de Blasio Press Q&A: The NYCHA Crime Fighting Edition (Updated)

Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced a series of steps intended to reduce crime and increase public safety in New York City Housing Authority housing complexes.  The multi-part plan involves re-assignment of police officers, additional money for physical security and lighting improvements in NYCHA buildings and expanded hours and programs at community centers located in NYCHA buildings.

Carriage Horse Ban:

During the Q&A Mayor de Blasio was asked about his campaign promise to ban carriage horses immediately upon taking office:

Update – Full Q&A:

On topic questions included whether the NYPD has ever had a similar program to check in on residents, whether the announced plans will likely have an impact on citywide crime rates, the impact of reduced stop & frisk activity on gun violence and the legacy of stop & frisk, what is new in today’s announcement, whether there is a specific anti-gang component in the plans announced today, whether the City plans to open additional community centers in NYCHA buildings, whether the community centers will include additional private organizations and programs, how NYCHA will deal with residents breaking newly-installed lights, where the funding for these plans is coming from, whether the recent Grant Houses raid will lead to changes in large-scale takedown methods and what assurances the mayor can offer that the long term promises made today will be kept.

Off topic questions included the status of the mayor’s stated intention to ban carriage horses, the recent near-miss of two drones and an NYPD helicopter, whether Uber’s announced price reductions are unfair to yellow cabs, how the mayor will fulfill his stated promises concerning a living wage, why no NYCHA locations in East New York were selected for the plans announced today, the selection criteria for the NYCHA locations covered by the plans announced today and details about door/entry security in NYCHA buildings.

Rangel’s Last Stop (Updated)

Here are excerpts of Congressman Charles B. Rangel’s press Q&A at his last primary campaign stop, at Tracey Towers in the Bronx:

Rangel on the Press & Campaign Conclusion:

Rangel commented on the campaign press coverage and shared his thoughts on the campaign’s conclusion:

Dancing to Victory:

In this brief clip, Council Member Andy King and Public Advocate Tish James dance while standing on a Rangel sound truck:

Espaillat In The Heights

State Senator Adriano Espaillat held a press conference in Washington Heights this afternoon, accompanied by Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez.  Speaking just one block from where Congressman Charles Rangel was scheduled to appear shortly thereafter, Espaillat addressed the public polls indicating a significant advantage for Charles Rangel, Board of Elections issues including reported issues in providing spanish language translators and the timeliness and accuracy of Board of Elections operations and the accuracy of public polls.

Update – AP & Projections:

Espaillat voiced dissatisfaction with the AP’s 2012 projection of Rangel winning, saying that it was done far too early.  That projection was, of course, correct.  Espaillat concluded by saying to an AP reporter that “I hope that you can wait at least until 1:00 in the morning this time around.”

Rangel In The Heights (Updated x 3)

Congressman Charles B. Rangel held court this afternoon, hosting a press conference in Washington Heights.  Perhaps coincidentally, State Senator Adriano held a press conference 3 blocks away shortly before Rangel arrived.

Ydanis Rodriguez:

Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, an enthusiastic supporter of Espaillat, held his own mini press conference just a few feet away from Rangel.  Here’s what happened when Rangel spotted Rodriguez:

(Update #3)  I asked Rodriguez about his confrontation with Rangel, at a campaign stop Monday evening at 116th Street/Lexington Avenue:

Update – The Prequel:

Shortly before Espaillat supporter Ydanis Rodriguez appeared, Espaillat’s campaign manager and a Rodriguez staffer listened to the press conference.  Here’s what happened when the campaign manager’s presence was pointed out to Rangel:

Update #2 – Charlie 360:

Rangel gave quite a performance to the press.  Surrounded by a large circle of his supporters and press, he spoke first to his supporters and then pivoted to face the press.  Cracking himself up repeatedly, Rangel dismissed questions about his opponent but introduced himself to Espaillat’s campaign manager, who was listening to the press conference.  Here’s the full press Q&A:

Rangel – The Harlem Shake Edition

Congressman Charles B. Rangel hosted a “flash mob” outside the Harlem Shake restaurant on Lenox Avenue Saturday afternoon.  Headed into the campaign’s final 72 hours, he was joined by George Gresham, president of 1199SEIU, Public Advocate Tish James, Council Member Inez Dickens, former rival and former assembly member Adam Clayton Powell IV.

