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Bill de Blasio

Politics can be confusing. Opinions can change, and candidates are not always truthful. This is why researching and understanding who you are voting for is so important. Still, races often get messy and hard to follow, with candidates trading blows until the final bell. 

This is certainly the case in the feverish race between Rep. Max Rose and GOP State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis in the most hotly contested congressional election in the city. 

Representative Max Rose: A Blunt Candidate 

Democrat Rose is seeking reelection after his first win in 2018 following nearly 30 years of Republican winners in a district that includes Staten Island and South Brooklyn. His straight-as-an-arrow, honest approach likely resonated with voters. 

“Blunt” is the best word to describe Rose. He is an aggressive, call-it-like-he-sees-it candidate who pulls no punches. An example: In one short campaign advertisement, he said, “Bill de Blasio is the worst mayor in the history of New York City.” In fact, that was the entire 15-second ad.  

De Blasio, a progressive mayor and fellow Democrat, has been the subject of a lot of criticism due to his views and ineffective policies. Neal Kwatra says Rose was smart to distance himself this way, adding that Rose has “a very identifiable anti-de Blasio brand as a part of who he is, which is a huge asset in a district like that, frankly.”

This affinity for speaking bluntly extends into his remarks regarding Malliotakis. He has referred to her as a “rubber stamp” for Republicans on major issues who supports the President and his policies. 

Rose also noted that Malliotakis said in 2017 she regretted voting for President Trump, but then changed her mind when he backed her. As Election Day nears, both candidates are slugging it out before voters decide whether they prefer Rose’s honesty to Trump’s support for Malliotakis.  

Regardless of your political beliefs, Kwatra says it best regarding Representative Rose. “He’s very visceral and, frankly, New Yorkers appreciate that in their politicians,” Kwatra says. If that bears out, Rose certainly has a fighting chance of retaining his seat in the House of Representatives. 

About Neal Kwatra:

Kwatra founded Metropolitan Public Strategies (MPS) in 2013 and has since been at the forefront of some of the most fiercely contested political and advocacy campaigns in New York and across the nation. Kwatra has fought to uphold his ideals with great tenacity and continues to expand the reach of MPS into the strategic management of nationally recognized grassroots and issue advocacy campaigns. 

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that the coronavirus outbreak in the city will get worse, with damage accelerated by shortages of key medical supplies.

He said on March 22: “We’re about 10 days away from seeing widespread shortages.

“If we don’t get more ventilators people will die.”

New York state has become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the US and accounts for almost half of the US cases.

There are now 31,057 confirmed cases in the US, with 390 deaths.

On March New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said 15,168 people had tested positive for the virus, an increase of more than 4,000 from the previous day.

“All Americans deserve the blunt truth,” Mayor de Blasio told NBC News.

“It’s only getting worse, and in fact April and May are going to be a lot worse.”

New York now accounts for roughly 5% of Covid-19 cases worldwide.

On March 20, President Donald Trump approved a major disaster declaration for the state which gave it access to billions of dollars of federal aid.

However, Bill de Blasio has continued to criticize the Trump administration for what he views as an inadequate response.

He said: “I cannot be blunt enough: if the president doesn’t act, people will die who could have lived otherwise.”

“This is going to be the greatest crisis, domestically, since the Great Depression,” Bill de Blasio added, referring to the economic crisis of the 1930s.

Speaking at a news conference at the White House on March 22, President Trump said he had also approved a major disaster declaration for Washington state and would approve a similar measure for California.

He said: “This is a challenging time for all Americans. We’re enduring a great national trial.”

The president also said a number of medical supplies were being sent to locations nationwide, as well as emergency medical stations for New York, Washington and California, the worst-hit states.

Doctors across New York have reported depleted medical supplies and a lack of protective gear for healthcare workers on the frontlines of the outbreak.

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Warnings of such shortages have reverberated across the US as other state governors have pleaded with the federal government to make more supplies available.

In California, officials instructed hospitals to restrict coronavirus testing. Meanwhile, a hospital in Washington state – once the center of the US outbreak – said it could run out of ventilators by April.

On March 22, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said states were “competing against each other” for virus supplies.

He said: “We need millions of masks and hundreds of thousands of gowns and gloves.

“We’re getting just a fraction of that. So, we’re out on the open market competing for these items that we so badly need.”

An almost $1.4 trillion emergency stimulus bill intended to blunt the punishing economic impact of the pandemic failed to pass the US Senate on March 22.

The bill got 47 votes, falling short of the 60 needed in the 100-member chamber.

