NEW YORK (AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio’s son, Dante, who starred in one of the most notable political ads in New York City history, will be attending Yale University this fall.
Dante’s mother, Chirlane McCray, made the announcement Wednesday morning via Twitter. She wrote, “So excited for your next adventure, Dante. #bulldogs2019.”
She also posted a photo of her smiling son holding a Yale sweatshirt.
“He did a lot of research and spent time on the campus a couple of different times,” the mayor said outside City hall Hours later. “He was very excited at the caliber of the academic life of Yale. Chirlane and I are obviously thrilled that he will be nearby.”
Dante, now 17, became a familiar face to New Yorkers during the stretch run of the 2013 mayoral campaign. His father, then the public advocate, had languished in fourth place for months leading up to the Democratic primary.
But as some of the leading candidates saw their bids collapse, the de Blasio team put out an ad that changed the course of the campaign.
Bill de Blasio, a white man married to a black woman, had railed against what he deemed the overuse of stop and frisk, a police tactic that allowed officers to stop anyone they deemed suspicious. Its critics charged that it discriminated against black and Latino men.
But the argument really resonated when his teenage son, who identifies as black and sports a distinctive Afro, made the same case.
“He is the only one who will end a stop-and-frisk era that unfairly targets people of color,” Dante said in the ad’s voiceover. “Bill de Blasio will be a mayor for every New Yorker, no matter where they live or what they look like, and I’d say that even if he weren’t my dad.”
After that ad aired, the son became nearly as big of a star as the father, drawing louder cheers at that year’s West Indian Day Parade than the candidate.
Dante was at the center of another political debate over police and community relations last December. After a grand jury declined to indict the white police officer who placed a black man in a fatal chokehold, the mayor publicly recalled having to warn Dante about the potential dangers of an encounter with police.
Those comments were seized on by the police unions and were at the heart of a cold war between City Hall and many New York Police Department officers.
But Dante de Blasio’s actual appearances in the public eye have been rare since his father took office. He has largely focused on his studies at Brooklyn Tech High School, one of the city’s elite public high schools. He and a classmate captured the state high school debate championship in March.
Aides to the mayor said Dante de Blasio applied to 10 schools, including Brown University and Amherst College, and was accepted to all of them. He is expected to live on the school’s New Haven, Connecticut, campus, which is about a two-hour train ride from New York.
The mayor’s father also attended Yale.
His older sister, Chiara, attends Santa Clara University in California.
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