Headline of the Day: “All the President’s Women.”
Runner-Up: “de Blasio Press Q&A: The Panti Bliss Edition (Updated x 2).”
Mayor Bill de Blasio will detail his plans for expanded after-school programs for middle school students today, according to the Wall Street Journal, which says the goal will be to double the number of students in the programs, with more than 95,000 slots. “The after-school piece is crucial because it is a substantial reinforcement of the progress that we hope to make with early-childhood education,” said mayor, who is pushing for a tax hike to fund the plan.
City & State took a look at Mr. de Blasio’s press team’s growing pains. “… there have been several instances when the sideshows have been amplified by a puzzling media strategy,” writes the paper, which blames the fact that Mr. de Blasio’s press shop is filled with campaign holdovers with limited government experience. Some said Mr. de Blasio’s press team “has too many ‘true believers’ and not enough sober, experienced voices in the press office.” Staffers have to “let the Kool-Aid wear off a little bit,” said Leland Jones, a press secretary for David Dinkins.
The Post‘s Fred Dicker today accuses aides to Gov. Andrew Cuomo of “secretly using state resources to ‘crowd-build’ turnouts at public events for Cuomo’s new and supposedly all-volunteer Citizen Preparedness Corps, which responds to natural disasters.” According to emails obtained by the paper, officials were directed “to lean on agency employees, groups that receive state services, friends and even family to generate turnouts for the events.” “Events of these [sic] magnitude require an all hands on deck approach,’’ one reportedly read.
Meanwhile, State Senator Martin Dilan thinks Tony Avella, Jeffrey Klein, Diane Savino, David Carlucci and David Valesky “should all be disenrolled by the Democratic party” for being members of the Independent Democratic Conference, according to the Daily News. “You can’t run and get elected on the Democratic line, work with the opposing party on an agenda against what we put forward, and then run in the election as a Democrat,” he told the paper. “Let them run on the Republican line and see if they can get re-elected.”
There were several takes this weekend on Mr. de Blasio’s growing administration. The New York Times reported the mayor has been picking liberal activists over managers for city posts. “In Bill de Blasio’s City Hall, it seems more and more, there is only a left wing,” they wrote, noting, “The mayor, who advanced in politics by grass-roots organizing, has built a team filled with former activists — figures more accustomed to picketing administrations or taking potshots from the outside than working from within.”
Newsday took a look at diversity in the new administration and reported that “Mayor Bill de Blasio’s fledgling administration is about one-half nonwhite and one-half female,” with at least 18 blacks, eight Latinos and six Asians. While the mayor’s “top-tier staff–those 39 who directly affect policy or lead agencies or departments — is slightly less diverse than his team as a whole,” the breakdown “so far trumps Michael Bloomberg‘s and Rudy Giuliani‘s opening lineups in diversity, and rivals that of David Dinkins, the city’s first and only black mayor,” they wrote.
But former Comptroller John Liu, the city’s first Asian-American elected to citywide office, isn’t happy with the numbers. “The dearth of Asian-Americans and minorities in general appointed to high-level positions in the de Blasio administration is, to be kind, noticeable,” he told the paper.
And here, via New York True, is footage of Mr. de Blasio at yesterday’s St. Pat’s for All parade:
[vimeo 88025963 w=500 h=281]