City Politicians Draw Link Between Dr. King And President
While much of the city’s political class was down in Washington, those who were here in the city kept busy, with many using the holiday to do what looked a lot like campaigning. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
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On Monday's holiday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's familiar refrain for stricter gun control laws came with a nod to Dr. Martin Luther King.
"The most important thing that you can do to preserve the legacy and to honor and to make the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at least have some meaning, something good coming out of it, is let’s go and stop the gun violence in this country," the mayor said.
In Brooklyn, Marty Markowitz also invoked King in touting gun control.
"There’s no room in America for the extremism of the NRA," he said.
As elected officials across the city Monday celebrated the civil rights leader, they often did so through the lens of their own issues or campaigns.
At one interfaith celebration, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. plugged Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s campaign for comptroller.
"I think he's going to be a wonderful city comptroller," Diaz said.
Diaz got his own praise from William Thompson, a candidate for mayor.
"I’ve always said, I fully expect eventually, Ruben Diaz Jr. will be a mayor of the city of New York," Thompson said.
Trinity Baptist Church in the Bronx was one of the most popular stops for elected officials, with more than a half-dozen politicians addressing the congregation, including three running for citywide office.
That’s not counting City Comptroller John Liu. While he's not yet saying whether he’s a candidate for mayor, he sounded a lot like one Monday.
While some insisted it wasn’t a day for politics, nearly everyone drew a line from the newly-inaugurated president to Dr. King.
"He would have smiled today," Thompson said. "I think he would have been 83 or 84. He would have smiled, because this is part of what he worked for."