Russell Calls Out NYC Mayor


Simmons called out New York City

Mayor Rudy Giuliani yesterday (May 31) for squashing his plans

to have an event in City Hall Park. Russell is claiming he was

denied the park, because he made fun of Giuliani in recent advertisements

for his website, The ad featured a Giuliani look

a like, with the words: "I Am Not Hip-Hop." The site

is partnered with Rap The Vote 2000. Simmons also said the Mayor

may have terminated the event because he is not interested in

promoting voter registration in the Hip-Hop community.

The city is taking

a different stance against Russell and his site, claiming that

he is just trying to draw extra publicity to the site, and that

he is not interested in voter registration. The New York Post

claimed an insider said "The Mayor doesn't even know who

Russell Simmons Is" and that he was trying to bait the Mayor into

a conflict, then use the conflict to plug his site. Simmons waited

until Tuesday to apply for a permit, according to the New York

Post, and that left no time to negotiate. Simmons had denied that

he was even offered to pay for the park.

``I can't tell you

how much it both saddens and sickens me that Mayor Giuliani would

choose to thwart our efforts to involve more young people in the

political process,'' said Simmons. ``It's just further testament

that Giuliani has little regard for a major segment of the population

he's supposed to represent. In fact, we repeatedly invited him

to participate, to show that he too is for bipartisan efforts

to politicize young New Yorkers. This is our mayor's response

-- his office pulling our permit. And this is why we need to register

voters by the thousands.''