Democrats raised objections to the bill with Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer saying it had “many, many problems”. Democrats accused Republicans of wanting to bail out big businesses.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

A series of measures have been announced by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to tackle a “crisis” of anti-Semitic attacks, following a mass stabbing on December 28.

A man brandishing a machete attacked a Hanukkah celebration at the rabbi’s property in Monsey, north of NYC – an area with a large population of ultra-Orthodox Jews. The incident happened at about 22:00 on December 28.

The mayor said security would be stepped up in Jewish areas and schools would teach students to tackle hate.

At least five people were injured in the knife attack at a rabbi’s house in Monsey.

President Donald Trump called for unity to fight “the evil scourge” of anti-Semitism following the attack.

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Witnesses said the attacker burst into the house, which was hosting a Hanukkah celebration, pulled out a large knife and began stabbing people.

The suspected knifeman, named by police as 37-year-old Grafton Thomas from Greenwood Lake, NY, has been charged with attempted murder. The attacker pleaded not guilty, and is being held in jail with his bail set at $5 million.

Grafton Thomas’ lawyer, Michael Sussman, issued a statement on behalf of his family which said the suspect “has a long history of mental illness and hospitalizations”.

The statement said: “He has no history of like violent acts and no convictions for any crime.

“He has no known history of anti-Semitism and was raised in a home which embraced and respected all religions and races. He is not a member of any hate groups.”

Just a day before the attack, Mayor de Blasio had announced extra police patrols in three areas of Brooklyn with large Jewish populations following a spate of anti-Semitic incidents.

He told reporters on December 29: “The spirit we bring today is one of resolve and relentlessness. We will keep adding as many measures as it takes to end this crisis.”

Bill de Blasio said additional officers would now be deployed to the districts of Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Borough Park.

He said: “People in the community will see our officers present in front of houses of worship and out on the streets. We have to give people a sense of security, and we have to show that this horrible trend we’ve seen over the last weeks will be stopped dead in its tracks.”

The mayor said changes would be made to the curriculum at schools in Brooklyn starting from next month. He said they would focus on “stopping hate… on building mutual respect, to help young people understand what hate crimes really mean and the dangers they pose to all of us”.


Traffic in New York is pretty intense, but maybe it’s not as bad as you think. According to new data from city officials, New York traffic deaths have hit a record low in over a century. In 2018, the number of traffic fatalities fell below 200. Within six months into 2018, there were only 81 deaths in the city.

Is Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero Plan Making New York Streets Safer?

This is definitely a plus. However, the steep decline in traffic deaths come with stricter traffic enforcement. It’s part of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan to make traffic fatalities non-existent.

“With this action plan, the City is making a bold new commitment to improve street safety in every neighborhood and in every borough – with expanded enforcement against dangerous moving violations like speeding and failing to yield to pedestrians, new street designs and configurations to improve safety, broad public outreach and communications, and a sweeping legislative agenda to increase penalties for dangerous drivers and give New York City control over the safety of our own streets,” the Vision Zero plan explained.

The Vision Zero plan has made some pretty big improvements since its inception. The traffic death rate in New York was hovering around 299 deaths in 2013. But since has dipped below 200 fatalities in 2018. Not a bad five year reduction. So the plan is working — right?

There is still some work to do when it comes to making the streets of New York safer. One of the biggest catalysts for the decrease in traffic deaths could be attributed to the lowering of the speed limit on nearly all city streets to 25 miles per hour. There are also other more stringent laws being enforced with the Vision Zero plan, like yielding to pedestrians, and the addition of 20 plus miles of protected bicycle lanes.

This is important, since bicycle and pedestrian deaths by motor vehicle continue to be an issue. “Drivers haven’t taken their responsibility to yield very seriously,” Mayor de Blasio told the New York Times. “There has been a lot of enforcement, and there will be more.”

More Enforcement Coming For New York Drivers, And It Could Get Pretty Serious

With less traffic deaths and a focus on making New York streets safer for everyone comes with stricter enforcement. This was made pretty clear by Mayor de Blasio and the Vision Zero objectives. So what does this mean for New Yorkers on the road?

One of the biggest enforcements already affecting drivers in the city are cell phone violations. This enforcement is aimed at keeping drivers alert while behind the wheel, able to avoid pedestrian, bicyclist, and vehicle accidents that could be fatal. According to the New York DMV, “If you use a portable electronic device while you drive (except to call 911 or to contact medical, fire or police personnel about an emergency), you can receive a traffic ticket and be subject to a fine and a surcharge.”

Driving under the influence is another big enforcement initiative part of the Vision Zero plan. “If you are found to have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher,you will be charged with a DWI,” according to New York traffic lawyer, Michael Block. “A BAC of more than 0.05 but less than 0.07 can yield a charge for Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI/Alcohol). A Zero Tolerance Law can be charged to any driver under the age of 21 found to have a BAC of 0.02 – 0.07.”

