Bloomberg Met with Boos at Sharpton's MLK Celebration

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg got a decidedly mixed reception before an overflow crowd celebrating Martin Luther King Day at Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network headquarters in Harlem. A mix of boos and cheers ensued as he delivered his speech at the celebration today. (Published Monday, Jan 31, 2011)

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg got a decidedly mixed reception before an overflow crowd celebrating Martin Luther King Day at Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network headquarters in Harlem.

    U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Bloomberg were among those scheduled to participate in the Rev. Al Sharpton's annual event, but Hizzoner was greeted with loud boos combined with some polite applause when he took the podium.

    Bloomberg proceeded with his remarks and at one point he was booed again when he said President Obama considers New York City the national model of education.

    "That's not true," some members of the crowd shouted.

    Later some said in attendance said that  the comments of new Schools Chancellor Cathie Black last week were partially responsible for the chilly reception.  Reverend Al Sharpton later described Bloomberg's reception as "mixed."

    Sharpton and Bloomberg have forged an amicable working relationship and Sharpton seemed hesitant to criticize the Bloomberg team beyond saying Black's comments regarding school overcrowding and birth control  "were insensitive."

    Facing repeated questions about the remarks, Sharpton refused comment, insisting  "I'm not gonna turn this into a Cathie Black story on King Day."