George Gresham:

1199SEIU, with it’s president George Gresham, is a major political force.  Among it’s victories is it’s mayoral campaign-saving endorsement of Bill de Blasio, and it’s endorsed Charles Rangel in the 13th Congressional District primary.  We spoke with George Gresham at the Harlem Shake.  I began by asking him about 1199′s plans for primary day:

Rangel:

Here’s an excerpt from Rangel’s remarks.  He meanders for a bit, discussing El Barrio and his own experience and good fortune, but doesn’t mention his primary opponents:

Espaillat Walks (Updated)

Congressional candidate Adriano Espaillat today led a group of supporters on a four mile walk through Manhattan, from 135th Street to his campaign headquarters on Sherman Avenue.  With several dozen cars in a caravan following him and music blasting, the candidate and supporters sang and danced their way up Broadway.

Opening:

Espaillat spoke to the press and his supporters just before the walk.  Giving a fiery speech, he attacked Rangel for being “in the center of [the] dysfunction” in a “broken” Washington. Espaillat also attacked Rangel for having “sided with Wall Street” repeatedly.  Here is the portion of Espaillat’s remarks made in english.

Melissa Mark-Viverito:

We talk with City Council Speaker, and Espaillat supporter, Melissa Mark-Viverito, about the congressional primary campaign in her East Harlem council district:

Update – Dancing & Singing on Broadway:

It was a bit north of the theater district, but there were some solid performances on Broadway.

Rangel Walks (Updated)

Yesterday we drove, today we walked.  On Thursday Congressman Charles Rangel led a caravan from Harlem to Inwood.  Today we accompanied Rangel as he walked across Harlem’s 125th Street, from St. Nicholas Avenue to Lexington Avenue.  He received a good welcome, greeted warmly by many as he strolled through his home turf.

Song Break:

Rangel, a Frederick Douglass High School graduate, encountered a group of Frederick Douglass Academy students and promptly launched into what appeared to a school song.

Update – Walking:

Here’s a look at Rangel’s reception, with a post-walk conversation with Rangel.

Rangel Rolls Uptown

Congressman Charles B. Rangel rolled through upper Manhattan in a honking cacophony today, leading a caravan of Green Cabs and livery cars from Central Harlem to Inwood.  We rode along.

Update – Rolling With Rangel:

We look at Rangel’s ride uptown and his comments to the participants afterwards.

NY Times Endorsement:

We spoke with Congressman Rangel at the conclusion of the caravan.  I asked him for his reaction to the New York Times endorsement of Adriano Espaillat, published in today’s print edition.

de Blasio Press Q&A: The Middle School Summer Enrichment Edition

On Tuesday Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an expansion of middle school summer enrichment programs, along with the selection of 271 providers for those services.  He described the expanded after school programs as, together with universal pre-K and the community schools program, part of his efforts at broadly improving the school system.  de Blasio was joined by Deputy Mayor Richard Buery, Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina, Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett, Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., Council Member Andrew Cohen.

Press Q&A:

On topic questions included: what defines a “community school”, whether community schools are only located in low-income neighborhoods, whether there is a plan to extend universal pre-K to three year olds, how much more expensive community schools are to operate than “regular” schools, why was the UFT not at this announcement, whether academic gains are expected from community schools and how will such gains be measured, what programs are added to “regular” schools as they are converted into “community” schools, potential changes to the admissions process for specialized high schools and whether the seats announced today are new programs or new spaces.

Off topic questions included: the ISIS in Iraq and potential threats to New York, his hair color in a World Cup themed picture, the City’s negotiations with CW Capital concerning Stuyvesant Town, whether he concerned that religion-affiliated CBO’s pre-K programs will involve some religious instruction or indoctrination, the Rent Guidelines Board and a possible rent increase, rating his administration on it’s FOIL responsiveness, whether subway dancers are a “sign of urban decay”, whether he is contemplating a special district for failing schools and whether there is symbolism is seeking to bring the Democratic National Convention to Brooklyn rather than Manhattan and whether he has coordinated that effort with Hillary Clinton.

Here is the full Q&A: