Friday, July 10, 2009
Working Families Party Endorses William Thompson For Mayor
From Dan Cantor, July 9, 2009, Working Families Party:
We wanted you to be the first to know - it's Thompson.
After WFP supporters voted on what questions to ask the mayoral candidates; after getting the candidates' live answers at our Mayoral Forum last week; and after pouring through thousands of comments on how they did - tonight we're proud to announce the Working Families Party is endorsing Bill Thompson for Mayor.
Less than an hour ago, the WFP's New York City Coordinating Council, the grassroots leadership of the party, voted to back Thompson - matching the sentiment of the overwhelming majority of WFP members and supporters who watched our Mayoral Forum and graded each candidate's performance.
Thompson has a clear message. He believes that city government must always put the middle class and working families first - above the real estate developers and corporate interests that have dominated our city for too long. In a Thompson Administration, Wall Street won't be the only street that matters anymore. Flatbush Avenue, Queens Blvd., The Grand Concourse, Victory Boulevard, and 125th St will have a real voice in City Hall.
At last Thursday's Forum, in question after question, Thompson spoke boldly about his support for our values and issues. The Mayor mostly did not. (You can watch the highlights here.)
When asked about campaign spending, Mayor Bloomberg told the hundreds of WFP supporters watching in the room and online: "rich people don't always win."
Our job now is to prove him right. From top to bottom, the Working Families Party has a ticket one can be proud of, starting with Bill Thompson. He is joined by John Liu and Bill de Blasio as city-wide candidates, and dozens of truly inspiring candidates for City Council.
Let's get to work.
WFP Executive Director
PS: No one can match the Mayor in the cash department. But we don't need to. We just need enough to hit the doors and get our own message out.
The Working Families Party (WFP) is New York’s liveliest and most progressive political party. Formed by a grassroots coalition of community organizations, neighborhood activists, and labor unions, we came together build a society that works for all of us, not just the wealthy and well-connected.
We fight to hold politicians accountable on the issues working- and middle-class families care about, like good jobs, fair taxes, good schools, reliable public transportation, affordable housing, and universal healthcare.
Working Families Mayoral Forum
July 6th, 2009
Mayoral Forum 09
Did you miss the Working Families 2009 Mayoral Forum? You’re in luck. Watch the YouTube below to catch the highlights of Mayor Bloomberg, Bill Thompson, and Tony Avella (pictured at left) answering questions WFP supporters helped pick. Or, use the livestream below that to watch the entire Forum.
More than 300 people attended, and hundreds more watched it live online. Check out the coverage in the New York Times and the Daily News (see below - Editor).
Rating the Mayoral Candidates’ Answers - Survey Results
Over 300 people attended the WFP Mayoral Forum held last Thursday, July 2nd. They came from unions, community organizations and WFP chapters from all five boroughs.
Following the presentations by the three candidates, 138 attendees filled out a survey that ranked the answers to each question.
Liveblogging the NYC Mayoral Forum
July 2nd, 2009
Mayoral Forum 09
There’s quite a lot of firsts taking place tonight. It’s the first open mayoral forum this electoral season. It’s the first time Working Families is broadcasting an event live on the web. It’s the first time we put a twitter widget up so that folks can chatter in real time while watching.
Will it work? We’ll know in exactly one hour. In the meantime, here’s the lyrics to our theme song:
WORKING FAMILIES TOGETHER
(to the tune of “Solidarity Forever”)
We have come from all across New York
To speak out true and loud
Black and white and brown and yellow
That’s the beauty of our crowd
Standing tall for working families
For we clearly recognize
That it’s time to organize
Working Families Together
Working Families Together
Working Families Together
For together we are strong
Now the politicians promise
To solve problems large and small
And the corporations make believe
They love us one and all
But the truth is something different
And it’s right before our eyes
That it’s time to organize
From the Concourse to the Village
To the Coney Island shore
From Corona to East Flatbush,
Staten Island - Even More!
Bushwick, Flushing, and the West Side,
In the South Bronx — We Will Rise
As we start to organize!
2 Responses to “Liveblogging the NYC Mayoral Forum”Suzannah B. Troy says:
July 2nd, 2009 at 7:09 pm
Thank you to the Working Family Party for providing the people of New York with this opportunity. I felt you did a good job and asked important questions. I am disappointed you did not ask the mayor and Bill Thompson about the conflicts of interests and financial scandals regarding the pension scandals and Christine Quinn — City Council slushgate.
Other wise you did a good job and thank you for the opportunity to hear New Yorkers ask important questions and the candidates answer. It did not change my decision — I am voting for the Tony Avella because as some of your representatives pointed out tonight — he is honest.
Terrance Newton says:
July 8th, 2009 at 6:51 pm
Predictably Mayor bloomberg was arrogant in his responses. When asked if he would support some kind of public financing due to his unfair spending advantage, his response that he earned every dollar he made and some are born in advantages of good family and education. Does this mean that those who aren’t born rich, from good families, or superior education need not apply?
What about Barack Obama? Look at his humble beginnings. This mayor is out of touch with those who aren’t rich. Bill Thompson was right when he said that principals matter and what you stand for matters. New York city is a family. We have rich, middle class, and poor. Your money, family background, and education shouldn’t guarantee you leadership role in this city.
