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.
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.
Standing in a Brownsville, Brooklyn recreation center, Mayor Bill de Blasio repudiated much of his predecessor’s public safety legacy this afternoon.
With a host of elected officials looking on, the new mayor and his police commissioner said they would end the controversial appeal of a stop-and-frisk lawsuit, drawing overwhelming praise from some of Michael Bloomberg’s bitterest critics.
Best Friends Forevah
They also snowed on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s parade.
Senator Chuck Schumer and Public Advocate Tish James took time out of their speeches at the inauguration of Upper East Side Councilman Ben Kallos yesterday to tweak Mr. de Blasio for his response to last week’s snow storm, which local residents–and later Mr. de Blasio himself–agreed had fallen short.
The next public advocate, the city charter-designated thorn in the side of the imperial mayoralty, was singing.
“De Blasio-ooo,” crooned Tish James at Bill de Blasio’s last campaign stop before he throttled his Republican rival in November. “De Blasio-ooo. C’mon choir! De Blasio-ooo.”
Ms. James, swaying and giggling in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, was singing a snippet of a campaign anthem crafted by a labor union that fell behind Mayor de Blasio early and loudly, setting the stage for a political year only foreseen by liberal Pollyannas—a changing of the guard that would have been a grand joke in the Bloomberg bullpen a year ago.
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s top communications deputy isn’t entirely pleased with the way Bill de Blasio’s inauguration speakers presented his ex-boss’s record.
The deputy, Howard Wolfson, reached out to WNYC this morning to argue against some of the claims made by the event’s speakers, who presented the city as a deeply divided “plantation” in need of new leadership and direction.
An editor at The New York Times is denying newly-elected Public Advocate Tish James’s apparent claim that she played a role in the paper’s blockbuster feature on Dasani Coates, an 11-year-old homeless girl in Brooklyn.
Last night just hours after taking the oath of office with Ms. Coates holding the bible, Ms. James went on Road to City Hall where she laid out her vision for the next four years and discussed having “a little bit of something to do” with the original story.
Public Advocate Tish James delivered a fiery inauguration speech this afternoon, digging into the Michael Bloomberg administration and declaring Dasani Coates, the little homeless girl profiled by the New York Times, who has becoming a symbol of inequality in the city, her new “BFF.”
Could outgoing Borough President Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn’s de facto ambassador to the outside world, become the official ambassador for the city writ-large?
Public Advocate-elect Tish James and Councilman David Greenfield hope so.