The New York Times reports on what they describe as “unfamiliar territory” for Mayor Bill de Blasio–in the lead. He came from behind to win both his races for Public Advocate in 2009 and then for Mayor in 2013. This time, however, he has few serious opponents in the Democratic primary. The Republican challengers, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and real estate executive Paul Massey, don’t seem to be attracting much of a following.
It’s an exciting time of year: petitioning time!
Huh, what’s that?
As New Yorkers, we’re used to people approaching us on the street asking for something. But if you’ve been confronted recently by clipboard-carriers asking you to sign a petition to get someone on the ballot, that’s because it’s petition time, the semi-official beginning of campaign season in New York.
So what’s the deal with the petitions?
In order to run in a New York election, candidates need to collect signatures from people who can vote in that election. That means if someone is running as a Democrat for Mayor of New York City, they need to collect signatures from Democrats in New York City. If a candidate is running as an independent, they can collect signatures from anyone who is registered to vote in the general election.
Late Friday night, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito shook on a deal setting out New York City’s budget. They accomplished this difficult negotiation weeks before the deadline (it’s the earliest budget since 1992), likely in part because the Mayor and Council Members need to go out and campaign for re-election.
The plan has New York City spending $85.2 billion, slightly more than de Blasio’s earlier budget proposal. This is the final budget of Mayor de Blasio’s four-year term, during which time the budget has increased nearly 20% from $72 billion.
The Hotel Trades Council, the union representing hotel workers around New York City, is surprisingly powerful. It’s one of the smaller unions, with under 35,000 members, but that belies its importance. The HTC is powerful because it commands one of the most powerful political operations of any union. That makes its endorsement especially useful so Mayor Bill de Blasio is surely happy to receive it.
Who are the members of the Hotel Trades Council?
As the union for hotel workers, HTC counts 32,000 members. They work in over 300 unionized hotels, motels, casinos, and other connected businesses including parking garages and spas, according to the union. HTC formed during the Great Depression as a merger between 15 different unions, so that hotel owners couldn’t play the individual unions off one another. That worked incredibly well over the years to the point where they represent about 75% of the hotel industry in New York City.
Despite the negative reviews (including here on ShakingNews), Bo Dietl’s campaign for Mayor continues. And maybe he has some better advisors now than when he announced his independent run for Mayor because he’s now seeking the Republican nomination.
Even though he’s an independent, Bo Dietl is seeking the Republican nomination for mayor. He’s already picked up the support of a Republican City Councilman from Queens.
Can he do that?
New York is one of the few states in the country where someone can win the nomination of a party without being a member.
Today, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio doubled-down on his widely-praised Pre-K for all, announcing the launch of a new 3-K Preschool program for three-year-olds.
Proud to announce 3-K for All in New York City. We will begin serving families next school year – 2017 fall – and we will grow from there. pic.twitter.com/qub1xAz6uU
— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 24, 2017
What happened with Pre-K for All?
When Mayor de Blasio ran for mayor in 2013, one of his most ambitious plans was the creation of free, universal pre-kindergarten for all four-year-olds in New York City.
Immigrants in danger, Bill de Blasio balancing competing demands, Republicans balancing ideological purity while in danger of losing the State Senate, and more.
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Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened to take back $4 billion in federal aid to sanctuary cities, including New York City, Syracuse, Ithaca, and Rochester. Those cities have said they will not help Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) enforce federal immigration laws.
Will New York Be a Sanctuary for Immigrants?
What does “sanctuary” mean?
Sanctuary cities refuse to use police in immigration raids, won’t allow federal immigration authorities to access school and other records to find undocumented immigrants, and won’t hold immigrants in jail for ICE to pick them up. However, if someone is already in prison, they will generally turn them over to ICE. They also generally won’t ask immigrants if they are documented.
The New York City Police Department had a string of bad news stories over the past week. They settled a court case over illegal Muslim surveillance, paying millions in the process. A leaker revealed the disciplinary records of the NYPD officer who killed Eric Garner, Daniel Pantaleo, giving the police department another black eye. And another bad cop, Richard Haste who killed Bronx teen Ramarley Graham, was allowed to resign rather than be fired.
Expect more pressure on Mayor Bill de Blasio and his Police Commissioner James O’Neil to change how the NYPD operates.
Let’s throw cold water on Bo Dietl’s campaign for Mayor of New York City. He’s a loud, brash celebrity who needs something to do but he doesn’t appear to be a serious candidate.
Bo Dietl, a former New York City detective, found some measure of fame as a commentator for Fox News. Last year, Fox axed him after discovering that he did private investigative work for former Fox News chief Roger Ailes who had been fired amid sexual harassment allegations. Now, Dietl is running for Mayor as an independent.