De Blasio racks up Manhattan pols’ support for re-election

Bill de Blasio has solid political support in Manhattan for re-election to a second term. Photo by William Alatriste

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | Updated Thurs., Aug. 17, 12:40 a.m.: Mayor Bill de Blasio’s re-election campaign issued a press release Tuesday announcing his endorsement by numerous Manhattan politicians, including congressmembers, state senators, assemblymembers and councilmembers, along with local Democratic political clubs.

“When I took office four years ago,” de Blasio said in the release, “I made a promise to New Yorkers to make this city safer and more affordable for all. From protecting thousands of Stuy Town affordable housing units and developing the East River esplanade, to increasing flood preparations and building out the Citi Bike network, we have invested deeply in communities across Manhattan. We’ve dramatically reduced the use of stop and frisk, and lowered crime across the city while reducing arrests. And we delivered on the promise of universal, full-day pre-K and afterschool programs for all of our city’s children. I’m grateful for the support of so many elected officials and clubs in Manhattan, and look forward to campaigning alongside these leaders across this great borough.”

Among those announcing their support for a second de Blasio term were former Assemblymemer Keith Wright, the Manhattan Democratic County chairperson; Congressmembers Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, state Senators Liz Krueger and Brad Hoylman, Assemblymembers Deborah Glick, Richard Gottfried, Brian Kavanagh, Danny O’Donnell and Linda Rosenthal and City Councilmemer Bill Perkins.

Also already endorsing the mayor were City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Congressmember Adriano Espaillat and City Councilmembers Corey Johnson, Margaret Chin, Helen Rosenthal, Ydanis Rodriguez and Mark Levine.

Political clubs formally backing the mayor include a slew of Upper West Side outfits, including Broadway Democrats, Three Parks Independent Democrats, Community Free Democrats, Ansonia Independent Democrats and Park River Independent Democrats, plus the East Side’s Lexington Democratic Club.

More locally, in the Village and Downtown, however, the mayor’s support, tellingly, was quite weak among political clubs. Previously endorsing de Blasio was the Village Independent Democrats. But three other clubs — the Downtown Independent Democrats, Village Reform Democratic Club and Coalition for a District Alternative — notably are not supporting returning him to City Hall for four more years.

“D.I.D. did not endorse him — by an overwhelming majority of our membership,” said Sean Sweeney, one of the Soho-based club’s leading members.

In its May vote, 70 percent of the powerful Downtown club voted for “no endorsement,” while 17 percent backed de Blasio and 8 percent of members went for challenger Sal Albanese.

“Although we had high hopes at the onset — de Blasio lost our endorsement in 2013 by only one vote,” Sweeney said, “we felt that the pay-for-play culture that seems to pervade his tenure, his lack of transparency with the media, and his support of real estate developers at the expense of community concerns prevented us in good conscience recommending Democrats to vote for him in the primary. His support of N.Y.U.’s expansion plan and the Soho Business Improvement District, as well as his efforts to destroy the Elizabeth St. Garden were local issues that cost him votes.

“There was some support for Albanese — a true reformer and progressive,” Sweeney added, “but not enough to carry the day for him.”

Similarly, Ray Cline, a leader in V.R.D.C., said, “The V.R.D.C. chose to go ‘no endorsement’ in the mayor race. We felt that he was selling out. We did not like his support of N.Y.U.,” Cline said, referring to the university’s plan to build four new buildings on its two South Village superblocks.

Coalition for a District Alternative a.k.a. CoDA, the East Village’s leading political organization, also did not endorse de Blasio for re-election.

De Blasio is also being championed by the Working Families Party, plus a wide array of unions, including the United Federation of Teachers, District Council 37, SEIU 32BJ, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local One, Musicians Local 802, the RWDSU, the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association, UNITE-HERE Local 100, the Professional Staff Congress and the Laundry, Distribution and Food Service Joint Board of Workers United.