Today’s Columbus Day Parade featured New York’s two most prominent Italian-American politicians, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio. Consistent with their general practice they marched separately. (In an unusual occurrence they marched together last month in the Labor Day Parade.)
Arriving for the start of the parade, Cuomo held a brief press gaggle and then marched with the leaders of the parade organizer, the Columbus Citizens Foundation. Cuomo ignored his own parade contingent, a group that included several elected officials and union leaders marching behind a “State of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo” banner and accompanied by a soundtruck. Cuomo waved to the crowd but only approached spectators and shook hands as he was departing. He departed midway through the parade route, after greeting Cardinal Dolan at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Continue reading →
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Timothy Cardinal Dolan came together yet again on Wednesday, this time holding a Bronx press conference to announce a program establishing a new program providing beds for homeless people linked with the providing of social services. The Archdiocese of New York, headed by Cardinal Dolan, has committed to providing 150 of the contemplated 500 beds in the program. de Blasio and Dolan spoke at a South Bronx shelter for homeless men operated by the Franciscan Friars.
The Mayor and Cardinal answered “on topic” questions, with topics including the geographic spread of the 500 contemplated beds and size of the expected facilities, the timeline for implementation, the availability of federal funding, security at the facilities, an existing Staten Island drop-in shelter and its spillover effects on the surrounding neighborhood, the process to assist people once they are in this program, the prospects of fulfilling the 500 bed goal and whether the impending visit of Pope Francis will boost the Mayor’s agenda on addressing homelessness. Here’s the full Q&A:
New York City’s mayor and catholic archbishop today hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking and press conference to mark the beginning of an affordable housing development for senior citizens. The Artsbridge project, in the Highbridge section of the Bronx, is being developed by the Archdiocese using land provided by the City, with financing from both New York City and New York State. Being developed by Highbridge Community Development Corporation, Artsbridge will provide 61 “affordable” units for senior citizens. Bill de Blasio and Timothy Cardinal Dolan, joined by other federal, state, city and Archdiocese officials, gave a ceremonial toss of a shovelful of dirt and then spoke with the press and an invited audience.
Q&A – On Topic:
Questions during the on topic portion of the press Q&A included the relationship between the City and the Archdiocese and between their respective principals, Mayor de Blasio and Cardinal Dolan, how the de Blasio administration calculates the number of affordable housing units for which it claims credit and an extended discussion of the role of the Archdiocese in this project. Here is the full on topic portion of the Q&A:
Q&A – Off Topic:
Questions during the off topic portion of the press Q&A included the NYPD’s proposed expansion of it’s use of tasers, a fine levied by the Campaign Finance Board against de Blasio ally and pro-carriage horse ban advocate NYCLASS, de Blasio’s recent comments on the City’s long drop in crime being attributable to former mayor David Dinkins and former city council speaker Peter Vallone Sr., a city council proposal to allow filing in City Council district offices of NYPD-related complaints with the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the proposed bill which would ban carriage horses and resulting loss of jobs, an attempt by a staff member of the Fox News show The O’Reilly Factor to goad the mayor into agreeing to appear on that show, a possible tax on non-resident apartment owners, the mayor’s planned meeting tonight with Jewish community leaders in Crown Heights and whether the mayor has concerns about the “secrecy” of the NYPD’s disciplinary process.
Separate coverage of a mid-press conference attempt by a staff member of the Fox News show The O’Reilly Factor to goad the mayor into agreeing to appear on that show is here.
Today Mayor Bill de Blasio joined Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, for an event focused on the mayor’s pre-K initiative. They met at the Catherine Corry Academy at Saint Francis of Assisi School in the Wakefield section of the Bronx, visiting a classroom and then holding a joint press conference. The Archdiocese, which runs its own extensive school system, has proposed providing 1,700 seats for the City’s expanded pre-K program.
To the audible consternation of the press, the mayor took on-topic questions only. (Although WCBS-TV’s Marcia Kramer did manage to shoehorn in a charter school question.) At the conclusion, the mayor’s about-to-be-smooth exit stage left was stymied as Cardinal Dolan moved stage right to say hello to Council Members Andy King and Andrew Cohen. de Blasio ignored continued questions and joined Dolan, smiling, leaving a moment later without taking any on-topic questions.
Questions asked included whether Cardinal Dolan supports the income tax surcharge that is part of the mayor’s plan, what the 1,700 seats offered by the Archdiocese are currently used for, pending education tax credit bills, how the mayor expects to get his pre-K plan approved despite continuing disagreement with Governor Cuomo, guidelines governing church/state separation, how enough sufficiently-credentialed teachers can be in place for September and whether the pressure over his charter school actions is causing Mayor de Blasio to change his views. Here is the full Q&A:
N.B. An in-depth look at their relationship is here.
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