In The Money
The days after the mayor releases his preliminary budget are usually filled with protests by advocates stomping their feet, decrying cuts to favored programs on the steps of City Hall.
But today, the labor groups, workers, and council members rallying outside City Hall were there to hail Mayor Bill de Blasio’s call during his State of the City speech for an increase in the minimum wage.
Mayor Bill de Blasio today nearly doubled the budget for his former office and gave huge boosts to borough presidents across the five boroughs.
The public advocate’s office, currently occupied by Tish James, will receive an extra $700,000 in the fiscal year starting July 1, administration officials revealed today. That will bring her office’s budget up from a meager $1.6 million budget up to to $2.3 million.
The city’s new public advocate, Tish James, who had vowed to be a thorn in the side of fellow officials, is already making good on her promise.
At a press conference early this morning demanding more education funding from the state, Ms. James went after Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the $2 billion tax cut plan he unveiled ahead of his State of the State speech last week, separating her from other city lawmakers, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, who have largely refused to criticize the plan.
Al Sharpton, who clashed endlessly with the Giuliani administration, doesn’t sound thrilled with Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s decision to re-appoint Mr. Giuliani’s police commissioner as the city’s top cop.
In a statement released this morning just as news of Bill Bratton’s appointment was trickling out, Mr. Sharpton, who has had a warm relationship with Mr. de Blasio, offered a mixed assessment of Mr. Bratton’s record, which includes stints as chief of both the Boston and Los Angeles police departments.
The City Council’s black, Latino and Asian caucus is pushing back against the assertion by some observers that members are more open to considering a white candidate for council speaker because a black candidate was elected to citywide office earlier this year.
In their first public statement of the behind-the-scenes campaign, the caucus members argued that Brooklyn Councilwoman Letitia James’s election as public advocate should have no bearing on the contest to choose the city’s second most powerful post.
Dishing on Tish
Public Advocate-elect Letitia James said this month’s elections represented a “dramatic left turn” for the city–and vowed to hold her predecessor in the advocate’s office, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, accountable in his new role.
In the days leading up to today’s runoff election, the public advocate’s race reached its final, frenzied–and personal–pitch.
Included in the barrage was a pair of mailers sent over the weekend alleging City Councilwoman Tish James, who is in a runoff against State Senator Daniel Squadron, obtained a “sweetheart” loan on her Brooklyn home, which has come under scrutiny in the past.
After Daniel Squadron cast his vote in the public advocate’s runoff this morning, the state senator predicted a “surge” of fellow New Yorkers would do the same, resulting in victory later tonight.
“We’re feeling great!” Mr. Squadron told Politicker as he walked out of his Cobble Hill polling site with his wife, Liz, and their two-year-old son, Theodore.
Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito is calling for a time-out in the public advocate’s race, which has grown increasingly hostile ahead of next Tuesaday’s Democratic primary runoff.
Ms. Mark-Viverito, a supporter of Brooklyn Councilwoman Letitia James, recorded a video criticizing Ms. James’s rival, State Senator Daniel Squadron, for waging new “heights of personal and petty attacks” against her candidacy.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has ducked a potentially divisive primary runoff in the mayor’s race, but the candidates vying to replace him have no such luck.
As their one-on-one face-off heats up, Councilwoman Tish James and State Senator Daniel Squadron are racking up endorsements as they work to secure enough support to reach the 50 percent they’ll need when voters head back to the polls on October 1.