Bill de Blasio

De Blasio: Don’t Close Borders To Refugees

deBlasioNew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released a package of statements supporting the effort to bring Syrian refugees into the United States and also blasted the comments made by Republican presidential candidates Chris Christie and Donald Trump.

The statements come as elected officials around the country — mostly Republican officeholders — have called for a halt in bringing refugees from Syrian into the U.S. following the Paris terrorist attacks last week.

Governors in more than a dozen states, too, have said they oppose having refugees settle in their states, though their power is limited when it comes to federal immigration policy.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is yet to release a statement on whether New York should take in Syrian immigrants.

“We should not close our borders to any group of people fleeing the atrocities and horrors of terrorism,” de Blasio said in a statement. “To do so is to hand terrorists a victory over our democracy, strengthened over the years by Americans who died or risked their lives for it. We are a strong country. We can protect our country with the appropriate and intensive screening and accept refugees seeking our protection at the same time. New York City is a proud immigrant city, and we will not turn our back on that history or the people being persecuted and fleeing war.”

Meanwhile, de Blasio knocked Christie after the New Jersey governor insisted on stringent rules for Syrian immigrants and saying he would not make an exception for “orphans under the age of 5.”

“Because Chris Christie is an elected official, his comment is an embarrassment to this country,” de Blasio said. “If he were in any other profession, it would be dismissed out of hand for the callous, heartless and prejudiced statement that it is.”

Trump, meanwhile, was singled out for his statement calling for the monitoring of mosques.

“First and foremost, we always will abide by the U.S. Constitution which prohibits discrimination against religions,” de Blasio said. “We will adhere to the words of our Founding Fathers, not Donald Trump. Mosques don’t commit acts of terrorism. People do. NYPD will investigate the crime, not close down places of worship. Finally, NYPD is recognized today as having the top anti-terrorism unit in the world. Our anti-terrorism efforts continue to evolve and improve as we’ve become more knowledgeable about activities across the globe.”

And finally, de Blasio called Muslim-Americans and those living in New York City a “crucial ally” in the fight against terrorism.

“ISIS does not discriminate and has killed members of many races and religion,” he said. “The Muslim community is as deeply concerned about terrorism as other communities are. NYPD investigates the crime, not a group of people. That will not change.”

Q-Poll: NYers Divided On de Blasio

deBlasioA Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday was a mixed bag for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, with voters there split on the way he is handling his job as mayor.

The poll found 46 percent of voters disapprove of his handling of the mayor’s office, while 45 percent approve.

The numbers were essentially unchanged from August, when New York City voters were evenly split, 44 percent to 44 percent, de Blasio’s handling of his job.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, meanwhile, fares better in the city, where 63 percent approve his handling of his job as governor, while only 29 percent disapprove.

The stark contrast for the governor and mayor in the poll comes after de Blasio went public in July with his frustrations with Cuomo and what he said was an inclination toward aiding Senate Republicans in Albany at the expense of what was needed in the city.

Since then, the governor and mayor have been in something of a cold war, with both men at odds are a variety of issues that has led to each move being scrutinized through the lens of the feud.

But de Blasio faces some questions about his re-election, with voters by a margin of 48 percent to 42 percent believing he does not deserve re-election in 2017.

The poll of 1,155 New York City voters was conducted from Oct. 22 through Oct. 28. It has a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.

Cuomo and De Blasio Reach Agreement on MTA Capital Program

deblasiocuomoGovernor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Saturday, announced an agreement to fund the MTA Capital Program.

The $26.1 Billion program will be the largest in the history of the city of New York, promising to renew and expand the current MTA program over the next five years.

The plan has been a point of contention between the governor and De Blasio. Cuomo has urged a larger investment from the De Blasio administration during press availabilities in recent weeks.

“You can look at the numbers. The 11 percent, Mayor Bloomberg invested about 11 percent of the capital budget, and we are asking the city to contribute about 11 percent into the capital budget,” Cuomo told reporters in Albany on Wednesday.

The resolution does not match up with what MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast pitched lawmakers in July. In a letter, he asked the state to contribute $8.3 Billion to the program, leaving the city with a $3.2 Billion investment. More >

Cuomo Knocks de Blasio — Again — Over MTA Funding (Updated)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo once again criticized New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio over how to close a gap in the capital budget of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The latest theater for the debate was held on Brian Lehrer’s radio show on WNYC this morning, when Cuomo was critical of de Blasio not supporting a large share of the capital fund being contributed to be by the city.

“The city has to do its fair share,” Cuomo said. “I can’t say to Buffalo you should fund the New York City subway system and New York City that’s sitting there with $7 billion surplus funds isn’t doing its fair share. I can’t. I can’t.”

Cuomo and the MTA are pushing a plan to close the $9.8 billion gap in the $32 billion plan that would increase contributions from both the city and state.

Cuomo is backing a state plan to increase its capital program share by $7.3 billion. New York City, he believes, should add $3.2 billion — a $2.5 billion increase. More >

De Blasio Raises For Wisconsin’s Russ Feingold

deBlasioAs he prepares a presidential campaign forum in Iowa to discuss inequality, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released a fundraising email for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Russ Feingold, urging supporters to back the “true progressive.”

