Today Mayor Bill de Blasio revved up his push for full day pre-K/middle school programs initiative, speaking at a clergy breakfast in Bedford-Stuyvesant and holding a press conference immediately afterward. The breakfast featured speeches by de Blasio, his wife Chirlane McCray and the Rev. Al Shapton to an audience estimated to include 100-200 clergy.
de Blasio appeared angered, in his even-keeled and sober way, at the comments yesterday by Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos that he does not intend to allow the state senate to vote on de Blasio’s proposal. It’s a major hurdle for de Blasio, and complicates the already difficult road he faces in trying to either convince or out maneuver Governor Cuomo. de Blasio has little influence or connection with the Senate Republicans. From the outside, it’s difficult to discern whether, or to what extent, Governor Cuomo is encouraging the Senate Republicans to block a vote, potentially sparing the governor a difficult choice. For de Blasio, who has already put substantial effort and energy into gaining Albany approval for his proposal, it’s a breakdown in the weakest link in the process.
Following their speeches, de Blasio and Sharpton held a joint press conference. Here is their full press conference, including their statements and the press Q&A. de Blasio and Sharpton answered on-topic questions only.
Tonight the Rev. Michael Walrond, pastor of Harlem’s First Corinthian Baptist Church and an active member of the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, is expected to formally announce his candidacy for the congressional seat currently held by Charles Rangel. At a December 7th National Action Network event featuring heavy press coverage of Mayor-elect de Blasio and his intended police commissioner Bill Bratton, Sharpton teasingly suggested that Walrond announce his candidacy on the spot. Watch.
The Rev. Al Sharpton hosted a large number of elected officials for his annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration. Held at the National Action Network’s House of Justice on 145th Street, the celebration featured appearances by almost all of New York’s statewide elected officials and all of New York City’s citywide elected officials. Among those speaking were Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, NY State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, NY State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, Mayor de Blasio, Public Advocate Tish James and City Comptroller Scott Stringer.
Update – Rachel Noerdlinger:
Mayor de Blasio announced that long time Sharpton aide Rachel Noerdlinger will move to City Hall as chief of staff to de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray. Here is de Blasio’s announcement:
Chirlane McCray, Noerdlinger’s soon-to-be boss, also spoke. Here are McCray’s remarks.
Sharpton – Noerdlinger:
Here are the Rev. Al Sharpton’s remarks and Rachel Noerdlinger’s speech.
Mayor de Blasio Press Q&A:
Video of Mayor de Blasio’s press conference immediately following his appearance at the King Day celebration is here.
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.
That’s the Rev. Al Sharpton and Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota. Joe Lhota, along with Bill de Blasio and many other elected officials and candidates, went to the National Action Network’s House of Justice to celebrate Rev. Sharpton’s birthday. (Lhota had visited the House of Justice for a private meeting with Rev. Sharpton about three weeks ago – our report is here.) Here’s Rev. Sharpton introducing Lhota and Lhota’s full presentation.
Joe Lhota visited Al Sharpton Tuesday evening. They had a private meeting for about 25 minutes, then spoke with the press. Rev. Sharpton made clear that he was not endorsing Lhota, but also made clear that he took Lhota seriously. Sharpton termed their meeting as “cordial and candid”, noting that while they differed on many issues he valued a civil dialogue.
Here is their full discussion with the press.
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