Public Advocate Bill de Blasio officially enters the race for mayor

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who hails from Park Slope, made it official on Sunday, January 27, that he was entering the crowded mayoral race during a press conference held at his home.

De Blasio, who formerly was the councilmember representing portions of Brownstone Brooklyn and before that a member of the school board in Community School District 15, was widely expected to proclaim his candidacy, joining a host of other hopefuls, including former  Comptroller Bill Thompson and fellow Brooklynite Sal Albanese in the race for the Democratic nomination, and Joe Lhota, Tom Allon and George McDonald who are vying for the Republican line.

Other likely candidates include Comptroller John Liu and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Democrats; Adolfo Carrion, the former Bronx borough president who is expected to run as an independent, and John Catsimatidis, a Republican.

In his speech announcing his candidacy, De Blasio stressed the importance of a city government that “actually believes in our neighborhoods and sees things the way we do.”

In a clear hit at Mayor Michael Bloomberg as well as at likely opponent Quinn, De Blasio went on, “Now that may have seemed impossible in recent years. We’ve gotten so used to the elitists at City Hall that the notion of government of and for and by our neighborhoods may seem to have perished.”

Then, referencing “the power of money” and “the backroom deal that led to the term limits change” (which allowed Bloomberg, Quinn and the members of the City Council to run for a third term, something de Blasio declined to do), he asked, “Is it any wonder that average citizens feel overshadowed?”

De Blasio went on to criticize New York government in recent years as a “tale of two cities, a place where City Hall has too often catered to the interests of the elite rather than to the needs of everyday New Yorkers.

“One in five of our fellow New Yorkers lives in poverty, and that’s not acceptable,” he contended. “Too many working parents lack the basics: childcare and afterschool programs they can afford, paid sick days they need, because no New Yorker – and there’s a million people in this category – no New Yorker should have to choose between going to work when they’re deeply sick or staying home and losing a day’s pay they can’t afford to lose or maybe even losing their job.”

De Blasio also criticized the city’s “broken stop-and-frisk policy,” Bloomberg’s “demonizing [of] teachers,” and the inability of homeowners to appeal “a huge and unfair water bill.”

What would he do as mayor? “We’ll respect small businesses as the job creation engines every neighborhood needs. We’ll use every economic tool at our city’s disposal to get our people back to work. And we’ll bring police and communities together, so cops and residents alike will be safer. We’ll ask the very wealthiest to help our children out, to pay a little more in taxes so we can finally achieve universal early education and afterschool programs that will keep our children safe and on the right path.”

Before running for public office, de Blasio worked on the staff of former Mayor David Dinkins, then at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under former President Bill Clinton, then as campaign manager for Hillary Clinton when she ran for U.S. Senate.

For more updates on de Blasio, follow @deblasionyc on Twitter and Bill de Blasio on Facebook.


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