Nicole Malliotakis sought to take back the momentum in the Republican mayoral primary last night as she received the endorsement of her hometown Staten Island Republican Party, hoping to replace Masseymentum with Malliomentum. Rival candidate Paul Massey had received the endorsement of the Bronx Republican Party the night before, for his second county organization endorsement. Staten Island’s endorsement of Malliotakis was not a surprise, she’s a well-liked four term elected official, but it was nonetheless a welcome boost for Malliotakis.
A crowd of about 75 people gathered for the Staten Island party’s nominating convention, enthusiastically cheering their nominees. Incumbent Borough President Jimmy Oddo and incumbent City Council Members Steve Matteo and Joe Borelli were among the nominees, each unanimously selected without any opposing candidates. Michel Faulkner, who was not present, was endorsed for comptroller, also without opposition. As reported by the Staten Island Advance’s Rachel Shapiro, (prior to my arrival) the Party endorsed J.C. Polanco for public advocate.
Malliotakis’s acceptance speech was a mix of campaign themes and a hometown address to fellow Staten Islanders. She turned to a recent campaign theme, describing New Yorkers driven to leave the city as “economic refugees” and “quality of life refugees.” Malliotakis also touched on familiar criticisms of Mayor de Blasio, saying that he “ties the hands of law enforcement” and ignores the will of City residents in areas such as his plan to build 90 shelters for the homeless and his newly adopted goal of replacing Rikers Island with jails throughout the City.
Malliotakis voiced a central theme of Staten Island politics; that the borough is shortchanged and “we have to fight together twice as much to get half as much.” She criticized the mayor’s “five borough ferry plan” for excluding Staten Island, and said that the only thing Staten Island does get a fair share of is unwanted traffic cameras.
Malliotakis closed with promise to “bring a message of common sense and sanity” to the City and City Hall.
Mayor Bill de Blasio marked the third anniversary of Hurricane Sandy today with a visit to Staten Island’s south shore. Appearing in front of a home rebuilt by the Build It Back program, de Blasio lauded the progress in Build It Back during his administration. He announced that the program is to be completed by the end of 2016 and detailed the evolution in the program from the time he took office. Among the statistics he cited were “2,015 construction starts (including 1,217 construction completions), as well as 5,319 reimbursement checks totaling nearly $104 million”, while noting that each of these categories was at zero when he took office.
Mayor Bill de Blasio avenged his 2014 softball loss to the City Council, leading his team to a 13-12 victory last night. Playing before a handful of fans at the Staten Island Yankees home stadium, the teams fought hard for the City Hall bragging rights at stake. Our full photo gallery is here.
Mayor de Blasio boosted his team by enlisting Staten Island Borough President Jimmy Oddo. Oddo, a former City Council member, and de Blasio asserted that as an “executive branch” employee Oddo was eligible for the Mayor’s team. Oddo razzed his former colleagues and raised the level of play for the Mayor’s team.
This afternoon Mayor Bill de Blasio met with elected officials on Staten Island to discuss Sandy recovery efforts. Led by Borough President Jimmy Oddo (or @HeyNowJO as he’s known on Twitter), eight elected officials met privately with de Blasio and then joined him for a press conference.
Off Topic – Speeding:
A modest portion of the press conference was devoted to off topic questions, all four of which involved the speeding and stop sign-running imbroglio of late last week. Those questions included whether the mayor thinks recent criticism directed at him, on the driving flap and other actions, is fair, whether he thinks the speeding flap will negatively impact his efforts at implementing the Vision Zero plan, whether the mayor has discretion to direct how the NYPD drives him and whether his NYPD detail thought they were being followed by WCBS-TV news. Here is the full off topic portion of the Q&A:
The Q&A was primarily on topic, with questions on Sandy recovery and the mayor’s plans for changes to existing city efforts. Among the questions: what is working, and not working, in the Build it Back program, the mayor’s reaction to a report that a family he visited in the Arverne section of Rockaway is “getting close” to losing faith in the mayor, the scope/number of people still directly affected by Sandy, whether his weekend trip to Pennsylvania involved a meeting with the consultants running the Build it Back program, whether he stands by statements he made during a September visit to Far Rockaway’s St. Mary Star of the Sea, whether the Bloomberg administration allocated enough money to housing from the first tranch of federal assistance, whether he agrees with Oddo’s idea of acquiring land for redevelopment, the role of Michael DeLoach in Build it Back, whether New Yorkers should be concerned that they may lose desirable options under Build it Back after de Blasio completes his review and issues on elevation of existing structures v. new construction.
In our Mayoral Mashup we talk with voters, as well as political and policy leaders, about what they see as the most important issue facing New York City’s next mayor.
For this Mayoral Mashup we spoke with Council Member Jimmy Oddo at a mayoral candidate forum hosted by the College of Staten Island, and organized by the Staten Island Democratic Committee, asking one simple question: What do you see as the most important issue that our next mayor will face upon taking office? Watch to see what Council Member Oddo, a Staten Island Republican, had to say.