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What is Searchlight on Campaign 2001?
Searchlight on Campaign 2001 is a guide to the political races in what many are calling New York City's most significant campaign season in modern history.

What is so significant about it?
For the first time in memory, most political offices in the city will be wide open to people who have neither money nor connections.

Why will the races be so open?
There are two reasons. This year, a new law goes into effect that limits the terms of New York City elected officials, forcing the mass retirement of most incumbents in the city - including the mayor, the comptroller, the public advocate, four of the five borough presidents, and 36 of the 51 members of the City Council. At the same time, a new campaign finance law kicks in, which allows any candidate who agrees to certain restrictions to collect four dollars of matching funds for every dollar they raise.

What does this have to do with this site?
As a public service, Searchlight on Campaign 2001 has a separate page for each race, including all the races for City Council, that not only sorts out the candidates -- many of them new and unfamiliar -- but also offers an opportunity to learn about the issues, and the districts themselves.

Who is behind Searchlight on Campaign 2001?
Searchlight on Campaign 2001 is a project of Gotham Gazette, a non-profit, non-partisan, non-ideological (but non-boring) web site about New York City news, policy and politics published by Citizens Union Foundation, part of the oldest and largest good-government group in the city (founded in 1897).

What's wrong with the way the regular press covers the races?
That is for you to decide. And one of our regular features, Campaign Trail, helps you to decide. Campaign Trail provides succinct summaries and links to campaign articles in the commercial press.

Who are we?
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December Trail

The text of Mayor Rudy Giuliani's Farewell Address

Giuliani's major addresses during his mayoralty

12/31
Mayor-elect Michael R. Bloomberg yesterday chose Nicholas Scoppetta, who won praise for overhauling New York City's child welfare system the last six years, to be the city's next fire commissioner and rebuild a department that lost 343 firefighters in the attack on the World Trade Center. The appointment of Mr. Scoppetta, 69, came as something of a surprise because a few months ago he announced his intention to leave government when Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani left office. (New York Times)

Rudolph W. Giuliani leaves office tonight assured of one pedestal in the pantheon of New York mayors: no other modern mayor, not even Fiorello H. La Guardia, departed at the crest of his popularity. But precedent suggests that history - not the euphoria of the moment - will determine whether Mr. Giuliani, after two terms, edges aside La Guardia, who served three, as New York City's greatest mayor. ( New York Times)

Rudolph Giuliani hands to Mayor-elect Michael R. Bloomberg a city transformed. During his eight-year tenure, when the national economy soared, the city became safer, cleaner, better run. He also restored the sense that a city that had once seemed out of control was, in fact, manageable. It is an accomplishment that may benefit or burden his successor.
Mr. Giuliani also turned city politics upside down, blurring the traditional distinctions between parties and changing the way that voters perceive candidates. In a predominantly Democratic city, he won two consecutive races as a Republican, and is being succeeded by a Republican. He was the consummate anti-politician politician; he consciously took extreme positions on seemingly intractable issues so that the resulting compromise would further his agenda.
All this is not to say that Mr. Giuliani solved every problem presented to him, or that he did not create a few along the way. The housing shortage, not just for the poor but for the middle class, remains a threat to the city's viability. A weakening economy and the terrorist attack have left the city budget with a projected $4 billion deficit beginning in July. The quality of education being provided to 1.1 million children in the public school system did not improve much during his tenure. And even the most careful municipal manager could not have prepared for the awful wound inflicted on the western side of Lower Manhattan. The Bloomberg administration will have to grapple with the cost of the cleanup and development while tax revenues and employment are plummeting. ( New York Times)

12/30
Preview of Inaugural address (Daily News) (New York Post) (New York Times)

25 personal facts about Michael Bloomberg (Did you know he dated Diana Ross?) (Daily News)

After eight years of management-by-confrontation under Giuliani, who fought with everyone from museum directors to ferret lovers to his own wife, New Yorkers should expect a less heated, more collaborative style of management at City Hall when Bloomberg takes office Tuesday. Goodbye, Generalissimo Giuliani. Hello, Manager Mike. (Newsday)

WCBS-TV/Channel 2 reporter Michael O'Looney will become the next deputy police commissioner for public information. (Daily News)

12/29
Mayor-elect Michael R. Bloomberg announced another bevy of appointments yesterday, including Daniel L. Doctoroff, who headed the effort to bring the 2012 Olympics to New York, as deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding.
Mr. Bloomberg also named Verna Eggleston, a campaign consultant whose appearance in a Bloomberg advertisement caused a spat in the mayoral race, as commissioner of the Human Resources Administration.
And he appointed Gretchen Dykstra, who was president of the Times Square Business Improvement District, commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs.
Bill Cunningham, a campaign strategist known for a feisty relationship with reporters, was named director of communications.
Edwin MŽndez-Santiago, who heads the Spanish Speaking Elderly Council (Raices), a Brooklyn-based social services agency, was named commissioner of the Department for the Aging,
and Gino P. Menchini, an account manager at Cisco Systems, was named commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. (New York Times)

"Before Sept. 11, New York told a remarkably compelling Olympic story," Doctoroff said. "Post-Sept. 11 - certainly, we are not looking for any sympathy - but I think you've seen those [Olympic] values: the courage, compassion, the resiliency." (Daily News)

Multibillionaire mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg, who has said little about his plans for fighting poverty in New York, named as city welfare commissioner Friday the former head of a group that assists gay and transgender youth.
The incoming commissioner of welfare, Verna Eggleston, was director of the Hetrick-Martin Institute until this summer.Her name surfaced in a political controversy during the mayor's race when she praised Bloomberg in one of his campaign television ads and in a glossy campaign mailing. In both promotions, Eggleston was described only as a "child-welfare expert," when, in fact, she was a paid consultant for Bloomberg's campaign. According to filings, Eggleston got a check for $10,000 in mid-September, less than a month before the TV ad started airing. Democrats accused Bloomberg of trying to pass off Eggleston as an average voter. The Bloomberg campaign responded by confirming Eggleston's involvement and describing her as a "respected children's health advocate" who "quit her job to join his campaign."
Flanked by Bloomberg, Eggleston, also a child-welfare director under former Mayor David Dinkins, said Friday that she was not ready to discuss her goals for the welfare department, the Human Resources Administration. The department's child-welfare bureau has been spun off as an independent agency, and HRA focuses on outgoing Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's goal to "end welfare," as he put it in a 1998 speech. (Newsday)

Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg still has many appointments to make, but so far, 10 Giuliani appointees are being retained or promoted.With 27 top jobs filled, here's how Team Bloomberg is shaping up:
Political affiliation: 19 Democrats, 6 Republicans, 2 Unaffiliated
Gender: 20 men, 7 women
Race: 20 white, 4 Latino, 3 black (Newsday graphic)

Giuliani's biggest regret, the mayor said yesterday, was not being able to abolish the Board of Education. (Daily News)

12/28
Praising his ancestors, his aides and, above all, his own two-term tenure, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani used his farewell address yesterday to laud New Yorkers for their strength and courage but also to snipe at those who spoke against him during the past eight years. (Newsday)

