Bill De Blasio hires ‘Perez Notes’ reporter

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Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has a new deputy chief of staff: Roberto Perez, who has hosted a popular local radio show and recently began writing about politics for El Diario.

De Blasio, a likely candidate for mayor next year, said he was impressed with Perez's work. "He is going to be a tremendous asset for our office," de Blasio said.

De Blasio has hired a number of people for his public advocate's office who, potentially, could help the Park Slope-based lawmaker expand his appeal citywide. He hired Avi Fink, a top aide to former Rep. Anthony Weiner; and Lydon Sleeper, who worked with City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley. Both Weiner and Crowley represented middle-class, outer-borough constituencies, the kind of voters de Blasio will need in next year's mayor's race.

Perez announced his departure in a blog item this morning.

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Perez, who is from Queens, said in a statement that he has been looking to make the move from reporter to political operative for some time, and that he will discontinue his column and radio show. For followers of New York politics, that's a bit of a loss.

Perez operated his radio show from the basement of LaGuardia Community College and recently began traveling throughout the city, conducting interviews with a hand-held camera, giving a raw, unpolished and unedited look at New York politics.

He focused on lawmakers and political operatives who sometimes got crowded out of the daily press coverage. Others, perhaps eased by the ability to speak at length for minutes at a time without interruption, simply said too much.

In addition to interviewing de Blasio, Perez had memorable interviews with Rep. Charlie Rangel, then-Councilmna Simcha Felder, Hank Sheinkopf, Hiram Monserrate, and many others.