The annual commemoration of the crash of American Airlines Flight #587 was held Tuesday in Rockaway, with mourners gathering for a ceremony centered around a bell ringing and minute of silence marking the exact moment of the crash followed by a reading of the names of the 265 victims. The flight was headed from JFK to the Dominican Republic and the passengers were predominantly Dominican and Dominican-American. Five of the victims were Rockaway residents killed by the falling aircraft.
The cold wet windswept morning brought an added dose of misery to the attendees remembering the lost, with the temperature falling through the 40’s as a light rain fell. There were fewer attendees than recent years, due perhaps to both the weather and the gradual fading that passing years brings, but the memorial remains a deeply sad annual moment in the City’s civic life, resurfacing the attendees’ grief as they gather to focus on their lost family and friends and recall the shock of tragedy as the City struggled to recover from the September 11th attacks that had just occurred.
Like countless previous New York parades the 2019 Veterans Day Parade featured many New York elected officials, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio. In a first, however, it also included an adjacent appearance by the U.S. president, as President Donald Trump spoke at the pre-parade ceremony in Madison Square Park. Trump departed immediately after the pre-parade ceremony, however, and did not attend or march in the parade. Mayor de Blasio attended the pre-parade ceremony, but Gov. Cuomo did not.
The 2019 Columbus Day Parade featured plenty of marching politicians, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio. Cuomo and de Blasio proudly display their Italian heritage and are regulars at the parade celebrating that heritage, but they continued their parade practice of studiously avoiding one another.
Tens of thousands of marchers filled lower Broadway Friday, demanding action to fight climate change. The marchers were predominantly young, with students taking advantage of the City’s grant of permission to skip school for the march.
No elected officials were at the head of the march. Mayor Bill de Blasio, fresh off his morning announcement that he’s ended his presidential campaign, marched with his wife Chirlane McCray about 5 minutes behind the lead marchers. It appeared to be a welcome transition for the mayor, making a local appearance after months of criticism for his campaign related absences, but like his campaign focused on a national issue. At the end of the route de Blasio and McCray headed off to the subway, joined by a group of staffers for part of the ride. After passing City Hall it was just the mayor, his wife, one staffer and one press photographer for a relaxed mid-afternoon ride to the Upper East Side.
Mayor Bill de Blasio marked the first day of school with a five stop round of school visits Thursday, with his final stop at East Harlem’s PS 146. He was joined for part of his 45 minute visit by Chancellor Richard Carranza. Student reactions ranged from complete excitement to indifference but parents and faculty/staff/administrators reactions appeared quite positive, with many wanting photos with the mayor. There were not any discernible negative reactions from the assemble parents or faculty/staff/administrators.
New York City celebrated the U.S. Women’s National Team World Cup victory with a ticker tape parade up Broadway and a ceremony in front of City Hall. Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife Chirlane McCray hosted the ceremony, with TV personality Robin Roberts joining them as the MC. Several thousand adoring fans welcomed the team for the hour long ceremony, varying between roaring their approval and chanting “equal pay.”
Many city and state legislators were in the audience, but Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Corey Johnson and NYS Senate Temporary President/Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins were the only elected officials on stage. Governor Andrew Cuomo rode on a float in the preceding ticker tape parade but did not attend the City Hall ceremony.
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.
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 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.
The Rev. Al Sharpton drew a large contingent of elected officials to his annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at National Action Network’s House of Justice. Headliners included U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Reps. Jerry Nadler, Hakeem Jeffries, Yvette Clarke and Carolyn Maloney. NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Council Speaker and Acting Public Advocate Corey Johnson, NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and NYS Senate Temporary President and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins also spoke.
Several of the public advocate candidates participated, including Assembly Members Latrice Walker, Michael Blake and Danny O’Donnell, Council Members Jumaane Williams and Rafael Espinal, former Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Dawn Smalls. Walker, Blake, O’Donnell and Smalls were given speaking slots. Former mayor David Dinkins and former congressman Charles Rangel appeared, sitting onstage in the front row for the full program.
Hear ye, Hear ye …. Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a proclamation today setting February 26th as the date for the special election for public advocate. de Blasio held a brief signing ceremony at City Hall for the special election proclamation and Intro. 1288, which amended parts of the campaign finance law.
Former public advocate Letitia James resigned on December 31st to take office as the New York State Attorney General on January 1st. The City Charter provides that upon James’ resignation the mayor is to, within three days, set the date for a special election in a narrowly prescribed window. With the proclamation issued prospective candidates now have until January 14th to submit petitions.
New terms, lots of candidates, fiercely fought elections, victories and defeats both surprising and not. Lots happened in 2018 New York politics and we’ve distilled the year into our 2018 Year in Photos.
Mayor Bill de Blasio joined mourners in Rockaway for the 17th anniversary of the crash of American Airlines flight #587. The crash killed all 260 people on board and five people on the ground. The flight was headed from JFK to the Dominican Republic and the deceased include many Dominicans and Dominican Americans.