Queens State Senator Tony Avella is looking to oust Mayor Bill de Blasio in the 2017 Democratic Primary. He made his mayoral bid announcement at the Holiday Inn Express in Maspeth, on Sunday, to make critical points about the incumbent. NY1's Van Tieu filed the following report.
State Senator Tony Avella added his name into the list of Democratic candidates running to become the next mayor in an attempt to oust Mayor Bill de Blasio.
His 2017 run will be Avella’s second bid for mayor.
The state senator for District 11, which represents northeast Queens, had an unsuccessful run for mayor in 2009. He lost the Democratic nomination to Bill Thompson with just 21 percent of the vote.
This makes Avella a longshot candidate.
This time around, Avella says he’ll do better.
"Well, depending on the mayor’s negative numbers, I think I have a great chance,” Avella said.
Critical of de Blasio, Avella chose to make the announcement, and a point, outside of the Maspeth Holiday Inn Express on Sunday to a crowd of nearly 100 supporters. It’s the site of angry protests against a controversial homeless shelter he actively opposed.
"The mayor only seems to be interested in dumping homeless families and individuals in hotels and motels, which don’t have the services, [and] are not appropriate, and certainly do not involve the community," Avella said.
Avella emphasized it is an example of the current administration's failed top-down approach.
"This mayor does not involve communities. He doesn’t involve elected officials and that’s not the way to govern," Avella said.
Instead, Avella is positioning himself as a candidate who will fight for the middle class and one who will listen to the people.
His supporters said they trust him.
"When the community calls, he gives time. He meets with community and solves the problem," said Queens resident Chaudhry Anwar.
Elmhurst resident Anna Orjuella said she was impressed with Avella during the battle over the Maspeth homeless shelter.
"I think he’s honest, and I think he will unite the city and not divide it as Mayor de Blasio has done,” she said.
Avella joins two other long-shot candidates in the race, former Brooklyn City Councilman Sal Albanese and retired NYPD Detective Bo Dietl.
Below are Avella’s full remarks:
I believe we have reached a crossroad in the direction our City should be taking. Under Mayor de Blasio we have more homeless than ever - our taxes continue to rise and it is more expensive to live here than ever before, all of this, while our quality of life fades away.
I believe it is time for a change.
It is time to eliminate the corruption at City Hall where campaign consultants/lobbyists sit at the table. It is time for the people of this City to be at the table.
It is time to stop dumping homeless families and individuals in hotels and motels throughout the City without support services and the prospect of stable long-term housing and without community notification or involvement.
It is time to make New York City more affordable to live, so families can thrive and senior citizens can afford to retire in the City they helped build, such as capping the City’s water and sewer bills.
It is time to create jobs in every neighborhood and create incentives to bring manufacturing jobs back to this City. It is time to enact the Small Business Survival Act to protect small businesses, most of whom are minority owned, against exorbitant lease increases.
It is time to end the financial assault on the middle class and adopt the 2% property tax cap that the Mayor opposes, which everyone else in the State enjoys except us. It is time to ensure the viability of coops and condos, real affordable housing, in our City by creating a new property tax class akin to one-two and three family homes, again something that the Mayor opposes. It is also long overdue to restore and enhance New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) buildings, another existing affordable housing stock.
It is time to stop talking about education and commit to end the bureaucratic nightmare for Principals and Teachers and allow them to teach. It is time to properly fund school capital and expense projects so that students have up-to-date technology, are not sitting on broken auditorium seating, and have arts and music and after-school programs that many of us had when we were students.
It is time to allow neighborhoods the ability to approve additional traffic controls in their communities to address dangerous intersections, instead of the de Blasio administration’s narrow-minded anti-motorist policies such as their crazed rush to install bike lanes and pedestrian plazas, which do little to increase pedestrian safety.
It is time to restore and enhance our public transportation system in all of the boroughs, instead of a proposed billion-dollar boondoggle for a tram along the Queens and Brooklyn waterfront. It is time to fix our roads and infrastructure and end the traffic gridlock that encompasses our City.
It is time to stop the failed top down planning approach in this City and allow every neighborhood - every resident to have a voice - a real say in what happens in their community.
It is time to help students and families deal with college tuition and student loan debt by creating free tuition at CUNY for City residents and employees and helping those with huge existing college loan debt.
It is time to fix our streets, improve our parks and enable every New Yorker quick and easy access to simple City services.
It is time to ensure that every neighborhood has a senior center and every center be funded regardless of their size and how often it is open.
It is also extremely important that we provide better services to our veterans who have given so much and have received so little.
Finally, it is time to put people and neighborhoods first in this City and politics last.
For all of these reasons and much more, I officially announce my candidacy for Mayor of New York City.