Council Member Joe Borelli held a City Hall press conference Tuesday calling for Mayor Bill de Blasio to resign. Borelli, a Staten Island Republican, was joined by Nick Langworthy, the incoming chairman of the NYS Republican Party. They framed their resignation demand as primarily driven by de Blasio’s presidential campaign distracting him from fully discharging his mayoral duties, but also referenced a variety of what they view as policy failures during de Blasio’s term.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, joined by NYS Senator Brad Hoylman and NYS Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, gave a speech touting design renderings for a new entrance to Penn Station. Penn Station and Madison Square Garden are in Assm. Gottfried’s district while Sen. Holyman’s district surrounds, but doesn’t include, Penn Station and MSG. Cuomo’s speech was, perhaps coincidentally, at the same time as Mayor de Blasio separately spoke about his nascent campaign for president.
Council Member Eric Ulrich hosted a ceremony Wednesday commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first transatlantic airplane flight. That first flight was not Charles Lindbergh’s Roosevelt Field to Paris flight in 1927, but an effort by U.S. Navy and Coast Guard pilots that hopscotched from Rockaway to Lisbon eight years earlier. The ceremony was held at Riis Landing on Jamaica Bay, just west of the departure point for the three seaplanes that were part of that first transatlantic flight.
Just one of the three seaplanes succeeded in reaching Lisbon after planned stops in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and the Azores and an unplanned stop in Massachusetts.
The commemoration featured flyovers by the Coast Guard and the NYPD and an appearance by an FDNY fireboat. The program included speakers from the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, historians and descendants of the primary planner of the 1919 flight. It was mc’d by CM Ulrich’s Deputy Chief of Staff Robby Schwach, who organized the commemoration. Marching bands from the Channel View School for Research and the Scholars Academy performed. The commemoration concluded with the unveiling of a street sign marking renaming a section of Beach 169th Street in honor of U.S. Navy Seaplane Division One.
Council Member Ulrich was the only elected official to attend.
Mayor Bill de Blasio held a press conference to draw attention to the Board of Elections’ preparations for early voting. de Blasio is highly critical of the initial steps taken by the Board of Elections as it moves to implement early voting under recently enacted changes in state law and he is mounting a public campaign to push the Board to expand its early voting arrangements.
The Rev. Al Sharpton hosted presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg for lunch Monday at Harlem’s Sylvia’s Restaurant. The menu was more talk than food, however, as they walked through a press gauntlet on arrival, sat with a pack of photographers snapping their table time and held a packed sidewalk press conference.
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams’ apparent glide path to his June primary and November general election was smoothed with an endorsement from the Bronx Democratic Party and several prominent elected Bronx Democrats. With the petitioning period ended, Williams will not face any well-known primary opponents.
Electeds joining Williams included Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Assembly Member and Bronx Democratic Chairman Marcos Crespo, Assembly Members Latoya Joyner, Jeff Dinowitz, Victor Pichardo and Nathalia Fernandez and Council Members Andrew Cohen and Ritchie Torres. Assembly Member Michael Blake, who ran against Williams in the February special election, did not attend the rally but appeared immediately afterward and expressed his support for Williams. That special election put Williams into office through the end of 2019 and the November general election will fill the remaining three years of former public advocate and current NYS Attorney General Tish James’ unexpired term.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney held a rally outside the Upper East Side’s Asphalt Green condemning anti-semitism, shortly after anti-semitic graffiti appeared in an Asphalt Green locker room. Maloney was joined by Assembly Members Dan Quart and Rebecca Seawright, Council Members Ben Kallos and Keith Powers, the Rev. Al Sharpton, JCRC Executive Director Michael Miller and Rabbi Arthur Schneier of Park East Synagogue. A group of 10-15 counter-protesters joined the approximately 200 people attending, protesting what they characterized as Maloney’s insufficiently aggressive response to Rep. Ilhan Omar.
The New York City Fire Department marked the first anniversary of the March 15, 2018, death of Fire Marshal Christopher “Tripp” Zanetis with the traditional dedication of a plaque at Zanetis’s old firehouse, Engine 28/Ladder 11 on East 2nd Street in Manhattan.
An election with 17 candidates, after 31 aspirants expressed interest and campaigned, and a comparatively short three months of campaigning. Triggered by Tish James’s November election as New York State attorney general and resulting resignation as public advocate, the public advocate special election was, for New York, a unique electoral experience. Held with an unprecedented number of candidates and the absence of established party designations or nominations it was New York City’s first citywide special election. Candidate forums were the predominant public campaign activity, with several dozen held around the city by a wide range of civic and political groups. Our gallery has moments from the start to finish – take a look.
Our full public advocate special election photo retrospective gallery is available here.
It was upbeat disappointment at the election night party of public advocate candidate Eric Ulrich as one of the very few Republican elected officials in New York City placed second in a field of 17 candidates. With such a large field, including seven present or former members of the NYC Council and NYS Assembly, Ulrich had a rare realistic opportunity for a Republican victory in a citywide election.
Attendees were clearly disappointed at Ulrich’s loss but there was also widespread satisfaction at his besting 15 candidates, including many elected Democrats.
Council Members Steven Matteo, Joe Borelli and Bob Holden were the only elected officials joining Ulrich. Party leaders attending included New York State Republican Chairman Ed Cox and the five Republican county chairs from New York City, Brendan Lantry of Staten Island, Joann Ariola of Queens, Ted Ghorra of Brooklyn, Mike Rendino of the Bronx and Andrea Catsimatidis. NYS Conservative Party Chairman Jerry Kassar also attended.