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the Campaign Trail

In the months leading up to the citywide primary and general elections, the Times Newsweekly/Ridgewood Times will feature in this column press releases and statements sent by the campaigns of the candidates on the ballot.

The statements in this column do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Times Newsweekly/Ridgewood Times or its staff. Mud-slinging statements which include personal attacks on candidates are omitted.

Mayoral Race New Kings Democrats Back de Blasio

New Kings Democrats (NKD) – one of the largest reform Democratic political clubs in Northern Brooklyn – has endorsed New York City Pub- lic Advocate and Democrat Bill de Blasio for Mayor. NKD voted overwhelmingly to endorse de Blasio, with over two-thirds of the members casting their ballot for his campaign.

“From fighting for expanded universal early education and afterschool programs through a tax on the wealthiest New Yorkers, to pushing for 200,000 affordable housing units, Bill de Blasio has consistently advocated on behalf of the issues that matter most to middle and working class New Yorkers-and we’re proud to endorse him,” said Alex Low, president of New Kings Democrats. “We need a leader in City Hall who understands, firsthand, why New Yorkers of every age, in every neighborhood, deserve a fair chance to get ahead- and Bill de Blasio will be that leader.”

“New King Democrats has helped lead the fight to usher in a new era of progressive leaders in Brooklyn- and I’m honored to have their members on Team de Blasio this year,” said de Blasio. “We can bring true progressive reform to City Hall by organizing New Yorkers across the five boroughs from the ground up-and New Kings Democrats will be an incredible ally on the campaign trail this year.”

Liu Launches E911 Audit

City Comptroller John C. Liu, who is also running for mayor, commenced an audit, June 11, in order to look into what may have caused the city’s emergency 911 system to crash repeatedly in recent days. The audit follows two years of the comptroller’s close scrutiny of and repeated warnings about problems with the project.

Liu drew a parallel between the city’s mismanaged implementation of the E911 system and the implementation of the troubled CityTime timekeeping system.

“The E911 system’s problems comprise an even greater management debacle than the scandal surrounding CityTime,” Liu said. “Taxpayers were for bilked for City- Time, but the $500 million was recouped eventually. In the case of CityTime, system failure at worst meant delayed paychecks. In this case, system failure would have far more disastrous consequences. How can it be that $2 billion has bought an E911 system that must resort to pen and paper? What happens if an extended heat wave taxes the system?”

The audit will examine whether the Mayor’s Office of Citywide Emergency Communications is successfully monitoring the integration and implementation of the Computer Aided Dispatch System into the Emergency Communications Transformation Program (ECTP).

Press reports have detailed a series of chaotic events at E911 as computers have failed in recent days, with personnel having to use “runners” to relay paper messages to dispatchers. Some reports have raised questions about whether computer problems contributed to the slow dispatch of an ambulance after a 4-year-old girl was struck by a vehicle in Manhattan on June 4. The girl died. Officials have blamed the delay on “human error.”

Liu faulted Mayor Bloomberg for shrugging off the E911 crashes.

“The Mayor’s response to the E911 problems, blaming the crashes on unspecified computer bugs, is cavalier to the extreme,” Comptroller Liu said. “Lives are at stake. New Yorkers need an E911 system that works, and they need it now. My office will do its utmost to ensure that happens.”

For more information on voting or to obtain a voting registration application, contact the New York City Board of Elections at 1-212-VOTENYC or visit www.vote.nyc.ny.us.

Press representatives of candidates may send their information to this paper by fax to 1-718-456-0120 or e-mail to info@times newsweekly.com. All releases are subject to editing.

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