I was disappointed that no one brought up the mayors violation of term limits after saying that no politician should violate term limits.
We need to read the mayors privilege statement to Barack Obama to urge him to endorse Bill Thompson.
July 3, 2009
At Working Families Party Forum, Bloomberg Declines to Toe the Liberal Line
By DAVID W. CHEN, NY TIMES
Taking a page out of the playbook of Democratic mayors in Washington and San Francisco, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said at a mayoral candidates’ forum Thursday night that he supported paid sick days for people who work at large companies.
But Mr. Bloomberg, who has won the Republican and Independence Party lines in his bid for a third term in November, refused to parrot other liberal positions on issues like higher income taxes on the wealthy or stronger laws to protect tenants. He defended his homelessness policy, saying that the city’s shelter system had become “much more humane and civilized,” to the point where the shelters were “a lot more attractive” to families.
Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire and the wealthiest person in New York, also refused to limit his own spending on a campaign that could cost $100 million. Indeed, he questioned whether any election could ever be fair, because of advantages one candidate might have over another in education, family ties or party allegiance.
“Rich people don’t always win,” he said, in a response that drew some hisses and even laughter at the forum in Midtown Manhattan, sponsored by the politically liberal Working Families Party. “You can’t buy an election. The public is much smarter than that.”
It was the first time this campaign season that all three major candidates — Mr. Bloomberg and the two Democratic contenders: the city comptroller, William C. Thompson Jr., and Councilman Tony Avella — appeared at the same event, albeit separately.
The party plans to endorse a candidate on July 9. And the choice is especially crucial to Mr. Thompson, the presumptive Democratic nominee, because he trails Mr. Bloomberg badly in polls and has watched many Democrat-friendly unions and officials back the mayor.
But judging by the crowd’s reaction, Mr. Bloomberg was the least popular of the three. He defended his schools chancellor, Joel I. Klein, who has been criticized as aloof and unresponsive to parents and educators, saying: “Could he have better social skills? We all could. But his job is not to be a nice guy; his job is to deliver results.”
He drew some jeers, too, on the subject of housing, when he said that he thought “it’s pretty hard getting evicted.”
Mr. Bloomberg, who spoke first, got a more favorable reaction, though, on the issue of paid sick days. While he expressed concerns about the impact on small businesses, he said he was encouraged by the example set in San Francisco, which mandated paid sick time for all workers in 2007. “Certainly large businesses, I would support that,” he said.
For his part, Mr. Thompson hewed to core Democratic themes on housing, middle-class jobs and an income tax on the wealthy.
He was most animated when he talked about President Obama and nonpartisan elections — something that Mr. Bloomberg favors, but said Thursday night he would not pursue unless they became politically palatable.
“Can anyone here imagine Barack Obama on the Republican line? I can’t,” Mr. Thompson said. “I don’t believe in nonpartisan elections, and I never will.”
At some junctures, Mr. Thompson’s answers elicited little reaction. This was true when he talked about his own — and more full-throated — support for paid sick days and when he talked about so-called green jobs.
Mr. Thompson may have missed an opportunity to hammer away at an issue on which he and the Working Families Party were aligned against Mr. Bloomberg last fall: the mayor’s successful bid to change the term limits law.
But it was Mr. Avella who seemed to generate the most applause. He said that Mr. Thompson was part of a Democratic machine that would not change anything. And, in a line that may have drawn the loudest applause, he had a far different assessment of Mr. Klein’s tenure.
“It would be my pleasure as mayor to say to Joel Klein: You’re fired!” he said.
Mayor Bloomberg defends massive campaign spending: 'I made every dime that I have'
BY Adam Lisberg, DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU CHIEF,Friday, July 3rd 2009, 4:00 AM
"I've used my money only to talk about what I would do and what I have done. There's nothing wrong with that as far as I can see," said Bloomberg.
"I made every dime that I have," Bloomberg told the Working Families Party candidate forum, sparking scattered hisses from the crowd of about 250.
"I've used my money only to talk about what I would do and what I have done. There's nothing wrong with that as far as I can see," said Bloomberg, who may spend more than $100 million on his campaign. "You can't buy an election. The public's much too smart for that. You can use it to get a message out."
Controller William Thompson and Queens Councilman Tony Avella, two Democrats vying to challenge him in November, both said Bloomberg should have raised income taxes on the wealthy rather than hike the sales tax by a half-point to balance the budget - and said Bloomberg's statement that "we love the rich" was staggeringly out of touch.
"What about the rest of us? Where do we go?" asked Thompson, who said rising taxes, rents and water bills threaten the middle class.
Avella launched a blistering attack on Bloomberg's record and policies, saying he allowed large developers to run roughshod over neighborhoods while ignoring the plight of the poor.
"Right now, it has nothing to do with you and I, and it is all about money," Avella said. "Money should not be moving the system. It should be the people of the city."
Bloomberg later said for the first time he would support requiring most businesses in New York to offer paid sick leave to workers, with exemptions for small employers. Avella and Thompson said they supported paid sick days with no exceptions.
The party has yet to endorse a candidate for mayor. (On July 9, 2009, WFP endorsed Thompson for Mayor - Editor)