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.
Mayor Bill de Blasio was the leading elected official at today’s New York City Veterans Day Parade, speaking at a pre-Parade ceremony in Madison Square Park and marching the full route. Governor Cuomo did not attend, and many City and State elected officials are in Puerto Rico at the Somos el Futuro conference.
de Blasio received a very positive reception, although there were some negative reactions from the crowd. An occasional boo or “one term mayor” refrain, often sotto voce, popped up as the Mayor passed by, but the crowd reaction was mostly applause and appreciation directed at the marchers.
“I thought it was first rate!” That was Mayor Bill de Blasio’s reaction when asked today about his immediate predecessor’s roast of de Blasio last night at the Al Smith Dinner. Michael Bloomberg’s speech was quite funny, but also stinging.
The mayor had just ended a post-Veterans Day Parade press Q&A and was walking away when a shouted question from WNBC TV’s Andrew Siff brought him back.
Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke with the press this afternoon, following his march up Fifth Avenue in the Veterans Day Parade. After an opening statement on his own family’s experience in dealing with his father’s physical and emotional wounds from World War II combat and the broader shortfalls in government aid for veterans, de Blasio answered questions. Question topics included why he agreed to a $41 million settlement in the Central Park 5 case, whether he would like the state legislature to have a special session in November or December, what he spoke about today with Ray Kelly, whether he would like to see state laws concerning marijuana possession changed, the release from quarantine of Ebola patient Dr. Craig Spencer and whether Governor Cuomo was invited to the press conference this morning as Dr. Spencer was released from Bellevue, whether he supports a proposed City Council bill which would ban cell phone use while biking and his recent conversation with and view of IDC leader Sen. Jeff Klein.
Update – Jeff Klein:
I asked the mayor about his recent conversation with IDC leader Sen. Jeff Klein. de Blasio emphasized Klein’s interest in addressing a “very serious agenda” which includes a minimum wage increase, the Dream Act, campaign finance reform and the Women’s Equality Act. When I asked whether he’s disappointed by Klein’s reported readiness to again align his Independent Democratic Conference with the senate Republican Conference, de Blasio responded “I don’t like to speak in terms of joy or disappointment or personalities … I care about the outcome.”
Update #2 – Central Park 5 Settlement:
Mayor de Blasio was asked about the Central Park 5 settlement and news reports that City lawyers objected to the $41 million settlement amount.