Garcia stands up and Yang changes his tone: 5 takeaways from the mayor’s run

As the campaign for mayor of Dianne Morales, a progressive champion, continues to disintegrate around her, a moderate has risen in the polls. Kathryn Garcia, the former sanitation commissioner, continued to gain traction and even gain negative attention from a rival who once praised her.

The ballot in the mayoral race remains spared and potentially unreliable, but according to three of the race’s pioneers – Andrew Yang, the former presidential candidate; Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President; and now Mrs. Garcia – are moderate democrats, not progressives.

It may have something to do with the post-pandemic state of New York. But it may also have something to do with the inability of progressives to unify behind a particular candidate.

It’s the new must-have accessory for any serious New York mayoral candidate, and Ms. Garcia finally has one too – a super PAC.

Jon Jones and Ronnie Cho, two veterans of Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign, set up an independent spending committee with the aim of flooding New Yorkers with pro-Garcia ads in the final. weeks of the mayor’s primary.

Their move leaves only one candidate in the top eight without a super PAC backing her: Ms Morales. A recent poll indicates Ms Garcia has entered the top of the race candidates, alongside Mr Yang and Mr Adams, both of whom already have well-funded super PACs behind them.

This is the New York mayor’s first race to see this level of external spending. The onslaught of barely regulated money comes as the city implements its new, more generous matching fund system, designed to reward small donations from local residents. Critics fear that super PAC spending threatens the effectiveness of this public funding system.

Mr Jones and Mr Cho say they already have financial commitments worth six figures and aim to eventually raise more than $ 1 million. They refused to name their donors.

“The city is in ruins and we have great economic, cultural and operational challenges in New York,” they said in a joint statement. “This is not the time for big rhetoric and personalities, undeliverable promises or idealistic dogma. Simply put, we need someone who can do the job. “

For months, Mr. Yang countered criticism of his inexperience in government by promising to surround himself, once in power, with the most able hands of government. He regularly named Ms. Garcia among them.

“She is a disciplined operator with a lot of experience and I hope she is a partner in my administration,” Mr. Yang said in a recent video interview with The New York Times. “Catherine, if you’re watching this, Kathryn, let’s team up. We will do it, I have to do it for the city.

At the time, Ms. Garcia did not appear to pose a threat to Mr. Yang. A few polls were enough for him to change his tone.

Boston-based Emerson College Polling last Tuesday published a poll finding Ms. Garcia leading the pack, followed by Mr. Adams and Mr. Yang. This survey took place just the day before a survey conducted by Basic decision analysis find Ms. Garcia in the top three, behind Mr. Yang and Mr. Adams.

And suddenly, Mr. Yang was singing a different song.

“We are talking about his experience as head of the sanitation department,” Yang said on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” on Wednesday. “Right now, New Yorkers complain to me pretty much every day about the piles of garbage we see around us that keep coming up.

Ms Garcia left the sanitation department in September and, in her resignation letter, criticized the mayor for slashing the department’s budget.

Reached over the weekend, she said she did not find the attacks surprising.

“They look at the polls and see my numbers increase,” Garcia said in a text message.

“Momentum!” she continued adding a smiley emoji.

Asked why Mr. Yang had changed his mind, his senior adviser Eric Soufer said, “Our city needs a change at the top, not a third term for Blasio.

On Friday morning, the wind in Bryant Park carried the regular smells of grass and food – and palo santo. Newly union members of Ms Morales ‘mayoral campaign had gathered by the park lawn, making signs, practicing chants and burning pieces of aromatic wood, preparing for a march to Ms Morales’ headquarters in Manhattan.

The workers have moved unionize last week, following the resignation of two senior officials, including the campaign manager, and the sacking of six others, including four members involved in union efforts. Following the layoffs, the organizers began a work stoppage, calling for the reinstatement of staff members.

The uproar, just weeks before the primary, caught Ms Morales at a stalemate, trying to balance running a mayoral campaign – a stressful and chaotic endeavor under all circumstances – and living up to the progressive ideals it deserves. ‘she and her staff have put together. the center of its course.

“It’s a beautiful and messy thing,” Ms. Morales said of organizing efforts during an interview with NY1 Thursday evening, calling it a “reflection” of his “transformative” campaign.

This was not enough for his increasingly skeptical staff. The next morning, around 40 of his employees gathered on the sidewalk outside his Midtown office. People were encouraged to be concerned about sidewalk violations, in case a minor infraction gave campaign leaders an excuse to call the police.

“I don’t walk past the campaign office where we stand to call the cops,” said Nia Evans, a union organizer.

Ms. Morales’ campaign involved slashing the budget of the New York Police Department by $ 3 billion.

In a private video for staff Released at the end of this week, Morales admitted to reproducing “the very systemic and structural problems that this campaign intended to fix”. But the candidate was not swayed by recent events, saying “I’m not going anywhere.”

Off-road motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles that constantly speed through town are loud, but they can also be dangerous – for pedestrians and for the people who exploit them. They appear regularly during the warmer months with apparent impunity.

Last week, Adams announced a plan to crack down on them.

“It’s a quality of life crisis”, Mr. Adams said at a press conference Wednesday in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan.

As Mr. Adams and Rep. Adriano Espaillat gathered with executives to express concern, a group of roaring bikes whistled. Drivers were not wearing helmets when they passed several police vehicles, moving in the wrong direction in traffic.

Mr Adams, a former police captain who is running for public safety, said many off-road motorcycles are neither licensed nor insured, and called on police to enforce existing traffic laws to stop them. reckless drivers.

He also wants to use speed cameras and red light cameras to constrain drivers and increase the hours of operation of the speed cameras. And he would like to require dealers who sell dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles to confirm that a buyer has registration and insurance.

Mr. Adams said the vehicles were more than a nuisance.

“They indicate that our city is becoming lawless and dangerous,” he said.

Mr Adams wasn’t the only candidate to tackle quality of life issues in recent days – in fact, issues are increasingly occupying the spotlight in this year’s mayoral race.

Last week, Scott M. Stringer, the city comptroller, published a proposal to reduce noise pollution, in part by banning non-essential helicopter flights and encouraging efforts to “stop frantic drag racing and get ATVs off the streets”. The proposal was titled “Listen to our noise complaints!” – or “HONC!”

Ms. Garcia promoted a clean streets plan with an emphasis on “clean curbs and rat-resistant containers”.

And Raymond J. McGuire, a former Citi executive, came up with a plan to tackle illegal fireworks.

“The illegal use of fireworks is not only a quality of life issue, it poses a threat to the safety of New Yorkers and can lead to fires, injuries and deaths,” he said. he declares.

Like Mr McGuire, a number of candidates argue that quality of life issues are linked to public safety – one of the most dominant topics in the race – which makes it likely that they will be more and more at the center of the concerns in the final stretch of the race.

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