Led by 80th Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson spoke with close to 100 people who attended the Tracy Towers Tenants Association candidate forum last night. Other candidates in attendance were 11th City Council candidates Andrew Cohen and Cliff Stanton even though Mr. Stanton left before the event started. Ms. Jean Hill President of the Tenants Association said that they were giving the tenants a chance to meet the candidates running for office.
Assemblyman Gjonaj introduced Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson. Thompson spoke of his families heritage, and how fortunate his family was to have been given opportunities to succeed which now are closing fast. How his mother was a teacher, and his father became the first black State Senator, City Councilman, and Judge, and is still active at the age of 89. Thompson said he is running "to turn the city around to give all the people the same chance his parents had many years ago.
Thompson spoke of the recent poor showing of New York City students on the recent statewide exams, and said that the students are not getting the education they need to compete with others for the jobs that are out there. He said he wants a real educator in charge at the Board of Education mentioning former chancellors Ramon Cortines and Rudy Crew as example when he was President of the Board before mayoral control which has gone no where.
Thompson would bring a new era of policing by getting rid of current police commissioner Ray Kelly, add more officers to an undermanned police force, and end the misuse of Stop N Frisk. He spoke of working with the private sector to get more good jobs, stop outsourcing municipal jobs, and train students who may not get into college for the high paying trade jobs.
On housing Thompson wants to have 120,000 more units of affordable housing in his 8 years as mayor, with 70,000 of them new units. He said that in the 20 years of the Giuliani and Bloomberg both only cared about one borough that being Manhattan.
Assemblyman Gjonaj then introduced City Council candidate Andrew Cohen who spoke briefly, but ended by saying "Better days are ahead for Tracy".
Questions were taken that included how to cut crime that was answered by Thompson of having more programs and schools open longer to keep students away from trouble. Who will be the new police commissioner was answered that Thompson did not know yet, but that he would be in on the interview process of Ray Kellys successor. When asked about the polls Thompson said that 4 years ago the polls had him down by 20 points. When he asked how many people in the room had been polled only 2 raised their hands (with me the writer of this story being one). Thompson said not to be fooled again like in 2009. On a question of contracts and pay raises to city employees Thompson blasted Current Mayor Bloomberg for letting all city worker contracts expire at one time. He said that he would sit down with the unions to see just where and how the contracts could be done.
Left - 80th A.D. Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj introducing Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson. 11th City Council candidate Andrew Cohen is seated near Thompson, and spoke later.
Right - Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson telling the voters of Tracy Towers why they should vote for him.
Left - 80th A.D. Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj (Right), 11th City Council candidate Andrew Cohen (center), and Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson (left) pose for photo.
Right - The three are joined by 81st A.D. Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Ms. Jean Hill, and other officers of the Tracy Towers Tenants Association.