Occupy the mayor's race
This afternoon, Bill de Blasio described his candidacy for mayor as an outgrowth of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which is celebrating its second anniversary occupying Zuccotti Park today.
“It’s a complicated movement to say the least, but the core message was we have to address inequality,” said Mr. de Blasio during an endorsement press conference on the steps of City Hall, where the drums from an anniversary march could be heard echoing from the street.
Comptroller candidate Scott Stringer’s supporters gathered in front of a public housing complex this afternoon, railing against his opponent, Eliot Spitzer, for appearing at an event alongside a race-baiting candidate. They did this as the same controversial pol, Thomas Lopez-Pierre, stood beside them.
The end result was one of the wilder press conferences of this year’s election cycle.
“We are gathered here at the Douglass Houses as a community to repudiate one of the things that Eliot Spitzer has done, which is he has embraced individuals who are hate mongers,” said community activist Brian Benjamin at the event, which was crashed by Mr. Lopez-Pierre.
The National Organization for Women is urging voters to stay far, far away from this election’s two comeback candidates: disgraced former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who is running for comptroller, and former Congressman Anthony Weiner, a candidate for mayor.
Advocates with the pro-women’s group, which has endorsed City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for mayor, held a press conference on the steps of City Hall today where they slammed the two redemption-seeking polls as anti-women.
Saying No to Vito
His opponents have announced a protest outside of his first City Council fund-raiser tomorrow, but Assemblyman Vito Lopez told Politicker he’s not rattled by their efforts.
“It seems like they’re putting a lot of time and energy into preventing me from running, even though I haven’t yet decided to run,” Mr. Lopez, the ex-Brooklyn Democratic Party boss facing allegations that he repeatedly sexually harassed staffers, explained earlier today. “You wonder–they’re a reform group–why would they want to spend energy to prevent somebody from running in an election? That doesn’t seem like reform.”
have it your way
At several New York fast-food restaurants today, workers have walked off the job to protest what they feel are corporate efforts to stifle their unionization efforts. At locations like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Domino’s, Taco Bell across the city, workers are angling for higher wages in what they say is the first multi-restaurant fast-food strike in American history. And several of the leading candidates for mayor, all Democrats, want everyone to know they have the strikers’ back.
“I support New York’s fast-food workers’ demand for decent wages they can live on to support families, pay bills and put food on the table,” Council Speaker Christine Quinn said in a statement. “Fast-food companies are some of the wealthiest in America, yet many of their employees earn far below the federal poverty level. These business practices are unacceptable. All working New Yorkers deserve a living wage and the opportunity to join the middle class. I am behind the city’s fast-food workers who are standing up for this right and fighting for fair pay and an economy that works for everyone.”
foreseeable days! foreseeable weeks!
Councilman Jumaane Williams has been a proud supporter of Occupy Wall Street since the early days of the movement last year. He proudly pins his Occupy button on his suit even for formal interviews and rather freely shouts “All day, all week! Occupy Wall Street!” when around activists. However, the Occupy movement isn’t what it once was. Notably, the crowds are far smaller while the movement’s message still remains muddled to many outside observers. We asked Mr. Williams about the state of Occupy after he hosted a press conference earlier today on voter confusion.
With horns honking, drums pounding, cowbells jangling and even a mariachi-esque band playing, a diverse group of organizations gathered in Union Square in the late afternoon yesterday to protest low wages as part of the New York Workers Rising Day of Action.
30 groups–including the Utility Workers Union of America, Make the Road New York, Local 338, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union–mingled together united in their discontent. The last time wages had been raised was three years ago to the day.
“Is the product worth more than the worker?” the speaker hollered into the crowd.