Bill de Blasio

Male artist makes statement by installing sculpture in public w/out permission. Outraged that artist installs sculpture in public w/out permission.

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‘Charging Bull’ creator says NYC, 'Fearless Girl’ statue violated his rights

“Speaking at a Manhattan news conference, Arturo Di Modica said he placed the “Charging Bull” statue in front of the New York Stock Exchange in 1987 as a symbol of America’s resilience following the stock market crash that year. The city later relocated the sculpture to a small public park area nearby.

“The bull represents strength,” said Di Modica. “The strength of America, the strength of the market.”

The iconic statue over the years has become one of the city’s most popular tourist attraction. But on the eve of International Women’s Day, State Street Global Advisors placed the new a statue of a little girl, hands defiantly on hips, in front of the bull.

The new sculpture virtually overnight became a representation of a lack of gender diversity and equality on Wall Street and in other  U.S. workplaces. The investment firm said it commissioned the artwork as a part of its call on behalf of the more than 3,500 companies that benefit from its clients’ investments to make sure their governing boards are diverse.

Created by artist Kristen Visbal, “Fearless Girl” gained widespread attention as tourists flocked to the site to take pictures with the statue. 

By March 27, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed that the “fearless girl” statue would remain on Department of Transportation property as a part of a municipal art program through February 2018.

Many hailed the announcement. But Di Modica was far from pleased. He said “Fearless Girl” was part of an advertising campaign that altered the artistic message behind “Charging Bull” without his permission.  

“What they did, it’s a negative,” Di Modica said of the new message conveyed by “Fearless Girl.” Now, the message is “I’m here, what are you going to do,” he said.

Read the full piece here

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The mayor of New York City is standing up for the planet, and has signed an executive order committing the city to honour the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

It seems that Trump’s actions to remove the U.S. from the climate accord has had the opposite effect. Now governments across the U.S. are redoubling their efforts to combat Climate Change.

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Wondering what a sanctuary city is? Tired of being told sanctuary cities are a breakdown of law and order? Aaaactually, it’s a lot more complicated

Our favorite feminist comedian Samantha Bee broke down the concept of sanctuary cities during last night’s episode of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Read on for the good, the bad, and the straight up Fox News lies.

Gifs: Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

WATCH THE VIDEO

theguardian.com
New York City plans to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue oil companies
Mayor Bill de Blasio: ‘It’s up to the fossil fuel companies whose greed put us in this position to shoulder the cost of making New York safer and more resilient’
By Oliver Milman

New York City is seeking to lead the assault on both climate change and the Trump administration with a plan to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue the world’s most powerful oil companies over their contribution to dangerous global warming.

City officials have set a goal of divesting New York’s $189bn pension funds from fossil fuel companies within five years in what they say would be “among the most significant divestment efforts in the world to date”. Currently, New York City’s five pension funds have about $5bn in fossil fuel investments. New York state has already announced it is exploring how to divest from fossil fuels.

“New York City is standing up for future generations by becoming the first major US city to divest our pension funds from fossil fuels,” said Bill de Blasio, New York’s mayor.

“At the same time, we’re bringing the fight against climate change straight to the fossil fuel companies that knew about its effects and intentionally misled the public to protect their profits. As climate change continues to worsen, it’s up to the fossil fuel companies whose greed put us in this position to shoulder the cost of making New York safer and more resilient.”

Continue Reading.

She can stay! (At least until February 2018.)

A statue of a young girl that has been staring down New York City’s iconic Wall Street bull sculpture since the eve of International Women’s Day is not going anywhere — at least for another year.

The four-foot “Fearless Girl” statue was installed in front of the bronze “Charging Bull” in time for International Women’s Day earlier this month as a way of calling attention to the gender pay gap and lack of gender diversity on corporate boards in the financial sector, the Wall-Street firm that installed the popular statue has said.

Now the statue, which depicts a pony-tailed girl in a dress defiantly looking up at the bull, will remain at her post until February 2018, New York politicians announced at a press conference on Monday. It was set to be removed on April 2.

Above: Mayor De Blasio, who is 6′ 5″, poses with the statue as the announcement is made Monday. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Read full story here. 

cnn.com
NYC mayor tells police to end arrests for pot smoking
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has told top brass at the city's police department to stop arresting people who are caught smoking marijuana in public, according to a City Hall aide.
By Sonia Moghe and Susannah Cullinane, CNN

*** New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has told top brass at the city’s police department to stop arresting people who are caught smoking marijuana in public, according to a City Hall aide.

*** Manhattan DA Cy Vance: “The dual mission of the Manhattan DA’s office is a safer New York and a more equal justice system. The ongoing arrest and criminal prosecution of predominantly black and brown New Yorkers for smoking marijuana serves neither of these goals.”

*** Police Commissioner James O'Neill: “…there are differences in arrest rates, and they have persisted going back many years, long before this current administration. We need an honest assessment about why they exist … NYPD officers should not make arrests that don’t impact public safety.”

So, common sense isn’t completely out of reach for our elected officials after all. I’ve never felt physically threatened or in any danger from Blacks & Latinos smoking weed on the stoop. I have, however, felt I could be attacked at any moment walking by groups of drunk white men in Kips Bay or near Madison Square Garden after a hockey game.  I’d much rather the police focus on aggressively drunk white men as opposed to chilled out brown folks smoking weed.

It’s time for Big Oil to take responsibility for the devastation they have wrought.
—  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press conference Wednesday about the decision to sue five big oil companies for billions in damages from the impacts of climate change. Read more from Buzzfeed. 
buzzfeednews.com
I Got Kicked Out Of A YMCA Locker Room — Twice — Because I’m Trans
Changing in the women’s locker room as an androgynous person has always been an uncomfortable experience, but I didn’t expect to be forced to leave.

I tried to explain that the women’s locker room was where I felt the most comfortable. “Listen, I’m trans, but I was assigned female,” I said. “I don’t know where else to go.”

Suddenly, the locker room grew quiet. There were other women changing around us, but none of them said or did anything — except for the few who began poking their heads around the corner to get a look at me, as if to see what kind of trans I was. This YMCA, the same one that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio uses, is located in a legendarily progressive neighborhood, and I expected someone to speak up, but no one did.

The staff member told me again that I had to leave and use the men’s locker room. At this point I felt helpless, alone, and humiliated. I said I would be leaving soon to go swim, but again, she insisted on escorting me out.

After I gathered my things and left, I asked if there was a gender-neutral or single-stall room I could change in, and she recommended I use the family locker room, where I was finally able to change without incident. A few days later, I called the YMCA’s New York City headquarters, but when no one answered, I followed up by directly contacting the YMCA in Park Slope, where I reached the executive director. I explained what had happened and she apologized, saying she would speak to her staff.

But when I returned the next week, on August 24, and tried to use the family locker room again, a different staff member didn’t think I belonged there, either, and they asked me to leave because I was neither a parent nor a child. Since I felt I couldn’t go back into the women’s locker room after getting escorted out the week before, and I wasn’t comfortable going in the men’s locker room — because I don’t feel as though I “pass” as male either — I left.

Even though it is a violation of the New York City Human Rights Law to prohibit “a transgender or gender non-conforming person from using the single-sex program or facility consistent with their gender identity or expression,” and even though I’d just paid the YMCA $138 for my new membership, I couldn’t use the facility I’d paid to use, and that New York City law says I can use.