Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton Campaign With Fernando Ferrer
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The Reverend Jesse Jackson came out Tuesday to support Democratic mayoral candidate Fernando Frrer at a rally in Queens, alongside the Reverend Al Sharpton.
Appealing to black Democrats, they criticized incumbent Michael Bloomberg for being Republican, saying he's on the wrong team for New Yorkers.
“Don't be wolf politics in sheep's clothing. Be who you are,” said Jackson. “There is a Bloomberg team, there is a Freddy Ferrer team, and there is a [Rudolph] Giuliani and there is a Hillary Clinton, and there is a Tom Delay and there is a Charlie Rangel.”
“Just because you are nicer than Giuliani don't mean that you are administering the policies that would bring this city together,” said Sharpton. “We do not need Rudy with a smile. We need someone like Fernando Ferrer who has proven he will stand for all New Yorkers, not just one side of town.”
Students and supporters at York College listened to Ferrer make his plea to voters. This week the Ferrer campaign is aggressively rolling out party bigwigs to generate energy, and NY1 has learned former President Bill Clinton will campaign with Ferrer on Thursday.
“Walk that road with us all the way to City Hall,” Ferrer told the crowd. “Walk that road with us to return our values back to City Hall.”
A press conference after the event was disrupted by a man who wanted Ferrer to apologize for his comments earlier this year about police shooting victim Amadou Diallo, of which Ferrer said the killing was not a crime.
“Give us that apology. Please hear me out,” said the unidentified man. “Give the world that apology, sir.”
Sharpton stepped in to respond, saying of Ferrer, “He never said it was justified. He never said that. And i endorsed him after I talked to Mr. Diallo's mother, who had no objection. So he may not get your vote, but he'll get mine and a lot of people that went to jail.”
The black voting block could make the difference in this election, and it's heavily sought by both candidates. Recent polls show the majority of African-Americans support Mayor Bloomberg, but team Ferrer is trying to give them reasons not to.
A new Ferrer television ad visually hammers home the dropout rate in city high schools, and it seems team Ferrer is also banking on star power in the Democratic Party to turn the tides.
- Sandra Endo