De Blasio reaches out to a Bill Thompson cohort
Bill de Blasio attended a Brooklyn Democratic party dinner Sunday evening, playing nice with a group that endorsed against him in the September primary.
The mayor-elect showed up at county boss Frank Seddio's soiree in his Canarsie law office, where dozens of district leaders were on hand with their spouses, said City Councilman and attendee Lew Fidler.
"It wasn't just a quick - 'hi, how you doing?' He stayed; he talked to everybody," said Fidler, whose longstanding feud with de Blasio dates back to a leadership fight when both served in the council. "Canarsie's not like exactly between Park Slope and downtown (Brooklyn) so it obviously was a really significant effort on his part and it was a real show of his desire to work with the elected leadership as opposed to at odds with it."
Brooklyn backed Bill Thompson in the competitive Democratic primary this year.
Fidler estimated 70 people were in attendance at the beginning of the dinner and roughly 40 were left by the time de Blasio showed up.
De Blasio delivered a short speech, noting his own Brooklyn roots - he hails from Park Slope and spoke warmly of the stroller-strewn neighborhood during his drawn-out decision on whether to transplant his family into Gracie Mansion. (He opted for the move.)
Fidler said de Blasio showed up with Brooklyn activist Lincoln Restler, who for years fought the county leadership of scandal-scarred ex-Assemblyman Vito Lopez.
The incoming mayor spoke favorably of the hotel tax increase, which Fidler championed, he said.
The higher tax, of 5.875 percent instead of 5 percent, expired Dec. 1. The council is slated to vote on reinstating the increase this week.