And, despite the weather, the race to Gracie Mansion keeps heating up. With multiple mayoral forums already passed, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio yesterday officially announced that he is running for mayor. His slogan? "We only succeed if we leave no New Yorker behind." So we guess he isn't betting on the Rich Uncle Pennybags set?

De Blasio made his announcement outside his Park Slope home after introductions by his wife, Chirlane McCray, and 15-year-old son Dante who, as the Daily News notes, has been sporting "a stupendous afro."

"Like so many New Yorkers, my heart belongs to my neighborhood. We deserve a city government that actually believes in our neighborhoods and sees things the way we do," de Blasio told a crowd that included Sex and the CIty star Cynthia Nixon (who, despite them both being open lesbians, is not supporting City Council Speaker Christine Quinn). "Now, that may have seemed impossible in recent years. We’ve gotten so used to the elitists at City Hall that the notion of government, of and for and by our neighborhoods, may seem in disrepair."

"If you live on 11th St. in Brooklyn, or neighborhoods across our city," the candidate went on while paraphrasing his 'tale of two cities' stump, "it feels like your voice doesn’t matter for those in power. The farther you live from City Hall, the more you feel that way."

In announcing his intentions, De Blasio also managed to get a few digs into his competitors, including against Quinn (who is on the cover of New York this week). In addition to bringing up the Quinn-stalled issue of paid sick leave, and his desire for higher taxes on the rich, he also slipped this dig in at those who gave Bloomberg a third term: "There are some who believe that Mayor Bloomberg's policies from the past 12 years just need to be tweaked here and there and that his vision should continue more or less uninterrupted for the next four years."

Expect a few more of these announcements in the coming weeks: Neither Quinn or comptroller John Liu (or Gristede's owner John Catsimatidis) have officially tossed their hats in the ring yet.