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Local News September 19, 2013  RSS feed

The Campaign Trail

In the weeks leading up to the citywide general election, the Times Newsweekly/Ridgewood Times will feature in this column press releases and statements sent by the campaigns of the candidates on the ballot.

The statements in this column do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Times Newsweekly/Ridgewood Times or its staff. Mud-slinging statements which include personal attacks on candidates are omitted.

Mayor’s Race

Largest Municipal Union Backs de Blasio

District Council 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts announced Tuesday, Sept. 17, the union’s support of Public Advocate Bill de Blasio for Mayor. The announcement follows on the recommendation of the union’s screening committee and the unanimous support of DC 37’s executive board.

“We know Bill will bring the same passion and creativity he displayed in his impressive primary bid to a victorious general election campaign,” Roberts said. “Bill’s advocacy for the 99 percent of New Yorkers left out for the last 12 years resonated in every borough with a diverse coalition of voters.

“We can count on a Mayor de Blasio to end the Bloomberg-era policy of outsourcing, which cost tax- payers billions of dollars in waste and outright contractor fraud,” Roberts said. “We know that, as Mayor, de Blasio will understand that a fairly compensated municipal workforce is the foundation for a secure and thriving taxpaying middle class.”

Members of the union’s executive board reached consensus after reviewing de Blasio’s plans to restore the city’s long-neglected public housing, establish universal pre-kindergarten and revive community-based policing. His advocacy for a public health system that shrives to serve all, his proposals that seek to close the nation’s highest income inequality gap and his opposition to privatization and contracting out resonated with the union’s executive board.

A de Blasio victory would mark the first time in 20 years that a Democrat has the opportunity to lead New York City despite the fact that registered Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans.

Roberts warned against complacency by organized labor. Only about 600,000 of the city’s almost three million registered Democrats turned out for the hotly contested primary.

“If we are honest with ourselves, and we must be, the turnout in the primary for all the candidates was worrisome for a party dedicated to advancing the agenda of working people,” Roberts said. “We know that the right to vote did not come for free and was paid for with the blood, sweat and tears—not to mention the lives of those who came before us. We must redeem their sacrifice every election day by voting.”

DC 37’s Screening Committee interviewed former Deputy Mayor Joe Lhota, Tuesday, for what was a very substantive conversation about the city’s future and the union’s priorities. “We want to thank him for his time and interest in our perspectives,” said Political Action Committee Chair Dennis Ifill.

DC 37 is comprised of 54 active locals representing 121,000 municipal workers and 50,000 retirees. The union rank-and-file is critical to the day-to-day operations of the City’s emergency services, hospitals, public schools, public housing, libraries, cultural institutions, information technology networks and transportation systems, and more.

Public Advocate’s Race

Ortiz Picks Squadron

Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (DBrooklyn), the chair of the New York State Assembly & Senate Hispanic and Puerto Rican Task Force, endorsed Democrat Daniel Squadron for Public Advocate Tuesday, Sept. 16, ahead of the Oct. 1 runoff.

Ortiz joins a diverse, five-borough coalition of supporters. In the last week alone, Squadron has been endorsed by a number of leaders, including Ortiz, Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda, Assemblyman Michael Cusick, former U.S. Representative Michael McMahon, and former Democratic Public Advocate candidate Cathy Guerriero.

“As our next public advocate, Daniel will get results for people around our city who desperately need them: low-wage workers, young families, seniors and so many more,” Ortiz said. “Daniel already has an exceptional track record, and his specific plan for the public advocate’s office is exactly what New York needs.”

“It’s an honor to have Assemblyman Ortiz’s support,” Squadron said. “As public advocate, I’ll fight for New Yorkers who need someone to get results for them. And our campaign continues to grow because this message of results, reform, and integrity is resonating across the five boroughs.”

Council District 30 Race

Crowley Kicks Off Re-Election Campaign

City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley hosted a grand opening celebration of her new campaign office Monday, Sept. 15, with more than 100 supporters, elected officials, and union leaders. Crowley kicked off her re-election campaign in the 30th Council District, where she has proven to the residents of Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Woodhaven and Woodside that she is a great advocate they can trust to represent their values in the City Council.

“This is one of the best places to live and raise a family; I know because I lived here my entire life and am raising my two sons in Glendale,” said Crowley. “I have been privileged to represent this district, and I’m proud to announce I am running for re-election.”

For the last four years, Crowley has been a fighter for the 30th Council District, helping to keep our streets safe by leading the fight against firehouse closures, funding educational opportunities including four new schools and ensuring the city completes necessary infrastructure improvements throughout the district.

“We have accomplished a great deal, but there is more to do, and I am looking forward to working with the community over the next four years so that our streets remain safe, our kids receive the best education and our seniors get the services they deserve,” said Crowley.

The kick-off was attended by State Senators Joe Addabbo and Mike Gianaris; State Assemblymen Mike Miller, Rafael Espinal and David Weprin; City Council Members Mark Weprin, Daniel Dromm, Dan Garodnick, Melissa Mark-Viverito; and Democratic Nominee for Queens Borough President, Melinda Katz.

For more information on voting or to obtain a voting registration application, contact the New York City Board of Elections at 1-212-VOTENYC or visit www.vote.nyc.ny.us.

Press representatives of candidates may send their information to this paper by fax to 1-718-456-0120 or email to info@times newsweekly.com. All releases are subject to editing.