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.
NYS Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy brought his anti-impeachment tour to Newburgh Thursday, holding a rally outside the office of Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. An enthusiastic supporter of President Trump, Langworthy launched a series of pro-Trump rallies around the state in a Staten Island appearance Monday, with a focus on appearing in congressional districts that Republicans believe they have a reasonable prospect of taking in 2020.
New York State Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy kicked off his “stop the madness” tour Monday with a rally outside the Staten Island district office of Rep. Max Rose. Rose, a Democrat who defeated incumbent Republican Rep. Dan Donovan in 2018, recently voiced support for a House impeachment inquiry. While his district has more enrolled Democrats than Republicans it has frequently gone for Republicans. Langworthy says he’ll be touring the state to rally supporters in opposition to both an impeachment inquiry and impeachment of Donald Trump, all with an eye on potentially competitive House districts.
Langworthy was joined by Staten Island Republican Chairman Brendan Lantry, NYS Conservative Party Chairman Jerry Kassar and 30-40 supporters. No elected officials attended. The attendees and speakers were fervently pro-Trump and anti-Rose, with no apparent concerns for recent revelations of the president’s problematic conduct.
The County Committee of the Democratic Party of the County of New York held its biannual organizational meeting Thursday, electing its officers in a raucous 90 minutes amid hundreds of chanting and shouting county committee members. The highly structured organizational meeting was in reality rather disorganized, with a lengthy delay to the start and mid-meeting disputes as the organizers were pressed to follow the party’s rules.
A “donut mile,” a 1 mile race that included eating a donut before each quarter mile, was held in Red Hook in memory of a cyclist recently killed in a car crash. About 25 runners met at the track in Red Hook Park on September 25th for the oddball race honoring Jose Alzorriz, a runner and triathlete killed in a car crash while riding his bike in Midwood on August 11, 2019. Organizer Jonathan Cane reported the race had raised more than $3,000 for the Sean Casey Animal Rescue.
Disgraced former U.S. House member Chris Collins pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and making false statements to law enforcement officials Tuesday, bringing his federal insider trading case to conclusion. Collins, a Republican who resigned from the House of Representatives on Monday, had represented the 27th Congressional District since 2013. Collins’ sentencing is scheduled for January 17, 2020.
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.
Governor Andrew Cuomo continued his tradition of commemorating the September 11th attacks with a motorcycle ride to Ground Zero. Cuomo hosted several hundred riders who traveled from Albany and Nassau County at a Javits Center luncheon, then joined them for the last ride segment to the World Trade Center. That final segment retraces the route of the FDNY’s Rescue Company 1 that dark day from their West 43rd Street quarters to the World Trade Center, where 11 of their members perished.
Past years have featured celebrity guests including then-Vice President Joe Biden, Robert De Niro, Billy Joel and reality TV star Paul Teutul Jr. (Joel and Teutul Jr. joined the ride to the World Trade Center.) This year’s celebrity guest and fellow rider was Paul Teutul Sr., while Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and NYS Attorney General Tish James joined Cuomo at the lunch. Several state legislators and NYC council members attended the lunch but none were spotted on the ride. None of the three citywide electeds or Council Speaker Corey Johnson attended.
Following the ride Governor Cuomo spent about 15 minutes greeting fellow riders, receiving a warm reception as he walked through crowd shaking hands and admiring the parked motorcycles. He did not take questions or speak with reporters.
Council Member Eric Ulrich hosted a ceremony Wednesday commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first transatlantic airplane flight. That first flight was not Charles Lindbergh’s Roosevelt Field to Paris flight in 1927, but an effort by U.S. Navy and Coast Guard pilots that hopscotched from Rockaway to Lisbon eight years earlier. The ceremony was held at Riis Landing on Jamaica Bay, just west of the departure point for the three seaplanes that were part of that first transatlantic flight.
Just one of the three seaplanes succeeded in reaching Lisbon after planned stops in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and the Azores and an unplanned stop in Massachusetts.
The commemoration featured flyovers by the Coast Guard and the NYPD and an appearance by an FDNY fireboat. The program included speakers from the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, historians and descendants of the primary planner of the 1919 flight. It was mc’d by CM Ulrich’s Deputy Chief of Staff Robby Schwach, who organized the commemoration. Marching bands from the Channel View School for Research and the Scholars Academy performed. The commemoration concluded with the unveiling of a street sign marking renaming a section of Beach 169th Street in honor of U.S. Navy Seaplane Division One.
Council Member Ulrich was the only elected official to attend.
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 Rev. Al Sharpton hosted presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg for lunch Monday at Harlem’s Sylvia’s Restaurant. The menu was more talk than food, however, as they walked through a press gauntlet on arrival, sat with a pack of photographers snapping their table time and held a packed sidewalk press conference.
An election with 17 candidates, after 31 aspirants expressed interest and campaigned, and a comparatively short three months of campaigning. Triggered by Tish James’s November election as New York State attorney general and resulting resignation as public advocate, the public advocate special election was, for New York, a unique electoral experience. Held with an unprecedented number of candidates and the absence of established party designations or nominations it was New York City’s first citywide special election. Candidate forums were the predominant public campaign activity, with several dozen held around the city by a wide range of civic and political groups. Our gallery has moments from the start to finish – take a look.
Our full public advocate special election photo retrospective gallery is available here.