Sunday, July 26, 2009


The Grassroots Education Movement to Defend Public Education or GEM indicates on their blog that they are a newly formed coalition of NYC Group that "seek to educate, mobilize and organize educators, parents, students and our communities against the corporate and government policies which serve to underfund, undermine and privatize our public school system. GEM advocates, both within and outside the UFT, around issues dealing with the equality & quality of public educational services as well as the rights of school workers."

A recent entry on the site discusses Tony Avella as the “leading man” in the education movement.

Posted by JW, it reads:

"After Tony Avella's statements at the Working Families Party forum a couple of weeks ago, progressive educators seem to be backing his run for mayor.


You can't get much clearer than that.

Avella will first have to topple Bill Thompson in the Democratic primary, and that will take some doing. In the meantime, Thompson's been putting on some new coats. He certainly wasn't asking to fire Joel Klein before Avella said it at the WFP forum.

The Avella campaign is letting people know that their man was on NY1 bashing the rubber rooms, no-bid contracts, and the atmosphere of intimidation at the DoE. Video will be available online tomorrow.

They've also put a new page on Facebook: Educators for Avella.

Tony Avella is forging the correct agenda on education.

Bill Thompson is real "Old School" when it comes to teaching kids, and he's now just playing catch up."

— JW

Sunday, July 12, 2009


from New Yorkers for Avella - blog by Milan - 7/12/09

Or maybe that should be, "spend, baby, spend!" Michael Bloomberg's desperate attempt to become mayor-for-life has his staff on the defensive, defending his record-breaking campaign spending. He's burned through nearly $37 million to date this year, breaking all records for a city campaign and unprecedented even for Bloomberg. This is the guy who told us recently that an election can't be bought. He would do well to remember this in the race against Tony Avella and William Thompson.

Aides to Bloomberg are said to be worried that the sour economy could turn voters against him. A New York Times story on Bloomberg's campaign spending quotes Bloomberg aide Jill Hazelbaker as saying polls consistently have shown that voters are not concerned about his campaign spending, which already is four times more than he had spent at this point in 2001. Another Times story characterized as "a chink in the armor" Bloomberg's failure to win a recent sought-after endorsement. (We hear the mayor is stressed-out about this, but doesn't he know that money can't buy you love?) Ms. Hazelbaker also noted that Thompson had taken more than $100,000 in what she called “special interest money.”

Good news is that candidate Tony Avella is beholden to no special interest groups. This is a tenet of his campaign, and it is the way he has always served in his role as a City Councilman. He's a fighter for the people, our schools, our neighborhoods, and small businesses. It's about people, not money.

The AP's Sara Kugler reminds us of Bloomberg's own recent remark that "you can't buy an election" because the public is "much too smart for that." And word is that behind the scenes in the Bloomberg campaign, there is some hand-wringing about the way things are going (although the damage control experts spin things a little differently.) Not only is Bloomberg's spending obscene, but his advertising is exposed by blogger JD2718 as shameful--don't miss this one!

Friday, July 3, 2009

WFP MAYORAL FORUM - "I made every dime I have."

The WFP Mayoral forum was held Thursday night, July 3rd. I don't know how it was perceived on the webcast - whether you could hear the audience or not -- but there is no doubt that Tony Avella won.

However, I have unanswered questions about the Working Families Party. They injected themselves big time into the term limits debate last fall and were very opposed to the overturn of term limits, including getting involved in a lawsuit.

But then they endorsed Christine Quinn for another term. Quinn led the fight with Bloomberg to overturn the will of the people. Some people even think that the term limits question was not raised at the event because they made a deal with Bloomberg. Remember when Bloomberg said to a reporter "you are a disgrace" for bringing up the issue?

The WFP will make an endorsement vote on July 9th.

Bill Thompson had the nerve to call himself the "presumptive" nominee. And he will be if every registered Democrat goes to the polls in September for the primary and does the "politics as usual" thing and votes the way the Democratic political establishment is telling you to do.

These are some of the Twitter comments on the WFP site.