What You Can Do When Driving In New York

Staying safe behind the wheel is not solely for drivers. You also need to ensure you are making the roads safe for all. Yes, this is definitely easier said then practiced, but you can take a few safety precautions while driving.

First and foremost, don’t have your cell phone in your hand. This includes GPS use. Not only can you avoid a potential accident, but also avoid a pricey ticket. Getting a traffic infraction for using your phone while driving can result in a fine over $200 with 5 points added to your license.

Drinking and driving can obviously be costly. Speeding tickets, failure to yield to pedestrians, reckless driving, failure to stop for school busses, and illegal lane changes should all be avoided. And if you do get a ticket or if you get into a car accident, always call a lawyer. What do you think about the Vision Zero plan? We want to hear from you.


New York’s popular Fearless Girl statue will stay in place until March 2018, Mayor Bill de Balsio has said.

The mayor said the relevant municipal agencies had backed the idea.

The bronze statue of a young girl staring down Wall Street‘s iconic Charging Bull was placed on March 8 to draw attention to gender inequality and the pay gap in the corporate world.

The statue – which has become an instant tourist draw – had been due to be removed on March 26.

Appearing next to the 4ft-tall statue in Manhattan on March 27, Mayor Bill de Blasio said it “means so much to the people of New York”.

The statue was “standing up to fear, standing up to power, being able to find in yourself the strength to do what’s right”, he added.

“She is inspiring everyone at a moment when we need inspiration.”

Fearless Girl by artist Kristen Visbal was commissioned by asset managers State Street Global Advisors (SSGA).

The company said the girl represented the future.

It added that one in four of the 3,000 largest traded American companies did not have even one woman on their board.

Wall Street’s Charging Bull statue was originally guerrilla art by Italian-born artist Arturo Di Modica.

Installed in 1989, the bronze statue was meant to represent the “strength and power of the American people” in response to the market crash in 1987.

Charging Bull become a popular attraction and was allowed to stay.

An “intentional” blast has injured at least 29 people in the Chelsea district of New York City, officials say.

The cause of the blast on September 17 remains unclear.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio described the explosion as “intentional” but said that there were no known links to terror.

The force of the explosion blew-out windows and could be heard several blocks away.

Officials later told media that a device was found at a second location in the same district.

None of the injuries is life-threatening but one is serious, New York’s fire commissioner said.

Image source Twitter

Image source Twitter

Most of those hurt suffered cuts and other minor injuries from glass and other debris.

The blast occurred around 21:00. Witnesses said people ran in all directions following the “incredibly loud” blast.

Unconfirmed reports said the explosion went off in a dustbin. Several blocks have been closed down by police.

Bill de Blasio said: “We do not see a link to terrorism.”

The mayor said it was too early to determine the cause but added: “We believe it was intentional.”

Bill de Blasio also said there was no evidence of a link to a pipe bomb explosion in neighboring New Jersey hours earlier.

According to law enforcement officials, the device found at the second Chelsea location appeared to be a pressure cooker attached to wiring and a mobile phone. Police said it had been removed safely.

Chelsea is among the most fashionable districts of Manhattan and its bars and restaurants are usually crowded at the weekend.

President Barack Obama is being kept up to date on the investigation, a White House official said.

Hillary Clinton told reporters she had been in touch with New York officials.

“Obviously we need to do everything we can to support our first responders and pray for the victims,” the Democratic presidential nominee said.

“I’ll have more to say about it when we actually know the facts,” she added.

Speaking at a rally in Colorado before police had commented on the cause of the blast, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told supporters that a “bomb” had gone off.

He said: “Nobody knows exactly what’s going on, but boy, we are living in a time – we better get very tough, folks.”

The earlier bomb explosion in Seaside Park, New Jersey, on September 17 came shortly before thousands of runners were to participate in a charity race there. No injuries were reported.

On September 20, President Barack Obama and other world leaders are due to attend the UN General Assembly in New York.

A New York state wage board unanimously recommended the increase of fast food workers’ minimum wages to $15 an hour.

New York City workers will be the first to benefit, with the increase due to be in place by the end of 2018.

Fast food workers in the rest of New York state will have to wait until mid 2021 for the rise.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the vote marked “one of the really great days of my administration”.

The state minimum wage is currently $8.75.

Andrew Cuomo also said: “You cannot live and support a family on $18,000 a year in the state of New York, period.

“This is just the beginning. We will not stop until we reach true economic justice.”Fight for 15 fast food minimum wage in New York

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would now push for every worker in the city, not just fast food staff, to get a higher salary.

