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Bill de Blasio (D) said some pretty interesting things today.  First there's this:

Bill de Blasio thinks the NYPD can be reprogrammed to respect the Constitution -- and he's talking literally.

In an interview with The Huffington Post on Friday, the city public advocate and mayoral race frontrunner suggested ways in which the police force could improve its relations with the city's communities and continue to bring down crime.

There's no one reason why there are so many fewer murders now than in the bad old days of the 1980s, de Blasio said. But he believes an "exceedingly effective, large police force," as well as community participation in the form of neighborhood associations and tenant patrols, have all played a part.

"But I will say, despite all the tremendous progress which must be sustained, there's still the nagging problem of police-community relations, that really is troubled in a lot of neighborhoods," he said. "I think if you resolve that you actually open the door for another wave of increasing safety."

Changes to CompStat may help achieve that, de Blasio said. CompStat is the NYPD's computer-based approach to managing crime by statistically monitoring, and it has been widely credited with helping reduce violence in the city over the last two decades.

CompStat can be reprogrammed to prioritize a "clearer capacity of our police force to achieve public safety while respecting constitutional rights," de Blasio said, adding that he's even talked with former police commissioner Bill Bratton to make sure that's possible.

For example, CompStat could be adjusted in response to U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin's August decision that the use of stop and frisk violated the Constitution.

"You can actually plug that set of ideals into CompStat," he said. "Which will inevitably mean, of course because of the judge's decision, the federal decision as well, you will bring down the number of stops." - Huffington Post, 10/21/13

He also said this:

While mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg sent his police force after guns on the streets, launched sting operations against gun shows, and pumped millions of dollars of his own money into defeating gun control opponents at the polls.

His name is now uttered as a curse on right-wing talk radio. But Democratic mayoral nominee Bill de Blasio told HuffPost in an interview Friday that Bloomberg's laudable approach on gun control was ultimately hampered by his politics.

"I think he's been right on gun control, right on immigration reform and right on climate change. I think in several cases there was a sort of incompleteness to the approach," de Blasio said.

"I think on gun control we have to go after the money supply to manufacturers of guns and ammunition," he said, suggesting cutting off public pension investments to those companies so they can't "fund the industry that then turns around and funds the NRA." - Huffington Post, 10/21/13

Two very interesting points I must say.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments.  By the way, de Blasio has joined New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on this issue:

Democratic mayoral front-runner Bill de Blasio will join Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's bid to force smart phone manufacturers to protect customers from thieves who steal phones, scrub them clean and sell them on the black market.

De Blasio in his role as city public advocate has joined the Secure Our Smartphone coalition created several months ago by Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon. De Blasio has sent a letter to Apple, Google/Motorola, Samsung and Microsoft calling on them to create and install technology to protect smartphone users.

"These are dangerous crimes, often committed at the point of a knife or a gun," de Blasio said. "We can stop this trend in its tracks, but we need manufacturers' help to do it. With better theft deterrence, we can prevent these crimes before they can happen."

Letting customers shut down their phones would make them worthless on the black market and reduce "Apple picking" - the fastest-growing street crime in New York City. Schneiderman says 20% of the robberies committed in 2012 in the city involved smartphones and tablets, a 40% increase from the year before. - New York Daily News, 10/21/13

de Blasio also has some big changes in mind as soon as he takes office:

Back in March, the public advocate said at a candidates' forum that he would ban carriage horses from Central Park "within the first week" of taking office. Assuming the City Council passes its bill to do so, more than 300 drivers and stable workers employed by the $15 million industry will be doing something else early next year.

They wouldn't be the only ones. David Yassky, head of the Taxi and Limousine Commission, would also be gone. Mr. de Blasio, who has raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars from taxi medallion owners opposed to Mr. Bloomberg's reforms of their business, said in a recent interview that he wouldn't keep Mr. Yassky.

