Mike Bloomberg who?
Shaun Donovan, who served as the city’s housing chief under former Mayor Bloomberg, snubbed his former boss Tuesday during his own campaign launch for mayor.
Donovan served as the commissioner of housing preservation and development under Bloomberg before taking a federal housing post for President Barack Obama.
But Donovan did not mention Bloomberg in his campaign launch video or during his presentation at a press conference Tuesday while speaking on the rooftop of a Bronx housing development.
The snub was so obvious that reporters asked Donovan why he ignored Bloomberg during a question-and-answer session following his presentation.
During his speech, Donovan even praised Mayor David Dinkins, the city’s first and only black mayor, who died last month, for using the phrase “gorgeous mosaic.” He contrasted Dinkins with former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, currently President Trump’s personal lawyer, who is recovering from the coronavirus, whom he labeled a punitive person who wanted to lock people up.
After being prompted by reporters about the Bloomberg omission, Donovan said, “Obviously, I worked closely with Mayor Bloomberg to build housing like this — deeply affordable, sustainable healthy housing.”
He was referring to Via Verde, the HPD affordable housing complex he developed with Bloomberg where the press event was held. Donovan attended the groundbreaking for Via Verde in 2010 when he was Obama’s secretary of housing and urban development.
“I’m here at Via Verde, I’m deeply proud of the work we did to build the most sustainable, the most beautiful, the healthiest affordable housing in the city … and lots of other things we did. But this is a different time, we’re in a different type of crisis and we need new tools and solutions on affordable housing,” Donovan said.
“Work that I did for Mayor Bloomberg as housing commissioner has been part of this day, prominently featured,” he insisted.
“I obviously talked in the press release about my work that I’m very proud of as housing commissioner under Mayor Bloomberg, whether it’s having the most aggressive, most innovative affordable-housing plan in the country when I led housing in the city, and creating the nation’s first and most innovative response to the mortgage crisis.”
He continued, “I’m deeply, deeply proud to have served this city in a different time of crisis after 9/11 and to have served with a mayor who is a great manager, a strong leader and made the city the leader in the country and in the world fighting against climate change, taking guns off our streets, improving public health and many, many other accomplishments.”
“I believe we need to add, to build on the tools and strategies that we had and we employed during the Bloomberg administration when I was HPD commissioner.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg with Shaun Donovan in 2013.Chad Rachman/New York Post
Meanwhile, Donovan said he would try to keep in touch with the everyday concerns of New Yorkers by riding the subway, if elected mayor.
Donovan has been plotting his mayoral bid for months. His underplaying of ties to Bloomberg, the former three-term mayor, was not lost on other Bloomberg associates who worked at City Hall.
Donovan’s campaign website bio plays up his association with Obama while downplaying his time working for Bloomberg.
The first paragraph under “About Shaun” on the campaign website says, “Lifelong New Yorker, Shaun Donovan served as a member of Barack Obama’s Cabinet, where he developed a close partnership with President Obama and was trusted by him and Joe Biden to take on some of the biggest challenges facing our country.”
The mention of Bloomberg is far deeper in the bio.
“Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Donovan served as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development under Mayor Bloomberg, where he led the most aggressive affordable housing program in the nation. He also served in the Clinton administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multi-family Housing at HUD and as acting FHA Commissioner.”