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Opinion

Opinion

  • As Albany Fiddles on 421-A, New York City Suffers

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    Council Member Donovan Richards, the author (photo: William Alatriste)


    With officials in Albany about to pack up and head home, there is still some serious unfinished business.

    Thanks to Albany’s failure to deliver a compromise between real estate and labor interests, it’s clear that we’ll see no movement on one of the most critical tools we have to build affordable housing: 421-A, the tax incentive program.

    What a lot of us hoped was just a six-month pause in adding to the pipeline of new rental housing is at serious risk of

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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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  • Time for Restorative Justice in Our Schools

    Zaire Kiran Agostini

    Zaire Kiran Agostini, the author


    Being a black girl in New York schools is hard—the stereotypes and biases we face are painful, and often overlooked. Too often, they lead to suspensions and arrests of young people like me that take us out of school and push us toward the streets, prison, or worse. Now is the time for New York State to take action to address the damage being done by out-of-touch school discipline policies.

    When teachers or administrators look at girls like me talking with my friends, they look at us like we are always about to cause

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  • Serving the Last Generation of Holocaust Survivors in New York

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    Mrs. Klein, a Holocaust survivor, with Council Member Levine (William Alatriste)


    “If our stories do not survive when we are gone, then six million Jews were murdered in vain.” That sobering call to action from Mrs. Klein, one of the 4,700 Holocaust survivors served by Selfhelp Community Services each year, rings especially true as we marked Yom HaShoah, the annual commemoration of Jewish survival through last century’s great tragedy.

    At this time of the year, we are once again reminded to share the stories of

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  • City Should Call an Eviction Moratorium

    housing

    photo: Edward Blake via Flickr


    One fear that is prevalent in every borough of New York City is the threat of eviction. Gentrification and

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  • A Budget for the City of Immigrants

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    Students of an adult literacy class (photo: Make the Road New York)


    In recent years, New York City has taken major strides forward in its engagement with immigrant communities. Under the leadership of Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and the Council as a whole, our city has adopted and invested in new initiatives to welcome and protect immigrants and embrace their tremendous economic, cultural, and political contributions.

    Now, with the 2017 budget process in final negotiations, our leaders have a key

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  • An Imperfect Victory for New York Workers

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    Millions of New Yorkers are celebrating a deal this week to raise the state’s minimum wage. The deal puts a better future in sight for families around the state and sends a powerful signal to other states considering wage hikes of their own.

    The deal is a testament to the power of organizing. Today’s headlines would be unimaginable just a few years ago. When New York Communities for Change organized the first fast food worker strike – almost four years ago – people thought we were crazy.

    As the federal government repeatedly stalled on a meaningful

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  • Give Police Tools to Reduce Arrest and Improve Community Health

    NYPD training hall

    (photo via @NYPDnews)


    How do we respond to people in our society who might appear threatening, but who most urgently need medical help? Shortcomings in our community health and social services systems mean that many people who live in poverty, use drugs, and live with mental illness end up in our justice system.

    In too many cases, a police officer’s response to someone experiencing a psychotic break or self-medicating with drugs involves an arrest, which can lead these medically-vulnerable people into a cycle of arrest and

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  • Public Money Is For Public Schools

    greefield rally

    Council Member David Greenfield, colleagues, & others rally for Intro 65


    Earlier this week the City Council, with the blessing of the mayor, passed Intro 65, a bill that will give $19.8 million of public money to Yeshivas, Catholic, and private schools to pay for security guards. In defending the legislation and public

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  • In Zoning Amendment, One Size Does Not Fit All

    richards de blasio presser

    Council Member Richards, the author (photo: William Alatriste)


    As the de Blasio administration pushes forward its Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) and Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA) plans coupled together, the City Council plans to take the time to look at these two proposals separately. As chair of the Land Use Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises, my committee has significant responsibility in this process. One thing is clear: a one-size-fits-all approach will not work.

    Community Boards across the city have voiced their concerns

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  • Harmful Legal Reform Is Not an Ethics Solution

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    Here's the lead I wish I could write: "Corporate groups join government watchdogs to push for a New York State ethics overhaul." Fortunately, it's partly right - watchdog groups like NYPIRG and Citizens Union are certainly doing so. But some corporate groups are responding to the ethics mess in Albany, well, differently.

    Consider the Dec. 2 op-ed "After Silver: Legal Reform is Ethics Reform" from the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York or "LRANY." This group has

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  • PBA Continues Misguided Resistance to Reform

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    (photo: @NYPDnews)


    Last week the NYPD and a Federal Court appointed "stop and frisk" monitor came to agreement on the distribution of informational receipts to be given out to people stopped by the police. The cards will contain identifying information about the officer and the reason for the interaction. This is one of several potential outcomes of the "stop and frisk" community remediation process now underway stemming from the

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