“The system is not based on trying to give you a ready, available opportunity to appeal, or a fair way to actually make sure that all the facts are looked at,” Mr. de Blasio said, prompting a few “Yes! Yes!” incantations reminiscent of a Sunday service. “Let me ask — how many people in this room have seen their water bills go up sharply in the last year? Raise your hand.”
Up rocketed a dozen or so arms, vindication for Mr. de Blasio, who has increasingly made amplifying the concerns of small-business owners a cornerstone of his expected campaign for mayor of New York, and a cudgel with which to critique not only Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg but also one of his probable rivals in the Democratic primary, Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker. He does not have the bully pulpit or the historic candidacy that have allowed Ms. Quinn to garner much of the attention thus far, but he is also freer to run with the voice of a populist outsider, despite having held public office for years.
Mr. de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, has sharpened his pitch since a reporter first tagged along with
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