BY JENNA BAGCAL
Amid a roomful of enthusiastic supporters, live music, Mr. Met and local eats, Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s Bayside campaign office officially opened Thursday night on Bell Boulevard in Bayside.
The former Mean Street Tattoo storefront at 39-36 Bell Blvd. is now the presidential candidate and former New York City mayor’s second field office in the city hosting voter outreach efforts.
Revelers at the Feb. 6 opening included New York State director of Mike Bloomberg 2020 John Calvelli, former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, Councilman Paul Vallone and Assemblyman Clyde Vanel, who provided glowing endorsements for the three-term mayor.
“We are New York City residents, we chose New York City for our home. He was our mayor for 12 years, he took this city at the worst time, at our worst crisis in 2001 when we were attacked. The economic prosperity we have today, the safety that we have, who we are as a city that leads the whole world, is because [he] took us to that point,” said Vallone who led the crowd in a “we like Mike” chant moments before.
Seven full-time Bloomberg staffers, as well as dozens of volunteers, will run canvassing and phone banking events and other coordinated outreach activities at the new field office ahead of New York’s Democratic primary on April 28.
“Mike Bloomberg is known as a dedicated public servant, successful entrepreneur, and powerful advocate for some of the most pressing issues facing New Yorkers today,” said Vanel. “As a community advocate, I admire his passion for causes like gun violence and climate change. As a business leader, I respect his ability to create thousands of jobs. And as an elected official, I appreciate his ability to get things done.”
Vallone and Vanel are the first in the City Council and State Assembly respectively to publicly endorse Bloomberg. So far, he has received 12 endorsements from New York state elected officials.
The grand opening featured an appearance from Mets mascot Mr. Met and food from local Bayside establishments, including Bayside Milk Farm, Erawan, French Workshop, Maria’s Mediterranean, Martha’s Bakery, Mr. Pollo, Papazzio and VIPizza.
“As the first woman elected as Queens Borough President, I know a trailblazer when I see one, and Mike Bloomberg certainly fits the bill,” said Shulman. “Mike is a fearless leader who has taken on the city’s toughest fights on behalf of Queens residents and has come out on top. As mayor, Mike made all of New York City a stronger and more resilient place, and I know he will do the same for the rest of the country.”
Michael Dacosta, a Bloomberg supporter from Queens, created the slogan “Let’s Get Bloom-in America,” a play on Bloomberg’s name but also a reference to how America would “bloom” with him at the helm. At the field office grand opening, Dacosta brought his handmade sign and custom bomber jacket with the slogan.
“To me, he’s the only one right now with a clean heart, somebody I can support and somebody of dignity. He’s not gonna tell you one thing and do something else,” said Dacosta. “To me, he’s a modern-day JFK. He’s a philanthropist, he’s a man of wisdom and a man of respect.”