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

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…