Wednesday, October 30, 2013

NYC Mayor: Bill de Blasio (D) To Burger King, "This Is an Unsupportable Situation"

Well said:
Shortly after 11:30 on Wednesday morning, Bill de Blasio, New York City’s likely next mayor, stood just a few blocks from City Hall and did what none of his recent predecessors would have done without the help of drugs or tickle torture: he pledged his support for the city’s vast fast-food workforce and the scores of low-wage workers laboring beside them. Standing in front of a lower Manhattan Burger King, de Blasio offered praise for the campaign to organize fast-food workers and laments for the industry whose grabby, employer-take-all economics has consigned so many New Yorkers to a subsistence existence. As one initial remedy, he called for New York City to have the authority to set—and presumably raise—its own minimum wage. “The bottom line is, this is an unsupportable situation where every day hard-working people can’t make ends meet, and the companies involved certainly can do more,” de Blasio said as a squad of fast-food workers cheered behind him, and reporters scribbled notes on steno-pads. “And it is right, it is right, for leaders in government to step up on behalf of these workers and help them organize to win their rights.”
This was not the first time de Blasio had volunteered his voice for low-wage worker rights. As public advocate, he has been a reliable supporter of the fast-food workers’ movement, appearing at labor conferences long before the media cared to follow him and pressing worker-friendly legislation like the recently passed paid sick days bill. During the dog days of the Democratic primary, he spent a week trying to live on a minimum-wage worker’s budget. But de Blasio’s appearance Wednesday outside a downtown Burger King signaled a potentially new moment for both city politics and Fast Food Forward, the coalition behind New Yorkers fast-food worker campaign. As the mayor-apparent of New York City, de Blasio is not just some scrappy local pol offering a thumbs-up to a worthy cause; he is a rising political power with a broad mandate and potentially national platform (indeed, de Blasio is now one of the highest-ranking elected officials to embrace the fast-food workers’ movement). And, as suggested by the scrum of elected officials clamoring for turns at the mic before him, he might actually have a significant base of elected support behind him. - The Nation, 10/18/13
de Blasio also opened up about the moment that made him make income inequality the key issue of his campaign:
When asked by Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post founder and editor-in-chief, what can be done to make those in positions of power "also take personal responsibility, not just delegate responsibility to government," he said he believes his campaign -- and the growing national conversation around income inequality -- are already starting that process. When he began campaigning, he said, "There was the not-unsurprising countercharge from some corners, starting with our own mayor, that it was divisive in some way, or class struggle in some way, to talk about inequality."
But he said he has since heard something quite different, both from New York's middle class and its wealthy.
From "many people in a lot of the business sectors" he said, there was "a sort of a pause that it caused for them to have that conversation brought up front and center."
De Blasio related the experience of listening to a supporter in the real estate industry introduce him at an event Thursday. The real estate leader said he at first felt "uncomfortable" with de Blasio's talk of inequality, until he thought about his own grandfather, an immigrant who worked his way up with menial jobs.
"He thought about what if his grandfather had experienced that lack of opportunity prevalent today," de Blasio said. "And so it became very personal for him in an unusual fashion, and I think this debate is causing a reexamination for a lot of people. That moment last night crystallized for me that maybe people need that little transcendent moment, where it becomes more personal." - Huffington Post, 10/18/13
This is exactly why we need to make sure voters come out to the polls on Tuesday, November 5th.  Now de Blasio has a big lead in the polls over his opponent, Joe Lhota (R).  But Lhota has been running a very negative campaign against de Blasio:

