Road to City HallPosted on September 3, 2013 | by WSN News Staff
1. Christine Quinn
Democrat | City Council Speaker
“We will keep New York City … a place where opportunity is given, not just to those who can afford to buy it, but to those willing to work for it.”
Since 1999, Quinn has served as a member of City Council for parts of western Manhattan, and in 2006, she was elected speaker. In 2008, the New York Post uncovered a long-running scheme in which the City Council appropriated millions in taxpayer dollars to organizations that did not exist, but Quinn herself was not implicated in the practice. Having held the lead in the polls for much of the summer, Quinn has since fallen behind Public Advocate Bill de Blasio for the Democratic primary as of press time. As speaker, she has made several attempts to make food stamps more accessible and is a staunch advocate of LGBT rights. In July 2012, Quinn wrote a letter to NYU President John Sexton requesting that NYU end its relationship with Chick-fil-A. She voted to extend Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s term limits, and other mayoral candidates have criticized Quinn for her role in allowing for Bloomberg’s third term. She is the highest-ranking woman and highest-ranking openly gay elected official in New York City history.
2. George McDonald
Republican | Founded the Doe Fund
“I have the vision and track record to move our city in the right direction.”
In 1999, McDonald founded the Doe Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance and opportunities for homeless individuals. The Ready, Willing & Able program, a part of the Doe Fund, helps homeless individuals find housing, employment and maintain sobriety. Now he serves as a member of the Success Executive Committee under Gov. Andrew Cuomo. McDonald plans to focus on education, public safety and the economy, promising a 100 percent employment rate. He proposed a plan to end stop-and-frisk policy, including the legalization of small quantities of marijuana and using new technology to identify illegal guns. Commenting on NYU’s expansion, he said he would have the city work with NYU on its growth.
3. Adolfo Carrion Jr.
Independent | Former regional director for the Department of Housing and Urban Development
“I am running for mayor of New York City to offer an independent kind of leadership that puts people over party, puts people over special interests, puts people and the American promise over tired ways of doing business.”
Carrión Jr. is a former Bronx borough president as well as the former director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs Policy. In 2001, he was arrested in Puerto Rico for protesting naval activity and has become an advocate for Puerto Rican and minority rights, serving as president of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials. He has been involved in New York City urban planning and neighborhood development. He has pledged to build 200,000 affordable housing units and to focus on the outer boroughs, especially the Bronx. His mayoral platform focuses on infrastructure, public health and cost of living in New York, among other issues.
4. Sal Albanese
Democrat | Former City Councilman (1982-1997)
“New York is one of the safest big cities in America. That’s an incredible achievement, and one we can’t take for granted.”
In 1976, Albanese received his master’s degree in health from NYU and went on to be a city councilman for 15 years. He is opposed to the NYU 2031 expansion plan and expressed his opposition to NYU President John Sexton during his Save Our Neighborhoods tour at Washington Square Village, saying, “If we work together, we can save this neighborhood and inspire New Yorkers in every borough to stand up and save theirs, too.” Albanese wants to reform stop-and-frisk policy by improving the training for police officers. Albanese seeks to reduce the black market for marijuana through legalization, which would allow for city taxes. These revenues would be used to increase teacher salaries, provide more school funding and broaden available health services to treat addiction.
5. Joe Lhota
Republican | One of Rudy Giuliani’s deputy mayors; MTA chairman
“I expect an election that’s truly representative of New York City. I don’t think of New York City as chaotic. I think of it as diverse, complex, but not chaotic.”
Lhota served as chairman and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority during the 2012 calendar year. During his tenure as CEO of the MTA, Lhota increased fares for public transportation and has been credited with the fast restoration of subway service after Hurricane Sandy. He has the support of former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and continues to lead in the polls for the Republican nomination, followed by businessman and billionaire John Catsimatidis. As a deputy mayor for the Giuliani administration, Lhota was involved in the city’s response and actions following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Lhota supports the stop-and-frisk policy. As mayor, Lhota would seek to improve government efficiency and transparency.
6. Anthony Weiner
Democrat | Former Congressman
“Health care is such an important job creator in New York City, it’s perhaps the largest. This is one of the reasons I’ve proposed a single-payer health care system for New York.”