Mayor Giuliani made his most impassioned appeal yet yesterday for a "soaring ... beautiful" monument at Ground Zero that would rival the American war memorials at Normandy and Gettysburg. Speaking at St. Paul's Chapel, a block from where the World Trade Center once stood, the mayor called the site "holy" and "hallowed" and declared, "we shouldn't think about this site right behind us as a site for economic development." ( Daily News)

The speech, by turns playful, technical, religious and patriotic, was also notable for the ground it did not cover, which included subjects like children's services, parks and recreation, education and public health, even though they were outlined in a handout about what the administration considers its successes, which was given to reporters. (New York Times)

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's power to ensure that office buildings and commerce will not mar the ground at the World Trade Center site may be more symbolic than real. After all, the 16-acre parcel is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a bistate agency Mr. Giuliani feuded with during most of his eight years in office. The developer Larry Silverstein controls development on the site under a $3.2 billion lease he signed in July. Gov. George E. Pataki is in charge of the federal aid coming to New York for cleaning up and rebuilding at the site in Lower Manhattan. The Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corporation, which was created by Mr. Pataki and Mr. Giuliani last month, is coordinating the planning for reviving Lower Manhattan and creating a memorial. After Monday, Mayor Giuliani will be Mr. Giuliani, citizen. Nearly everyone from the governor to Mr. Silverstein has said some part of the site should be used for a major memorial. The unspoken concern among politicians and developers, though, is that if it is not done right, they will have to contend with the families of the victims of the attack, who may very well demand that all the land be protected, almost like sacred ground. And no one wants to get into what would almost certainly be a damaging public feud with the families. Although Mr. Giuliani will no longer hold public office, the politicians and developers are now concerned that he could become a lightning rod for the now unorganized and often unexpressed views of the families. (New York Times)

Mayor-elect Michael R. Bloomberg appointed five city commissioners yesterday, reappointing one of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's commissioners, promoting two city deputies and an assistant, and tapping a doctor serving with the World Health Organization as the city's next health commissioner. With the appointments, Mr. Bloomberg showed himself to be unconcerned with criticism from some of his fellow Republicans that he was not naming enough Republicans to his administration: all five are Democrats.
William Bell, Administration for Children's Services
Neil Hernandez, Department for Juvenile Justice
Martha K. Hirst, Department of Citywide Administrative Services
Jerilyn Perine, Department of Housing Preservation and Development
Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, Department of Health. ( New York Times)

Mayor Giuliani yesterday used one of his final vetoes in office to kill a bill that would have allowed an old rival and sometime critic to pay off a campaign debt. The bill would have allowed politicians with campaign debts to hit up loyal supporters for more cash after four years - even after they had contributed the maximum allowed by law. The bill was referred to in City Hall circles as the "Dinkins bill" because it would have allowed the ex-mayor to clear up a $200,000 debt from his failed re-election bid in 1993 - against Giuliani. ( New York Post)

Incoming Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz announced the first four members of his administration yesterday, including a veteran Borough Hall hand as his chief of staff. Jamaican-born Yvonne Graham will be the new deputy borough president when Markowitz assumes office Jan. 1, taking over for long-time Borough President Howard Golden. Joining her in the new administration are Seth Cummings, who will be general counsel, and Glenn von Nostitz, who will be director of communications.Michael Burke, who has worked in Borough Hall since 1997, will become Markowitz's chief of staff. ( Daily News)

A city ethics-board ruling about how Mayor-elect Mike Bloomberg must avoid conflicts with his media empire likely won't be made before he's sworn into office Tuesday, sources said. Bloomberg approached the Conflicts of Interest Board about a host of sticky issues involving his company. Bloomberg's sprawling empire could present one of the biggest challenges that ethics officials have ever had to sort out. ( New York Post)

12/27
Mayor-elect Michael R. Bloomberg warned yesterday that quality-of-life crimes appeared to be on the rise in New York City, and announced that one of the first tasks of his administration would be "a major effort" to roll back such offenses as prostitution and panhandling. (New York Times )

Mayor-elect Mike Bloomberg yesterday said he'd like to open the steps of City Hall to the public - but only if the police commissioner assures him it's safe. ( New York Post)

The Rev. Al Sharpton - who was unwelcome at City Hall under Mayor Giuliani - has been invited to the inauguration of Mayor-elect Bloomberg and other city officials, courtesy of Comptroller Bill Thompson. ( New York Post)

Michael R. Bloomberg's office said this month that the mayor-elect's transition team had begun consulting with experts to give Gracie Mansion a face-lift. The mayor-elect has said he will use it to entertain visiting dignitaries and for public functions, but not to live in. Decorator Jamie Drake has designed three residences for Bloomberg, and is likely to get the job for Gracie Mansion. He is a New York City decorator who plays his role to the hilt, flaunting a taste for exuberant color and showiness in his fake fur chubby, his orange-lined suits and his velvet paisley newsboy cap. As seen on the cover of the November issue of Elle Decor, Mr. Drake unleashed his most riotous impulses in his own home, a Manhattan loft done in throbbing pink, Tyrian purple and chrome yellow, the last thrown into high relief by a zebra-and-leopard-pattern rug. "I have very bold taste." ( New York Times)

During a news conference Wednesday, the future mayor of New York misstated where the ball drops at midnight on New Year's Eve. But Michael Bloomberg had no uncertainty about what he'll be doing at that moment. He said he'll be sworn in as mayor at a minute or so after midnight by outgoing Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. As he does every year, Giuliani plans to release the ball and count down its descent. This all will take place in Times Square, but Bloomberg didn't say so at first. "Plans are now that Rudy will drop the ball at midnight, in Herald Square, I guess it is," Bloomberg said. (Newsday)

James Molinaro, who is being sworn in today as Staten Island borough president in a private ceremony, said he would like to see a retirement community established on the island, perhaps in Charleston. "So many Staten Islanders relocate to other states because there is nothing available to them here," he said. Another major goal is to "finally see an indoor track complex with an Olympic swimming pool," he said. But he knows that he will face tough financial choices when he takes office on Tuesday. "There's no question we will be facing huge budget deficits, and many projects will be put on the back burner," he said. "Staten Island will still get its fair share, but it will be smaller, and the nonprofit organizations will take major hits." (Daily News)

Bronx Borough President-elect Adolfo Carrion has named four more people to his transition team. (Daily News)

12/26
Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg said yesterday he wasn't prepared to support a deal before Jan. 1 to build new stadiums for the Mets and Yankees, apparently shutting down any hope of Mayor Giuliani arranging an agreement in his final days in office. (Daily News)

