Bill De Blasio speaks about records during the congressional campaign forum

Former Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed his two terms in a candidate forum Wednesday night for a rare vacant seat in Congress representing the five counties.

“We have broken the backs of the forces that have held back fairness, inclusion and equality,” the leftist told an audience at the event hosted by the LGBT Center on West 13th Street.

The progressive champion – who announced his campaign days ago – has overseen record homelessness and questionable progress on his main cause of tackling economic inequality during his controversial tenure, securing major political wins for himself through social programs like universal pre-kindergarten.

“Remember together what we’ve been doing just these last eight years. Think of what we’ve accomplished for transgender rights, what we’ve accomplished with gender-neutral birth certificates, we’ve accomplished that together in New York City, with gender-neutral bathrooms in city buildings,” he boasted at the forum.

Rep. Mondaire Jones, DN.Y., conducts a press conference outside the Capitol on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 to reintroduce the Universal Child Care and Early Learning Act.
Rep. Mondaire Jones also goes for the open congressional seat.
Tom Williams/CQ appeal via AP

De Blasio is running in the June 28 primary to represent the newly delineated 10th congressional district, which spans left-leaning parts of Lower Manhattan, his home area in brownstone Brooklyn, and relatively conservative areas in Borough Park.

Rep. Mondaire Jones, Rep. Yuh-Line Niou and Councilwoman Carlina Rivera are among other candidates vying for the open seat.

Republicans are expected to make big gains in the US House of Representatives based on polls and historical trends, although Democrats hope to hold on to their slim majority.

“I feel like we’re getting this endless stream of analysis right now that’s telling us we’re just getting used to the fact that we’re going to lose in November because of these historical patterns and everything, and I’m not buying it,” de said Blasio on Wednesday evening.

Jones, Niou and Rivera used their records in elected office while making their own arguments at the six-person panel, which also included former MP Elizabeth Holtzman and political newcomer Elizabeth Kim.

“Driving here I saw Candace Owens and a few other people on Twitter accusing and using this attack of this murder or mass murder of children and accusing trans children. You can’t invent this stuff. Our communities are under attack,” Niou said, referencing comments from the right-wing arsonist about a recent Texas shooting.

Rivera drew on her love of animals to set herself apart from the competition.

“I passed historic animal laws in council, but what some people might not know is that … I have a 16-year-old pug and a 30-year-old tortoise,” she once said.

Jones currently represents a district north of the city, but chose the 10th congressional district after his Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney sparked a war between the factions by announcing a run in a newly drawn, left-leaning district that includes much of it represents Jones’ current district.

“[Republicans] must not regain control of the House of Representatives,” Jones — one of the first gay black men elected to Congress in New York — told the crowd Wednesday night.

Jones added that his experience on the Hill would help him deliver the bacon to voters should his party lose control of the lower chamber this November.

“You can still do a lot in the minority. You can address issues… You can even bring money back to your district, he said.

According to Holtzman, a former Kings County city examiner and district attorney, Democrats should brace themselves for a long fight considering Republicans have successfully shifted the U.S. Supreme Court to the right in recent decades.

“We have a Supreme Court that wants to bring us back that abolishes the 14th amendment that wants to abolish women’s rights, gun rights and voting rights. It’s a dangerous situation. So, I want to say I’m still optimistic and we can’t give up,” she said. Bill De Blasio speaks about records during the congressional campaign forum


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