Mr. de Blasio would also likely sack New York City Housing Authority Chairman John Rhea. In a recent interview with the Daily News, the candidate slammed the troubled agency's leadership and vowed to "rework the operational approach at NYCHA." And he reiterated last week that he would replace Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

This month, he delivered a more tempered pledge to "review" all decisions made by the Bloomberg administration in its waning days, from charter-school approvals to the actions of the Police Department's demographic unit. - Crain's New York Business, 10/21/13

By the way, I'd like to give a shout out to the women have been helping run de Blasio's killer campaign:

They operate behind the scenes and only reluctantly speak to reporters about their roles. But the successful journey of Bill de Blasio, who’s likely to become Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s successor, rested in large measure on the trio – Emma Wolfe, Anna Greenberg and Rebecca Kirszner Katz.

Wolfe, who has been with de Blasio since 2009 in different capacities, is a veteran and widely-praised organizer, who has kept a deliberately low profile in a city filled with operatives looking for attention. Among the key strategies she helped devise was relying on an entirely volunteer operation to gather the more than 65,000 signatures de Blasio collected to get on the Democratic primary ballot – more than five times the number needed — and engaging voters early on.

“Emma basically was the campaign,” Greenberg said on a conference call with all three of the strategists.

Yet Greenberg, a pollster, was also key. She came on comparatively late – de Blasio didn’t conduct his first survey until late last year – but distilled the sense of alienation that African-American residents in particular had from the rest of the city during the Bloomberg era.

Kirszner Katz, a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), was one of de Blasio’s first consultants, joining the campaign when he was polling in single digits in public surveys. She helped guide his media strategy, with a focus on niche media with an African-American focus that have a younger readership than more entrenched outlets, such as, and on softer pieces about his family, and particularly his wife, in outlets like the New York Daily News. - Politico, 10/20/13

And another strong woman is helping fuel de Blasio's winning campaign:

Hillary Clinton will headline a Manhattan fundraiser Monday night for mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, contributing her political clout to the Democratic front-runner's campaign and underscoring City Hall's significance on the national stage.

The Roosevelt Hotel event, with the price of cocktail reception tickets starting at $1,000 and host committee chairs committed to raising $25,000 each, is among Clinton's first partisan forays since leaving her secretary of state post in February. Clinton, weighing a 2016 presidential run, also has stumped for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.

To give less-affluent supporters entry to the event, de Blasio's campaign raffled off two tickets.

De Blasio's wife, Chirlane McCray, in an email Saturday to supporters, said Clinton is "an inspiration to women and girls everywhere, and an example of leadership and grace for us all." - Long Island Newsday, 10/20/13

So that's what's been going on on de Blasio's end.  Lets check in on Joe Lhota's (R) campaign, shall we?

Republican candidate Joe Lhota recently snapped at a journalist, accusing him of perpetrating “horse hockey” and suggesting he could be “nothing but a tool” of Bill de Blasio, his front-running opponent in the mayor’s race.

Sitting down for a one-on-one interview with Juan Manuel Benitez on the Spanish-language NY1 Noticias, which aired Friday evening, Mr. Lhota grew infuriated when Mr. Benitez cited anonymous former subordinates who claimed  they would never work for Mr. Lhota again. (In his defense, when Politicker profiled Mr. Lhota earlier this year, his former employees had nothing but praise for him.)

“Horse hockey. That’s horse hockey,” Mr. Lhota, a deputy mayor under Rudolph Giuliani, immediately shot back. “You have no evidence whatsoever to say that. The idea that people who worked for me won’t work for me, is absolutely untrue. I dare you to put anybody in front of the camera to say that.”

Mr. Lhota then argued the line of questioning was biased in Mr. de Blasio’s favor. - Politicker, 10/21/13

But don't worry, everything's just "fine":

Mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota dismissed criticism of his campaign from members of his own party as sniping from clueless critics in the “cheap seats.”

The Daily News reported Sunday that many GOP operatives are scratching their heads at what they call a poorly run campaign that is trailing Democrat Bill de Blasio by a yawning margin.

“Comments from the cheap seats mean nothing. They’re not in my campaign, they don’t know what’s going on inside my campaign,” Lhota shot back Sunday, dismissing his critics as “empty vessels.”

De Blasio had a less charitable verdict.

“It's not for me to judge, but obviously the voters have not so far been impressed by the approach he's taken,” the Democrat said. - New York Daily News, 10/20/13

And it looks like Lhota is taking a page out of Mitch McConnell's (R. KY) book:

Republican mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota released a new web ad this afternoon, and, somewhat unusually, it has a loud, synth-heavy dance track.