12/25
After 33 years in the New York state Senate, liberal Republican Roy Goodman will leave office to take over as president of the United Nations Development Corp., Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg announced Monday. "He is the perfect person," Bloomberg told reporters. With Goodman's departure, the jockeying for his soon-to-be vacated seat has already begun. Elizabeth Krueger, whom Goodman narrowly defeated in last year's election, said Monday she intended to run in the forthcoming special election. Earlier, Goodman endorsed Republican state Assemblyman John Ravitz, his counterpart in the Assembly since 1990. His appointment comes as the U.N. presses ahead with plans for a major refurbishment of its headquarters and development of new office space. "I think (the appointment) is significant in that it symbolizes the support the mayor and the city are giving to the United Nations at a very sensitive time," Goodman said. "The events of 9-11 have accentuated the importance of the United Nations and the many aspects of its present strategic position." (Associated Press)

Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg is expected to name Daniel Doctoroff - a businessman spearheading the city's quest for the 2012 Olympic Games - as his fifth and final deputy mayor this week, signaling his commitment to bringing the global event to the city. (Daily News)

Mayor-elect Michael R. Bloomberg said yesterday that he would create a large, open office in the heart of City Hall - modeled after the one that he used to manage his private company, Bloomberg L.P. - from where and he and his top deputies would run the city. Mr. Bloomberg said he would relegate the mayor's formal corner office to mainly ceremonial purposes. ( New York Times)

Despite the city's growing fiscal problems and the approaching departure of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, city officials are laboring furiously to complete plans for new stadiums for the Mets and the Yankees by New Year's Eve. It is unclear whether the work will be completed by the time Mayor Giuliani swears in his successor, Michael R. Bloomberg, in Times Square early on Jan. 1. But the city has been meeting with executives of the Mets and the Yankees in recent days, and an outline of the deals was contained in a thick environmental impact statement for a new stadium for the Mets that was completed last week. (New York Times)

Things we'll miss about Rudy...
Strong leadership in a time of crisis
Enthusiasm for the Bronx Bombers - Yankee victories have been sweeter with the mayor as their No. 1 cheerleader
Zero tolerance on crime, from squeegee men to mob murderers.
Genuine, infectious love for the Big Apple
On the job "24/7" with a hands-on management style
Never backed down from a fight - like booting Yasser Arafat out of Lincoln Center
Knack for making news
...and things we won't
His cross-dressing, leg-revealing appearances at the annual Inner Circle charity bash
The messy divorce from Donna Hanover and all-too-public courtship of gal pal Judi Nathan
Refusal to share the credit or the limelight - just ask former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton
His compulsive need to build ballparks around the city.
Blaming the victim, as he did most outlandishly in the case of cop shooting victim Patrick Dorismond
Disdain for minority elected officials
Attempting to pull the plug on funding for museums whose art he found objectionable
His bad-hair days. (New York Post)

12/24
For those incoming City Council members determined to shake up the way things work next year, Peter F. Vallone, the departing speaker, has a few choice words. "It's a lot of nonsense," he said in a recent interview, calling the hope to change procedural rules a focus on "minutiae" from a group of people "who haven't been here for 30 seconds yet." (New York Times)

The messy task of settling a contract for the city's 80,000 public school teachers will fall to Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg, after talks between the city and the teachers union ended last week with no deal in sight. The next round of negotiations in the bitter, 16-month quest to iron out differences between City Hall and the teachers union is scheduled for Jan. 9, eight days after Mayor Giuliani leaves office. (Daily News)

12/23
Latino New Yorkers voted Republican in significant numbers for the first time in this year's mayoral election, becoming a significant factor in Michael R. Bloomberg's victory. Now they want results. From average voters to political, business and grass-roots leaders, many said they expected the new administration to appoint Latinos to high-ranking positions and increase their numbers in city government to a share more reflective of their population in the city. Currently, Latinos make up about 27 percent of the population, and about 15 percent of the city government's employees. (New York Times)

As he settles on a new team to lead the Police Department, the incoming commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, is cobbling together a cadre of supervisors that includes trusted aides from his former tenure as commissioner and current chiefs who have performed well in executive roles. (New York Times)

Bloomberg has been trying to find a space in City Hall where he can create a "bullpen" for his "Kitchen Cabinet" - a single room where all the deputies and top aides would work, forgoing private offices. (New York Post)

Giuliani and Bloomberg - though not immune to launching the occasional backhand shot - appear to be headed into inauguration not so much as rivals but as allies, with views that are more alike than different. Consider that when Bloomberg is sworn in as mayor on New Year's Eve, it will be Giuliani who leads him in the oath - an apparent mayoral first, at least in modern times. But there are differences. Giuliani is a famous micromanager, while Bloomberg is said to be more of a delegator. Giuliani seems to like to make enemies; Bloomberg is courting everybody. (Daily News)

Looking to his future, Fernando Ferrer, stepping down after almost 15 years as borough president of the Bronx, said "it appears" he will soon be heading up a new urban policy institute. Though he flatly ruled out a rumored run for Congress ("I have no interest in it"), Ferrer said he did not intend "to close the door" on elective office forever. He also plans "to finally make some money, trying my hand on Wall Street and getting involved in some economic development projects." (Daily News)

After 16 years as Queens borough president, instead of going out with confetti and champagne, the term-limited Claire Shulman is leaving amid tears and sorrow. She has had to deal with the World Trade Center disaster, the Flight 587 crash in Rockaway and the loss of her 45-year-old son, Kim, an assistant director in Hollywood, who died of a brain aneurysm in June. (Daily News)

12/22
After 33 years in office, State Senator Roy M. Goodman has agreed to step down and take a position in the Bloomberg administration, as the president of the United Nations Development Corporation, clearing the way for what should be a hotly contested race to secure his seat and represent the Upper East Side. (New York Times)

At noon on Jan. 1, a procession of prominent leaders - including a former United States president, two United States senators and two former New York mayors - will assemble on the steps of City Hall to mark the inauguration of Michael R. Bloomberg as the city's 108th mayor. But one particularly prominent New Yorker will not be there: Mark Green, the Democrat who lost to Mr. Bloomberg last November. Aides to Mr. Green said he had decided to spend this New Year in Florida, visiting his in-laws. "He's going to be away with his family," said a spokesman, Stephen Sigmund. (New York Times)

Many black elected officials - all of them Democrats - are finding themselves consulted and courted by the Republican mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg, a refreshing change from their relationship with Rudy Giuliani. (New York Times)

Mayor Giuliani said yesterday he's handing off the city to Mike Bloomberg in much better financial shape than he got it - despite a budget gap that could exceed $4 billion in 2003. (New York Post)

12/21
Bloomberg Continues to Spend His Billions. Now that he has been elected, Michael Bloomberg has not stopped spending his own money to advance his cause. Last week in his Upper East Side townhouse, he held a cocktail reception for incoming City Council members and a sit-down dinner for borough presidents. A few weeks ago, he took an official trip to the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, taking along newly elected officials on his private plane and paying for their stay at an expensive hotel. His private plane also took elected officials and others to Israel to meet with government officials there. And he plans to foot the bill for his inaugural reception at the renovated Tweed Courthouse in Lower Manhattan on New Year's Day. The juxtaposition of Bloomberg's wealth and public service has forced the city to examine ethical areas that have not been explored since Nelson Rockefeller was governor. (New York Times)

Philanthropy, Lavish Parties Key to Bloomberg's Rise. Michael Bloomberg's move from private to public citizen had three steps. First, he endeared himself to the city's civic elite with huge donations to charity; then he wooed the media with lavish parties; and finally, he used his immense wealth to construct a political network that enabled him to rise from relative obscurity to mayor.

