Bronx who's who endorses de Blasio in mayoral race


When the Bronx does something, it does it big. And that couldn't be more true than it was Wednesday when dozens of Bronx leaders and political organizations officially announced their support for Mayor Bill de Blasio's re-election campaign.

Officials like U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel and U.S. Rep. Jose E. Serrano joined others like Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Councilman Andrew Cohen and Councilman Fernando Cabrera in putting their support behind de Blasio, who is seeking a second term leading the five boroughs.

"I have made a promise to the residents of the Bronx to make their neighborhoods safer," de Blasio said, in a release. "Now, crime is down in the Bronx, and New York City just hit an all-time low for crimes committed in the city. In addition, unemployment in the Bronx has decreased significantly, with one of the largest drops in among the boroughs."

The list of Bronx endorsers included not only two congressmen, but also three state senators (Jose M. Serrano, Jamaal Bailey and Gustavo Rivera), six Assembly members (Latoya Joyner, Victor Pichardo, Michael Benedetto, Carmen Arroyo, Mark Gjonaj and Dinowitz) and six council members (Vanessa Gibson, Annabel Palma, Andy King, Rafael Salamanca, Cohen and Cabrera). 

It also included endorsements from a few political organizations including the Ben Franklin Reform Democratic Club, the Bronx Barack Obama Democratic Club, and the Northeast Bronx Democratic Club.

One of the key names missing from that list, however, is state Sen. Jeffrey Klein. Both Klein and de Blasio clashed last March over the mayor's plan to open a number of homeless shelters across the city, something Klein told one publication was "a terrible plan."

Klein has yet to respond to a Riverdale Press request late Wednesday afternoon for comment.

de Blasio's homeless plan has hit home recently in the Kingsbridge area after what was supposed to be market-rate apartments at 5731 Broadway is now set to become a transitional homeless facility for more than 80 families. That plan received a sharp rebuke from members of Community Board 8, who instead are championing "permanent" housing for the homeless there rather than transitional. 

In announcing his endorsements, de Blasio said nothing about his homeless plan. Instead, he focused on plans by next fall to have reading coaches in every Bronx school district to ensure all students are reading on grade-level by the time they finish second grade. 

"Together, we can keep up the fight for a fairer, stronger city for all Bronx residents, and New Yorkers as a whole," de Blasio said, in a release. "And I know people in the Bronx feel just as strongly that the work at city hall is important to them."