de Blasio & Bratton At the House of Justice (Updated)

Today Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and his police commissioner-to-be Bill Bratton attended a Nelson Mandela commemoration at the National Action Network’s House of Justice.  Hosted by the Rev. Al Sharpton, the commemoration also included Congressmen Charles Rangel and Gregory Meeks and Council Members Mark Weprin, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Ydanis Rodriguez and Jumaane Williams.

Here is Bill de Blasio’s full speech.

Update – Sharpton & Bratton:

The Rev. Al Sharpton gave a powerful introduction of Bill Bratton.  Here is full video of Sharpton’s introduction and Bratton’s speech.

de Blasio Press Q&A – Shorris Appointment

Today Bill de Blasio announced the first appointments for his administration.  Anthony Shorris will be first deputy mayor, Dominic Williams will be chief of staff to Shorris and Emma Wolfe will be Director of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Following statements by de Blasio, Shorris, Williams and Wolfe, de Blasio answered questions from the press.  Topics included the role of de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, in making these appointments, the anticipated structure of de Blasio’s administration and whether all commissioners will report to Shorris, de Blasio’s strategy for seeking Albany approval of his proposed tax increase to fund pre-K programs and Anthony Shorris’s part-time consulting work during a prior stint as a full time city employee.

Here is the complete press Q&A.

Lhota Post-Mortem: Chapter One

Let’s be clear, and fair:  The mayoral odds were overwhelmingly stacked against Joe Lhota.  Voter registration and demographics alone put him at an enormous disadvantage, giving him little chance of winning.  Absent a campaign collapse by Bill de Blasio exceeding that of Weiner and Quinn combined, a Lhota victory was improbable.

Lhota nonetheless missed a significant opportunity.  He was slow to accept and capitalize on the notion that he needed to convince voters that, despite safe streets and a fairly stable economy, a crisis was brewing and that Lhota would be the right choice to avoid it. When he did accept that notion, he chose the wrong crisis. Continue reading Lhota Post-Mortem: Chapter One

de Blasio Q&A

This afternoon Bill de Blasio held a press conference to announce a working group intended to implement his plan for universal pre-K education.  Following his presentation, he took questions from the press.  Full video of his press Q&A follows:

Where the Wild Things Are:  Immediately before his press conference, de Blasio read Where the Wild Things Are to a pre-K class.  Video of his reading tour de force is here.

Wild Thing, Wild Rumpus: A Day in the de Blasio Transition

“Let the wild rumpus start!” said the mayor-elect today.

As part of his rollout of a campaign to develop his pre-K plan, Bill de Blasio read Where the Wild Things Are to a pre-K class at the Northside Center for Child Development this afternoon.  It was a good reading; engaged with his audience, a few jokes for the press, a great story with a couple of easy metaphors and some memorable lines like “wild rumpus”.

Update – press Q&A:

de Blasio held a press conference immediately after this reading.  Video of his press Q&A is available here.

Family Business

Council Member, and speaker contender, Mark Weprin has a long family history in politics and government.  His late father, Saul Weprin, was speaker of the New York State Assembly.  Mark Weprin was elected to fill his father’s assembly seat, serving for 15 years before being elected to the City Council.  Mark’s brother David currently serves in the Assembly, having previously been a member of the City Council.

Following a speaker candidate forum at New York Law School, I asked Mark Weprin how his father’s experience as speaker of the Assembly informs or influences how Mark thinks about the similar position of City Council speaker.  With his brother standing by his side, Mark Weprin shared some thoughts.

Bronx County Chair Heastie re Council Speaker Selection

As he entered a meeting of the New York State Assembly Democratic Conference with Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, Bronx County Chairman and NYS Assembly Member Carl Heastie briefly answered questions about the selection of the next city council speaker.  While he does not have a vote in the selection, he is widely expected to exercise significant  influence in the selection in his role as Chairman of the Bronx County Democratic Committee.  The Bronx has eight councilmanic districts, and part of a ninth, with all seats held by Democrats.

Ross Barkan of questioned Heastie.

de Blasio Press Conference

Bill de Blasio held a press conference this afternoon in City Hall Park, following his meeting with the New York State Assembly Democratic conference to discuss his pre-K/middle school proposal.  According to de Blasio, his plan was “very warmly received” by the Assembly Democrats.  With his soon-to-be office behind him, de Blasio answered questions on other topics, including his expected administration appointments, the Metro North train crash and Mayor Bloomberg’s reaction and his family’s decision on living in Gracie Mansion.  Here is full video of the press conference.