The giving was key as is evidenced by his naming Patti Harris, once in charge of charitable giving for Bloomberg, as deputy mayor for operations. In 1999, he gave nearly $47 million; in 2000, he gave more than $100 million; and his charitable inclinations overlapped with his political ambitions.

When the time came, Bloomberg won important endorsements from groups he had previously supported. The Citizens Union, one of the city's oldest civic groups, endorsed him over Democrat Mark Green Ń even though the group is a strong supporter of the city's voluntary campaign-finance program, and Bloomberg was a self-financed candidate who scornfully dismissed it as an "incumbent-protection program." The group received annual donations from Mr. Bloomberg from 1994 to 1999.

When Bloomberg decided to run, his money let him built a political team with astonishing speed. And he made generous donations to political organizations that supported him, including, for example, $30,000 to the Independence Party. Now that he is mayor-elect some things have not changed. Recently, he assembled a group, including incoming borough presidents and city council members, at his townhouse to discuss current affairs. The evening featured $300 bottles of Ch‰teau Haut-Brion Bordeaux, exotic orchids and caviar hors d'oeuvres. (New York Observer)

Bloomberg to Take the Oath --Twice. Mayor-elect Bloomberg expects to become Mayor Bloomberg shortly before or after midnight in Times Square at a ceremony to be presided over by outgoing Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Bloomberg will be sworn in again at noon by New York State Chief Judge Judith Kaye during an inaugural ceremony on the steps of City Hall. A low-key reception will follow at the Tweed Courthouse. (Daily News)

Goodman Expected to Take City Post. Republican Roy Goodman, who has represented the East Side of Manhattan in the State Senate for 33 years, is expected to leave the legislature and accept Mayor-elect Bloomberg's offer to head the United Nations Development Corp., a city-state entity that provides facilities to the UN community. Assemblyman John Ravitz, an East Side Republican, has decided to seek Goodman's seat, the sources said. Democrat Liz Krueger, who lost to Goodman last year by about 200 votes after a lengthy recount, also is expected to run. City Finance Commissioner Andrew Eristoff is likely to replace Goodman as Manhattan Republican chairman, sources said. (Daily News)

GOP Councilmembers Hope to See Increased Clout. There are only four Republicans in the new City Council, down from six in the outgoing council, but they hope to see their power increase as a result of the race for Council speaker. All 51 members of the Council, including the GOP members, will chose a successor to Peter Vallone on January 9. The Republicans say they will vote as a bloc, which could make them the kingmakers in a close vote. The four also say they will select James Oddo of Staten Island, one of only 13 returning Council members, as minority leader. (Daily News)

12/20
Michael Bloomberg announced nine top-level appointments yesterday, naming four Republicans and three holdovers from the Giuliani administration. Vincent La Padula, a former Giuliani staffer, will be senior adviser, and Peter Madonia, a former member of the Koch administration, will be chief of staff. Three appointees will be keeping the jobs they now have: Iris Weinshall, transportation commissioner; William Fraser, correction commissioner, and Tino Hernandez, chairman of the New York City Housing Authority. John Doherty, who served as sanitation commissioner from 1994 to 1998, will return to that post. Also appointed were Martin Horn, Probation Department commissioner, Jonathan Greenspun, commissioner of the mayor's Community Assistance, Brian Andersson, an assistant commissioner of the Records and Information Services Department who will now be commissioner The appointments could deflect some criticism by Republicans that Bloomberg has named too many Democrats to his administration. But Republican State Senator Guy Velella of the Bronx, still blasted the mayor-elect for excluding Republicans from the selection process. (Daily News)

12/19
Bloomberg announces at least two more appointments today (Daily News)

The term-limits law approved by voters in 1993 finally kicks in Dec. 31, and for 40 or so elected officials, power and relevance already are slipping away.It's the end of the line for an old guard that has been at the core of the city's civic leadership for a quarter-century. The Guy Molinaris and Howard Goldens. The Archie Spigners and Peter Vallones. The Mary Pinketts and Priscilla Wootens. (Daily News)

12/18
Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg has been quietly lobbying Republican lawmakers and the White House to sign off on financial aid packages to help New York recover from the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, while Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has said local lawmakers should stop trying to get more money immediately from Washington. (New York Times)

Queen's Councilman John Sabini sees his vocation end at age 45, thanks to term limits. (New York Times)

Transit Bureau Chief Michael Ansbro, who steered the subway system through another period of crime reduction this year, is retiring. (Daily News)

12/17
Richard Riordan is a millionaire who probably spent tens of millions of dollar of his own money to become mayor of Los Angeles. He made it respectable to give up a millionaire's life for city hall and apparently liked it so much that he is now running for governor of California. Given all that, it is not surprising that Michael Bloomberg is turning to him for advice. (New York Times)

The City Council speaker is not the only member who gets perks. Various committee and leadership positions also provide members with extra money and power. Of the 51 current councilmembers, 44 receive stipends. The committee chairmanships in the new council are being used as bargaining chips by the candidates competing for City Council speaker. (Daily News)

In September, Alan Jennings of Queens scored an upset victory over the organization candidate to become a new city councilmember. Now he and other members of the Fresh Democracy Council are looking for a speaker candidate who will support their reform ideas. (Daily News)

12/15
More names are being bandied about for possible positions in the Bloomberg administration. Dan Doctoroff, head of the city's effort to attract the 2012 Olympics, and Economic Development Corp. President Michael Carey are reportedly both being considered for a deputy mayor slot, as is Richard Kahan, former head of the state's Urban Development Corp. For housing commissioner, Bloomberg is reportedly considering Paul Roldan, a Staten Island Republican, and Antonio Pagan, a former Democratic city councilman who became a Giuliani aide. The name of Amanda Burden, who Public Advocate Mark Green named to the city Planning Commission, has been circulated as a possibility for the panel's next chair. (Newsday)

Mayor Giuliani said he thinks borough presidents should serve on the city Board of Education. Three borough presidents, Virginia Fields of Manhattan and newly elected Adolfo Carrion of the Bronx and Helen Marshall of Queens, have said they would like to name themselves to the board when their boroughās seat next becomes vacant. Giulianiās own legal department has said such appointments would constitute a conflict of interest. (Daily News)

12/14
The Giuliani administration is trying to block a plan by three borough presidents, one currently in office and two who were elected this year, to appoint themselves to the Board of Education, warning that it would be "inappropriate" and pose serious conflicts of interest. (New York Times)

Mayor Rudy Giuliani said yesterday that Republican criticism of Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg's first cabinet appointments - all five appointees are Democrats - was unfair. "Although the majority of people who served in my administration were Democrats, I think by and large the ideology of my administration was Republican." Bloomberg appeared at a fundraiser for Governor George Pataki and said he would be working "night and day" to get him reelected. (Daily News)