“This only underscores how necessary it is to raise the wage across the board. As much as fast food workers need and deserve a raise – and we know they do – we must ensure that every worker gets a living wage,” he said.

While Bill de Blasio has pushed for a higher minimum wage, he does not have the power to set it.

As a result, Gov. Andrew Cuomo created the panel to look at wages in the fast food industry.

Now the panel has backed the increase, it is expected to be backed by the acting state commissioner of labor, marking the last significant hurdle before it becomes mandatory.

The move is expected to affect around 180,000 workers which are employed in the fast food industry in New York state.

The decision follows similar minimum wage increases in other US cities, including Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The University of California system earlier said that it would raise its minimum wage to $15 for all hourly workers.

However,the move was not universally welcomed. Restaurant owners warned that the increase would force them to either reduce their staff numbers or increase menu prices.

Jack Bert, a franchisee who owns seven McDonald’s in New York City, said it had been “a flawed process”.

“Singling out fast food restaurants while ignoring other industries that hire workers who are paid under $15 is unfair and discriminatory, harms New York workers, and puts some New York businesses – including mine and my fellow New York McDonald’s franchisees – at a competitive disadvantage,” he said.

Randy Maestro, a lawyer hired by a group of franchise owners, said the group was looking into whether the decision could be challenged in court.


The funeral of Wenjian Liu, the second of two officers shot dead last month, has been held in New York.

Wenjian Liu, a son of Chinese migrants, was killed with his partner Rafael Ramos on 20 December by a gunman with a grievance against the police.

Speakers lined up to pay tribute at the service in a Brooklyn funeral home.

In the street outside, hundreds turned their backs to a video screen when Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke.

Many rank-and-file members of the New York Police Department (NYPD) resent Bill de Blasio’s expressions of sympathy for anti-police protesters in recent months.

The double murder by 28-year-old African American gunman Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who claimed to be avenging black men killed by white police stunned the city.

New York police commissioner Bill Bratton had urged officers to refrain from any further “act of disrespect”, saying in a memo: “A hero’s funeral is about grieving, not grievance.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio told the funeral service: “All of our city is heartbroken today.”

Wenjian Liu, 32, had lost his life while fighting for “all that is decent and good”, he said. He paid tribute to a “young man who came here from China at the age of 12 in search of the American dream”.Wenjian Liu funeral

Outside the funeral home, many uniformed officers could be seen turning their backs as the speech was relayed.

Shortly after the policemen were shot, the head of the city’s largest police union, Patrick Lynch, had lashed out at the liberal mayor, saying there was “blood on many hands”.

More than 20,000 officers attended Rafael Ramos’ funeral on December 27, and the sight of lines of police turning their backs marred the event for some.

“The mayor has no respect for us,” retired NYPD detective Camille Sanfilippo told the Associated Press news agency at Wenjian Liu’s funeral.

“Why should we have respect for him?”

Patrick Yoes, a national secretary with the 328,000-member Fraternal Order of Police, said before the new funeral: “Across this country, we seem to be under attack in the law enforcement profession, and the message to take away from this is: We are public servants. We are not public enemies.”

The two policemen were shot following a wave of demonstrations over killings of unarmed black men by white police officers, beginning in the Missouri town of Ferguson last summer.

There was anger in New York after a grand jury decided not to press charges against a white police officer over the death of unarmed black man Eric Garner, who was placed in a chokehold while being restrained by police officers.

Mayor Bill de Blasio had expressed solidarity with the protesters and had publicly wondered if his son, who is mixed-race, was safe from police.

Some argue that such rhetoric helped to create an environment that encouraged violence against police.

Funeral arrangements had been delayed so relatives from China could travel to New York.

Wenjian Liu’s widow, Pei Xia Chen, said she had lost her “soul mate” and a “wonderful husband”.

His father broke down at the funeral as he described how his only child would telephone after every shift during his seven years in the force to reassure his parents he was safe.

“You are the best son, you are the best husband,” he said.

“We are very proud of you, we love you forever.”

A vigil was held on January 3 in Chinatown where community members gathered to burn pieces of paper in honor of Wenjian Liu, in keeping with Chinese tradition.

Ismaaiyl Brinsley killed himself in a subway station as police were closing in.

The gunman had a history of violence and mental instability. On the day of the shooting, Ismaaiyl Brinsley went on social media to say he was planning to kill police officers.

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Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island Chuck were in agreement in their prognostications on this year’s Groundhog Day.

While Punxsutawney Phil tends to get the most attention, Staten Island Chuck stole the show as he squirmed out of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s arms.