"So I think that Avela won the debate/forum - the reason being that any time you quote #the wire you win! "

" Cool forum WFP. Thanks for the opportunity. But if you endorse Bloomberg, then this city has gone to the dark age"

"Bloomberg is out of touch. Thompson seems a bit rehearsed. Avella rocked."

"Thompson was SO boring - he should run for senate."

"No Thompson, NYers aren't energized by you. Nice try though..."

"Did Thompson just call himself the presumptive nominee? That is some questionable messaging. "

"Thompson gives the same stump speech every time. "nuanced" is a bit of a stretch"

"thompson is going off the cuff, up is down"

Some articles: read comments after the article:

NY Daily News:
Mayor Bloomberg defends massive campaign spending: "i made every dime I have."

NY Times: At Working Families Party Forum, Bloomberg Declines to Toe the Liberal Line

Live Blogging at Mayoral Forum in NYC

NYC Mayoral Forum live blog (start at the bottom)

Monday, June 22, 2009

TONY & JULIA: The Lips Story

So typical of the press. Give them a serious issue like child obesity and instead of reporting on it, they focus on what kookie fitness guru Richard Simmons said at a recent press conference sponsored by Council Member Tony Avella ... that Avella has lips like Julia Roberts. Oi vey! What was he thinking!

Avella is introducing a resolution asking Congress to pass the FIT Kids Act, which would require state and community educational agencies to produce annual reports on health and physical education programs. The most serious report was from the NY Times.

But back to the lips comment ... Funny? Maybe…. But at least Tony has lips. Did you ever notice King Bloomberg’s? – his top lip looks like it is glued to his front teeth. I’ve always wondered if he just finished eating a peanut butter sandwich or maybe it is a permanent application of rubber cement or crazy glue and he just cannot help it.

Yes - this lip story has legs – but not the obesity story. Azi Paybarah, of the “you are a disgrace" fame reported the Lips in his recent column.

So maybe this will bring Tony Avella the attention he very much deserves. And being compared to Julia Roberts ain’t all weird.

Roberts apparently does not like to talk politics but she is a big environmentalist – as is Tony Avella.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Emperor Bloomberg is sounding more and more like W every day:

from the New York Daily News:

Mayor Bloomberg was asked today to comment on the criticism President Obama is receiving for killing a fly during a recent interview, and his resulting response was such a quintessential example of Bloombergese that it simply cried out for posting.

And so, here it is, compliments of the DN's Erin Einhorn:

“I don’t know why he did it. I had pickets outside my house for geese last night. We are sending some of these geese for well-deserved rest up in the sky, wherever geese go.

"But the bottom line is, we can make fun of the geese but they’re a danger to human beings flying. And we’re doing what's appropriate, and I’m sure what the president thought about was that particular fly might be spreading something like the H1N1 flu and he was going to risk his own life with hands - bare hands, without Purell - and he protected the public by hitting that fly, and we owe him a great debt of gratitude. I'm sure he’s laughing about it right now."

This is our mayor? How embarrasing!

I am sorry President Obama killed a fly on national TV - it became a press diversion. But "risk his own life?" What was Bloomberg thinking?

And as for making fun of the geese. This is just a stupid and insensitive comment. The plane that landed in the Hudson River was hit by Canada geese - i.e. migratory geese. Killing the geese who live around the airports will not make a difference to the safety of air travel. Finding ways to protect the planes and an understanding of the bird's migratory patterns will.

Do we really want this dope as mayor again. I don't.

Vote for Tony Avella for mayor.

mage from Emperor Bloomberg.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


The media is mostly not our ideal of what they should be -- investigative reporters searching for the truth -- idealistic muckrakers. For many, it is a job - they go with the flow; reprinting press releases with a tweak here and there. The media, after all, is owned by corporate America - (or is it China) In truth, if any of them did have the courage to speak out against His Emporership Mayor Bloomberg, they would forever be banned from City Hall. And they would have no story - albeit a slanted one. This is democracy, kids. Face it.