Dan Doctoroff, president of NYC 2012, the committee Mayor Giuliani set up to explore bringing the Olympics Summer Games to New York, is a front-runner to become deputy mayor for economic development, the fifth deputy mayor in Michael Bloomberg's cabinet. Other names that have been floated for the job include Alliance for Downtown Manhattan head Carl Weisbrod and one-time Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Kahan. (New York Post)

12/13
In his first meeting with reporters since he lost the mayoral election last month, Public Advocate Mark Green praised the man who beat him, Michael Bloomberg, for making good appointments. Green refused to blame a single factor for his defeat, including Bloomberg1s massive spending, and said "We hit a 'perfect storm,1 a confluence of unprecedented, unexpected events that eventually we couldn't escape." Green said he has "no interest and no plans" to run again, but hopes to do public commentary, teach, advise clients and run a civic or policy organization. (Daily News)

Some Republicans are unhappy that Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg has named so few members of their party to his administration. Only Edward Skyler, his press secretary, is a registered Republican, and he became one this summer. Of course, Bloomberg himself is a lifelong Democrat who switched parties to run for mayor. (New York Times)

Staten Island Borough President-elect James Molinaro has named Daniel Donovan Jr. deputy borough president. Molinaro is the current deputy. Donovan has served as chief of staff to Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari since 1996. (Daily News)

12/12
Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg's new A-team now includes four deputy mayors - all Democrats - picked by the Republican who warned that his Democratic foe would "tear down" Rudolph Giuliani's City Hall. Bloomberg, a longtime Democrat who switched parties to avoid a mayoral primary, selected Carol Robles-Roman, 39, of the Bronx for the newly-configured post of deputy mayor for legal affairs. Robles-Roman, the first Latina appointed by Bloomberg, has held several posts over the years in the state's court system, including as an aide to top judges. Her husband, Nelson Roman, has been a Bronx civil court judge since 1988 - an elected job in the power domain of the county's Democratic organization. Sources said Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, who lost the Democratic primary, was consulted. In addition, Michael Cardozo, 60, currently of Scarsdale, will replace Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's appointee Michael Hess as corporation counsel, the mayor's chief legal adviser, Bloomberg announced. Cardozo too is a Democrat. (Newsday)

Mayor Giuliani will begin life after City Hall by starting his own consulting firm, the Daily News has learned. When he leaves office next month, Mayor Giuliani is expected to call the shots at new consulting firm that will carry his name. The firm, which will specialize in fixing failing companies, will be staffed with as many as 15 people from the Giuliani administration, including Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen and press secretary Sunny Mindel, sources told The News. The company is likely to be affiliated with accounting giant Ernst and Young, which may provide some financial backing, but it will remain independent, with Giuliani calling the shots. (Daily News)

12/11
The chairman of Mark Green's unsuccessful mayoral campaign testified yesterday that the city's respected campaign finance program "failed completely" to level the playing field between Mr. Green and Michael R. Bloomberg, who was elected mayor after spending $69 million on the race. John Siegal warned that unless the city fixed the financing system, no candidate would want to participate in the future. "New York City does not now have campaign finance reform at the mayoral level," he told the board, which is holding the hearings to evaluate the system. "If the mayor-elect runs for a second term, no challenger who wants to run a credible campaign can possibly participate in the campaign finance system." The chairman of the Campaign Finance Board, the Rev. Joseph A. O'Hare, said the election season was so atypical - interrupted as it was by the attack on the World Trade Center, the anthrax outbreak, the beginning of a war, not to mention a host of unusual local factors - that it might be unwise to change the city's policies based on this year's experience. (New York Times) (Daily News)

The NYPD's popular No. 2 cop has accepted a job as director of security for one of Wall Street's biggest financial institutions. First Deputy Commissioner Joseph Dunne - widely respected as a top crimefighter who also enjoyed support in the communities he served - will join UBS Warburg in January, when incoming Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly takes over. (New York Post)

12/10
Whether working as a kindergarten teacher or president of the Urban League, Dennis Walcott has always focused on children, education and health issues. Now, as the newly named deputy mayor for policy, Walcott is hoping he'll get a chance to bring those issues to the forefront. The advocate's goal is to become a bridge-builder of sorts between the incoming Bloomberg administration and the education and health communities. "I like challenges," said Walcott, who marked his 50th birthday this year by going skydiving for the first time. Walcott, a one-time Board of Education member, served as president of the Urban League for 12 years.(Daily News)

The head of the city's Campaign Finance Board says Mark Green lost to billionaire Michael Bloomberg not because he was outspent by a whopping $53 million - but because he campaigned "on the wrong message." The rare foray into political analysis by the Rev. Joseph O'Hare, who made his surprisingly critical remarks in an interview with The Post, drew a stinging rebuke from the Green Team, who charged he was way off base. O'Hare said Green had "sufficient money to get his message out" in the mayor's race. "But he chose the wrong message: to attack Bloomberg on charges in a sexual-discrimination suit," added O'Hare, Fordham University's president. (New York Post)

12/9
The confluence of a terrorist attack on New York City, a softening economy and a change of administration at City Hall has resulted in a flurry of interest in jobs in the Bloomberg administration from unexpected corners, members of the transition team say.

Moved by the events of Sept. 11, people from all economic classes and neighborhoods - many of whom have served in government before and thought they would never return - suddenly see public service as honorable and a way to help the city.

Raymond W. Kelly, who was recently designated the next police commissioner, said the attack on the World Trade Center was the single event that drew him away from a lucrative job with an investment bank, against the wishes of his wife. His feelings have been echoed in job interviews with many others, transition team members say." It may be the best opportunity to get good people since the Lindsay administration," says transition team member Deborah C. Wright, chief executive of Carver Bank. (New York Times)

How bad is the $4 billion budget gap faced by Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg? It's worse than any other shortfall faced by a mayor since the darkest days of the city's fiscal crisis in 1975, even when adjusted for inflation. And while New York is a safer, more prosperous place than it was in those days, the options that Bloomberg has to close that gap are as politically unpalatable as ever - raising taxes, cutting spending, negotiating union givebacks and borrowing. That was the stark bottom line at the end of a two-day conference yesterday of city budget experts, organized by the Citizens Budget Commission.

Commission members laid most of the blame for next year's $4 billion gap not on Sept. 11 but on Giuliani, who plugged a $2.5 billion hole in this year's operating budget with one-time surplus funds. Those funds have now dried up, forcing the city to find new ways to cover the same expenses, at the same time that it struggles with a declining economy and an estimated $1 billion in costs related to the World Trade Center attacks. (Daily News)

When Mayor Giuliani exits City Hall in three weeks, he'll leave behind a desk full of pet projects, such as new ballparks for the Yankees and the Mets, Port Authority airport leases, and the Decency Commission. Mayor-elect Bloomberg isn't saying if he'll follow Giuliani's lead on any of the projects, but sounds lukewarm about most of them. (New York Post)

12/8
Mayor-elect Michael R. Bloomberg named three deputy mayors yesterday to his administration, a power triumvirate formed by a longtime close aide and two men hardly known to the mayor-elect. The appointments were perhaps the strongest signal to date that Mr. Bloomberg is not like Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, the man who helped elect him to office. His selection of Marc V. Shaw, a veteran government official, and Dennis Walcott, longtime leader of the New York Urban League, demonstrated Mr. Bloomberg's willingness to assemble a broad-based team beyond his immediate circle.

