2016-12-21 / Political Page

AVELLA ENTERS MAYOR RACE:


Photo Walter Karling Photo Walter Karling Next year, Mayor Bill de Blasio is up for reelection. The timing for the mayor could have been some what better for Hizzoner, but he’s gotten lots of bad press over the past three years, and for better or worse, that will only go into the boiling pot of mayoral happenings, to be digested by the newspaper-reading public, and come out for good or bad in judging de Blasio’s chances when the voting is held late next year.

On this same subject, there’s a possible opponent for de Blasio in 2017: state Senator Tony Avella, like de Blasio, a Democrat. Avella, who started out as a vocal community activist about 35 or 40 years ago in his home district of College Point, has announced he will oppose de Blasio in the Democratic Party primary election next summer or fall.

In a statement announcing his candidacy, Avella (D–Eastern Queens) wrote:

“I believe we have reached a crossroad in the direction our city should be taking. Under Mayor de Blasio, we have more homeless than ever, our taxes continue to rise, and it is more expensive to live here than ever before, all of this while our quality of life fades away. I believe it is time for a change.

It is time to eliminate the corruption at City Hall where campaign consultants lobbyists sit at the table. It is time for the people of this City to beat the table.”

As we said, Avella’s political and community activist career dates back at least 35 years, and that got a boost several years ago when he was elected to the state Senate several years ago. We’ll start covering next year’s mayoral race in earnest in future columns.

Getting back to de Blasio, his most recent headache has evolved from the politically powerful Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA). The city’s policemen’s union has been seeking approval of a disability pay plan for its members and de Blasio is opposed to it, a political and reelection problem for him. The cops are trying to get the City Council on their side. The mayor recently said of the PBA, “If they decide they’re ready to negotiate, our door is always open.”

But there is a bit of good news for de Blasio this morning also – he was endorsed for reelection earlier this week by seven City Council Members, all Democrats! Only one is from Queens – Donovan Richards, from southeast Queens on the Rockaways. The others are: Margaret Chin, Ydanis Rodriguez and Helen Rosenthal, Manhattan; Brad Lander and Steve Levin, Brooklyn; and Ritchie Torres, Bronx.

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