Mayor Bill de Blasio’s main opponent in September’s Democratic Primary, Sal Albanese, was at the June 22 Juniper Park Civic Association (JPCA) meeting in Middle Village to make his case to residents that he will do a better job as mayor of the city.
Albanese, a former councilman from Brooklyn, said that “the city needs a hands-on mayor” who will address the important issues and problems facing the city such as mass transit, traffic congestion and affordable housing among other major issues.
The mayoral hopeful feels that the de Blasio administration has mismanaged taxpayers’ money and has failed to bring about positive change on myriad issues.
“I am running against de Blasio because I believe major issues are not being addressed under this administration; major issues that are important to the city’s future,” he told those in attendance. “And also, the mismanagement of the de Blasio administration has caused huge amounts of taxpayer money to be wasted.”
Albanese gave the mayor an “F” when it comes to how he has dealt with the city’s growing homelessness crisis, and how he has been virtually “invisible” in helping to fix the problem-riddled mass transit system. He criticized de Blasio’s handling of traffic congestion, the rise of violence on Rikers Island, the failure of the Agency of Children Services (ACS), and the lack of affordable housing, among other issues.
“I think he’s miscast for this job. He’s a terrible mayor, one of the worst we’ve ever seen in this city’s history,” Albanese said. “And we can beat him; we can beat him with help from groups like yours.”
As mayor, Albanese — a former school teacher for 11 years who represented Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights in the City Council from 1982 to 1997 — says he would expand community policing; build more affordable housing units; create supportive housing for seniors, veterans, the homeless and domestic violence survivors; pass the Small Business Jobs Survival Act; expand bus service and Select Bus Service (SBS) routes; enhance the highways, roads, signaling systems and streets in order to reduce congestion; and make major changes to the city’s education system.
“Any opponent to Bill de Blasio is a favorite of ours,” said Robert Holden, president of JPCA. “We wish you the best.”
Holden is also running his own campaign against Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley in the Democratic Primary for control of the 30th Council District.