City & State
After years of struggling to get the bill passed, the mood was gleeful, full of prayers and hymns.
“By overriding Mayor Bloomberg’s veto, the City Council is siding with the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers who want this legislation to move forward!” said RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum, a leader of the movement.
There was one rather amusing moment at the end of the event. More than a half hour into the press conference and following a slew of other speakers – including Council Member/Public Advocate candidate Letitia James – a speaker named Kwasi Akyeampong from the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition came to the podium. He denounced Mayor Michael Bloomberg in some language that has recently become famous in New York politics.
“The Kingsbridge Armory is not of a pharaoh. It’s not a plantation. The Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act is a fair wage for all New Yorkers. This is not a plantation,” he said.
UPDATE: Akyeampong writes in to say that he actually said “Bracero,” not pharaoh. It sounded like pharaoh to me both in person and on the tape (and there were other Egypt references), but Akyeampong did have a very heavy accent.
Bloomberg has also said he will use legal action to try and undo the living wage legislation.
“Our mayor promises to use the courts – just like the generals in Egypt,” Akyeampong added.
A different person named Carlos Pacheco famously yelled out the “Pharoah Bloomberg” line at a living wage press conference in late April, prompting New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to storm out in the mayor’s defense. No mayoral candidates were on hand to take offense at the rhetoric this time around, and many of the people in attendance were already milling around and chatting by the time the remarks were made.