Despite facing First Amendment violation claims for not approving other projects, New York City officials painted Black Lives Matter murals around the city and ignored their own public art projects application in the process, the New York Post reported.
“We haven’t said no to people. We’ve said, if you want to apply, you can apply, but there’s a process,'” Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference, according to a transcript posted to New York City’s official website.
I knew this from the very beginning. #NYC tax dollars at work for lawsuits that could have been avoided by following the process and community board support to remove bias. #BilldeBlasio #NewYorkCity #NewYork #BLM #BlackLivesMatter https://t.co/23gun4TRla
— John Burnett (@IamJohnBurnett) August 4, 2020
The project application process for the Black Lives Matter murals was bypassed after a meeting between de Blasio, community leaders, and activists at Gracie Mansion where de Blasio decided the message “transcends all normal realities because we are in a moment of history where this had to be said and done,” but that the “normal process continues for anyone who wants to apply.”
De Blasio said he did not deny Women for America First’s mural proposal, but referred the group to the Department of Transportation’s project application process, the Post reported. (RELATED: Trump Criticizes New York’s ‘Black Lives Matter’ Mural As A ‘Symbol Of Hate’)
“Anyone can apply through our public art program. As the mayor has said, the city does have discretion as well on painting those projects,” Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said.
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