Bill de Blasio
|Bill de Blasio|
|Mayor of New York|
|January 1, 2014 - Present|
|Years in position||1|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 4, 2013|
|New York City Public Advocate|
|New York City Council, District 39|
|New York City School Board, District 15|
|Bachelor's||New York University|
|Date of birth||May 8, 1961|
|Place of birth||New York City|
Before becoming mayor, de Blasio held several positions within local New York government: from 2010-2013, he served as New York City Public Advocate; from 2002-2009, he represented the 39th District on the New York City Council; and in 1999, he was elected to District 15's School Board in Brooklyn. De Blasio also served as Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1997-1998 and managed Hillary Clinton's 2000 New York Senate campaign.
De Blasio was born in New York City. He holds a B.A. from New York University and an M.A. from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.
Below is an abbreviated outline of de Blasio's political career.
- 2014-Present: Mayor of New York
- 2010-2013: New York City Public Advocate
- 2002-2009: Member of the New York City Council, District 39
- 1999: Member of District 15's School Board in Brooklyn
- 1997-1998: Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Racial Tensions and the NYPD
Following a grand jury's decision not to indict a New York City Police Officer responsible for the death of Eric Garner, an African-American male, in early December 2014, de Blasio held a press conference in which he expressed concern for the safety of his son, Dante, who is biracial. De Blasio described Dante as "a good young man, [a] law-abiding young man who would never think to do anything wrong ... [but] because of a history that still hangs over us, the dangers he may face, we've had to literally train him, as families have all over this city for decades, in how to take special care in any encounter he has with the police officers who are there to protect him."
De Blasio's comments came amidst the development of a growing protest movement in New York and other cities in the United States centered on the relationship between police and local African American communities. The comments attracted both praise and criticism. Some - including President Barack Obama and New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton - thanked Mayor de Blasio for his words and defended his relationship with the New York Police Department. Bratton noted, "This mayor has been strongly, strongly supportive of the police." Others, however, such as Pat Lynch, the President of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, were highly critical of the comments. Lynch said that de Blasio "threw cops under the bus."
In the days after he made the comments about his son, de Blaio sought to clarify his meaning in an interview on ABC's This Week, saying, "I want to say it the right way, because I think there was so much misunderstanding here ... It’s different for a white child. That’s just the reality in this country. And with Dante, very early on with my son, we said, ‘Look, if a police officer stops you, do everything he tells you to do, don’t move suddenly, don’t reach for your cellphone.’ Because we knew, sadly, there’s a greater chance it might be misinterpreted if it was a young man of color. We all want to look up to figures of authority. But there’s that fear that there could be that one moment of misunderstanding with a young man of color, and that young man may never come back."
Tensions between de Blasio and New York City law enforcement associations increased after a lone gunman shot and killed two police officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, in Brooklyn on December 20, 2014. Some blamed de Blasio for the deaths of Ramos and Liu, because of statements like the one above and because of his support for the protest movement in New York over the Eric Garner case. Lynch, from the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said, "There's blood on many hands tonight. Those that incited violence on the streets under the guise of protest that tried to tear down what NYPD officers did every day. We tried to warn it must not go on, it cannot be tolerated. That blood on the hands starts at City Hall in the office of the mayor." Edward Mullins, the President of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, echoed Lynch's words in a letter to de Blasio, saying, "Mayor de Blasio, the blood of these two officers is clearly on your hands." De Blasio responded to these statements and others in a press conference on December 22, 2014, at the NYPD headquarters: "There will be a time for me to talk about my own personal views. I will simply say I think what [Lynch] said was a mistake, and it was wrong." In regards to the deaths of Ramos and Liu, de Blasio said, "The attack on them was an attack on all of us; it was an attack on our democracy, it was an attack on our values, it was an attack on every single New Yorker, and we have to see it as such."
De Blasio also called for a cessation to protests in the city until after the funerals of Ramos and Liu, saying, "It's a time for everyone to put aside political debates, put aside protests, put aside all of the things we will talk about in due time."
De Blasio has been married to Chirlane McCray since 1994. They have two children named Chiara and Dante.
This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term "Bill+ de Blasio + New York"
- All stories may not be relevant due to the nature of the search engine.
- Politico, "Bill de Blasio takes formal oath at city hall," accessed July 31, 2014.
- New York City Advocate Website "About Bill de Blasio," (Archived) accessed July 31, 2014.
- New York City "Office of the Mayor: Bio" accessed July 31, 2014.
- Politico "2013 New York City Mayoral Election Results," accessed on July 31, 2014.
- Huffington Post, "Bill De Blasio Expresses Concern For The Safety Of His Biracial Son," December 4, 2014
- New York Times, "N.Y. Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke bluntly on race, policing in ways harder for Obama," December 55, 2014
- New York Daily News, "Police Commissioner Bill Bratton backs Bill de Blasio, says mayor is 'strongly supportive' of NYPD," December 5, 2014
- New York Times, "De Blasio Remains Guarded in Remarks on Garner Case," December 7, 2014
- Politico, "Bill de Blasio fires back at police union chief," December 22, 2014
- New York Times, "For de Blasio, Attack Comes Amid Tension Over Police," December 20, 2014
- Huffington Post, "New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Calls For Pause In Protests After Police Killings," December 23, 2014
- The Wall Street Journal "Family the Spotlight," accessed on July 31, 2014
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