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Bill de Blasio Talks Gentrification at Crown Heights Police Meeting

By Sonja Sharp | October 16, 2013 8:48am
 Bill de Blasio voted during the Democratic primary for mayor, Sept. 10, 2013.
Bill de Blasio voted during the Democratic primary for mayor, Sept. 10, 2013.
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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

CROWN HEIGHTS — Democratic mayoral nominee Bill de Blasio may be talking "hard truths" on the campaign trail, but in an informal stop at Judah International Christian Center this week, he was preaching to the choir.

"I talk about a tale of two cities," De Blasio told the crowd at the 77th Precinct's community council meeting Monday night. "It’s necessary to acknowledge this hard truth: there are some people in the city doing very very well. Most people in some form or another are struggling."

De Blasio's call to curb luxury developments and preserve affordable housing were met with cheers and applause at the church on Rogers Avenue and Sterling Place, at the heart of one of the most rapidly shifting neighborhoods in New York City. 

"It’s something we’ve faced in Brooklyn, sadly more than every other other borough," de Blasio said. "I’ve talked about protecting affordable housing for people. I know this neighborhood is a critical example of this. We have ways of doing that, and we haven’t used them." 

The candidate also talked about the need for change in the NYPD, reiterating his criticism of stop-and-frisk in a precinct that has made significantly more such stops in recent years than police in neighboring precincts have.

"I believe in law and order, but that means I believe in upholding the U.S. Constitution," de Blasio said. "We will have safety, but we will also bring police and community back together."  

The mayoral candidate wasn't the only high profile Democratic nominee to drop by the meeting Monday.

Ken Thompson, who hopes to unseat longtime Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes in November's election, also spoke to the council, posing for pictures with de Blasio and 77th Precinct commanding officer Capt. Eddie Lott

"I will move heaven and earth to make sure Ken Thompson is the next Brooklyn DA," De Blasio said.