He did, however, choose his confidante, Patricia E. Harris, who has managed Bloomberg L.P.'s corporate communications department and philanthropic operations, as deputy mayor for administration. She will oversee City Hall's operations and supervise public events and the city's cultural institutions. The Department of Cultural Affairs and the Department of Parks and Recreation will report directly to her.

Mr. Shaw, 47, who holds the No. 2 position at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, was named deputy mayor for operations, with the majority of commissioners reporting directly to him. One of the key roles for Mr. Shaw, who once served as budget director for Mayor Giuliani, will be to help Mr. Bloomberg figure out how to plug the budget gap in the next fiscal year, projected at roughly $4 billion.

As deputy mayor for policy, Mr. Walcott, 50, will advise Mr. Bloomberg on all major policy decisions and initiatives, and serve as a liaison to the Board of Education, the City University of New York and the Health and Hospitals Corporation, as well as the city's various communities. (New York Times)

In choosing Walcott, Bloomberg tapped a black leader known as a moderate and pragmatic voice in his 12 years as president of the league. Walcott occasionally came under fire for his working - if not warm - relationship with Mayor Giuliani and former Police Commissioner Howard Safir. "I think it's a great move on [Bloomberg's] part," said veteran Harlem Councilman Bill Perkins, an African-American who has sometimes been critical of Giuliani. "It's not just a black face for the sake of a black face. It has some symbolic value and [Walcott] is also a person of substance . . . people of this city are going to get bang for their buck," Perkins said. (New York Post)

12/7
Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg plans to announce his deputy mayors today. (Gotham Gazette)

Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg is expected to tap Marc Shaw, the former budget director under Mayor Giuliani, as a deputy mayor, sources said yesterday. Shaw, currently executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, also served as the City Council's director of finance. (Daily News)

The ballroom at the Waldorf-Astoria, where the Citizens Union was holding its holiday dinner the other night, was rustling with the concerns heard all around New York these days. The city's fiscal situation seemed as perilous as anyone could remember. Washington was resisting pleas for help. New York's government was in transition, and the region was on high terrorist alert again. Everyone in the room, shoulder to shoulder with veterans of government service, seemed apprehensive. Everyone, that is, except Michael R. Bloomberg. "The best is yet to come!" he declared in a peppy and sunny speech that made it sound as if happy days were already here again. Mr. Bloomberg warned his audience against pessimism - "There is always a danger of looking at the downside, of looking at the part of the glass that is not full."

Mr. Bloomberg's optimism, and his refusal to blame his predecessor for what may be bad times ahead, has become perhaps the most striking aspect of the style of this largely unknown man who will be New York's next mayor. Mr. Bloomberg, after warning against alarmism now, may find it difficult to persuade New Yorkers to endure the kind of sacrifices that seem likely in the years ahead. In particular, his approach could make it much tougher for him to push the city's unions to accept the low- or no- raise contracts that fiscal experts say New York will need to negotiate. (New York Times)

12/6
The battle to be City Council speaker has become very public this year, with labor unions lobbying to get someone sympathetic to them in the post. The unions are focusing on what is widely viewed as the second most powerful position in city government because Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg ran a non-union company. Last night, seven of the eight contenders for speaker debated each other. Gifford Miller of Manhattan and Angel Rodriguez of Brooklyn are seen as the two front-runners in the election, which will take place next month. Only council members can vote. (New York Times)

Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg is expected to name Marc V. Shaw, executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and a former budget director in the Giuliani administration, to a high post in his government, probably deputy mayor, sources said. Others in line for top positions include Patricia E. Harris and Kevin Sheekey, both of whom worked on the Bloomberg campaign, and Susan Friedlander Calzone, the chief administrative officer at Bloomberg's company. (New York Times)

Incoming Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr. has named a 12-member transition team of civic, religious and community leaders. Ted Jefferson, executive director of the Bronx Shepherds Restoration Corp. and president of Black United Leadership of the Bronx, will head the group. (Daily News)

Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg may use some of his own money to renovate Gracie Mansion and could hire his own decorator for the job, even though he has no plans to live there himself. (Daily News)

12/5
The Fresh Democracy Council, a group of newly elected City Council members, is sponsoring a forum with the candidates for Speaker of the City Council. It will be held on Wednesday, December 5th, 6-8 p.m., at the SEIU-32BJ building, 101 Sixth Avenue at Grand Street in Manhattan. The candidates for Speaker will discuss their vision for the City Council.

Mayor Giuliani is moving to convert the city's Twin Towers Fund into a private charity he'll control even after leaving office, sources told The Post yesterday. Mayoral aides have asked state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer about speeding up the process so it can be finished before Giuliani's term ends on Dec. 31, the sources said. Fund officials said the plan was always to transfer the assets to a charity with Giuliani at the helm. (NY Post)

Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik has ordered a major shakeup of NYPD brass, reassigning 15 top commanders amid the city's recent crime wave. The transfers, which take effect at midnight tomorrow, mostly involve patrol commanders in Brooklyn and Queens. There will be at least one in The Bronx. The changes also will affect some top Housing Division cops. (NY Post)

12/4
Sixty-eight million, nine hundred sixty-eight thousand, one hundred eighty-five dollars. That's how much Michael R. Bloomberg spent from his personal fortune on the election that made him the mayor of New York City, according to documents his campaign filed yesterday with the city's Board of Elections. It breaks all records for spending in municipal elections by tens of millions of dollars. It is just $2 million less than Ross Perot spent on his 1992 presidential campaign, and it is more than the $48.6 million Steve Forbes spent on his 2000 presidential campaign, and the $63 million Jon S. Corzine spent on his record-breaking campaign for one of New Jersey's United States Senate seats in 2000. And it means that Mr. Bloomberg, a Republican, wound up spending $92.60 for each of the 744,757 votes he won in the Nov. 6 election against Mark Green, a Democrat. (Mr. Perot, by contrast, spent about $3.59 per vote in the 1992 presidential race.) "You know how they talk about how being mayor of New York is the second toughest job in the country?" asked Larry Noble, the executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit group that studies money and politics. "It's now the second most expensive job as well."(New York Times) (Daily News)

Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg, who promised that his administration would reflect the city's diversity, has at least two African-American candidates under consideration for fire commissioner, according to sources. Battalion Chief Philip Parr and David Clinton of the department's legal affairs office - both of whom are black - are on the list. Parr has completed the first round of interviews. Several other names also have surfaced as possible contenders, including Deputy Commissioner Lynn Tierney; Dennis Smith, a former firefighter and best-selling author, and Jerry Hauer, former director of the city's Office of Emergency Management. If selected, Tierney would be the first female fire commissioner. (Daily News)

