipal workers to clear the sidewalks.
The days after the mayor releases his preliminary budget are usually filled with protests by advocates stomping their feet, decrying cuts to favored programs on the steps of City Hall.
But today, the labor groups, workers, and council members rallying outside City Hall were there to hail Mayor Bill de Blasio’s call during his State of the City speech for an increase in the minimum wage.
snow days or lack thereof
Two of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s closest allies today refused to criticize the mayor over the controversy surrounding his call to police following the arrest of an early campaign supporter–with one literally walking away from reporters at City Hall.
“I will defer to the mayor of the City of New York,” repeated Public Advocate Tish James, as she was trailed by reporters walking from City Hall to her office on Centre Street.
Mayor Bill de Blasio faced a barrage of questions today over his decision to keep schools open, despite forecasts of up to 14 inches of snow
For the lion’s share of more than 30 minutes of on-topic questioning following a storm update at the city’s Office of Emergency Management Headquarter in Brooklyn, the new mayor and his schools chancellor repeatedly tried to explain their call to keep schools open during the sixth major storm in as many weeks.
As part of his State of the City address this afternoon, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to expand living wage legislation using a tool he has previously rarely mentioned: an executive order.
Mr. de Blasio announced that he will move to drop a lawsuit filed by his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, to halt legislation passed by the Council guaranteeing so-called “living wage” salaries to employees of projects that receive more than $1 million in city subsidies.
Big in Brooklyn
Top Democrats and organized labor celebrated Mayor Bill de Blasio’s State of the City address this afternoon, hailing the new mayor’s repeated calls for more affordable housing, expanded science education and a tax hike to fund universal prekindergarten.
Little of Mr. de Blasio’s speech actually broke new ground–the new mayor stuck mainly to the campaign themes that he repeated in his victory and inaugural addresses–but Democrats were more than happy to offer praise.
Planes Trains & Automobiles
The tweet was maybe two minutes old, but David Greenfield was already walking over to the table of reporters in the City Council chamber to confront the one who had erroneously broadcast he wasn’t wearing a tie.
“You don’t see this?” asked Mr. Greenfield, the City Council’s powerful new land use committee chair. He was clenching the knot of the cream-colored tie beneath his sweater, grinning. “Correct the tweet now.” He wanted the political junkies on his Twitter feed, which he constantly monitors, Cory Booker-like, to know he was properly attired for his coronation.
The Tall Man Cometh
Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, the new chair of the council’s transportation committee, is hoping to bring more Citi Bikes and ferries to the five boroughs. But first he wants to override a mayoral veto.
Of course, it’s not Mayor Bill de Blasio’s veto Mr. Rodriguez will attempt to overturn tomorrow, but rather Michael Bloomberg’s. At the end of last year, the outgoing mayor moved to block a bill that would force the NYPD to report information concerning vehicle collisions in which the driver left the scene.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito rolled out their first legislative push this afternoon, announcing a bill that will extend mandatory paid sick leave coverage to an additional half-million New Yorkers later this year.
The effort resurrects the original version of a bill that was bottled up for three years by former Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and would force businesses with five or more employees to provide their workers five paid days of leave each year, beginning April 1.