For now, there are six Democrats thought to be in the running for next year’s mayor’s race. On Tuesday, they shared a stage for the first time in what could be a preview of the battle to come. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
When it comes to the issue of minority hiring, those hoping to follow Mayor Bloomberg believe they can do much better.
Appearing at a conference on minority business Tuesday, the six prospective Democratic candidates for mayor blasted Bloomberg’s record.
“I think it hasn’t been enough of a priority,” said candidate Tom Allon.
“It’s plain to see that the current administration at City Hall is not serious about this issue,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
“The efforts on behalf of the Bloomberg administration and the mayor have been failing,” said candidate William Thompson.
On this issue, at least, the would-be Democratic candidates agree: the city must do more for women and minority-owned businesses. The only quibbling was over tactics, like the importance of creating a chief diversity officer.
“We don’t need a chief diversity officer to make diversity a priority," said Comptroller John Liu. "We need a chief executive officer to make diversity a priority.”
Anyone hoping for mud-slinging was disappointed. All six Democrats were perfectly friendly. Only Scott Stringer alluded directly to his own campaign, sparking one notable exchange when he made an awkward job offer to Thompson.
“During my transition, we’re going to talk diversity before we talk office in January 1, 2014,” he said. He then turned to Thompson for his job offer: “By the way, my chief diversity officer, if you want it, it’s yours,” he said.
Thompson did not make a similar offer.
“I am not going to offer you the position of chief diversity officer in the city of New York,” he said.
Demonstrating the advantage of her position, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn touted new legislation that would closely track minority hiring statistics.
“You would have information in front of the council, in front of all of you, in front of that chief diversity officer," she said. "You could hold commissioners and their chief contracting officers accountable.”
Tuesday’s event was the first time all six of these Democratic hopefuls shared the same stage. But with well over a year to go in the race, it’s likely just the first of many more like it to come.