In the middle of budget talks, Mayor-elect Bloomberg jetted to his new multimillion-dollar home in Bermuda over the weekend, where his island neighbors include billionaires Ross Perot and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. (New York Post)

12/3
Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg spent nearly $70 million of his own money to win City Hall, making his candidacy the most expensive in American history except for presidential campaigns. Bloomberg's total includes $68,968,185 in official campaign spending, plus $887,078 spent on polling and other expenses before he launched a campaign committee last spring, according to a Newsday analysis of his spending. That adds up to $69,855,263. Bloomberg, a Republican self-made billionaire, shelled out $28 million in the final weeks of the campaign, according to records filed yesterday with the city Board of Elections. That alone is twice the $14 million that Mark Green, Bloomberg's final opponent, spent during the entire year during a Democratic primary, a Democratic runoff and the general election (Newsday)

Among a cluster of conflicts facing Michael Bloomberg as mayor is his company's highly visible stake in the city's franchising of cable television. Cable TV is one of the few areas in the past decade in which billionaire Bloomberg has had a hands-on role, lobbying for his company. Bloomberg aides said they do not know what he may do to avoid breaching city ethics codes against benefiting himself or his firm or appearing to do so. (Newsday)

"I am happy I was able to make history in Queens," says a beaming Hiram Monserrate, still basking in the glory of his electoral victory. A 34-year-old ex-cop of Puerto Rican descent, Monserrate won the District 21 City Council seat vacated by Helen Marshall, who will take over as Queens borough president. With union and the Queens Democratic machine support, Monserrate is the first Latino to win one of Queens' 36 state or local legislative seats, despite Hispanics making up 25 percent of the borough's population. In his district, which comprises Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst and Corona, a whopping 68 percent of the population is Hispanic. (Daily News)

It has been nearly four weeks since Mark Green's defeat in the mayoral race against Michael R. Bloomberg. Friends and associates say that he has largely come to terms with the loss but that he remains personally deflated. He is only now beginning to mull over his options for the future, they say.Rarely shy around the news media, Mr. Green has declined requests to be interviewed. He spends most of his time thanking people who supported him during the campaign, visiting with family and friends, and finishing up business in the public advocate's office, which he must vacate at the end of this month when his term expires.Two items appear to be near the top of Mr. Green's career wish list: serving as host on a serious television talk show, along the lines of Charlie Rose, and joining others to establish a large and serious-minded research institution, perhaps a liberal version of the conservative Heritage Foundation, as one friend described the idea."I don't see him going back into elective politics," said William J. Bratton, the former police commissioner. (New York Times)

12/2
City Council 101: To stave off the chaos for which many experts have been bracing - there is one oft-articulated vision of 38 new members with no clue about how to even find the restrooms - City Council officials and other interested parties have begun offering a smorgasbord of assistance. Recently, the central staff of the Council conducted daylong training sessions in which each department discussed various aspects of operations and procedures. More in-depth seminars are planned later this month. The School of Public Policy at Baruch College developed a curriculum, complete with guidebook and simulation exercises, which is being offered at a three-day retreat this weekend. The Working Families Party has offered two dinners with discussions, and plans to hold a budget policy retreat and a speaker candidate forum by the middle of this month. Even the current administration has become involved, leading a series of field trips to ground zero for incoming Council members. (New York Times)

The NYPD's top brass were told to turn in letters of resignation and their resumes so incoming Police Commissioner Ray Kelly can make changes at the top when he takes over next month.(New York Post)

12/1
Mayor-elect Mike Bloomberg wants to put the brakes on free city cars - one of the most coveted perks for high-level staffers. Bloomberg plans to cut back on the city-owned fleet, including cars and drivers for top-tier city workers, two sources said. A spokesman for the mayor-elect refused to confirm or deny the plan. The city owns about 12,710 "light-duty" cars, including 1,350 that are mostly reserved for deputy mayors, commissioners, chiefs of staff and other key aides. (New York Post)

National Democratic leaders have a message for the Rev. Al Sharpton: Get over it.Sharpton demanded yesterday that the Democratic National Committee punish the aides to Mark Green who reportedly had a hand in distributing controversial flyers linking Sharpton to the candidacy of Fernando Ferrer. But Maria Cardona, a DNC spokeswoman, said: "No one has brought any sort of proof to the chairman on this. We'd like to focus on moving forward and unifying the party for '02." (Daily News)

November Campaign Trail

My Street Address:

My ZIP Code:



Find what city council district you are in -- and learn more about what's going on there, and who's running.


What is this?
Gotham Gazette's Searchlight on Campaign 2001 offers a comprehensive look at what is being called New York City's most significant campaign season in modern history. (See the left-hand column for an explanation).


Districts of the Week

District 1 -- Lower Manhattan
Whoever wins the election in district 1 will represent immigrant Chinese garment workers, as well as Wall Street traders living in Battery Park City. There are several candidates hoping to be the council's firsts -- the first Asian-American man, the first Asian-American woman, the first gay Rhodes Scholar, the first dot-com guru -- running against some politically well connected opponents. Endorsements and fundraising will play a big role in this race. But voter turnout could be the main determinant of who will next represent district 1 on the council. The key question is how many voters from each community will come out on Election Day.

District 7 -- Washington Heights, Manhattan
The northern tip of Manhattan has become one of the most popular places for new immigrants to call home. The northern tip of Manhattan is a place that today's new immigrants call home. The majority have come from the Dominican Republic, but also from countries in South America, Eastern Europe, and Asia. But it is not just new immigrants that are moving in. Students, artists, and other Manhattanites looking for less expensive rents and larger apartments have also moved north. Ten Democratic candidates are competing for the 15,000 voters expected on primary day. The winner who emerges from a crowded field of candidates will have to balance the needs of the newcomers with those who have lived there for years.

District 16 -- Highbridge, Bronx
The neighborhoods of district 16 are the city's poorest, with the highest rate of unemployment and the lowest median household income. But those who live there also point out that much is positive and stable about the area, thanks in large part to local organizations, not-for-profit agencies, and houses of worship that help hold the neighborhoods together. Each candidate for City Council believes that through his or her connections to churches and local organizations, they can help empower the community toward a better life. Helen Foster, the current council member daughter, will face Michael Benjamin, who has worked as an aide to several government officials and Anthony Curry, a Bronx neighborhood activist.

District 20 -- Northeast Flushing, Queens
This year district 20 may elect the first Asian-American ever to the City Council to an area which now has the second highest number of immigrants from Korea and Taiwan in the city. There are three Asian candidates in the Democratic race who have each drawn big endorsements. Council Speaker Peter Vallone endorsed Terence Park, City Comptroller Alan Hevesi endorsed John Liu, and the New York Times recently endorsed Ethel Chen The campaign has also drawn national and international press coverage

District 25 -- Jackson Heights, Queens
Thirty-seventh Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens is one of the most diverse streets in the world. Little India quickly blends into Little Colombia, with vendors selling Latin American food to Colombians, Peruvians, Ecuadorians, Mexicans, and Uruguayans. And each summer, the Queens Pride Parade fills the same street with rainbow banners. So it is no surprise that this election year the district produced a diverse field of candidates. A number of them, however, found out that getting on the ballot is not an easy task, especially when the Queens Democratic organization sends teams of lawyers to challenge petitions. But five Democratic candidates survived and will face off on September 11.