With Bill de Blasio towering ahead in the public polls, Mr. Lhota’s new video features a compilation of criticism Mr. de Blasio received from his Democratic rivals during the heated primary. Each of the Democrats has since endorsed Mr. de Blasio. - Politicker, 10/21/13

But don't worry, de Blasio is still kicking Lhota's ass in the polls:

With two weeks to go before the Nov. 5 election, Bill de Blasio, the Democratic nominee, continues to lead Mr. Lhota by an overwhelming margin, according to a Quinnipiac University poll of likely voters released on Monday.

Mr. de Blasio, the current public advocate and a former city councilman from Brooklyn, has the support of 68 percent of likely voters, while Mr. Lhota, a former deputy mayor and chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, also from Brooklyn, has 24 percent. Adolfo Carrión Jr., a former Bronx borough president who is running as the Independence Party candidate, has 2 percent.

In the poll, Mr. de Blasio leads in virtually every demographic group, and is viewed favorably by a three to one ratio. Mr. Lhota, by contrast, is still viewed more unfavorably than favorably.

Voters also seem more aligned with Mr. de Blasio when it comes to identifying with a candidate who addresses their top issues, including creating more jobs, reducing the gap between rich and poor, and improving education. Mr. Lhota has an edge among voters who say that crime is their top concern. - New York Times, 10/21/13

And de Blasio is out with a new ad as well:

The election is Tuesday, November 5th.  If you would like to donate or get involved with de Blasio's campaign, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:26 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), and Shut Down the NRA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  De Blasio's new ad... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dougymi, LilithGardener, Vatexia

    It affirms the people he aspires to represent, and it makes the powerful point that this means everybody and not just Bloomberg's rich folks.

    True talk in a big town.

    Go, Bill.


  •  Sure, it's software, it can be modified. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener, bluedust, Vatexia

    Given that it's been adopted by a variety of cities and states for all kinds of applications, this kind of modification should be fairly trivial.

  •  Thanks, poopdog. You are a true journalist. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, LilithGardener, Vatexia

    I wonder if the comments about CompStat signal that Bill Bratton will be returning, since it was he and Jack Maple's baby?

    CompStat was started by Jack Maple when he was a Transit police officer. The original Commanding officer of the Transit Police Crime Analysis Unit was Lieutenant Richard Vasconi. It was called Charts of the Future and was simple - it tracked crime through pins stuck in maps. Charts of the Future is credited with cutting subway crime by 27 percent.
    Chief of New York City Transit Police William J. Bratton was later appointed Police Commissioner by Rudolph Giuliani, and brought Maple's Charts of the Future with him. Not without a bit of struggle, he made the NYPD adopt it after it was rebranded as CompStat, and it was credited with bringing down crime by 60%. There was a CompStat meeting every month, and it was mandatory for police officials to attend. The year after CompStat was adopted, 1995, murders dropped to 1,181. By 2003, there were 596 murders—the lowest number since 1964.
    Giuliani squeezed Bratton out in 1998 and tried to take the credit for improved crime stats, but the lowered crime resulted from CompStat.

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:45:42 PM PDT

  •  De Blasio should be interesting as a mayor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's hard to know what to expect.  I certainly agree with his politics in most cases, but following a mayor who has done a pretty incredible job in New York City in 12 years will be challenging.  Crime is so low, tourism is so high, the city is so vibrant, housing is booming off the charts and the rise in wealth is extraordinary, it's rather amazing what Bloomberg has been able to do.

    I know people like to rip Bloomberg here, but the guy is quite the liberal despite his "Independent" nametag; gun control, climate change, anti-smoking, anti-obesity, the guy is basically the international leader on each of these fronts.

    In 12 years, I think the only thing I didn't like that Bloomberg did was his overrunning the city with bike lanes.  It stinks to think of the amount of money that was spent on a mode of transportation that is used by about 1 percent of the city's commuters (and of that 1 percent, the vast majority are white male).  I never know whether to laugh or cry when I walk by the silly "Citibike" stands that go untouched about 98 percent of the day.

    But other than that, De Blasio has big shoes to fill.  I wish him well.

    •  Bloomberg has never really (6+ / 0-)

      set about representing all New Yorkers, appearing again and again to be quite flirtatious with only those New Yorkers with fat wallets.  