When an underdog like Queens Council Member Tony Avella - a progressive with great ideas and courage - tries to make a difference, he is mostly ignored. He is called an "outlier." Instead, Bill Thompson, the pick of the Democratic machine – is the favored Democratic candidate. …. But by the machine and politicians, that is ... not the people ... and certainly not on the blogs that I have read.

So it came as a breath of fresh air when Bernie Mooney from the Examiner writes a blog titled "Bloomberg is a Petulant Rich Kid” criticizing the mayor for being out of touch with New Yorkers. If this petulant rich kid was such a financial genius – then why did Wall Street have such a serious meltdown? Why is unemployment so high in New York City. The man has been mayor for eight years after all. Why didn’t he see it coming and do his “magic.” And why are the schools in such bad shape. Ask any teacher!!! Why – because Bloomberg had no answers – that’s why. And because he controls the media, you hear what he wants you to hear.

Mooney on Tony Avella: “There is a dark horse. That dark horse is Tony Avella, a city councilman from Queens who is no fan of mayor Mike. He has even taken his council colleagues to task for kowtowing to Bloomberg’s whims. He is most definitely against the out of control development under Bloomberg’s terms. Frankly, I never heard of him until I picked up a copy of WG, Williamsburg Greenpoint News +Arts.”

While I am impressed that Mr. Mooney gets it right in his piece, my problem with him is that as a political writer he has never heard of Tony Avella. Tony has been in the council for eight years and has been a leader against the abuse of eminent domain and over development. He knows how the real estate industry has run this city into the ground -- and he wants you to know also. I knew who Tony was and I do not make a living writing about politics. Tony is undoubtedly the most progressive, courageous and independent thinker in the Council - never afraid of speaking out against corrupt Christine Quinn. One of the few with real ethics, he refused to accept a large raise, which the council voted for themselves. But don’t take my word for it – check out Tony’s web site – please get informed. Learn about the issues that affect the average New Yorker.

But unfortunately, the average New Yorker – even those who actually vote – do not have a clue who their Council Member is – or who hold all of the citywide offices. This is how scoundrels get into office because at election time –some of these same New Yorkers get “religion” and feel obliged to do their “civic duty” to vote. They will go to the booth and pick the first candidate – or just vote the party in which they are registered. And they think they did a good thing. Ask them who they voted for - or if they know anything bout these candidates and they cannot tell you. This is very frightening. This is why Bloomberg and the City Council were able to overturn term limits.... it is because YOU voted for the very council members who made deals with Quinn - you rub my back and we will rub yours.

If you want a better New York with a mayor who actually listens to you … it is within your power to make that change. Bloomberg is a tyrant. He does not deserve another term in office.

Council Member Tony Avella would be much needed progressive change for New York City. Let's give him (and us) a chance at real democracy!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


In today’s New York Times, Nicholas Kristoff proclaimed that “animal rights are now firmly on the mainstream ethical agenda.” The piece, entitled Humanity Even For Nonhumans is reprinted below. For those of us who have lived this lifestyle for years and have suffered the slings and arrows of detractors - this is wonderful news coming from such a conservative paper … and yes it is .. when it comes to animal issues.

Some of the blog entries after this article referred to old religions like Buddhism and Jainism, which certainly revered animals. But they are not mainstream and Mr. Kristoff is recognizing this “profound difference from past centuries.”

In a testimony I gave at the January 30th hearing of the City Council Committee on Consumer Affairs regarding two pieces of legislation concerning the NYC carriage horse issue, I referred to an article published in the Harvard Crimson last year entitled Compassionate Campaigners how animal voters were shaping the 2008 presidential election. Written by Lewis Bollard, this opinion piece talked about the new electorate who care about animals, and how they see a politician’s attitude to animals as a broader reflection of his compassion and character. Bollard calls them news-savvy, socially integrated, and politically active. They are the people who sent over 300,000 e-mails to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell successfully urging him to drop convicted dog fighter Michael Vick from the league. They’re politically active, and willing to use their votes to protect the defenseless.

So it comes as no surprise that there was such wide spread interest in the puppy for the Obama family – and and not just any puppy - but it must be one from a shelter.

