Queens and Kings: Queens pol comes to Southern Brooklyn to drum up support for mayoral run

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When you want to run for mayor, you come to Brooklyn.

A Queens Democrat will announce his formal challenge to Mayor DeBlasio on Sunday, according to a Brooklyn civic leader.

State Sen. Tony Avella held meetings with various civic leaders throughout Southern Brooklyn last weekend to gather support in areas outside his district where residents opposed over-development and who often think Mayor DeBlasio overlooks their needs, according to Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association President Ed Jaworski.

“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,” Jaworski said.

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

Avella’s stance on over-development and illegal housing resonates Southern Brooklynites — especially in areas such as Dyker Heights, where illegal construction is rampant and where locals feel like they have not received enough attention from Mayor DeBlasio, according to Jaworski,

“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.

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

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 DeBlasio 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 Democratic Bay Ridge councilman Sal Albanese has also announced his 2017 mayoral run.

Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at or by phone at (718) 260–4564.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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