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Republican Joe Lhota on Wednesday released the New York City mayoral campaign's harshest ad to date, using footage of a recent biker gang attack to suggest that the city would return to its violent, crime-filled past if Democrat Bill de Blasio is elected. Lhota, a former deputy mayor to Rudolph Giuliani who is trailing badly in the polls, centers the ad around the dramatic video of the biker attack that left several people, including a young father, injured. It then segues into harrowing black-and-white images from the 1970s and '80s, including footage of an overturned police car, a man holding a gun and corpses sprawled on the ground.
The 30-second spot, which will air on the city's broadcast networks, warns that de Blasio has a "recklessly dangerous agenda on crime" because the public advocate suggested that he would meet with biker groups.
The ad, by far the most negative in an increasingly nasty campaign, comes on the heels of Lhota's accusations during a Tuesday night debate that de Blasio is "untested" and unable to continue the city's historic reduction in crime that began in the 1990s under Giuliani. Lhota has frequently criticized de Blasio for wanting to reform the police department's stop-and-frisk policy, which allows officers to stop anyone deemed acting suspiciously. - Huffington Post, 10/16/13
de blasio isn't going to sit silent over Lhota's latest attacks:
A day after Republican Joe Lhota unleashed a scathing attack ad that painted de Blasio as soft on crime, the Democrat responded with an ad of his own that featured another member of his photogenic family.
De Blasio won the Democratic nomination last month partly on the strength of touching ads featuring his Afro-sporting teenage son, Dante.
The ad he started airing Thursday focused on college-aged daughter Chiara, who looks directly at the camera and offers a cheerful response to attacks on her father.
“Now that my dad is on the move, his opponents are on the attack,” the 19-year-old sophomore says, without mentioning Lhota by name or repeating the charges in his ad. - New York Daily News, 10/18/13
His ad may not mention Lhota by name but he mentioned him by name in an interview:
And the new ad is just disgusting, inappropriate and divisive. It’s made worse by the fact that he didn’t say those things during the debate. Here’s your mainstream media there, here’s the TV audience and here I am. They asked him repeatedly, “what do you think of [de Blasio] on public safety and he offered some vague disagreements. Then the next day, from the safety of TV advertising, he throws out an absolute disgusting, divisive, alarmist ad. - The Grio, 10/18/13
de Blasio wasn't the only one to blast Lhota in the press:
Bill Bratton was talking shop about cops, and he had a lot to talk about. Bratton’s on Democratic mayoral nominee Bill de Blasio’s short list for next NYPD commissioner.
If he’s appointed, the Boston native would go back to the desk at 1 Police Plaza he occupied in the early days of the Giuliani administration.
During that two-year stint, Bratton instituted the “broken window” and “CompStat” systems of policing that cut in half the out-of-control crime rate in a crack-plagued city where murders exceeded 2,000 a year.
Giuliani fired Bratton when he thought he stole his thunder by gracing the cover of Time.
Instead of Rudy.
When asked about Republican candidate Joe Lhota recently calling him “the most egotistical police commissioner in the city’s history,” Bratton laughed.
“Wow, that’s interesting, because I thought Joe was a friend,” Bratton said by phone from Los Angeles. “But then Lhota recently tried to claim credit for CompStat, which was created by me and Jack Maple using a Police Foundation grant to buy a few computers from Radio Shack. Giuliani liked it so much he implemented CompStat Lite in other city agencies. That’s where Lhota got involved. But for him to say he helped develop CompStat is to stretch the truth to the breaking point.”
Bratton adds that if Lhota calls him “egotistical,” based on his success and confidence, then he’s guilty as charged “because I’ve been successful and I’m confident. - New York Daily News, 10/18/13
FYI, Lhota's been having a rough week on the campaign trail:
One mistake was an impromptu campaign stop Wednesday at a men-only prayer service in an ultra-Orthodox synagogue in Borough Park, Brooklyn.  First, he led a gaggle of reporters and campaign aides, including three women into the synagogue, upsetting the religious men praying inside.
That led to more awkward politics when the women — a Daily News reporter, a press aide and a female member of Lhota's NYPD security detail — were asked to leave while male reporters and aides were allowed to stay.
 "What I should have told everybody is I wanted to go into the synagogue privately and personally," Lhota said Thursday. "But, you know, as I walked in everybody else walked in."
Political campaigns typically vet stops on candidates' schedules to avoid conflicts like the one in Borough Park on Wednesday, but Lhota said he'd heard about the synagogue and made a last-minute decision to stop by during a campaign swing in the neighborhood.
"It was totally not on the schedule," he said.
In another blunder, his campaign took fire from photographers whose images were used in a Lhota ad that started airing Wednesday.
 The photographers said Lhota never asked permission to use the haunting images of a crime-ravaged city that the Republican used to suggest rival Bill de Blasio would return the city to its scariest days.
"I am very upset," said photographer Q. Sakamaki, who documented riots in Tompkins Square Park. "They used it without my permission for propaganda." - New York Daily News, 10/18/13
de Blasio has also been assuring voters that he will be ready to run the city the first day he comes into office:
The front-runner in the race says he'll be prepared to lead the city on Day One and scoffed at critics who fear the Big Apple will collapse when Mayor Bloomberg leaves office.  "I do have the experience," he said in an interview on WOR-AM Saturday morning.
"I had the honor of working in the Clinton administration as the regional director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. I worked for four years on the staff of the mayor's office," he said, referring to his time as an aide to Mayor David Dinkins. "I'm a citywide elected official now. I served as Hillary Clinton's campaign manager when she ran for U.S. Senate. And that's why, you know, President Clinton, President Obama, Secretary Clinton, Gov. Cuomo have all endorsed me."
The Democrat said the city will survive without its smooth-managing billionaire mayor come January. - New York Daily News, 10/19/13
If you would like to get involved with de Blasio's campaign, you can do so here:

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