Melissa Mark-Viverito Set to Hire Former State Senate Contender

Jay Otaño. (Photo: Facebook)
Jason Otaño. (Photo: Facebook)

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is set to hire Jason Otaño, an attorney and former candidate for the state senate and assembly, a spokesman for the office confirmed to the Observer.

Mr. Otaño will join the general counsel’s office of the City Council, though his exact title and salary have yet to be defined.

Continue reading “Melissa Mark-Viverito Set to Hire Former State Senate Contender”

Espaillat Brings Beefed-Up Campaign Machine to Second Rangel Fight

State Senator Adriano Espaillat.
State Senator Adriano Espaillat.

For State Senator Adriano Espaillat’s 2012 congressional bid, the El Barrio vote proved fatal.

The heavily Latino neighborhood was supposed to give Mr. Espaillat the boost he needed to depose longtime Congressman Charlie Rangel. Instead, Mr. Rangel crushed Mr. Espaillat in the East Harlem neighborhood by more than 2,500 votes, ultimately earning another term in Congress by a slim, 1,000-vote margin.

Continue reading “Espaillat Brings Beefed-Up Campaign Machine to Second Rangel Fight”

Bill de Blasio Signs His First Bill at Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory

Mayor Bill de Blasio signing his first bill into law today. (Photo: Twitter/@BilldeBlasio)
Mayor Bill de Blasio signing his first bill into law today. (Photo: Twitter/@BilldeBlasio)

Mayor Bill de Blasio traveled to the offices of an artisanal ice cream manufacturer in Brooklyn today to sign his first bill: a law that dramatically expands the city’s paid sick day mandate.

“It’s really an extraordinary day, four years in the making,” Mr. de Blasio told reporters and lawmakers gathered at the home of Steve’s Craft Ice Cream, which produces small-batch concoctions featuring creative names like “NOLA ICED COFFEE & DONUTS” and “BKLYN BLACKOUT.” Continue reading “Bill de Blasio Signs His First Bill at Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory”

New Poll Shows de Blasio Most Polarizing Citywide Official

Bill de Blasio at the traffic safety event. (Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty)
Bill de Blasio at the traffic safety event. (Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty)

Mayor Bill de Blasio has the lowest approval ratings of any citywide elected official, according to a new poll this afternoon, which also shows a wide racial divide in his approval rating two-and-a-half months into the new administration.

Forty-five percent of New York City voters approve of the job Mr. de Blasio is doing and 34 percent disapprove, according to the Quinnipiac University poll. Continue reading “New Poll Shows de Blasio Most Polarizing Citywide Official”

New ‘Working Group’ Being Built to Steer City Council Legislation

Councilman Brad Lander with Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. (Photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)
Councilman Brad Lander with Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. (Photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)

In a departure from the unilateral leadership style of her predecessor, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is currently in the process of creating a “policy working group” that would set the City Council’s agenda and even vet new legislation, sources say.

The council’s 10-member leadership team is hashing out the details of the group, which is still remains in the planning stages. But it will likely meet twice a month and take on a very formal structure, sources say. Continue reading “New ‘Working Group’ Being Built to Steer City Council Legislation”

‘Attack Tweet’ Amuses Gov. Cuomo

A visual approximation of what attack tweets from Andrew Cuomo could look like. (Photo composite: Spencer Platt/Getty)
A visual approximation of what attack tweets from Andrew Cuomo could look like. (Photo composite: Spencer Platt/Getty)

The governor of New York is extremely amused by the concept of an “attack tweet.”

Andrew Cuomo was asked today about City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s apparent social media broadside, in which she seemed to criticize his “SILENCE” on the East Harlem building collapse that rocked her district last week. Continue reading “‘Attack Tweet’ Amuses Gov. Cuomo”

Bill de Blasio Visits Two Churches Blocks From East Harlem Explosion

Mayor Bill de Blasio speaking at the Church of God. (Photo: NYC Mayor's Office)
Mayor Bill de Blasio speaking at the Church of God. (Photo: NYC Mayor’s Office)
Mayor Bill de Blasio today addressed the congregations of two churches just blocks from last week’s East Harlem gas explosion, attempting to offer comfort to a community still reeling from the sudden deaths of eight locals.

Mr. de Blasio appeared at a large, predominately African-American church and a low-slung Spanish-speaking church, where he layered his speeches with Christian rhetoric and promises of help for the victims of the catastrophe.  Continue reading “Bill de Blasio Visits Two Churches Blocks From East Harlem Explosion”