NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – One of the men running for New York City mayor, if elected, would be making a return to city government after an over 15-year absence.
Democrat Sal Albanese served on the City Council from 1983 to 1998.
WCBS 880’s Steve Scott spoke with him for the Eye on Politics segment on Tuesday, part of a continuing series of interviews with the hopefuls for the city’s top elected post.
LISTEN: THE FULL 7-MINUTE INTERVIEW
The interview was wide-ranging, but here are the highlights.
Scott started out by asking Albanese why he wants to be mayor.
“I’m the only candidate in this race, Steve, that has a record of independence. I’m not a career politician and I’m not accepting money from people who do business with the city, including developers,” Albanese answered.
“I came here as an immigrant at the age of 8, grew up in a working class neighborhood in Brooklyn where my mother raised us on a garment worker’s salary,” he added. “The public schools, the libraries, the sports programs – all services that the city offered – elevated my family from the working class to the middle class.”
“I’m running for mayor because I want to offer the same opportunities to future generations of New Yorkers and I think the political system is letting them slip away,” he said.
He still sees himself as an outsider, saying he was the “most independent” member ever on the City Council, noting that he never accepted additional pay for chairing a committee.
“I was able to vote my conscience over that period of time and I’m very proud of that,” he said.
On education, he said he wants to work on “early intervention and improving teacher training and support.”
He said he’d achieve peace with the unions, most of which are working under expired contracts, by modernizing the pension system, which he said he needs labor’s permission to do.
He said the NYPD does not need either an Inspector General or a federal monitor. He said the City Council has full oversight authority over city agencies, including the NYPD. He added that the creation of the Inspector General is just “punting” and “evading responsibility and costing taxpayers more money.”
As for the hot question of whether or not to keep Ray Kelly as police commissioner, Albanese said he wouldn’t commit to any appointments for any agency until he gets the job. He did, however, say that Kelly has done a good job.
Finally, Alabanese was asked how he’d overcome his low standing in the polls.
He said it was early in the process and that when his record and vision for the city get out, he’ll be victorious.
“As people learn about Sal Albanese, they’re gonna like what I stand for and when they compare my experience and vision versus the people I’m running against, I believe strongly we will prevail election day,” he said.
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