Avella to challenge de Blasio for City Hall

Avella to challenge de Blasio for City Hall
State Sen. Tony Avella
Photo by Michael Shain
By Mark Hallum

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) will be officially announcing his 2017 mayoral run Sunday, according to Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association President Ed Jaworsky in Brooklyn.

Avella held meetings with various civic leaders throughout south Brooklyn last weekend to gather support in areas outside his district where residents opposed over-development and who often think Mayor Bill de Blasio overlooks their needs.

In 2009, Avella made his bid for mayor during his last year in the City Council representing the 19th District but lost and has served in state Senate since 2010.

Avella is planning to formally announce his intention to run at a homeless shelter protest at the Holiday Inn at 59-40 55th Rd. in Maspeth Dec.17, Jaworsky said.

Among the community groups Avella met with over the weekend were Marine Park Civic, Garrison Beach Cares, Sheepshead Bay – Plumb Beach Civic Association, the Brooklyn Housing Preservation Alliance, and the Bay Improvement Group, among the dozen or so groups Jaworsky said were represented at the meeting.

Avella’s stance on over-development and illegal housing resonates for people in Dyker Heights, according to Jaworsky. But what drew the most support from the group was Avella’s plan to govern.

“We also asked him about his vision,” Jaworsky said. “He thought it best to give emphasis to neighborhoods and he said his style would be [bottom up type of governance rather than top-down]. Look for feedback from the people.”

Jaworsky added that Avella had formed relationships with neighborhoods throughout southern Brooklyn and had left a positive impression.

“We’re not happy that the mayor has not been out to our end of Brooklyn in I don’t know how long,” he said.

Avella’s office confirmed an announcement would be made Sunday with more details to follow at the end of the week.

A Quinnipiac University survey released in Nov. 16 found only 39 percent of New Yorkers are in favor de Blasio serving another term in office. But the poll of 1,138 city residents also revealed the incumbent had a approval rating with 63 percent of Democrats and 71 percent of African Americans, indicating a strong advantage over any challengers.

Former Councilman Sal Albanese (D-Brooklyn) has also announced his 2017 mayoral run.

Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall[email protected]glocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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