Yes the times are changing and the paradigm is shifting.

Why is it that these kinds of progressive and ethical ideas grab hold in the grass roots first and take so long to move through the government, corporations and those with the power and money.


April 9, 2009


Humanity Even for Nonhumans


One of the historical election landmarks last year had nothing to do with race or the presidency. Rather, it had to do with pigs and chickens — and with overarching ideas about the limits of human dominion over other species.

I’m referring to the stunning passage in California, by nearly a 2-to-1 majority, of an animal rights ballot initiative that will ban factory farms from keeping calves, pregnant hogs or egg-laying hens in tiny pens or cages in which they can’t stretch out or turn around. It was an element of a broad push in Europe and America alike to grant increasing legal protections to animals.

Spain is moving to grant basic legal rights to apes. In the United States, law schools are offering courses on animal rights, fast-food restaurants including Burger King are working with animal rights groups to ease the plight of hogs and chickens in factory farms and the Humane Society of the United States is preparing to push new legislation to extend the California protections to other states.

At one level, this movement on behalf of oppressed farm animals is emotional, driven by sympathy at photos of forlorn pigs or veal calves kept in tiny pens. Yet the movement is also the product of a deep intellectual ferment pioneered by the Princeton scholar Peter Singer.

Professor Singer wrote a landmark article in 1973 for The New York Review of Books and later expanded it into a 1975 book, “Animal Liberation.” That book helped yank academic philosophy back from a dreary foray into linguistics and pushed it to confront such fascinating questions of applied ethics as: What are our moral obligations to pigs?

John Maynard Keynes wrote that ideas, “both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else.” This idea popularized by Professor Singer — that we have ethical obligations that transcend our species — is one whose time appears to have come.

“There’s some growth in numbers of vegetarians, but the bigger thing is a broad acceptance of the idea that animals count,” Mr. Singer reflected the other day.

What we’re seeing now is an interesting moral moment: a grass-roots effort by members of one species to promote the welfare of others. Legislation is playing a role, with Europe scheduled to phase out bare wire cages for egg production by 2012, but consumer consciences are paramount. It’s because of consumers that companies like Burger King and Hardee’s are beginning to buy pork and eggs from producers that give space to their animals.

For most of history, all of this would have been unimaginable even to people of the most refined ethical sensibility (granted, for many centuries those refined ethicists were also untroubled by slavery). A distinguished philosopher, Thomas Taylor, reacted to Mary Wollstonecraft’s 1792 call for “the rights of woman” by writing a mocking call for “the rights of brutes.” To him, it seemed as absurd that women should have rights as that animals should have rights.

One of the few exceptions was Jeremy Bentham, the philosopher who 200 years ago also advocated for women’s rights, gay rights and prison reform. He responded to Kant’s lack of interest in animals by saying: “The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?”

In recent years, the issue has entered the mainstream, but even for those who accept that we should try to reduce the suffering of animals, the question remains where to draw lines. I eagerly pushed Mr. Singer to find his boundaries. “Do you have any compunctions about swatting a cockroach?” I asked him.

“Not much,” he replied, citing reasons to doubt that insects are capable of much suffering. Mr. Singer is somewhat unsure about shellfish, although he mostly gives them the benefit of the doubt and tends to avoid eating them.

Free-range eggs don’t seem offensive to him, but there is the awkwardness that even wholesome egg-laying operations depend on the slaughtering of males, since a male chick is executed for every female allowed to survive and lay eggs.

I asked Mr. Singer how he would weigh human lives against animal lives, and he said that he wouldn’t favor executing a human to save any number of animals. But he added that he would be troubled by the idea of keeping one human alive by torturing 10,000 hogs to death.

These are vexing questions, and different people will answer them differently. For my part, I eat meat, but I would prefer that this practice not inflict gratuitous suffering.

Yet however we may answer these questions, there is one profound difference from past centuries: animal rights are now firmly on the mainstream ethical agenda.

