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Gotham Votes 2013

Elections Roundup: De Blasio’s Vision; Weiner On Business; UFT

Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio has released a 71-page policy book titled “One New York, Rising Together" that outlines dozens of ideas on everything from job creation to the humane treatment of animals. In the introduction, De Blasio once again strikes his campaign theme of New York City as two cities: one for the wealthy and one for the poor.

As mayor, I’ll spend every waking moment fighting to bring opportunity to every New Yorker — with a plan to create jobs in all five boroughs; a dramatic expansion of affordable housing and accessible health care; increasing taxes on the wealthy to fund early childhood and after-school programs; and building police-community relations that keep everyone safer.

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner, one of De Blasio’s rivals for the Democratic nomination, tried to sell himself to the business community yesterday. At a meeting of an Upper West Side business improvement district, he pitched his own policy book, "Keys To The City." Crain’s New York Business reports that Weiner:

… said he wants to make it easier for small business owners to pay citations with his “mobile adjudicator" van initiative, he wants to streamline the process of forming a business improvement district and a launch website he would call ShopNYC.com, which would promote neighborhood businesses by pointing online consumers to a local option for shopping.

Meanwhile, the United Federation of Teachers is expected to announce its endorsement in the mayoral race later this afternoon. The New York Daily News is betting that former Comptroller Bill Thompson will get the highly coveted endorsement. The New York Times takes a look at the union’s muscle in the mayoral race.

Event Of The Day: Mayoral Forum On Latino Issues

All Democratic mayoral candidates are expected to attend a mayoral debate tonight in Manhattan about Latino community issues and concerns.

The debate is being held by the Latino Leadership Institute and will be televised on NY1 News and NY1 Noticias. The forum is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the Kaye Playhouse at CUNY Hunter College.

The debate is only for the Democratic primary.

The event is free to attend, but RSVP is required.

The Kaye Playhouse is located at 695 Park Ave.

For more mayoral forums and other events visit Gotham Gazette’s calendar.

—Daniel Stein-Sayles

Elections Roundup: Quinn Gets Headlines; Thompson May Get UFT

Democratic mayoral candidate Christine Quinn got a couple big headlines this morning.

Michael Howard Saul of The Wall Street Journal takes a look at Quinn’s strategy of running on her record as City Council speaker:

History shows that it can be a risky move to tie a run to a record of legislative achievement. The last legislative leader to become mayor was Vincent Impellitteri, the president of the City Council when William O’Dwyer stepped down in 1950 amid a corruption scandal to become ambassador to Mexico. Named acting mayor, Impelliteri ran in a special election and won.

Michael Grynbaum of The New York Times looks back at Quinn’s early career as an activist and how she honed her game as an insider:

But a review of Ms. Quinn’s early career in the city suggests that she has preferred the insiders’ game from the start. During her first decade after college, when she worked as an advocate on housing and gay rights issues and as an aide to the city’s first openly gay councilman, she honed the work-the-system strategy that has brought her both criticism and praise in more recent years.

Meanwhile, Erin Durkin of The Daily News reports that Quinn’s memoir has fallen on the best-seller list to 224,525 on Amazon.com.


The Daily News also reports that “there was a growing consensus" on Monday that Quinn rival and former Comptroller Bill Thompson is expected to get the much-coveted endorsement of the United Federation of Teachers.

Quinn On The Attack


 By Gotham Gazette City Government Reporter Chester Soria.

"Talk is cheap," Democratic mayoral candidate Christine Quinn said today during what was billed as a major speech. "Voters will decide based on actions. The greatest indication of what someone will be able to achieve can be found in what they’ve already accomplished. The record speaks for itself."

The speech, delivered at the East Harlem Center for Asthma, was noteworthy for Quinn’s attacks on rivals and her emphatic support of the nearby East 91st Street waste transfer station.

In an attempt to create contrasts between her and the other Democrats up to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Quinn said she was the only candidate with a record on the city budget as well as on the issues that New Yorkers need to grapple with the most: affordable housing, education reform, unemployment and income inequality.

"A record of results, and a vision for the future — that’s what I’ve been out here talking about for the last six months, and it’s what I’ll be talking about all the way to November," Quinn said. “That’s what we need from the next mayor. Not just empty promises, silly press stunts, or nonstop criticism, but a real plan on how to deliver for New Yorkers."

Continue reading at the Gotham Gazette.

Photo of Quinn at an unrelated rally by Azi Paybarah, used under Creative Commons license.

Endorsement Watch: Brooklyn DA race; De Blasio racks them up

U.S. Reps. Hakeem Jeffries and Yvette Clarke have endorsed Kenneth Thompson for Brooklyn district attorney.

Thompson, a former federal prosecutor, is running against incumbent Charles Hynes, who is seeking his seventh term in office. Abe George, a former prosecutor for the Manhattan district attorney’s office, is also running for the seat.

U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm endorsed Republian Joe Lhota for mayor at a press conference on Staten Island today, the Daily News reported.

Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, the public advocate, announced endorsements from state Sen. James Sanders, of Queens, and Educational Justice PAC, comprised of parents and residents.

Sanders Jr. represents the 10th district that encompasses many neighborhoods in southeast Queens that were damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

U.S. Representative Grace Meng and Assemblyman Ron Kim have endorsed Paul Vallone in his bid for City Council.

Vallone is among the crowded field of Democrats vying to replace scandal-ridden Councilman Dan Halloran in the 19th district.

These are important endorsements for Vallone because 18 percent of Democratic voters in the district are Asian-American, the Daily News reports. Meng and Kim are both Asian.

The other candidates in the race are Democrats John Duane, Paul Graziano, Austin Shafran, Chrissy Voskerichian and Hank Yeh; and Republican Dennis Saffran.

—Maya Miller, Daniel Stein-Sayles, Latima Stephens

Event Of The Day: Mayoral Forum On Technology And Innovation

Several mayoral candidates are expected to attend a forum tonight in Queens that will address technology and innovation in New York City.

The forum is being held by the Coalition for Queens, a group that encourages technology growth in Queens. The forum is scheduled from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens.

The sponsor has confirmed that Democrats Anthony Weiner, Bill Thompson, John Liu and Sal Albanese; and Independent Adolfo Carrion Jr. will be attending.

Anjali Athavaley, of The Wall Street Journal, and Nilay Patel, of The Verge, will moderate tonight’s event.

The event is free to attend.

The Museum of the Moving Image is located at 36-01 35th Ave., Astoria.

For more mayoral forums and other events visit Gotham Gazette’s calendar.

Daniel Stein-Sayles

Housing Coalition Releases Plan for Next Mayor

A coalition of the city’s largest housing groups has partnered with unlikely allies to demand that the next mayor create and preserve 150,000 units of affordable housing and address homelessness.

Housing First released its agenda for the next mayor earlier today, saying their plan would cost $8 billion over eight years. The report was developed with contributions from businesses, financial institutions, developers and nonprofits.

"What we’d like to see from the candidates is for someone to come out with a real plan and a real commitment," Martin Dunn, a developer and member of Housing First, told the Wall Street Journal yesterday.

The plan comes in a tidy seven-point package touching on everything from affordable housing development and preservation to rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy and strengthening the city’s public housing agency.

"One-third of New Yorkers are now paying more than half of their incomes on rent," Housing First’s 31-page report states. “Six percent of the city’s homeowners behind on their mortgages, the threat of foreclosure is surpassed in urgency only by the 50,000 New Yorkers seeking refuge in the City’s homeless shelters each night."

Daniel Stein-Sayles

Elections Roundup: Weiner As Coiner Of 'Obamacare' Term; Shores Up More Latino Support

Democratic mayoral candidate Anthony D. Weiner told The New York Times recently that he coined the term “Obamacare." But, yesterday, after the claim was roundly criticized, a spokeswoman for Weiner told the Times that the candidate “did not mean that he was the first person to use the term — only the first not he left to embrace it unapologetically."

Two mayoral candidates like the idea of an R train to Staten Island: Capital New York reports that Democrat Erick Salgado and Republican Joe Lhota back the idea of extending the train across the Narrows to Staten Island.

"When my father was very ill in the Bronx, it cost me $59 to see my father, from Staten Island to the Bronx," Salgado, an evangelical minister, told reporter Dana Rubinstein. “So we have to make sure that we extend the R train."

Lhota, who was the head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority before he left to run for mayor, said the idea should be considered. “We need to make sure that this island is not the forgotten borough. It is equal to all of the other boroughs and you need to have your fair share of mass transit."

Three Democratic mayoral candidates waded into the politics of rent control yesterday. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Comptroller John C. Liu called for a rent freeze, which did not make property owners so happy.

Event Of The Day: Mayoral Forum On Education [UPDATED]

UPDATE: Organizers say de Blasio, Liu, Carrión, Albanese, Salgado and Gronowicz have confirmed they will attend.

Several mayoral candidates are invited to participate in a Manhattan forum on education issues tonight hosted by a parents’ advocacy organization.

New York City Parents Union is holding the forum from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Murry Bergtraum High School in Lower Manhattan.

The following candidates have been invited to participate: Christine Quinn, Anthony Weiner, Bill De Blasio, Bill Thompson, John Liu and Sal Albanese; Republican candidates Joe Lhota and John Catsimatidis; independent candidate Adolfo Carrion; and Green Party candidate Anthony Gronowicz.

The sponsor has not confirmed who will be there.

Daily News columnist and investigative reporter Juan Gonzalez will moderate the panel.

Tickets to the forum are free, but in order to attend you must register by 5 p.m. tonight.

The high school is located at 411 Pearl St., Manhattan.

For more mayoral forums and other events visit Gotham Gazette’s calendar.

Daniel Stein-Sayles

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