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Tony Avella

Tony Avella

  • For Election Year, De Blasio Moves to Eliminate ‘Distractions,’ Except the Gym

    de Blasio press conference smile

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Heading into 2017, his re-election year, Mayor Bill de Blasio moved to eliminate several “distractions,” as he called them, attempting to clean up potentially self-sabotaging messes of his first term so that he can make as clear a case as possible for a second.

    De Blasio came under fire -- and law enforcement investigations -- for behaviors that he has largely eliminated in the run-up to his re-election bid. While he can’t make the investigations, and resulting grand juries, go away by changing

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  • 2016 A Far Different Election Year for Independent Democrats

    John Nilson

    Sen. Jeff Klein (photo: John Nilsen/Governor's Office)


    The five-member Independent Democratic Conference was under siege. Mainstream Democrats, liberal activists, and the Working Families Party were out to punish IDC members for having empowered Senate Republicans and for preventing a progressive agenda from advancing in the New York State Senate. In 2014, the groups fielded candidates to challenge Bronx Senator Jeff Klein, head of the IDC, and newly-minted IDC member Tony Avella, senator of Queens, in party primaries. It began as an aggressive attempt to oust two of the five members of the IDC,

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  • New York’s Next Climate and Community Protections

    NYRenews3


    A major shift in the climate debate is taking place across New York and a new front in the discussion is emerging. No longer faraway images of drowning polar bears and epic glacial melt, climate change has moved into our own backyards, devastating our local neighborhoods. And no one knows this better than New York’s working families.

    Extreme weather destroys upstate farmers’ crops and keeps hourly employees from getting to work. Air pollution exacerbates chronic health conditions, triggering asthma attacks and other health problems, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

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  • Why Don’t We Ever Hear About Commercial Rent Policy?

    levine small biz

    Council Member Levine & co outside an evicted business (photo: @MarkLevineNYC) 


    Mid-June, it was a block in Washington Heights that was poised to be the next to close up shop. The landlord, Coltown Properties, looked to evict the mostly Latino-owned stores on the street, which included a barbershop, restaurant, and income tax service. The store proprietors faced the same issue as many other small business owners in New York — there was nothing they could do.

    “Collectively, the businesses on

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