From Gotham Gazette:
City Comptroller William Thompson Jr. and City Councilmember Tony Avella, the two candidates in September's Democratic primary, are waging increasingly strong challenges to Bloomberg in the city's hundreds of neighborhoods. And Green Party candidate Billy Talen continues to raise his faux preacher's voice in the five boroughs. Many of the concerns moving the debate have to do with neighborhoods. After all, issues like zoning, neighborhood preservation, and affordable housing are surely among the most important ones on the streets where New Yorkers live and work.
I asked the two Democratic contenders for their views about Bloomberg's policies and how they would do things differently in the city's neighborhoods. I also asked them for their views on the role of community boards and the planning and budget process.
While both candidates criticize Bloomberg for being a "top-down" mayor and want a larger role for communities, Avella is the one with a long record of advocating community involvement. As chair of the council's Zoning and Franchises subcommittee, Avella has staked out a role as one of the most consistent critics of Bloomberg's land use policies. Though Thompson may have the edge on Avella in the polls, when it comes to neighborhoods Avella seems to have been there longer and ready to go much farther.