De Blasio Dismisses Moskowitz Charter Protest as ‘Sideshow’

Mayor Bill de Blasio with Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina.
Mayor Bill de Blasio with Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina.

Mayor Bill de Blasio today dismissed planned protests in Albany by charter school operators and advocates next week as a “sideshow” that he insisted would not distract from his pre-K push

Success Academy Charter School head Eva Moskowitz will be shutting down all of her schools this coming Tuesday to join more than 2,000 charter school advocates from across the state in Albany to push lawmakers to support their schools. The date happens to coincide with the new mayor’s planned descent upon Albany to convince reticent state lawmakers to support his plan to raise taxes on the city’s wealthy to fund universal pre-K and after-school programs. Continue reading “De Blasio Dismisses Moskowitz Charter Protest as ‘Sideshow’”

Melissa Mark-Viverito Joins Adriano Espaillat on the Campaign Trail

Melissa Mark-Viverito introduces Adriano Espaillat to constituents.
Melissa Mark-Viverito introducing Adriano Espaillat to constituents this morning.

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito hit the campaign trail with congressional hopeful State Senator Adriano Espaillat this morning, putting her weight behind the man who hopes to dethrone the dean of New York’s Congressional delegation.

Mr. Espaillat yesterday launched his campaign to unseat Congressman Charles Rangel, who is running for his 23rd term representing his uptown district. Ms. Mark-Viverito endorsed Mr. Rangel in a contest between the two back in 2012, when he won narrowly, but this time has sided with Mr. Espaillat, suggesting that he could earn significant backing from the city’s new class of elected officials. Continue reading “Melissa Mark-Viverito Joins Adriano Espaillat on the Campaign Trail”

De Blasio Disputes That He’s Been Slow With Appointments

Mayor Bill de Blasio. (Photo: Getty)
Mayor Bill de Blasio. (Photo: Getty)

Mayor Bill de Blasio today dismissed the notion that he’s dragged his feet in filling his new administration, insisting that very few posts remain vacant.

“I’m not a lawyer …  but I will be on the watch for premises that may not be accurate. A large number of agencies is a debatable point,” said Mr. de Blasio when asked about the criticism at a press conference today announcing three new hires. Continue reading “De Blasio Disputes That He’s Been Slow With Appointments”

Challenger Eyes Run Against Assemblyman Felix Ortiz

Assemblyman Felix Ortiz. (Photo: NYS Assembly)
Assemblyman Felix Ortiz. (Photo: NYS Assembly)

A local community board member has filed to run against Brooklyn Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, potentially setting up the first primary battle for the longtime lawmaker in more than a decade.

Cesar Zuniga, a member of Brooklyn’s Community Board 7 and research director for the Parent-Child Home Program, said he was considering a bid against Mr. Ortiz and would make a final decision soon.  Continue reading “Challenger Eyes Run Against Assemblyman Felix Ortiz”

De Blasio Appoints Human Resources and Immigrant Affairs Commissioners

Bill de Blasio unveiling his latest appointments this afternoon.
Bill de Blasio unveiling his latest appointments this afternoon.

Steve Banks, the chief attorney at the Legal Aid Society, has been appointed to lead the city’s Human Resources Administration, and Nisha Agarwal will serve as commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this afternoon.

Mr. Banks has lead the organization, which provides free legal service, since 2004. Three years earlier, he ran unsuccessfully against Mr. de Blasio in a City Council race. Continue reading “De Blasio Appoints Human Resources and Immigrant Affairs Commissioners”

Handful of Protesters Crash Tony Avella Event

State Senator Tony Avella. (Photo: Getty)
State Senator Tony Avella. (Photo: Getty)

State Senator Tony Avella met a handful of protesters outside a local school in Queens today, where the lawmaker took flack for his decision to join a breakaway faction of Democrats in Albany.

Mr. Avella, now the fifth member of the Independent Democratic Conference, arrived in Douglaston to give a citation to an elementary school. But four protesters, unfurling signs like “Tony the Traitor,” stood outside the school in the numbing cold to denounce Mr. Avella’s defection from the Democratic caucus.  Continue reading “Handful of Protesters Crash Tony Avella Event”

Morning Read: ‘Chill, Bill’

Today's New York Post.
Today’s New York Post.

Headline of the Day: “Oh, behave! Bratton rolls out new community-friendly training protocol.”

Runner-Up: “Bratton: Police officers to be taught ‘verbal judo.’”

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new training program yesterday that aims to teach new recruits how to be more polite as part as part of a larger effort to improve police-community relations. “Cops in this city, indeed, around the country, get in more trouble with their mouths than they do with any of the tools we give them–clubs, guns,” Mr. Bratton said after visiting a precinct in East Harlem. Continue reading “Morning Read: ‘Chill, Bill’”