mind the gap
President Barack Obama, in town for a pair of big-money fund-raisers, made a stop this afternoon at the Gap for a symbolic shopping session.
At just after 4 p.m, the president’s motorcade pulled up to the chain’s East 42nd Street location so he could do a little shopping for his wife and daughters, according to a White House pool report.
Lincoln Restler, the former Brooklyn district leader who ran two high-profile races against his borough’s Democratic machine, has joined the de Blasio administration as a senior policy adviser, sources say.
Mr. Restler’s portfolio is not immediately clear, and the historically press-savvy politico has avoided the media since lending his assistance to Mr. de Blasio’s campaign last year.
Many of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s top labor allies want the new mayor to reconsider banning horse-drawn carriages from city streets, but Mr. de Blasio insisted today he was not changing his mind.
The mayor said that a letter from the Central Labor Council, a de Blasio-friendly umbrella group representing more than 1.3 million workers, would not persuade him to reconsider a ban. The letter called the carriage industry “iconic and thriving.”
tale of two fund-raisers
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said today that it would be a “terrible mistake” to legalize marijuana and predicted problems for states that go that course.
Still, he insisted that he supports the medical use of the drug–putting him on the same page as Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is also also opposed to following in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington, two states that have recently legalized and taxed pot.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is set to deliver remarks this evening in front of a well-heeled crowd of donors at a fund-raiser with President Barack Obama, joked today he’ll be the odd one out.
“They needed a token non-wealthy person, so I was there. They called me in,” said Mr. de Blasio, speaking to reporters this afternoon at an unrelated press conference at City Hall.
Mayor Bill de Blasio this afternoon announced the appointment of commissioners of the Department of Correction, Department of Probation and several other criminal justice positions.
Joseph Ponte will lead the Department of Correction, Ana Bermudez will helm the Department of Probation, Elizabeth Glazer will head the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice and Vincent Schiraldi will serve as the senior adviser to the Office of Criminal Justice.
Full Court Press
After some bruising coverage of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to cancel a handful of charter school co-locations, MSNBC’s Morning Joe returned to the issue a third time today.
This morning’s show featured a handful of young children learning as they would at their embattled Success Academy charter school: playing chess, solving multi-step fraction problems, making molecular models and, for one student, “doing some writing before she dances.”
First Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris today defended his new administration’s press shop, which has come under growing fire in recent weeks after a series of alleged faux pas.
During a Crain’s New York Business breakfast this morning, Mr. Shorris was asked directly whether the mayor needed to beef up his communications team, which includes a handful of veteran campaign staffers, but few with extensive experience in the notoriously difficult New York City media scene.
After Mayor Bill de Blasio took a pounding on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today for his sometimes critical approach to charter schools, Gov. Andrew Cuomo scheduled an appearance on The Brian Lehrer Show to praise them.
Not only are charter schools not a threat, Mr. Cuomo said, but they are part of the solution to failing public schools, which he called “the civil rights issue of our day.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first deputy mayor this morning provided a rosy assessment of the administration’s tenure so far, concluding that “we’re in a pretty credible place,” despite a “few bumps along the way.”
Speaking to business leaders, lobbyists and reporters at a Crain’s New York Business breakfast forum in Midtown, Mr. Shorris broke with the mayor and acknowledged the pace of appointments in the administration has been “a bit slower than some.”