Progressives — and former detractors — crowd behind Bill de Blasio

bill de blasio progressives rally
Dozens of progressive groups, labor union members and elected officials join Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio on the steps of Borough Hall in Brooklyn on Thursday. Credit: Danielle Tcholakian

With only a brief respite on Sept. 11, Bill de Blasio’s campaign for mayor started up again at full speed Thursday.

At a midday rally in front of Borough Hall in Brooklyn, dozens of progressive groups and leaders packed the steps behind a triumphant de Blasio.

“If you want to see what victory looks like, just look around me,” de Blasio declared before reeling off a list of the new supporters crowded in behind him.

Among them were several former endorsers of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, including some who had not too long ago had harsh words for de Blasio when coming to Quinn’s defense.

Hector Figueroa of 32BJSEIU at a press conference just a few weeks ago touted Quinn as “an effective progressive,” not a “rhetorical progressive,” in a jab at de Blasio.

After Thursday’s rally, Figueroa acknowledged the change of heart, and noted that the Democratic ticket was crowded with Democratic candidates “all of whom have worked well with the unions” all along.

At the time, the unions liked Quinn because they felt that all the Democrats held the same position on a number of issues, but Quinn had the strongest “record of accomplishment” in achieving legislation in her council role.

“At that point we were very firm in our view that [Quinn] was the best candidate,” Figueroa said, “but the voters ultimately decide who is going to be the person that leads the party.”

He noted that voters are clearly drawn to de Blasio’s message, tone and the issues that he is addressing.

“We are firmly behind de Blasio,” he attested.

Figueroa said the difference in Quinn’s and de Blasio’s legislative records is one of occupation: Quinn’s job as council speaker is to legislate.

“The position of public advocate, like the name says, is to advocate,” Figueroa said. “But he has clearly won the minds and the hearts of Democrats, and we need to be respectful of that voice.”

“A rhetorical Democrat can become an effective Democrat,” he added, “and I hope that he will so that he can become the mayor so that his message can be translated to policy and action.”

There was no mention made at the rally of the potential runoff — ostensibly, de Blasio is not yet the only candidate on the Democratic ticket, as there are still votes that remain to be counted next week. If those ballots bring de Blasio’s count below 40 percent, he will face Bill Thompson in a special election in October.

“We could have waited,” Figueroa acknowledged, “and I respect those who have chosen to do that. But we believe we need to get quickly on the ground with the full force of our operation.”

“We don’t see any benefit of waiting, and we encourage those out there who care about the city and care about the issues that de Blasio and all the candidates were talking about during the election to stop waiting and jump in,” he added.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Best nature spots for kids in New York…

When it comes to kids and nature, most U.S. parents agree: children should be spending more time outdoors. According to a recent survey by The…

Local

Easter 2014: The year's best bonnets

It's Easter, and that means it's time for Fifth Avenue to turn into a veritable catwalk of bonnet-wearers. The annual march, which kicks off at…

Local

Woman arrested for attempted kidnapping of baby in…

Authorities said that a Queens woman behind an attempted kidnapping of an 8-month-old baby boy was arrested on Saturday.

Local

Hate crime charge in attack on Sikh Columbia…

A man has been arrested and charged with a hate crime after he allegedly pulled the beard of a Sikh Columbia University professor as part…

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.