Staten Island’s furry prognosticator, Charles G. Hogg, called for six more weeks of cold winter weather on February 2 during a ceremony at the Staten Island Zoo.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, officiating his first Groundhog Day ceremony on Staten Island, said: “This is one of the great events on Staten Island.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at his first Groundhog Day ceremony on Staten Island

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at his first Groundhog Day ceremony on Staten Island

“Chuck and my predecessor didn’t always get along,” said de Bill de Blasio,

“But I’m hoping we can start a new day,” he added.

Wearing protective gloves, Bill de Blasio lost his grip on Chuck for a moment, as the famous groundhog fell to the floor, drawing gasps from the crowd.

With temperatures nearing the 40s, hundreds of folks crowded around Chuck’s log cabin to see the prediction.

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shows off her updated hairstyle at the inauguration of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Hillary Clinton shows off her updated hairstyle at the inauguration of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

Hillary Clinton shows off her updated hairstyle at the inauguration of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

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Bill de Blasio, the first Democrat in more than two decades, has been sworn in as the new mayor of New York City.

Bill de Blasio took the oath of office outside his home a few minutes into the New Year, in line with tradition.

A grander inauguration ceremony will take place later at City Hall, with former President Bill Clinton administering the oath of office.

Bill de Blasio succeeds billionaire Michael Bloomberg, and has promised to govern with a liberal agenda.

He won November’s election by a record margin, contrasting himself with the pro-business Bloomberg years which he said had created a “tale of two cities”.

Michael Bloomberg is credited with leaving New York a safer, healthier and revitalized place after his 12 years in office. However, critics say his policies have widened the gap between rich and poor.

Democrat Bill de Blasio has been sworn in as the new mayor of New York City

Democrat Bill de Blasio has been sworn in as the new mayor of New York City

Bill de Blasio, 52, was joined by his wife Chirlane McCray and their two teenage children outside their home in Brooklyn for the oath of office administered by state attorney Eric Schneiderman.

“To everyone, this is the beginning of a road we will travel together,” he said after he was sworn in.

He is New York’s first Democratic mayor since David Dinkins, who became the city’s first black leader in 1993.

Bill de Blasio has promised to reverse the city’s rising income inequality and end a controversial stop-and-frisk policy which has been criticized for disproportionately targeting black and Hispanic men.

He worked as an aide to David Dinkins when he was mayor and has also worked closely with the Clintons, managing Hillary Clinton’s successful 2000 run for the US Senate.

He was elected to New York City Council in 2001, representing his home area of Brooklyn, before becoming public advocate, the city’s official watchdog.

Bill de Blasio’s bid for the mayor’s job was aided by the implosion of the campaign of former congressman Anthony Weiner.

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With almost all votes counted, Bill de Blasio will succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg to become the first Democrat leading New York City in two decades.

With 99% of votes counted in New York, Bill de Blasio secured 73% of the vote, convincingly defeating his Republican rival Joe Lhota, who polled 24%.

In his victory speech, Bill de Blasio said the poll showed that America’s largest city had chosen “a progressive path”, and he promised to make fighting income inequality his top priority.

Bill de Blasio is the city’s first Democratic mayor since 1993.

With almost all votes counted, Bill de Blasio will succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg to become the first Democrat leading New York City in two decades

With almost all votes counted, Bill de Blasio will succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg to become the first Democrat leading New York City in two decades

He ran Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign, and is seen as one of the most liberal politicians to run for mayor in decades.

Joe Lhota admitted defeat, saying the race had been a good fight and a fight worth having.

He ran the city’s public transport authority under Mayor Bloomberg, a Republican-turned-independent, and also worked in the administration of Rudolph Giuliani.

Last year, Joe Lhota was lauded for quickly getting the vast subway system running again after a huge storm, Sandy, flooded swathes of the city.

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New York City is choosing a successor to three-term Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Republican-turned-independent.

Tuesday’s races are seen as an early test of the Republican and Democratic parties’ strengths ahead of next year’s critical congressional elections.

In New York City, Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio has taken a commanding lead in opinion polls over Republican Joe Lhota

In New York City, Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio has taken a commanding lead in opinion polls over Republican Joe Lhota

In New York City, Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio has taken a commanding lead in opinion polls over Republican Joe Lhota, a former senior official in the mayoral administrations of Michael Bloomberg and his predecessor Rudolph Giuliani.

Bill de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, ran Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign. He is seen as one of the most liberal mayoral candidates in decades.

Under Michael Bloomberg, Joe Lhota ran the city’s public transport authority. He was lauded for quickly getting the vast subway system running again after a huge storm Sandy flooded swathes of the city last year.

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