Labor leaders and the politicians who court them marched up Fifth Avenue today, leading the Labor Day Parade. Virtually all senior members of New York City’s organized labor movement attended, including Mario Cilento (president of the NYS AFL-CIO), Gary LaBarbera (president of the Buildings & Trades Council), Vinnie Alvarez (president of the NYC Central Labor Council), Mike Mulgrew (president of the United Federation of Teachers), Randi Weingarten (president of the American Federation of Teachers), George Miranda (president of Teamsters Joint Council 16), Stuart Appelbaum (president of RWDSU), George Gresham (president of 1199) and Grand Marshall Edgar Romney of Workers Unite. Politicians marching included Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio. Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis also made a brief appearance.
Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl had mixed results as he sought out Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio ahead of the West Indian Day Parade this morning. Cuomo and de Blasio lined up separately for the parade, with Cuomo doing a brief press Q&A before marching.
As Cuomo walked toward the waiting press Dietl called out “we love Governor Cuomo”, drawing a finger point and “ohhh, Bo.” “Democrat Bo” replied Dietl. As Cuomo and the Rev. Al Sharpton stood waiting to march Dietl moved in, drawing a “what’s up Bo” from Sharpton as they exchanged a handshake and kiss. (“I know Al Sharpton 40 years … I regard him as a friend” Dietl said afterwards.) A smiling Cuomo looked toward Dietl, shook his hand and kept smiling as he turned away.
Dietl moved on to de Blasio, waiting for a moment as the mayor posed for a picture. “Mr. Mayor, no Columbus, come on, no Columbus” he called out, drawing a mayoral smile and quick handshake. A silent Chirlane McCray, Mayor de Blasio’s wife, smiled wanly and gave a small flick of her flag as Dietl reached past her to take the mayor’s hand.
Governor Andrew Cuomo offered a lengthy defense of honoring Christopher Columbus this morning, arguing that the Columbus Circle statue of Columbus and the Columbus Day Parade are more about honoring Italian-American heritage than Columbus himself. Tying the discussion about Columbus to the broad theme of celebrating diversity and the celebrations of other cultures, Cuomo rejected the notion of removing the Columbus statue. Acknowledging that Columbus did “bad acts to indigenous people,” Cuomo rejected the effort at removal as excessive. He offered a counter concern of “where do you stop, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington … who is without sin” while saying that “the indigenous people should be celebrated.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke with the press this morning, just before marching in the West Indian Day Parade.
Governor Cuomo began with a lengthy statement celebrating diversity and condemning President Trump’s expected end to DACA, with the consequence of a move toward deporting hundreds of thousands of people who unlawfully came to America as children. Cuomo’s emotional defense of immigrants included a statement that New York will sue to stop any ending of DACA and move toward deporting the “Dreamers.” Cuomo took four questions, one on the Christopher Columbus statue in Columbus Circle, one on what he would do concerning DACA and state lawsuits opposing elimination if he were president and two on whether he’ll endorse Mayor de Blasio in next week’s Democratic primary.
Concerning Columbus, Cuomo replied at length touting the role of Columbus in the heritage of Italian-Americans and urging restraint in focusing on faults of historical figures. He confirmed that he’s opposed to removal of the Columbus statue. On his actions if he was president Cuomo said that he would continue DACA. He sought to avoid discussion of the Democratic primary, saying that since he doesn’t vote in the City he doesn’t have any primary endorsements “at this time.” (He nonetheless had endorsed candidates in other races for the upcoming primary.)
Governor Andrew Cuomo gave Mayor Bill de Blasio yet another political cold shoulder today, brushing off the possibility of endorsing de Blasio for reelection just a week ahead of the Democratic mayoral primary. de Blasio was an energetic supporter of Cuomo in his 2014 reelection, publicly supporting him as early as May and energetically helping Cuomo win the support of the Working Families Party. Speaking with reporters ahead of the West Indian Day Parade today, Cuomo avoided any mention of de Blasio in reply to questions from NY1’s Grace Rauh and the Daily News’ Erin Durkin, declaring that as a Westchester resident “I’m not voting in this election so I don’t have any primary endorsements at this time.”
The sun was shining, the crowds were cheering and the politicians waving as New York City’s annual Pride March was held Sunday. Once a small protest on the political fringe, the Pride March is now decidedly in the mainstream of New York politics. This year’s edition featured many elected officials and candidates, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senator Chuck Schumer and mayoral candidates Paul Massey and Bo Dietl.
It was a regular Cuomo/de Blasio affair, with the two leading Democrats arriving separately and taking pains to avoid each other. Governor Cuomo delayed his arrival until the March began, rolling up 34th Street in his SUV to the parade route just as his marching contingent came down Fifth Avenue to 34th. Cuomo then held a brief press Q&A as his contingent stood still, blocking the parade route for Mayor de Blasio and the rest of the March.
Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey has never spoken with Governor Andrew Cuomo and doesn’t have an assessment of the governor’s 6+ years in office. That’s the summary of Massey’s lengthy response this afternoon when I asked about his relationship with, and assessment of, Cuomo.
The relationship between any governor and New York City mayor is important, with state law delineating the City’s power and authority and state government cooperation and/or approval needed for much of what any New York City mayor seeks to do. Massey regularly criticizes Mayor de Blasio for the infamously poor state of his relationship with Cuomo and pledges to be “supportive” and “work cooperatively” with Cuomo. That may well occur should Massey be elected, but there’s no established relationship or history to support those predictions. It’s worth noting that a long prior relationship is not assurance of a smooth governor/mayor relationship in office: de Blasio and Cuomo were once fond of mentioning that they’ve been “friends for 20 years.”
Here’s our full exchange this afternoon during a press conference focused on Massey’s proposal for modifying the G train route during a planned shutdown of the L train:
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s political focus skipped ahead a year as he and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi hosted a rally focused on 2018 House of Representatives elections. Tuesday afternoon saw Cuomo turn away from more immediate concerns, such as the looming end of the state legislative session and the 2017 election that will include a New York City mayoral election and a statewide ballot question of whether to convene a state constitutional convention. Instead he joined six current New York Democratic House members, former Rep. Charles B. Rangel and former Rep. (and current Lieutenant Governor) Kathy Hochul in urging a crowd of 500 or so to work toward electing a Democratic House majority in 2018. Continue reading Cuomo Skips Ahead→
Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis has a generally positive view of Governor Andrew Cuomo, although she’s dismissive of his recent attempt to distance himself from the MTA. Speaking Saturday during a visit to a reelection fundraiser held by Council Member Eric Ulrich, Malliotakis included several criticisms of Mayor Bill de Blasio in her comments on Cuomo and the MTA. Continue reading Malliotakis On Cuomo & MTA→
Writer Jimmy Breslin, whose outrage at societal wrongs and interest in people combined in a novelized reporting style that powerfully captured the New York of his era, was memorialized in a funeral Wednesday at the Upper West Side’s Church of the Blessed Sacrament. Among the several hundred mourners were several Cuomos, including Governor Andrew, broadcaster Chris and their mother Matilda. Contemporaries Mario Cuomo and Breslin had a decades-long close relationship, which Andrew Cuomo movingly described in his eulogy.
Mourners included Tony Bennett, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Bo Dietl, former NYC council speaker Chris Quinn, former NYC council member Robert Jackson and NY Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman.
Andrew Cuomo spoke briefly with reporters after the funeral:
Cameras were not permitted inside the church during the funeral, so our photos were shot as mourners departed. Our full photo gallery is here.
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade, New York City’s annual celebration of all things Irish, featured numerous politicians marching up Fifth Avenue Friday. Among the biggest political names were Mayor Bill de Blasio, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny. Political parade traditions include a stop to greet Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of the New York Diocese, as he watches the parade from a perch in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Governor Andrew Cuomo cruised into the Javits Center this afternoon, speaking at a brief opening ceremony for the annual boat show. Cuomo, a self-described enthusiastic boater and fisherman, is a regular at the boat show.
Cuomo’s brief remarks touched on his own love of boating, with a few cracks about hosting his daughters’ dates on boat trips and his brother Chris’s fishing skills. He also spoke of the economic contributions of the boating industry. Cuomo did not take any press questions, going on a “private tour” of the boat show immediately after the opening ceremony. Notwithstanding that the boat show was open to the public, Cuomo’s staff sought to prevent members of the press from accompanying him as he walked the floor.
Governor Andrew Cuomo began a three day, six speech tour today, replacing the traditional State of The State address in Albany with a roving series of regional appearances. He spoke today to an invited audience of approximately 200 on the 64th floor of 1 World Trade Center. Far above any protesters or discordant views Cuomo’s 40 minute speech provided an array of new programs and funding, a congratulatory look at his six years in office and an outline of how Cuomo may seek a prominent national role during the Trump presidency.