This beautiful photo above is from Sharing our Earth with all Species a blog by Carmen Mandel-Cesareo, a professional photographer, author and conservation advocate

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


... said Council Member and Mayoral candidate, Tony Avella in commenting about Mayor Bloomberg running on the Independence party line - an agreement that is in the works. Eduardo Castell, campaign manager for Comptroller Bill Thompson's mayoral campaign chimed in with "I see it as Bloomberg's pay-to-play politics. They pay to get someone's support." NY 1 reports that Bloomberg may once again run on Indepence Party Line.

Yes, Mr. Bloomberg needs a party line to be on the ballot and the Dems and Repubs will not have him so he is in negotiations ($) with the Independence Party.

As most of you know, Bloomie used to be a Democrat, until he turned Republican in order to stand out on the ballot when he ran in 2001. As an unknown, he knew he would lose a Democratic primary, so as a dark horse, he spent lots of money and flooded our mail boxes with Bloomberg propaganda in order to win that election. Talk about recycling. I wonder how many trees gave their lives for the Bloomberg campaigns.

As a new Republican with lots of moolah, he was a perfect partner to the ethically challenged rudi guiliani. And unfortunately, while it was Mark Green's election to lose in this strongly Democratic city, Green managed to alienate the Hispanic population, which turned on him voting for Bloomberg. What were they thinking?

You may also recall that giuliani tried to stay in office after the 9/11 tragedy, but it did not work for him. Too late, not enough time. We were so happy to see him go. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Bloomie would try the same tactic several years later and be successful.

The "Republican" Bloomie is credited with bringing the Republican Convention to NYC - a Democratic City!!! in 2004. Protest upon protests upon arrests occurred. An insult to NYC. But people have short memories. Yes, people unfortunately get the government they deserve. If you give a free pass to someone who ignored the two previous ballot initiatives that solidified term limits -- or so we thought -- then you are in effect abdicating your freedom and a dictator is what you will get.

then in June 2007, Bloomie left the Republican line and became a man without a party.

So now, Bloomie - a candidate in search of a party - is sucking up to the Independence party - you remember that controversial and questionable group of people - oh OK - so read about it here from the Village Voice.

Over the years, party founder Fred Newman and his supporters have faced repeated accusations of anti-Semitism and cult-like behavior. In a NY1 investigation in 2005, people involved with Newman's psychotherapy practice said they were brainwashed into joining a cult, allegations Newman has denied.

Everyone knows that Bloomberg has more money than god. He is already spending on ads all over the Internet - everywhere you turn there is another Bloomberg ad – brainwashing people.

While someone like Council Member Tony Avella, the most ethical, charismatic and smart of all the mayoral candidates hurts for money. One source of donations for most of the other candidates comes from the powerful real estate industry (you remember them - they own NYC) with their families, colleagues and friends donating to the max, they can nicely fund any candidate they want and make sure they get their development deals and make more money.

No one should be allowed to buy elections and there should be a spending limit on what candidates are allowed to spend on elections.

But this is America ... and this is NYC. We buy and sell elections here. And we worship money and raw power.

Monday, March 9, 2009


So now John Liu wants to run for Comptroller. Whoop di do! I guess he saw that the office of Public Advocate was filling up fast and his ratings were in the toilet. As they should also be for the office of Comptroller.

NYC voters should expect that candidates running for the office of Comptroller be on the up and up and have a brain. They should have a pristine record of dealing with finances. That is - they should not be involved with any questionable goings on involving hiding things from the public, supporting fraudulent legislation and supporting legislation that would cost the tax payers money at the expense of a private questionable industry that only politicians and lobbyists support. What industry is that do you say ... well the carriage horse industry ... what else?!


Council Member Liu recently signed on as a sponsor of Intro 653-A, the industry bill that would (among other things) provide the drivers with a rate increase, joining his cohort, David Weprin. Presently the drivers (officially and according to the law) make $34 for 1/2 hour and $10 for each additional 1/4 of an hour. They have not had a raise in 20 years (or so they would want you to think.)

Boo hoo.

