From the Daily News:
The crusader wore a pinstriped suit, campaigning outside Hunter College on the first day of classes and promising free City University tuition if he's elected.
"I'm Councilman Tony Avella. I'm running for mayor," he said over and over, as students politely shook his hand. "Keep me in mind. Talk it up. I need it!"
Student Barrie Weisblum, a 19-year-old political science major from Brooklyn, grilled him on how he'd pay for it (answer: legalize sports betting and eliminate waste) and asked if he had been a political science major as well.
"Yes, with philosophy as a minor," Avella said. "I think more elected officials should have a real basis in philosophy and ethics."
This is the core of Avella's strategy, as the crusader from Whitestone, Queens, tries to pull off an upset in tomorrow's Democratic primary.
He believes city government is corrupted by developers and cracking down on New Yorkers' rights. He doesn't take big contributions and doesn't run much of a conventional campaign.
But Avella, 57, believes the moral purity of his quest can overcome those disadvantages and propel him into the mayor's office, where he can turn City Hall on its ear.
"It's worth that one-in-a thousand shot for real change," Avella said.
He has been a loud voice against high-density development and Mayor Bloomberg's education reforms as well as the carriage horses that ply Central Park.
He also has a 100% attendance record, refused to accept a pay raise or an official parking placard, and won't take contributions from developers - giving him a reputation among his colleagues as an uncompromising scold.