Council Member Eric Ulrich got more than he bargained for this morning as supporters joining a protest he organized overwhelmed the press Q&A portion of that protest, driving Ulrich and other elected officials to abandon the effort.
Ulrich, a Council Member from Queens who’s running for mayor and long a critic of Mayor de Blasio, organized the rally and press conference to “protest Mayor de Blasio’s failed homeless policies.” Joined by State Senators Joe Addabbo, Jose Peralta and Tony Avella and Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, Ulrich decried the de Blasio administration’s actions around placement of homeless shelters, particularly in the Playland Motel in Rockaway and the Holiday Inn Express in Maspeth. Both efforts by the de Blasio administration have generated intense neighborhood opposition. It’s a good issue for Ulrich in many ways as many of his Rockaway constituents are strongly opposed to the administration’s efforts and it provides a means for greater exposure to the City’s full electorate.
His rally spun out of control as Ulrich began taking press questions, with several attendees jumping in to shout over Ulrich and Council Member Elizabeth Crowley. Those shouting attendees (including state senate candidate Michael Conigliaro) and the elected officials attending aren’t at odds, they all oppose the shelter placements, but the deep anger flowing out of many attendees overwhelmed the more measured complaints from Ulrich and the other electeds.
2017 could be a rough ride for Mayor de Blasio as animal rights activists saddle up for a renewed campaign to end the use of carriage horses in Central Park. 150-200 activists loudly protested outside Gracie Mansion this evening, demanding de Blasio follow through on his 2013 promise to do so and expressing bitter disappointment over his failure to do nearly three years into his first term.
Fairly modest in number, activists working toward a carriage horse ban are highly organized and energetically devoted to their cause. Their loud visible presence hounded Christine Quinn in the 2013 mayoral campaign and it looks increasingly likely that, unless Mayor de Blasio comes through on his long-promised ban, he will receive similar attention in 2017.
Mayor Moskowitz? Nope, at least not in 2018. Success Academy Charter Schools founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz today announced that she will not run for mayor in 2017. Moskowitz, a former City Council member who ran for Manhattan Borough President in 2005, has long had an interest in being mayor and she’s been deeply engaged with New York City and State government in her current role. She’s been among a small group of potential 2017 mayoral candidates discussed in political circles and the press.
Moskowitz arrived early and alone, waiting for several minutes as a lectern was located and the press gathered. Once a lectern was produced and the press in place Moskowitz told her audience that she is “not running for mayor in 2017.” She dismissed any concerns about “winnability”, instead insisting that she’s idealistic and hopes to continue to have the opportunity to “dramatically change education.”