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.
Detective Rafael Ramos, murdered alongside Detective Wenjian Liu, was buried Saturday amid a sad yet powerful show of support and remembrance. His funeral at Christ Tabernacle Church in Glendale was attended by an estimated at 25,000 people, predominantly uniformed police officers from New York City and around the country, and many elected officials. Vice President Joe Biden, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio were among those elected officials, with each speaking during the service.
The funeral concluded with a quiet and somber moment as Detective Ramos’s casket was carried out to a waiting hearse. Taps echoed off the front of the church as an NYPD honor guard saluted amid a sea of officers. Thousands remained silently at attention as the honor guard folded the flag covering Detective Ramos’ casket and presented it to his widow and two sons. The silence was broken only by the roar of engines as police helicopters flew overhead in a missing-man formation and scores of motorcycle cops moved past the family into position at the head of a lengthy funeral procession, leading Detective Ramos to his final resting place.
Here are pictures from Glendale.
As he seeks to regain his political footing Mayor Bill de Blasio led a moment of silence today for slain Police Officers Rafael Ramos and Winjian Liu. de Blasio and his wife Chirlane McCray joined dozens of administration staffers in the “bullpen”, a large open work space in City Hall, with de Blasio speaking ahead of the moment of silence. Talking of “pain” and “mourning”, de Blasio offered “support and solidarity” to the slain officers families as well as urging a broader theme of community-police “healing.” He also lauded the police department and its members for their work and sacrifices.
Mayor de Blasio was asked today about his wife’s role in his administration and why it’s appropriate for her to have City staff. Since his election, de Blasio has frequently discussed the important role Chirlane McCray plays in his own decision making and, among other actions, named her as chair of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. McCray’s chief of staff, Rachel Noerdlinger, announced Monday that she is taking an indefinite leave of absence in the wake of a number of widely-reported personal difficulties.
de Blasio spoke at a press conference/media roundtable focused on City efforts to address problems in the Corrections Department and the jails it operates on Rikers Island.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Friday afternoon visit to a middle school after school program included being serenaded, freestyle. The mayor, joined by his wife Chirlane McCray and several City officials, visited Gramercy Park’s M.S. 255 to promote the lesser publicized part of his universal pre-K/middle school after school program initiative and urge parents and students to enroll.
Press questions were primarily “off topic,” with on topic questions covering the enrollment statistics and remaining available seats and whether legislative changes to the common core state standards will be an improvement for students, teachers and parents. Off topic questions included city enforcement efforts around Airbnb and Airbnb’s hiring of de Blasio’s campaign manager, why a proposed ban on carriage horses has taken far longer than initially promised by the mayor, Tim Wu’s comments on the mayor’s central role on defeating Wu and Zephyr Teachout in Tuesday’s primary, revised statistics on NYPD chokehold incidents, charter school co-locations, the mayor’s lack of a federal security clearance and resulting inability to receive classified information, school bus drivers movement toward a strike, his relationship with Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and his efforts to help elect a Democratic majority in the state senate.
Today Mayor Bill de Blasio named his wife, Chirlane McCray, as chair of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. McCray and de Blasio visited the Osbourne Association, a non-profit dedicated to assisting incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people improve and transform themselves, in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx. During their visit, de Blasio announced the appointment and answered questions from the press. McCray gave a short speech following de Blasio’s announcement.
To start, here’s a brief clip from the beginning of McCray’s remarks.
Update – McCray:
Here are McCray’s full remarks.
Update #2 – Q&A:
Here is de Blasio’s full press Q&A.
On-topic questions include: whether de Blasio and McCray’s partnership is modeled on the Clintons, how the Mayor’s Fund will be financed including whether they plan to ask Michael Bloomberg to contribute money, the anticipated size of McCray’s staff and office location, whether McCray will regularly issue a public schedule, how de Blasio decided to appoint McCray, whether she will continue to be active in other efforts related to the administration such as the pre-K initiative, whether McCray is ready for increased public and press scrutiny and how others who disagree with any actions or decisions by McCray at the Mayor’s Fund can address those with the mayor.
Between the on-topic and off-topic questions, de Blasio made a statement criticizing the NY Times for a specific story on Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty. (de Blasio’s statement and an in-depth look at the topic is also separately available here.)
Questions on other topics include: the NYS Attorney General’s investigation of the Puerto Rican Day Parade committee, whether de Blasio’s pre-K initiative will include private and parochial schools, the “absent teacher reserve”, a protest by Girls Prep supporters against de Blasio’s expected charter school policies, performance of Administration for Children’s Services and whether de Blasio plans to contact the St. Patrick’s Day Parade committee to urge them to lift their exclusion of LGBT groups and organizations.
Our look at Mayor de Blasio’s complaint about the New York Times’ reporting on Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty is here.
Mayor Bill de Blasio killed it today on Super Bowl Boulevard. A portion of Broadway, as its known most of the time, has been converted into “Super Bowl Boulevard” with a toboggan slide, a goal post set up for kicking field goals, a Lombardi trophy exhibition tent and more. Mayor de Blasio visited for several fun-filled hours today, beginning at the toboggan slide and ending at an onstage ceremony 3 1/2 hours later.
To start off, here’s a clip of Mayor de Blasio meeting a well-known Times Square denizen, the Naked Cowboy.
Update – Victory!:
The mayor’s visit to Super Bowl Boulevard began at the toboggan slide. By his third run, only his wife and son remained with him as Senator Schumer, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and others had dropped out. This final slide was a dogged father/son race featuring a well-timed shove at the start and a come-from-behind victory. Perhaps the wind drag on one competitor’s hair was a factor.
Update #2 – Kicking Away:
The mayor and his family tried kicking some field goals. In the middle of Broadway.
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 Bill de Blasio announced plans for an organized campaign to push for his pre-K/after-school program initiative. The campaign includes a mix of business, entertainment and political leaders and about 25 advocacy groups.
Following statements by de Blasio and several others, de Blasio answered questions from the press. Topics include what the groups involved in the campaign will do, Chirlane McCray’s role in the campaign, details around the pre-K program and the status of de Blasio’s search for a schools chancellor. Here is the full press Q&A.