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Bloomberg opens office in downtown Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN — Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, is the first 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to open a field office in the Mahoning Valley.

Bloomberg’s local office is at 237 E. Front St. in Youngstown at a building owned by 2Deep Entertainment. The campaign is officially opening its office at 4 p.m. today.

The campaign said it will use the office to register voters and meet with volunteers.

Bloomberg already has offices in Ohio in Akron, Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Lima, Toledo and Westerville. The campaign also plans to open a number of other offices shortly including in Athens and Dayton.

The billionaire has spent millions on commercials on television, radio and online in Ohio.

Jaladah Aslam of Austintown, a longtime labor leader and campaign adviser, is serving as the Valley’s regional organizing director for Bloomberg.

Aslam is the head of the Youngstown Warren Black Caucus and is sergeant at arms for the Mahoning-Trumbull AFL-CIO Labor Council. She’s worked on several campaigns over the past 25 years, is a former executive board member of the Ohio Democratic Party and has served as a delegate at the last three Democratic National Conventions.

The building where the Bloomberg headquarters is located was purchased three years ago by 2Deep, which is operated by Terrill Vidale. The company received a $350,000 loan from the city to purchase the building. That loan has since been repaid.

Vidale recently attracted media attention when Youngstown City Council voted Jan. 15 to not renew his annual job as the city’s downtown events and citywide special projects coordinator. Council members said Vidale did a poor job, something dispute by Vidale’s supporters.

Bloomberg has the largest campaign operation of any of the Democratic candidates in Ohio. His campaign said there are 91 staffers in the state.

Aaron Pickrell, a longtime Democratic adviser and strategist, is Bloomberg’s state director. He had the same job title for Barack Obama in 2008.

“Our team is mostly made up of Ohio natives, who have unmatched experience in this state and in many of the communities we’re organizing in,” Pickrell said. “With only six weeks to go until the Ohio primary, we’ve built an incredible operation with a staff that knows this state better than anyone else.”

Since launching his campaign in November 2019, Bloomberg has hired more than 1,000 people nationally to his staff.

Various media reports say his campaign is paying significantly more than those of other Democratic presidential candidates.

dskolnick@tribtoday.com

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