      I don't believe Bloomberg's stint as mayor -- approximately 3 terms too long by my estimate -- was a significant success.  I don't perceive him to be "the international leader" on much of anything.  

      As for bike lanes, I like them.  I like bikes.  I like the people who ride them.  They deserve safe passage through large cities and small.  Long may they wheel through the streets -- and may they be safe while they so wheel.  

      •  Fair enough (0+ / 0-)

        Can agree to disagree on all of that.  The bike question though, before Bloomberg there were already bike paths in Central Park, so people were always able to ride safely.  I just don't get why Bloomberg had to take over the roads with them when Central Park already had all the bike paths anyone could ever need.

        •  Regarding bikes in NYC... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slipper, Remediator, jbob

          Slipper wrote:

          The bike question though, before Bloomberg there were already bike paths in Central Park, so people were always able to ride safely.  I just don't get why Bloomberg had to take over the roads with them when Central Park already had all the bike paths anyone could ever need.
          As far as I can tell, you are only thinking about bikes from the point of view of recreation.  But for commuting and personal business use, even just in Manhattan, bike paths in Central Park are of limited use--Central Park ends at 59th street, below which you have most of the business district of Manhattan.  And then there is the matter of the other boroughs--many people commute by bike in Brooklyn, and between Brooklyn and Manhattan, etc.
          I never know whether to laugh or cry when I walk by the silly "Citibike" stands that go untouched about 98 percent of the day.
          This has not been my observation.  In the Washington Square Park area, and in midtown as well, Citibike use appears to be quite heavy--one frequently sees the stands having only a few bikes left as the others are all out being used.  

          It is a fact that most U.S. cities are entirely too car-centric, at the expense of pedestrians, bike riders and public transport.  While New York is better than most U.S. cities for public transport, car traffic has long been a horrendous problem, what with the pollution, noise, threats to the safety of pedestrians and bike riders, etc.  The addition of bike lanes and better pedestrian accomodation has been long overdue.  Now, maybe we can start catching up with cities like Amsterdam or Montreal, where riding a bike or walking is not such a hazard.

          •  Fair points (0+ / 0-)

            I can only comment on the Citibike stands I've seen, and those have had like no use.  They just seem to take up room.

            Also a fair point that I was pretty much strictly limiting my thought of bike use to recreation.  But that's because only 1 percent of commuters in NYC use bikes to commute, so I thought it was a fair comment to focus on recreation.  I've never really heard of people biking to work (I would think that would get kind of sweaty).  But I hear your viewpoint.

  •  That's a helluva ad. I like it a lot. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, LilithGardener

    one of the best I've seen in a long time. Positive, not even mentioning the opponent's name.  Wish I could vote for him!

    A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

    by dougymi on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:49:30 PM PDT

  •  Why no more carriage horses in central park??? (0+ / 0-)

    What's the story there?  


    by LordMike on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 09:45:07 PM PDT

  •  Stop And Frisk (0+ / 0-)

    Bill "Madison Avenue" de Blasio wants to reform Stop and Frisk how??? by bringing a kinder, gentler Stop and Frisk to the neighborhood?  End Stop and Frisk!  Credico2013. org

  •  Some suggestions for improving NYPD's image (0+ / 0-)

    and relations with local communities and New Yorkers in general:

    --Put overweight cops on desk duty and don't assign them back to active community duty until they lose weight and shape up. This isn't just about appearances, but actual ability to do their jobs.

    --Get more beat cops out of their cars and into neighborhoods, on their feet, where locals can see and talk to and get to know them by name. Have them visit local shops and businesses, introduce themselves in schools, senior centers, houses of worship, etc., be a part of the community.

    --Institute far more strict rules about when cops can unholster, point and discharge their sidearms. Way too many unfortunate incidents here.

    --No more pepper spray unless people are a danger to others.

    --No tasers, period. They kill. There are more humane and effective "non-lethal" weapons. Use them instead.

    --Start enforcing traffic laws that are widely abused, like drivers talking or texting on cell phones, not signaling before turning or changing lanes (wtf is up with people signaling AS they're turning?!?), driving in bike lanes, stopping in crosswalks, running reds and stop signs, etc.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 05:59:39 AM PDT

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