The truth is that the industry took this matter into their own hands years ago and charge EXORBITANT rates through their web sites. Did you really think they wanted to wait for the City Council. There is no difference between booking a ride on the web sites and catching one at the hack line. The law applies to both. If you do not believe me, take a look at this web site for NY Tours. $173.95 for 40 minutes!!! Jumping Jehassafeffers .... when according to law, 40 minutes should be $34 for the first 1/2 hour and another $10 for each additional 1/4 hour. So it should be $44 tops. This is outrageous.

What is wrong with you, Mr. Liu and Mr. Weprin? Why are you supporting fraud? Please explain yourselves.

How will you handle the city's money?
If it is anything like this, you should both get a job in the private sector -- try Wall Street. Neither of you deserve to be our Comptroller.

You think this is an anomaly you say? Well take a peek at these two other web sites: Gotham Carriages -- $98 for 40 minutes ... or Manhattan Carriage - they charge $40 for 17 minutes and ask you to call for the price for other rides. Hello! it is $34 for 1/2 hour. Doesn't anyone pay attention. Mr. Liu - Mr. Weprin - what gives with you two? Are you getting some hefty campaign contributions?

OK - now with the rest of this highly questionable legislation.

Take a look at #17-330-j. A bit hard to comprehend? This is what it really means: The ASPCA has been overseeing the carriage industry for like forever. They have peace officer status and can issue violations and tickets. They volunteer their services for free to the city. This bill would get rid of the ASPCA oversight along with any city agency and the police department -- notice the text in brackets that gets removed. Why -- well the ASPCA, one of the more conservative animal welfare organizations is in favor of a ban of the horse-drawn carriage industry in New York City. Although they are not opposed in principle to horse-drawn carriages, they are for NYC because they say that there is NO WAY the industry can operate humanely. Why people like Liu and Weprin are not listening to an organization founded by Henry Bergh, horse advocate, is beyond my comprehension.

I happen to love the ASPCA. They are conservative and do not rush into things. They are solid and not extreme. When they take a position, I generally agree with it. They know about animals, animal issues and the NYC carriage industry. This responsibility should not be taken away from them and given to shady representatives of the carriage industry. Gee, maybe the Teamsters will get the contract.

The gist of this is that the industry would self regulate -- but who would pay for it? Well not them, that's for sure. The RFP would most likely be prepared by the Department of Consumer Affairs or Department of Health and Mental Hygiene ... a contract would be awarded .... and the cost would be picked up by NYC's tax payers. At the expense of what - closing a health clinic for people or a senior citizen center? Yes - that is exactly what will happen!

Is this who you really want for Comptroller? Liu or Weprin. Either they are stupid; they think we are stupid; or they don't care about this.

Can either David Yassky or Melissa Katz do a better job? Only the shadow knows ... but I think anyone who is outraged about what has happened on Wall Street should be just as outraged at this development and think twice before voting for these losers.

Oh BTW - did I mention that Speaker Christine Quinn, Queen of the Slush Fund scandal, is in closed door talks with the industry lobbyists? No? How could I forget? She supports the industry. Of course, no surprise there since her godfather was the late Tom Manton, Emperor of the Queens Democratic Party who "appointed" her speaker.

And you thought this was a democracy? Silly you.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

"If it's hot, don't sit on it" department

"Consumers and voters are hungering for authenticity like never before."
--pollster John Zogby

It’s not that Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn’t like people, it’s just that he prefers rich ones. How do we know this? He said so, last week! “If you make more money, you deserve more money," he explained during his weekly radio show. Similarly, his recent refusal to extend food stamp benefits to non-working, able-bodied adults reflects his position that work is the best way to escape poverty. (Fair enough. Still, remember, this is the mayor who in 2001 described asthma as a public health problem that comes from "not knowing how to clean." And the same mayor who explained last summer, "if it's hot, don't sit on it," in regard to scorching hot mats at city playgrounds. A real "people person.") He reserves his affection for investment bankers, traders and others who have lost jobs on Wall Street; they'll be the beneficiaries of his $45 million retraining program.

A recent New York Times editorial described Bloomberg's "tough love" stance on food stamps as "cramped." More like morally constipated, and his undemocratic power play over term limits demonstrates that he is bankrupt of integrity.

