BLOOMBERG’S “LIAISON” BACKS 9/11 GAG RULE
Catalyst October Issue 2011
It was nearly impossible to find anyone who supported New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s gag rule censoring the clergy and First Responders from speaking at the 9/11 ceremonies. One exception was a woman who lost her husband in the attacks, and who was identified as a liaison between the mayor and the victims’ families. Her name is Christy Ferer. But she is not exactly a go-between: she works for Bloomberg. Moreover, she used to date him.
“There are so many faiths that would have to be present,” Ferer said leading up to the events. “How do you not insult somebody?” Better to insult everyone equally, she concluded. But not exactly: no group of New Yorkers was more insulted than Catholics.
Ferer’s ties with her ex-boyfriend have paid dividends. Besides currently being a Special Assistant to Bloomberg, she previously served on the Advisory Council Board for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and is past Commissioner of the Port Authority. She also served on the transition committee for Mayor-elect Bloomberg. Her husband who was killed on 9/11, Neil Levin, was also a longtime friend of Bloomberg, and a former director of the Port Authority.
Many members of victims’ families have previously complained that Ferer does not reach out to them, and there is no evidence that she consulted with them regarding the propriety of censoring the clergy and First Responders from the 9/11 events. She said that she read their e-mails regarding the 9/11 ceremonies, but this is a poor substitute for dialogue.
We demanded to know the names of those whom Bloomberg and Ferer consulted with before the decision to ban the clergy and First Responders was made.