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Broadway musicians sing de Blasio’s praises

Bill de Blasio campaigns with his wife, Chirlane McCray, in Flatbush. He has been endorsed by a leading musicians union. Eagle file photo

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Things are going so well for Bill de Blasio these days that even musicians are playing his tune.

De Blasio and a leading musician’s union in the city are making sweet music together. The newly crowned front-runner for the Democratic nomination in the mayor’s race was endorsed on Monday by the Associated Musicians of Greater New York Local 802, representing musicians playing in Broadway musicals, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and in nightclubs, restaurants, and hotels in New York.

The endorsement announcement took place at a street jazz performance by union members.

Union leaders said they were endorsing de Blasio because of his commitment to expanding affordable housing, strengthening the city's living wage law, and ensuring every that child receives an arts education.

“Bill de Blasio has dedicated his career to championing economic and social justice for every New Yorker, including the hard-working musicians whose artistry is key to our city’s cultural and tourism economy,” Local 802 President Tino Gagliardi said.

“Bill de Blasio’s message is music to the ears of the working people of New York—and as a smart, progressive Mayor, we believe he will significantly expand opportunities for all to fully participate the great symphony that is New York City," Gagliardi said.

"Bill understands the need for performing artists to be able to live and raise their families right here in the five boroughs. As musicians we applaud his commitment to ensuring that every child receives a quality arts education in our public schools. As working people we stand with him in his battles to increase the minimum wage, keep community hospitals open and markedly increase affordable housing,” the union president said, praising de Blasio.

De Blasio said he was honored to receive the union’s endorsement. “As one of the world's largest unions of musicians, they are a powerful symbol of the cultural excellence that makes our city so unique. The arts uplift the human spirit, instill discipline and improve students’ academic performance,” he said.

“I am proud to stand with them in the fight to ensure that our children receive an arts education and that the next generation of artists can still afford to call New York City home,” de Blasio added.

The musicians’ union isn’t the show business-related endorsement de Blasio has received in the mayoral campaign. Stars such as Sarah Jessica Parker and her “Sex and the City” co-star Cynthia Nixon are backing the public advocate for mayor. De Blasio also enjoys the support of stars like Alec Baldwin ad Harry Belafonte.

The endorsement comes at a time when de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, is riding high in the polls. As the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, a Quinnipiac University poll released on Tuesday showed him in the lead in the Democratic race for mayor with 30 percent of the vote. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who had been in the lead throughout the entire campaign thus far, had slipped into second place with 24 percent of the vote, according to the poll.

Former city comptroller Bill Thompson is in third place, right behind Quinn with 22 percent.

 

 

August 14, 2013 - 1:00pm


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