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No one draws a crowd like Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Teems of friends and supporters clogged a small storefront on Atlantic Avenue between Third and Fourth avenues Sunday as the three-peat hopeful kicked off his campaign for Mayor to the beat played by a Caribbean steel drum band and chants of “Four More Years.”
On hand to greet Bloomberg was Mila Goldberg, who wanted to hand the city leader an American flag pin.
The pin, she said, lights up.
“He’s been a very good Mayor,” Goldberg said in broken English. “He’s done lot for city.”
Bloomberg’s campaign office looked like it was decorated by third graders. Every wall was plastered with oak tag and bright construction paper, reading “Canarsie loves Bloomberg,” “Sunset Park loves Bloomberg” and “Greenpoint likes Mike.” Name a neighborhood and they like Mike, if the walls of the campaign office are to be believed.
After rocking to “Takin’ Care of Business” by Bachman Turner Overdrive (the underlying message couldn’t be clearer), Crown Heights Activist Richard Green and Bay Ridge State Senator Marty Golden welcomed Bloomberg to the stage.
“I have my own slogan,” Green told supporters waving “Brooklyn for Mike Bloomberg” placards. “How about ‘Threepeat to complete.’”
Wearing a broad smile and a baby blue sweater, Bloomberg greeted well wishers with a trivia question.
“Does anybody know why the Brooklyn Bridge is named the Brooklyn Bridge,” he asked. “It’s because Brooklyn paid for two thirds of it while Manhattan only paid for one third.”
Refraining from any controversial issues like tolls on the bridges or MTA fare hikes, Bloomberg waxed about how important the city -- especially Brooklyn -- meant to him.
“Brooklyn has an incredible diversity,” he told the crowd. “Everyone knows that it has a spirit and a culture all its own. Where else can you get Halal Chinese Food or go to a Latino Thai restaurant?”
After recounting all of his successes over the last eight years (the creation of 311, the further reduction of crime, the increase in tourism and how the city “roared back” after September 11) Bloomberg said there is much more to be done, especially with the financial crisis looming over our heads.
That is why he’s running for a third term (thanks mostly, of course, to last year’s repeal of term limits), he said.
“We can get four more years to make this city better, but I can’t do it without you,” he told supporters. “Between now and November 3, I am going to try to talk to everyone I can, but there are 8.4 million people in this city. I can’t talk to everyone, but I can talk through you. I need you to help spread the word.”
Bloomberg has yet to secure the nomination of a party line, although he has gotten the support of the Brooklyn Republican Party chair Craig Eaton.
Campaign organizers said that anybody wishing to volunteer can stop in the Brooklyn office at 535 Atlantic Avenue. Beginning April 1, the campaign office will be open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The office will also be open from noon to 4 p.m. starting April 4.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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