Category Archives: Letitia James

Photo Gallery: Bronx Dem Dinner



The Bronx County Democrats drew a large field of elected officials and candidates to their annual dinner Wednesday, though Governor Andrew Cuomo and several notable candidates did not attend.  Statewide and citywide electeds present included Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Letitia James and Comptroller Scott Stringer.  Hochul and DiNapoli, along with Cuomo, are running for reelection and James, reelected in November as public advocate, is running for attorney general.

Notable non-attendees included Cynthia Nixon and Jumaane Williams, Democrats running for governor and lieutenant governor, and Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Ocasio-Cortez defeated Rep. Joe Crowley in the June 26th primary for the 14th Congressional District, which is roughly 1/3 in the Bronx and 2/3 in Queens.  James was the only one of four Democratic candidates for attorney general attending, with Zephyr Teachout, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and Leecia Eve not spotted.  State senate candidate Alessandra Biaggi, challenging Jeff Klein also (as far as I could determine) did not attend.

Other electeds attending included Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Bronx Democratic Chairman and Assembly Member Marcos Crespo, NYS Senate Democratic leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, NYS State Senators Jeff Klein and Jamaal Bailey, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Council Members Andrew Cohen, Fernando Cabrera, Andy King, Karen Koslowitz, Daniel Dromm and Francisco Moya.

Photo Gallery:

Our full photo gallery is available here.

Photo Gallery: Cuomo At Evander Childs



Governor Andrew Cuomo rolled through Evander Childs High School in the Bronx as part of a series of rallies seeking to generate support for a “red flag” law.  A “red flag” law would aim to allow teachers, health professionals and others to report potentially dangerous persons for confinement and treatment with the goal of avoiding mass shootings.

Cuomo arrived at the rally on a school bus, traveling from an earlier rally on Long Island.  He was joined by several elected officials, including Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Public Advocate and attorney general candidate Tish James, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Rep. Eliot Engel and Council Members Andy King and Ritchie Torres.

Photo Gallery:

Our full photo gallery is available here.

Photo Gallery: James AG Kickoff



New York City Public Advocate kicked off her campaign for New York State attorney general with a Brooklyn rally and brief press conference.  Appearing with about 100 supporters Wednesday James declared that she’s seeking the Democratic nomination for attorney general, but she is not seeking to be appointed by the state legislature to the roughly six month balance of former attorney general Eric Schneiderman’s term.  James has also said that she’s not seeking the Working Families Party nomination for attorney general, reportedly under pressure from Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Photo Gallery:

Our full  photo gallery is available here.

Inauguration 2018



New York City’s three citywide elected officials were sworn in to second terms Monday, with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Letitia James and Comptroller Scott Stringer taking their oaths in front of City Hall on a bitterly cold afternoon.  All three were reelected to a second and final term in November, with term limits precluding 2021 reelection bids.  They’re able to run for each others offices however, with James and Stringer widely seen as contemplating mayoral runs.

Photo Gallery:

Our full photo gallery is available here.

Mayor Bill de Blasio wrapping his family in a hug after taking the oath of office. 1/1/18

Continue reading Inauguration 2018

2017 Year In Photos



Baseball fan Timothy Cardinal Dolan sports a borrowed Yankees hat while the hat’s owner sports Cardinal Dolan’s zucchetto.

Mayoral candidates fighting and occasionally smiling, a governor working his fellow electeds and the cameras, a hometown president passing through.  Those are among the images in our 2017 photo retrospective.

Shot entirely in the five boroughs, our photo retrospective reflects our 2017 focus on the mayoral election and particularly on challengers looking to defeat Mayor de Blasio.  There’s more, however, with a mix of light moments, conflict and loss.

Our photographic look back at 2017 is available here.

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis heads to her car following a Saturday morning appearance at a Queens GOP “Unity Breakfast” in Glendale.

Note:  Our more extensive photo retrospective on the 2017 mayoral race is available here.

Photo Gallery: de Blasio On de Boardwalk



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

Photo Gallery: Rockaway St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2017



Rockaway Parade 3-2-17-5A cold, bitter wind blew across Rockaway Saturday afternoon.  It wasn’t the sentiment of residents toward Mayor de Blasio, but an actual wind blowing in from Jamaica Bay during the Rockaway St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The cold temperature and strong wind dampened attendance, but those turning out appeared to have their usual good time.  It’s a world apart from the large Fifth Avenue parades, and even from many parades in other parts of the City, with a strong small town feel to it as the parade flows through a suburban neighborhood of single family homes.  Green-clothed crowds filled many front lawns and porches, with cheers for the marchers interspersed amid a steady flow of eating, drinking and talking.

Rockaway Parade 3-4-17-35

Continue reading Photo Gallery: Rockaway St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2017

NYC Electeds Demand Federal Assistance For Puerto Rico (Updated)



IMG_3161New York City’s three citywide elected officials – Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Tish James and Comptroller Scott Stringer – and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito joined a press conference today demanding federal action to address Puerto Rico’s deep fiscal and financial crisis.  Puerto Rico’s government and related public authorities owe more than $70 billion to creditors, an amount which Puerto Rico’s governor recently termed “unpayable”, with looming large payments pushing the Commonwealth toward a critical moment.

The City Hall Plaza press conference, hosted by the Hispanic Federation, called for a laundry list of federal actions, including implementing “a federal investment plan”, eliminating Jones Act requirements that goods shipped between Puerto Rico and other places in America be transported on U.S. ships with U.S. crews, changing the U.S. bankruptcy code to allow Puerto Rico and its government related enterprises to file bankruptcy petitions and urging President Obama to “explore a Federal Reserve loan” and “oppose severe austerity.”

Puerto Rico’s crisis is decades in the making.  With a shrinking population and a shrinking economy Puerto Rico has long borrowed to fund operating costs.  As described in a recent report commissioned by the Puerto Rican government, Puerto Rico’s fiscal shortcomings have been masked and ultimately worsened by poor fiscal and accounting practices.

The press conference produced an infrequent appearance of all three citywide elected officials and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito – the “CW3+MMV”, perhaps – at an event.  There appeared to be polite interaction among them, but no sign of great warmth.

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Continue reading NYC Electeds Demand Federal Assistance For Puerto Rico (Updated)

Eid al-Fitr & Eid al-Adha Added To School Holiday Calendar



Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the addition of two Muslim holidays, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, to the New York City school system’s calendar.  They are the first Muslim holidays included on the City school calendar.  It’s a change long-sought by New York’s Muslim community and reflects a Muslim population in the City and it’s schools growing in both number and political influence.

Here are highlights of the press conference:

The full press conference Q&A is available here.

de Blasio On Government Officials & Email Use



“I do my official business on official email” said Mayor Bill de Blasio today when asked whether he uses “private email for public business.”  He also offered strong praise for Hillary Clinton, but did not respond directly to part of the posed question: whether he thinks its “ever appropriate … for a senior government official to rely exclusively on private email.”

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito responded somewhat imprecisely, saying that “there are times when we, yes, when we rely on private email, but we do use our government email.”  Public Advocate Tish James and Council Member Danny Dromm did not respond to the question posed by Matthew Chayes of Newsday.  de Blasio spoke during a press conference announcing the addition of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha as school holidays.

James, Astorino & Bull Connor



At a Cuomo campaign rally in Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James compared Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino to Bull Connor, the infamous Commissioner of Public Safety in Birmingham Alabama who unleashed fire hoses and attack dogs on civil rights marchers in the 1960’s.  After the rally I asked Governor Cuomo, who was on stage as James spoke, whether he shared that view.

Cuomo and Astorino have often exchanged barbs around a lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development against Westchester County, where Astorino is County Executive.  Astorino has previously accused Cuomo of “race-baiting” in comments about the lawsuit.

More coverage from the rally is here.

Cuomo in Bed-Stuy (Updated)



Governor Andrew Cuomo’s reelection campaign brought him to three stops today, with the third and final stop a rally in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant.  Accompanied on the full tour by his running mate Kathy Hochul, he was joined in Bed-Stuy by New York City Public Advocate Tish James, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Assembly Member Annette Robinson and New York City Council Member Robert Cornegy.

Press Q&A:

Cuomo spoke with the press following the rally.  The questions, with one exception (more on that later here), focused on Ebola.

Update:  We look at the comment by Public Advocate Letitia James comparing Rob Astorino to Bull Connor here.

Speech:

Here is Cuomo’s full speech:

Coverage of Cuomo’s Long Island City rally is here.