Fresh off his winning performance at a Thursday night candidate forum, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio officially announced that he was running for mayor of New York City in front of his Park Slope home on Sunday. Following introductions by his teenage son, Dante (who called his father a “selfless human”), and his wife, Chirlane (who described her husband as an “outerborough working dad, a public school parent, a lifelong progressive reformer”), de Blasio stepped up to the podium to talk about his intention to represent “everyday New Yorkers” who feel “ignored and priced out” after Mayor Bloomberg’s three-term reign. “Let’s be honest about where we are today: a city that in too many ways has become a tale of two cities, a place where City Hall too often has catered to the interests of the elite,” he said.
“I have to say, I think maybe we’ve all gotten a little numb because our democracy has been repeatedly attacked by the power of money,” said Mr. de Blasio. “In 2008, the backroom deal that led to the term limits change and the not-so-subtle use of Mayor Bloomberg’s wealth. In 2009, the $112 million he spent on his reelection. In 2010, the horrible Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case. Is it any wonder that average citizens feel overshadowed?”
He was also sure to distance himself from his fellow Democratic candidates, taking special aim at New York City Council speaker and Bloomberg ally Christine Quinn, who is currently seen as the race’s frontrunner. Politicker reports that de Blasio took aim at Quinn when he “emphasized his support of the paid sick days legislation she has been accused of stalling and when he criticized the way Mayor Bloomberg was able to bypass term limits laws and secure a third term through what many saw as a deal” with her.
Despite his relatively prominent position in the city’s government, most New Yorkers still don’t know much about de Blasio. He took the opportunity to briefly outline his resume, which includes a Bill Clinton-era job at Department of Housing and Urban Development, eight years on the City Council, and the management of Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign. (He hammered home the Clinton connection by playing Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop [Thinking About Tomorrow]” at the conclusion of his speech.) Adding to the fun was Cynthia Nixon, who attended the rally to show her support. “I am just a huge fan of Bill de Blasio. I want him to be the next mayor of New York City,” she told NY1. “I think he would be one of the most progressive mayors New York City’s ever known.” If they’re willing to get to know him, that is.