NEW YORK -- New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio announced on Sunday his bid for the mayor’s seat, promising to pay attention to working-class New Yorkers he says have been ignored or "priced out" under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The 51-year-old Democrat made the announcement outside his home in Brooklyn’s Park Slope, with the slogan: "We only succeed if we leave no New Yorker behind." He said he’ll conduct a "true citywide campaign," starting Monday in all five boroughs.
De Blasio said some of the billionaire mayor’s policies have been good, but not for many middle-class New Yorkers. He noted that one in five city residents live in poverty.
"Let’s be honest about where we are today: a city that in too many ways has become a tale of two cities, a place where City Hall too often has catered to the interests of the elite rather than the needs of everyday New Yorkers," de Blasio said. "So many middle-class New Yorkers have been ignored and priced out."
The city’s public advocate serves as a direct link between the electorate and city government, effectively acting as an ombudsman or "watchdog" for New Yorkers. De Blasio was elected to the office in 2009, and has helped stop teacher layoffs and save neighborhood schools Bloomberg tried to close.
With Bloomberg’s 12-year tenure ending next January, the field for November’s election includes City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former city comptroller Bill Thompson, both Democrats. Republican Joe Lhota, former chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, has announced he’s running. City Comptroller John Liu, also a Republican, is expected to join the race.