PATERSON, NJ - While small town mayor Pete Buttigieg and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders appear to be paving roads to the Democratic Party's nomination to take on President Donald Trump in November, it’s a candidate whose impact has been felt a bit closer to home that Mayor Andre Sayegh is putting his political clout behind.
On Wednesday Sayegh announced that he is officially endorsing Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire businessman and former three-term mayor of New York City.
"Reducing gun violence in Paterson is my chief priority, and Michael Bloomberg has been a fierce leader on this important issue, taking on the gun lobby and siding with Americans fighting for sensible gun laws," Sayegh, who will serve as one of five campaign co-chairs in the state, said. "Mike has also consistently supported and promoted an urban agenda that focuses on data-driven policy, civic innovation, and sustainability-all values that we embrace in Paterson."
“As the mayor of the 3rd largest city in the State of New Jersey and one of the most diverse cities in the nation, Mayor Sayegh is on the forefront of leading an economic renaissance to revitalize the city of Paterson and recognizes that Mike Bloomberg is the best candidate to support those efforts,” said Michael Muller, the New Jersey State Director for Mike Bloomberg 2020. “This latest endorsement continues to reflect the building momentum in New Jersey for Mike’s candidacy and is the latest example of the deep support he is building for New Jersey’s presidential primary.”
Sayegh is also the first Arab American elected official to endorse Bloomberg, a campaign spokesperson said.
From the earliest days of his own mayoral administration Sayegh has touted Bloomberg's leadership and success in taking some of New York City's biggest issues, and once likened his own strategy to bring redevelopment to all six of Paterson wards to Bloomberg's "Five-Boro Economic Plan."
Sayegh was also one of just 40 mayors across the globe selected to participate in the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, a yearlong program which is delivered by faculty from Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government, as well as world-class experts in government innovation from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ global network. Sayegh's participation in that program spurred the launch of Paterson's Innovation Team, a three-year, $750,000 grant funded initiative to "define and respond to complex urban challenges, deploy resources to meet those challenges, and measure the impact of solutions implemented.”
Saying he is "inspired" by Bloomberg's record, Sayegh, with a copy of Bloomberg's autobiography at his side, also pointed to Bloomberg's other "investments" such as in the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University, Financial Empowerment Centers, and CityLab that "have created a nationwide network of passionate municipal leaders who share best practices and new ideas that positively impact millions across the country," as evidence that once elected to the nation's top spot he'll work to strengthen America's cities.
In January Bloomberg announced what has become known as the "Greenwood Initiative," something Sayegh referred to as "an ambitious yet attainable vision for economic mobility and home ownership which would provide a game-changing level of federal support for cities like Paterson."
For all of these reason, Sayegh concluded, he is "profoundly proud to endorse the man who will take on and take out Trump, Michael Bloomberg for President."
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