Clip Clop

Proponents of a ban on horse drawn carriages rallied on the steps of City Hall Monday.  As has been widely reported, Mayor de Blasio’s action on his campaign pledge to implement a ban “immediately” upon taking office has been slower than promised.  Opponents of a ban have been increasingly visible, mounting a significant public relations efforts and raising some uncertainty about the prospects of an expected City Council bill.

Monday’s rally featured five speakers; Dan Mathews of PETA, Council Members Ydanis Rodriguez and Helen Rosenthal, Michelle Alvarez of the Catskill Animal Sanctuary and TV personality Jillian Michaels.  Their speeches were brief, running about 10 minutes in total, and succinctly set out their arguments supporting a ban.

Our prior coverage includes a look at the Mayor’s promises and coverage of NYCLASS’s 2013 mayoral candidate forum.

de Blasio Press Q&A: The DiNapoli Edition

Mayor Bill de Blasio joined New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli at an afternoon press conference highlighting the City’s tech sector.  The press conference was held at the SoHo offices of Bounce Exchange, a tech company that the New York State Common Retirement Fund, headed by DiNapoli, has invested in.  Ryan Urban, CEO of Bounce Exchange, also participated.

Full Press Q&A:

Questions included City pension fund investments in the tech sector, the process and goals for NYS pension fund investments in the tech sector, minority employees at Bounce Exchange, whether Bounce Exchange hires local college graduates, what steps can be taken to promote NYC’s tech identity, Mayor de Blasio’s personal tech savviness, whether any attempt is being made at rebranding “Silicon Allley”, Mayor de Blasio’s view of the proposed Comcast/Time Warner merger, Mayor de Blasio’s views on the Port Authority, whether Mayor de Blasio has communicated with Jillian Michaels on a carriage horse ban, the mayor’s views on Rep. Michael Grimm, labor negotiations with the UFT, proposed 50 story towers to be built on the site of Long Island College Hospital, why the mayor doesn’t end the use of police horses on city streets and the sentencing of three defendants in the CityTime case.

No Tie Required:

As the press conference concluded Mayor de Blasio modified his wardrobe.

Bill & Ken, Andrew & Joe

This morning Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo attended a ceremony marking the reopening of NYU Langone Medical Center’s emergency department.  Closed since Hurricane Sandy swept through, the rebuilt emergency department was funded by a $50 million gift from Ronald O. Perelman.

The re-opening ceremony brought together a mix of political allies and rivals, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Joe Lhota and Ken Langone.  The governor and mayor’s periodically fraught relationship has been widely chronicled.  Lhota ran against de Blasio in the 2013 mayoral race after having served as the Cuomo-appointed head of the MTA.  He’s currently senior vice president and chief of staff of the NYU Langone Medical Center.  Ken Langone, the extremely wealthy, blunt, opinionated eponym of the Medical Center is a major political donor who heads “Republicans for Cuomo.”  In March he was quoted as making an offensive comparison between Hitler and Nazi Germany and populist political appeals such de Blasio’s “tale of two cities.”

Here’s what happened as de Blasio and Langone greeted each other following the ceremony.

de Blasio Press Q&A: The DCA Edition (Updated)

This afternoon Mayor Bill de Blasio named Julie Menin as Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs.

During the Q&A, Mayor de Blasio was asked by Newsday’s Matthew Chayes whether there is “any truth” to a New York Post report that the City is offering taxi medallions to carriage horse drivers as part an elimination of their industry.  The Mayor had a one word answer:

Update – Press Q&A:

Here is the mayor’s full Q&A with the press:

First & Foremost Responsibility

Here’s a quick look back at candidate Bill de Blasio, in March 2013, discussing his view of the “first and foremost responsibility of the mayor of New York City on the national stage.”  He was appearing at a mayoral candidate forum hosted by Democracy for NYC and Act Now, on March 5, 2013.

Mayor Earth

Mayor Bill de Blasio commemorated Earth Day with a speech this morning in Union Square Park.

Here are Earth Day related excerpts from his speech.  We’ve omitted his introductory comments and a middle portion focused on pre-K registration.


As he departed, the jovial mayor encountered a decidedly sad young constituent.  He tried to help.

Heating Up In Harlem’s 13th CD (Updated x 3)

The three Democratic candidates in the 13th congressional district met Thursday evening for their first debate.  Hosted by Abyssinian Bapist Church, the debate featured polite, but at times intense, jousting among Congressman Charles B. Rangel, State Senator Adriano Espaillat and the Rev. Michael Walrond.

A core part of Congressman Rangel’s argument for reelection is his assertion that he alone among the three is capable of providing meaningful assistance to President Obama in the last two years of Obama’s term.  Rangel, a 44 year incumbent, has lost a significant amount of Washington clout due to his political and legal troubles in the last several years. Both of his opponents dismiss the notion of Rangel now having a meaningful relationship with the president.

To begin our coverage, here are our post-debate conversations with all three candidates.    You’ll also hear Capital New York’s Azi Paybarah on these clips (he’s the voice asking the good questions.)

Adriano Espaillat:

Charles Rangel:

Michael Walrond:

Continue reading Heating Up In Harlem’s 13th CD (Updated x 3)

de Blasio At National Action Network (Updated)

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke this morning at the opening of the National Action Network’s convention.

Police Officer Dennis Guerra:

Mayor de Blasio began with a statement on the death of Police Officer Dennis Guerra.  Guerra died this morning of injuries he sustained while responding to a building fire in Coney Island.

Mayor de Blasio Remarks: Continue reading de Blasio At National Action Network (Updated)

de Blasio Press Q&A: The Police Academy Edition

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton visited the Police Academy this afternoon, addressing police cadets and holding a press conference.  The condition of Officers Dennis Guerra and Rosa Rodriguez, gravely injured in a Coney Island fire, was a focus of both segments of their visit.

Remarks to Cadets:

Here are the remarks from the mayor and police commissioner to the class of approximately 200 police cadets:

Press Q&A:

Following a brief opening statement by the mayor, he and the police commissioner answered “on topic” questions only, although what constituted “on topic” was a bit vague.  Questions included NYPD procedures governing officers entering burning buildings, whether clergy have been called in for the two officers, what community/police “healing” Mayor de Blasio believes is occurring, whether there is a need for a larger headcount in the Department, why one of the injured officers was transferred to a different hospital, Bratton’s reaction to pictures of the accused arsonist smiling, whether a decision has been made on the future of the building that the Police Academy is currently located in, whether the escaped prisoner in the 78th Precinct has been recaptured and whether the officers involved will be disciplined and whether the Fire Department will be involved in creating a Police Department policy governing officers entering burning buildings.

Here is their full Q&A: