Sunday’s Puerto Rican Day Parade featured many elected officials, although some elected and appointed officials skipped the parade in reaction to the parade honoring Oscar Lopez Rivera. Mayor Bill de Blasio marched in the parade, but appeared to make significant effort at avoiding Lopez Rivera, skipping the opening ribbon cutting and instead arriving after Lopez Rivera had joined the parade. Continue reading Photo Gallery: Puerto Rican Day Parade
Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis today demanded that Mayor Bill de Blasio skip the Puerto Rican Day Parade due to the parade honoring Oscar Lopez Rivera. Malliotakis spoke at a press conference in front of Fraunces Tavern, the lower Manhattan target of a fatal bombing by a group led by Lopez Rivera. She was joined by Joseph Connor, whose father Frank was killed in the bombing, and Thomas Engel, who prosecuted members of the FALN as an assistant U.S. Attorney. Continue reading Malliotakis Urges de Blasio To Skip Parade
Three mayoral candidates marched in the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade Monday, joining elected officials in the stream of people, horses and firetrucks flowing along Northern Boulevard. The mayoral candidates joining in were Democratic incumbent Bill de Blasio and Republican candidates Paul Massey and Nicole Malliotakis. Other elected officials participating included Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Tish James, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Reps. Grace Meng and Tom Suozzi and Council Members Peter Koo, Paul Vallone and Barry Grodenchik.
Republican rivals Paul Massey and Nicole Malliotakis each worked the crowd energetically, marching near one another while doing their best to ignore the other’s presence. Malliotakis, a member of the New York State Assembly, marched behind her own banner and following the Queens Village Republican Club while Massey walked without a banner, instead dependent on a staffer bellowing “meet Paul Massey, the next mayor of New York City” for identification. Malliotakis and Massey mostly worked opposite sides of the street, with each receiving steady positive responses. Those responses mostly did not appear to be driven by familiarity, but instead driven by being a Republican opposing Mayor de Blasio.
Mayor de Blasio also received a mostly positive reception. In walking about 1/3 of the route with him I saw about 6-8 instances of heckling or jeering among a steady stream of cheers, handshakes and photos. de Blasio entered the parade immediately upon arrival and did not take any press questions.
Mayor Bill de Blasio visited Rockaway Friday, touring a short stretch of the rebuilt boardwalk and making brief remarks but not answering any press questions. Large portions of the five mile boardwalk were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, with rebuilding now just about complete. The final unopened portions are scheduled to reopen in the next week. Continue reading Photo Gallery: de Blasio On de Boardwalk
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 offered interesting introductions of some political friends and frenemies today. As he began his State of the State tour today in Manhattan Cuomo noted the presence of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (“doing great work with us, please stand”), Comptroller Tom DiNapoli (“doing a great job”), NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio (“let’s give him a round of applause”) and NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer (“doing a magnificent job”). He’s had significant friction with Schneiderman, although they’ve had a much more cooperative relationship in the past 18 month, a fraught relationship with DiNapoli since Cuomo was attorney general and a dizzyingly difficult relationship with de Blasio.
Perhaps due to an apparent cold/sore throat, Governor Cuomo also referred to “Cardinal O’Connor” when thanking Cardinal Dolan for offering a blessing before Cuomo took the stage.
Here’s what Cuomo had to say:
Today’s Three Kings Day Parade featured five elected officials; Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Congressman Adriano Espaillat, NYS Senator Jose M. Serrano and NYS Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez. Marking the Feast of the Epiphany, the date that tradition holds Jesus was baptized and then visited by three wise men, or kings, the parade is sponsored by El Museo del Bario.
It was a warm reception for Mayor de Blasio, as squeals of school kids and shouts of encouragement floated out over Third Avenue. The hazy morning was brightened by scattered pods of cuteness as small children lined up wearing crowns, waving and trying to attract the mayor’s attention. “Four more years” shouted a woman as the mayor and his marching companions moved up the Avenue. She ran out and hugged the mayor mid-march, falling in behind him for the rest of the parade and sporadically repeating her “four more years” call.
In a seemingly spur-of-moment decision at the end of the parade, Mayor de Blasio accompanied Speaker Mark-Viverito to La Marquetta. It’s a marketplace under the Metro-North tracks on Park Avenue, and a favorite location of the Speaker. Mayor de Blasio did not take press questions.
New York State’s Electoral College convened Monday, casting its 29 votes for New York’s home state candidate Hillary Clinton. Led by former president Bill Clinton, the electors met in the majestic state senate chamber at the Capitol for a tightly scripted session without any disruption or deviation. Clinton’s New York victory, expected to be a foundational bloc for her winning campaign, was instead a cruel coda to the disorienting election night experience of an anticipated presidency suddenly vanishing. There were some smiles and applause in the senate chamber Monday, but it wasn’t a celebration. Like a jilted groom recasting the pre-paid reception as a party, New York Democrats could cheer their own victories and predominance in their state but the overriding feeling was the last-minute loss of something so much bigger.
Former President Clinton and Governor Andrew Cuomo were the stars of the show, with Cuomo presiding as president of the convention. They entered the senate chamber together to a standing ovation, after all of the other electors and spectators had taken their seats, later rising to cast their ballots together. Cuomo lauded Clinton during his closing remarks, drawing a standing ovation for the former president.
Mayor Bill de Blasio continued his energetic embrace of New York City’s Muslim population Sunday evening, visiting Staten Island’s Albanian Islamic Cultural Center. de Blasio spoke at a celebration of Prophet Muhammad’s birth. Since taking office de Blasio has embraced the City’s Muslim community, adding two Muslim holidays to the school system’s calendar for example, with that embrace more visible as we enter the Trump presidential era. For de Blasio the Staten Island location was an additional plus, as many Staten Islanders feel that de Blasio has minimal interest in the smallest borough.
Arriving about 30 minutes late, de Blasio joined a group of about 75 men seated on the carpet of a large prayer room. Women were seated on a rear balcony, obscured by a scrim-draped railing. de Blasio was accompanied by the NYPD’s borough commander, Assistant Chief Edward Delatorre and escorted by the Center’s president, Dr. Zarkani Vardar, and Imam Tahir Kukaj. Both Vardar and Kukaj gave warm introductions of de Blasio, with Vardar thanking de Blasio for the respect implicit in his visit. Dr. Vardar’s compliment that he could see de Blasio as president someday drew a smile and a chuckle from the mayor.
de Blasio spoke strongly on confronting anti-Muslim bias and hatred, promising continued vigorous effort by the NYPD. He praised Imam Tahir Kukaj, hailing the NYPD’s arrest of a man charged with threatening the Imam. Afterwards, the mayor greeted and took photos with several dozen well-wishers. He did not take press questions.
Former Mayor David Dinkins appeared with current Mayor Bill de Blasio today, expressing great support and admiration for de Blasio although without expressly endorsing his reelection bid. de Blasio and his wife Chirlaine McCray met as young staffers in the Dinkins administration and they’ve long expressed their high regard for Dinkins, which Dinkins has reciprocated. Today’s appearance continued de Blasio’s rapid ramp up of his nascent 2017 reelection campaign, adding to the early union endorsements and appearances as he moves to publicly present a strong base of support.
The annual memorial service marking the 2001 crash of American Airlines Flight #587 was held Saturday morning. Mayor Bill de Blasio joined attendees at the service, held at the memorial constructed just off the beach on Rockaway’s Beach 116th Street. The flight was headed from JFK to the Dominican Republic and the majority of those onboard were Dominican Americans and Dominican nationals. The crash also killed five people on the ground in Rockaway.
de Blasio was infamously late to the 2014 memorial service, his first as mayor. He missed the moment of silence, provoking a firestorm of criticism over his then-frequent tardiness to public events. This year, as in 2015, de Blasio arrived early and worked his way through the audience shaking hands, hugging and talking with attendees before the service began.
Mayor Bill de Blasio was the leading elected official at today’s New York City Veterans Day Parade, speaking at a pre-Parade ceremony in Madison Square Park and marching the full route. Governor Cuomo did not attend, and many City and State elected officials are in Puerto Rico at the Somos el Futuro conference.
de Blasio received a very positive reception, although there were some negative reactions from the crowd. An occasional boo or “one term mayor” refrain, often sotto voce, popped up as the Mayor passed by, but the crowd reaction was mostly applause and appreciation directed at the marchers.