“Russ fights for the issues you and I care about: debt-free college, raising the minimum wage, fighting income inequality, and supporting hardworking families,” de Blasio writes in the fundraising email sent on Wednesday afternoon. “He’s the one who cast the lone vote against the terribly flawed PATRIOT Act in 2001. He’s the one who authored historic, bipartisan campaign finance legislation to curb the influence of corporate money in our elections. He’s a champion for the people of Wisconsin and our nation — not special interests. Russ is the one we need in the Senate.”

Feingold was a U.S. senator from Wisconsin from 1993 through 2011, losing re-election to Republican Ron Johnson. Feingold is launching a comeback campaign against Johnson for next year’s election to win his old seat back.

De Blasio has sought a more prominent platform in recent months to promote his causes — especially when it comes to income inequality — while also promoting a more liberal vision for the country as a whole. The mayor, though, has raised eyebrows among fellow Democrats for holding off on endorsing Hillary Clinton, whose Senate campaign he worked on in 2000, in the presidential race.

Moskowitz Won’t Rule Out Run For Mayor

moskowitzEva Moskowitz, the founder and CEO of the Success Academy charter school network and a former city councilwoman, would not rule out a challenge against New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio when he runs for re-election in two years.

In an interview on Fred Dicker’s Talk-1300 radio show on Friday, Moskowitz acknowledged that running for mayor and political life in general is “an interest” but wouldn’t divulge her plans.

“I’m not being coy, I just honestly haven’t decided yet,” said. “My husband doesn’t know, my children don’t know.”

Moskowitz is among several potential challengers to de Blasio, who has faced a summer of political difficulties ranging from his relationship with Gov. Andrew Cuomo — now in open hostilities — and the perception that the city’s quality of life has declined on his watch. More >

Hakeem Jeffries for Mayor?

deBlasioFrom the Morning Memo:

Few would dispute that it’s been a tough summer for NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.

From the ill-advised fight with Uber, to accusations of mishandling the critical outreach portion of an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the Bronx, to his high profile spat with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to his misadventures at the Park Slope YMCA while a deadly standoff unfolded on Staten Island.

The headlines have been brutal, and now some believe the political winds have begun to blow in a decidedly new direction.

Few potential challengers would ever openly commit to launching a primary challenge against a sitting mayor – especially this early in the game. But ‘lo and behold over the last few days, potential names have begun to surface as trial balloons. And many of those whose names have been floated are doing very little to tamp down the public chatter.

The bottom line is this: some potential challengers smell blood in the water.

There was Don Peebles in the Post the other day. Then ex-NBA Commissioner David Stern – also in Post, which has started a countdown clock for the end of de Blasio’s first term.

NYC Public Advocate Letitia James’ name popped up this week. And of course there are consistent rumors about Eva Moskowitz.

Then there are those whom the political consultants call “the real players” – Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. (Interestingly, all three are former state lawmakers).

But sources say the strongest potential candidate is the one guy who has ruled it out publicly, and that is Brooklyn Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a former assemblyman who told Errol Louis during an “Inside City Hall” interview on Aug. 5th: “I’ve got no interest in running for mayor or holding any other job other than the one I have now.” More >

‘Task Force’ Formed To Curb Topless Performers, Cartoon Characters In Times Square

deBlasioA city-wide task force is being formed to address the “growing problem” of both topless individuals and costumed-clad characters in Times Square, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday announced.

The announcement of the task force comes after an outcry from the New York City tabloids and Gov. Andrew Cuomo over topless performers in Times Square over the last several days.

The task force will be led by two men: New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Planning Commissioner Carl Weisbrod.

Though the panel is being formed in the wake of the criticism over the topless performers, de Blasio said the task force is being formed to more broadly review the actions of performers in an area that attracts tourists and families from across the world. More >

De Blasio Signs Legionnaires’ Regulations

de blasioNew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed legislation aimed at preventing future outbreaks of Legionnaires’ Disease. This comes after a break-out of the illness in the Bronx that left 12 people dead and more than 100 hospitalized.

Like the state regulations announced yesterday, the new law requires cooling towers to be registered and tested regularly for bacteria that could lead to Legionnaires’ Disease.

If building owners do not comply with the registry and new regulations, they could face a fine of up to $10,000. If an inspection reveals that a cooling tower must be disinfected, building owners could be slapped with a $25,000 fine if they don’t follow through. Building owners have 30 days to register their cooling towers with the New York City Department of Health.

There is at least one difference between the state and city regulations. As we reported yesterday, testing is required about every three months regardless of location. Under the city’s law, those tests are only required during months when cooling towers are in use. The state regulations require testing year-round.

The bill was passed by the New York City Council last week and takes effect immediately, starting today. A release from the mayor’s office indicates that the legislation was crafted in collaboration with the City Council and the governor’s office.

“The recent Legionnaires’ outbreak has been an unprecedented challenge requiring an unprecedented response,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in the release. “But a powerful response is just one piece of the equation. New Yorkers need to be protected from the disease through aggressive preventive action, and this groundbreaking legislation, developed in partnership with the City Council, is exactly that.”

Cuomo On Friendship And The ‘Soap Opera’

deblasiocuomoGov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio are friends again.

That’s according to the governor himself, who today once again downplayed the feud between the two Democratic leaders that erupted this month following the conclusion of the legislative session.

“He’s a friend,” Cuomo said. “I’ve known him 30 years and I’ve worked with him for many years.”

Cuomo had previously said his relationship with de Blasio — who accused the governor in an interview with NY1 of undermining his agenda and siding with Senate Republicans — as “professional” and not “love-dovey.” More >