Saturday, March 15, 2014

Is Bill de Blasio doing enough about St. Patrick's Day Parade's LGBT discrimination controversy ?

PUBLISHED : SAT, 08 MAR 2014, 10:10 PM
UPDATED : SAT, 08 MAR 2014, 03:09 PM

The large commercial beer brewer Heineken has withdrawn its support of the discriminatory St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City even after Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that he will allow city workers to march in uniform in the parade, which bans open gay participation.

"Bill de Blasio is the first New York mayor for 21 years to boycott the St. Patrick's Day parade over its ban on gay participants – but is he doing enough ?" asked Ed Pilkington in The Guardian.

LGBT New Yorkers, activists, allies, and several community groups have beseeched Mayor Bill de Blasio to ban city employees from wearing their city uniforms if they plan to participate in the discriminatory St. Patrick's Day Parade that runs on Fifth Avenue. Opponents of the discriminatory parade charge that by allowing city employees to wear their uniform to the parade, the municipal government is tacitly endorsing the parade organizers' discrimination against open LGBT participants.

The mayor has announced that he is not marching in the parade on March 17, but his police commissioner, William Bratton, will be marching, along with other city employees, who are being allowed by the mayor to participate in their city uniforms.

The mayor's Council speaker has announced that she will not allow a formal City Council contingent to participate, but she is allowing City Council employees to participate unofficially, if they so choose.

All of this allows the St. Patrick's Day Parade to continue its discrimination against open LGBT participation, notwithstanding the minuscule steps taken by the mayor and his Council speaker, and this leaves many LGBT activists upset that the mayor may actually be violating the city's human rights law that bans discrimination, as alluded to in a recent editorial in Gay City News. If city resources are used to support or endorse the discriminatory policies of the parade, LGBT activists may have a case to request a court-ordered injunction that would could bar city employees from wearing their city uniforms in the parade or the use of other city resources for the parade. It remains to be seen what course of action LGBT activists take between now and March 17, the date of the parade.

After Buildings Collapse, New York City Mayor Postpones Dealing With Crumbling Infrastructure

Aging Infrastructure Crumbles In New York, and Mayor Wants to Delay the Inevitable

"The city's infrastructure, including its aging gas mains, were again called into question on Wednesday, after an explosion caused two buildings to collapse in East Harlem," reported Dana Rubinstein last week in Capital New York.

But New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who dislikes being challenged into having difficult conversations by the media, refused to discuss the city's crumbling infrastructure.

“This is not the occasion to talk about the dynamics of our national government and the lack of support for infrastructure improvements," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference last Thursday, according to Capital New York. "That’s a separate discussion, but for another day."

Thousands of miles of main gas lines in New York City are decades old, The Christian Science Monitor reported. WNYC reported that the gas main that runs near the buildings, which exploded and collapsed, is 127 years old. Last year, it was reported that a building was damaged by a partial collapse in Chinatown. The aging and collapse of city buildings comes on top of a report published today by Politicker, where the mayor was unapologetic for not having yet appointed a permanent head for a major city infrastructure agency.

Isn't it about time that the mayor got around to finally appointing a permanent commissioner to head the city's Department of Buildings ? After that, the de Blasio administration should complete an assessment of the city's crumbling infrastructure, map it against prior complaints, and prioritize the renewal of the city's basic physical and organizational structures, facilities, and utilities. And he should use this opportunity to make the city go green. Get rid of that dangerous Spectra natural gas pipeline running under the West Village.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Bill de Blasio was never been against charter schools, but he just wants to put Eva Moskowitz out of business

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joins "Morning Joe" to say that he was never opposed to charter schools even as he continues his campaign to put Success Academy charter schools, run by Eva Moskowitz, out of business. Mayor de Blasio also discusses his plans for pre-kindergarten programs, his muddled opinions on charter schools, and the promise he made to campaign supporters to end horse-drawn carriages in Central Park.