Is Bloomberg qualified to get the city out of its financial mess, or did he cause it? And how dearly will his term limits debacle cost him in the polls? We shall see.
Will people finally wake up and get real about electing a mayor? What about William C. Thompson and Anthony Weiner (who were described, along with Christine Quinn, in a Wall Street Journal editorial as "the political equivalent of "The Three Stooges")? What do we know about Tony Avella?
Photo credit: Smith/Daily News

Wednesday, February 25, 2009



There were two interesting pieces about Mayor Bloomberg in the papers today. Metro ran an excellent op ed piece by Richard Kim, an associate editor of the Nation, which is reproduced below. And the NY Times ran an editorial "Food Stamps in Hard Times", which was critical of Bloomberg blocking an extension of food stamps for able-bodied adults without dependents.

Kim talks about how NYC has not been spared the ravages of the recession – unemployment at 7.4 percent and growing; record homeless rates and the already beleaguered middle class is in full flight from NYC, being driven away by the highest rent, food, child care and utilities bills in the country.

Kim goes on to criticize Mayor Bloomberg’s new $45 million program that would use taxpayer money to retrain “investment bankers, traders and others who have lost jobs on Wall Street.” He intends to set them up with “seed capital and office space.” This from the same man who has refused to accept extra food stamp money from Obama’s stimulus plan.

Bloomberg has never had an ounce of empathy for any living thing – human or animal - and in these dire times, New Yorkers should think twice before giving him a third term. Bloomberg is on a power trip, defying two previous ballot initiatives in which the public had overwhelmingly voted for term limits.

NYC used to be a welcoming city for the middle class – now it is just a bastion for the wealthy.

As Kim says below, New York City "needs a mayor for all of us — for the boroughs, for the poor, for the working class and the laborers and artists, musicians and writers who have made this the best place on earth."

We believe Council Member Tony Avella is the man for the job. He is smart, honest, ethical, cares about people and animals and has some great ideas. He was outstanding at the mayoral forum at Three Parks Independent Democratic club on February 11th. This man needs to have his voice heard!


By Richard Kim

Any erstwhile liberal New Yorkers thinking of supporting Mike Bloomberg’s bid for a third term should do so with their eyes wide open. The city hasn’t been spared the ravages of the recession. As of December, unemployment stood at 7.4 percent, and experts predict almost 300,000 more jobs will be gone by the summer of 2010. Homeless rates are at record highs; the city’s overstretched shelters now take in an average of 36,000 people each night.

The city’s already-beleaguered middle class is in full flight. A recent study by the Center for an Urban Future shows more than 150,000 middle income residents left New York City in 2006, driven away by the highest rent, food, child care and utilities bills in the country. Meanwhile, Manhattan has been rezoned as the almost exclusive playground of the rich.

If Mayor Mike gets re-elected, it will stay this way — or get worse. As the New York Times reported last week, Bloomberg is refusing to accept extra food stamp money from Obama’s stimulus.

In this climate, Bloomberg’s decision is an act of cruel sadism, withholding food (food!) from thousands of hungry mouths to make an ideological point about work. It’s also straight from the playbook of the most reactionary Republican governors, who are threatening to return stimulus money to prove just how much better free markets are than government.

But here’s the really unbelievable part: The next day, Mayor Mike announced a $45 million program that would use taxpayer money to retrain “investment bankers, traders and others who have lost jobs on Wall Street.” Bloomberg intends to set them up with “seed capital and office space” so that they can “promote innovation” and “capture growth.”

There you have a succinct encapsulation of Mike Bloomberg’s priorities. Poor, hungry New Yorkers will be stripped of food stamps that the federal government says is both necessary and good stimulus, while the bollocks-for-brains bankers who got us into this mess will get office space and taxpayer moolah to restart the cycle of speculation.

I love NYC. Right now, NYC needs a mayor for all of us — for the boroughs, for the poor, for the working class and the laborers and artists, musicians and writers who have made this the best place on earth.