District 31 -- South East Queens
When a heavy rain hits southeast Queens, many residents in neighborhoods like Springfield Gardens, Laurelton and Rosedale head to the basement with a bucket in hand. And it has been that way for the last 50 years. In the rush to build housing in the area after World War II, developers overlooked the need for storm drains in hopes that the city would eventually build a city-wide sewer system. The plan never materialized and the area has experienced "100-year rains" three times in the last decade. The eight Democrats -- all with little experience overseeing massive infrastructure projects--will try to convince voters that they can finally solve the flooding problems.

District 35 -- Central Brooklyn
The residents in council district 35 have some of the highest incomes in Brooklyn and some of the lowest. They can play in a famous park and a beautiful botanical garden, and live in the city's most crumbling public housing. They can attend one of the four institutions of higher learning in the district, and the worst-scoring high schools in the city. Such juxtapositions are a way of life for a district that includes the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens; mid dle-class African-American communities near Prospect Park; immigrant communities from Haiti, Sierra Leon, Nigeria, and Trinidad, and in Crown Heights, a mix of Hasidic Jews and African-Americans. Seven Democratic candidates are campaigning in hopes that they can bring some kind of unity, and attention, to the area. Their backgrounds are as diverse as the neighborhoods themselves.

District 39 -- Park Slope/Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
The candidates in district 39 include a chief of staff for an Assemblywoman, the husband of a member of U.S. Congress, a lawyer for the Legal Aid Society, an attorney and president of the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, the district manager of Community Board 6, and a labor organizer. This is the race to watch this year. The group of high-profile Democrats have raised a lot of money, almost $1.4 million combined.

District 45 -- East Flatbush
In no place in the city are the effects of campaign finance reform and term limits being felt more than in East Flatbush. The seven Democratic candidates seeking to represent this largely West Indian district come from a number of Caribbean nations. Many have been working on politicians' staffs and serving with community groups, clearly hoping someday to win their own elected office. Term limits has presented them with that opportunity, and they want to make the most of it. But this race that usually draws only about 8,000 voters could be decided by just a few votes. The candidates are attempting to come up with anything that will separate them from the pack.

District 49 -- North Shore, Staten Island
Staten Island has always been somewhat of a suburban stepchild to New York City. When a 1998 survey asked New Yorkers why they go to Staten Island, the top two responses were ''visiting friends and relatives" and ''passing through.'' But in many ways, the north shore has more in common with areas of Manhattan and Brooklyn than with the rest of the Staten Island. The top priority for all the candidates -- Jon Del Giorno, an administrative manager for the Board of Elections, Mike McMahon, an attorney and counsel to current Councilmember Jerome O'Donovan, and Debi Rose, an administrator at the College of Staten Island and the first African-American candidate in Staten Island politics -- is to make sure that the island becomes more than just a turn-around-point for the over one million tourists who ride the free ferry from Manhattan each year.


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Links You Can Use

Government sites
NYC Campaign Finance Bd.
NYC Board of Elections
NYC Voter Assistance Comm.
NY City Council
Federal Election Comm.

Local non-partisan sites
SavvyVoter.org
NYVote.com
Votesmart
NYPIRG
NY League of Women Voters
Common Cause New York

National non-partisan sites
Ctr. for Responsive Politics
Common Cause
DemocracyNet
League of Women Voters

NAACP Voter Empowerment
Vote Smart

E-Voting
Election.com

Political consultants
Amer. Assc. of Pol. Consultants

Prime New York

Media
Gotham Gazette
The Empire Page
Campaigns and Elections
Legislative Gazette

Political columnists
Andrea Bernstein
Joe Conason
Mario Cuomo (radio)
Rudy Giuliani (radio)
Clyde Haberman
Nat Hentoff

Joseph Mercurio
Joyce Purnick
John Tierney
Michael Tomasky

Political parties
Conservative
Democratic
Green
Independence
Liberal
Republican
Right to Life
Working Families
Communist
Libertarian
Marijuana Reform
Natural Law Party
Socialist
Taxpayers Party

Political clubs and groups
Blueprint Camp. Finance Reform
DL21C
Central Queens Greens
The Jefferson Democratic Club of Flushing
NY Young Republican Club
Stonewall Democratic Club
Village Independent Dems.


Abbreviations for Party Affiliation

American Dream Party (AMD)
Better Schools Party (BES)
Communist (Com)
Conservative (Con)
Constitution (CST)
Democratic (Dem)
Friends United Party (FUN)
Fusion Party (FUS)
Green (Gre)
Harmony Party (HAR)
Independence (Ind)
Liberal (Lib)
Libertarian (LBT)
Marijuana Reform Party (POT)
Natural Law Party (NLP)
Party of Ethics and Traditions (PET)
Reform Party (Ref)
Republican (Rep)
Right to Life (RTL)
School Choice Party (Sch)
Socialist Workers Party (SWP)
Working Families (Wor)


2001 Election Calendar

June 1 -- Deadline for candidates to join the Campaign Finance program, qualifying for the four-to-one match of contributions.
June 5 - First day for candidates from the eight major parties (Democratic, Republican, Indpendence, Conservative, Liberal, Green, Working Families, and Right to Life) to circulate petitions. Candidates running for City Council must collect the signatures of at least 900 people living in the district for which they are running in order to appear on the Primary ballot. Candidates not running under these eight major parties do not appear on the Primary ballot and have a separate set of deadlines.
July 12 - Deadline for major party candidates to file petitions.
July 10 - First day for unaffiliated candidates to circulate petitions, in order to appear on the ballot in the General Election. They must collect the number of signatures equal to five percent of the total enrolled in that party.
August 7 - Board of Elections announces candidates appearing on the Primary ballot.
August 17 - Last day for non-absentee voters to register to vote in the Primary Election.
August 21 - Deadline for non-major party candidates to file petitions to be included on the General Election ballot.
September 4 - Last day to postmark application for absentee voting in the Primary
September 10 - Last day to personally deliver application for absentee voting in the Primary Last day to postmark absentee ballot for Primary
September 11 - Primary election; Polls open at 6:00a.m. and close at 9:00p.m.; Absentee ballots must be hand-delivered by 9:00 p.m.
September 25 - Runoff Primary election for Mayor, Comptroller and Public Advocate, if needed
October 12 - Last day to for non-absentee voters to register to vote in the General Election
October 30 - Last day to postmark application for absentee voting in the General Election
November 5 - Last day to hand-deliver an application for absentee voting, or to postmark an absentee ballot for the General Election.
November 6 - General Election; polls open at 6:00a.m. and close at 9:00p.m. in NYC; Absentee ballots must be hand-delivered by 9:00 p.m.

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