Weiner is notorious for what was widely dubbed “Weinergate” — the sex scandal that erupted in May 2011 and ultimately forced him out of his congressional seat. After denying the reports, Weiner eventually admitted to sending sexually explicit photos and messages over the Internet to multiple women. Since then, he has largely remained out of the public spotlight until the announcement of his candidacy for New York City mayor. This July, Weiner made headlines again when he confirmed that he continued extramarital activities since his congressional resignation. Following this confirmation, the polls no longer showed Weiner in the lead. In addition to his 64 point “Keys to the City,” which focuses on aiding the middle class, Weiner is proposing a single-payer health care system and reformation of the city’s stop-and-frisk policy.
7. Erick Salgado
Democrat | Former president of Radio Cantico Nuevo Inc.
“I want to be remembered as a mayor who fought for all the inhabitants of New York City, especially for those who are basically enslaved in this modern kind of slavery, which are the millions of Latinos who are undocumented, illegal.”
The Rev. Erick Salgado has devoted much of his time in public service to strengthening religious communities and neighborhoods in the outer boroughs. He established churches in Brooklyn, as well as a chain of bookstores in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. He also began the Iglesia Jovenes Cristianos church in Bensonhurst and Radio Cantico Nuevo, a radio ministry and station that reaches the tri-state area. Salgado has the support of some religious communities, including Orthodox Jewish rabbis and Latino Evangelicals. His campaign slogan is “Uniting New York” and his platform focuses on education, small businesses, immigration, helping the elderly and safety in the city.
8. John Liu
Democrat | New York City Comptroller
“I think this year, my campaign has been heavily politicized. This investigation that’s been going on for years now amounts to little more than a witch-hunt for which there’s been no witch.”
Liu made city history by becoming the first Asian-American to be elected to the City Council and later New York City comptroller. Liu became the subject of controversy in late 2011 after an FBI investigation revealed illegal donations to his campaign. This July, Liu was sued by Mayor Bloomberg for rejecting two municipal contracts in what the Bloomberg administration deemed a politically motivated tactic. He is an opponent of stop-and-frisk policy, seeking not just to amend the policy but to abolish it altogether. Liu aims to regulate and tax marijuana, then give the revenue to the City University of New York system. He also is aiming to increase the city’s contribution to the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s capital budget to support more personnel and expand bus service, as well as invest in parks, open spaces and community gardens.
9. John Catsimatidis
Republican (also backed by Liberal Party) | Founder and owner of Gristedes
“It’s not that I’m only a business person, I came from 135th Street. I never forgot where I come from. I’m not a Mike Bloomberg billionaire, I’m not wearing a $5,000 suit.”
John Catsimatidis attended NYU but dropped out his senior year to enter the grocery business. He now owns and runs Gristedes Foods, Manhattan’s largest grocery chain, along with the Red Apple Group, a corporation with holdings in the energy, aviation, retail and real estate sectors. In December 2012, he came under fire for comparing raising taxes on the wealthy to the way “Hitler punished the Jews.” He supports Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s stop-and-frisk policy. His campaign focuses on the development of career and technical education in New York City Public Schools, and the development of small businesses.
10. Bill Thompson
“I’ve always talked about the need for a new era of community policing — officers on the ground and in neighborhoods, working closely with the residents. That’s how we’re going to get guns off the streets.”
After serving as New York City comptroller for two terms, Thompson ran for mayor of New York in 2009. As the Democratic nominee, Thompson lost to the incumbent, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, by just over four percentage points, despite being heavily outspent by the self-made billionaire. He believes that New York City’s diversity is one of its greatest assets. Thompson seeks to change the stop-and-frisk policy by creating written records of stops. Thompson’s campaign focuses on education, the environment and affordability for housing, transportation, water rates and taxes.
11. Bill de Blasio
Democrat | Public Advocate
“I’d like to see more people running for office say to the voters, ‘This is your town. This is your town to decide the future of.”
De Blasio attended NYU during his undergraduate studies. He became public advocate for the city in 2010, after serving as a city councilman from Brooklyn. As public advocate, he lobbies for New Yorkers throughout the five boroughs. As of press time, he leads in the polls, pulling ahead of former front-runner and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. De Blasio describes New York as “a tale of two cities,” seeking to tackle the inequality between the rich and the poor. In response to the stop-and-frisk policy, he has called for new NYPD leadership, an inspector general and a stricter racial profiling bill. De Blasio also hopes to create more than 50,000 affordable housing units over the next 10 years and improve access to public transportation in the outer boroughs.