Bill Thompson wants to give voters a new direction

CYRIL JOSH BARKER Amsterdam News Staff | 5/23/2013, 2:58 p.m.
It's a second time around for Democratic mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, and now, he says,...
Bill Thompson wants to give voters a new direction

"That's a horrible admission of failure," he said. "Giving up on our communities and giving up on our neighborhoods--it's a mistake."

Housing is another focus for Thompson, particularly NYCHA. He pointed out the thousands of vacant apartments and money for renovations that isn't being used. He also referenced the damage done by Hurricane Sandy and those in public housing who were left behind in terms of repairs during the aftermath.

When it comes to the NYPD, Thompson said that the misuse of stop-and-frisk is also something that continues to antagonize communities and he plans to take it on.

"You can see the possibility of real change for the city of New York and making it a better city," he said. "Bringing people together, that's what's going to help me win. I think I am a better candidate in 2013 than I was in 2009."

Thompson's competition is a parade of heavy hitters in the city's Democratic Party. The primary alone predicts that he will face off with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, City Comptroller John Liu and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. This year's campaign makes for a more even playing field as opposed to 2009, when Bloomberg spent $120 million to become mayor.

"What separates me from the others is a lifetime of experience," Thompson said. "My experience in city government, the federal level and education--I think what makes me the strongest candidate is my background, the experience of a number of years working on a number of different levels, being able to lead this city with a strong vision."

When it comes to the Black community, Thompson said because he is Black, he already has an understanding of what the issues are. However, on a personal level, education, affordable housing and unemployment are things he plans to fight for that are already fixtures in his campaign for all residents and that particularly affect the city's Black population.

"I'm going to be out around the clock up to the primary, up to the election," Thompson said. "You are going to see hundreds, if not thousands of volunteers across the city talking about a message, talking about a different direction for the city of New York. That's how you win an election ... a movement to take New York City in a more inclusive direction."