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Gotham Gazette

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Bronx

  • Former Informant, Out; Candidate Indicted on Voter Fraud, In

    Hector Ramirez petitioning

    Hector Ramirez petitioning in the Bronx (photo via Facebook)


    Bronx Assemblymember Victor Pichardo will no longer be facing former Assemblymember Nelson Castro, a onetime federal informant who helped dig up dirt on fellow electeds in an attempt to reduce charges he was facing for election-related perjury, in the upcoming Democratic primary.

    Instead, Pichardo will again be

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 14

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Mayor Bill de Blasio has reason to smile as this week begins. Through negotiations with the City Council and outside critics, de Blasio appears to have gotten just about everyone on board with his citywide zoning changes and they are all-but-certain to be passed through the City Council over the next two weeks - first through committee this week, then the full Council on March 22. The City Planning Commission has to

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  • City Council Raises Provoke Questions About Staff Pay

    city council members budget announcement

    Members of the City Council (photo: William Alatriste) 


    As New York City Council members voted on a package of legislation that increased their salaries from $112,500 to $148,500, aides to two Council members stood silently in the balcony of the Council chambers, wearing white t-shirts that read, “Paycheck to Paycheck, Pay Raises for All.”

    The $36,000 salary bump for Council members is about the same amount of money that many of their staff members make in a year. These are aides filling roles such as

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  • Voters to Fill Vacant Bronx Council Seat in Special Election

    salamanca

    Rafael Salamanca meets voters before Tuesday's election (via @JohnJrBX)


    Residents of District 17 in the Bronx will vote for a new City Council Member on Tuesday in a special election to fill the vacancy left by former Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo, who resigned and the end of last year. As with all special elections for the City Council not held on regularly scheduled election days, it is a nonpartisan contest, meaning no candidate will appear on the major party ballot lines. Instead,

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  • Special Election Spotlights Machine Politics in The Bronx

    heastie diaz jr crespo

    Heastie, Diaz Jr., Crespo (l-r)


    By the time Julio Pabón got called in for his interview with the Bronx Democratic County Committee, he had heard all the chatter. Political insiders were saying that party leadership had already chosen a candidate. What's more, Pabón had seen a telling flyer for a Christmas event to be held at a local public school. It had been emailed, on Dec. 8, from the state Senate account of Ruben Diaz Sr. At the head of the flyer were portraits of New York Republican Party Chair Ed Cox and the senator himself, alongside a

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  • New York City Needs Supervised Injection Facilities

    mccray bassett thrivenyc

    First Lady McCray & Health Comm. Bassett (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    There is a hot topic trending in the debate over the war on drugs: should there be safe places for intravenous drug users to inject? A panel of experts from around the world convened a symposium in New York City to share their experiences and the panelists and their sponsor, VOCAL NY, called for such a facility in the city. They are completely correct.

    There are an estimated 100 supervised injection

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  • A Family-Centered Approach to Homelessness Policy

    ralph homes for the homeless

    Ralph da Costa Nunez, the author


    The first two years of the de Blasio administration have been marked by a continued rise in the number of homeless children and adults, along with the resignation of both the deputy mayor for health and human services and the commissioner of the Department of Homeless Services. The Mayor's announcement of a comprehensive operational review of the city's homeless programs may be labeled by some as a sign of a system in crisis. However, the administration may actually be poised to seize this opportunity and radically

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  • Discussion of New York's 'Broken Bail System' Comes to Brooklyn

    de Blasio Lippman

    Mayor de Blasio testifies in front of Judge Lippman (photo: Demetrius Freeman, Mayor's Office)


    New York's “broken bail system” puts an estimated 50,000 people behind city bars each year simply because they cannot afford to pay bail. These people are accused of low-level, non-violent offenses, many of whom wind up not even seeing trial or being convicted of a crime. But, they do not have the means to pay bail,

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  • Klein's 'Newspaper' Touts His Ability to Bring Home the Bacon

    klein riverdale record

    Sen. Klein's "newspaper"


    The latest edition of the "newspaper" being published by state Senator Jeff Klein features frontpage news celebrating his ability to bring cash home to his Bronx district.

    "UFT, educators herald Klein's $1.5M support for community schools," reads one frontpage headline.

    Another: "Community applauds Klein for securing $250K for Hudson River Greenway study."

    The timing is interesting given that the latest edition of "Riverdale Record" - circulation 37,000 - hit mailboxes just as Klein and the large sums

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  • In Battle with Local Bronx Media, Klein Publishes Own Newspaper

    klein riverdale record

    The August issue of Riverdale Record, Sen. Jeff Klein's 'newspaper'


     

    Some residents of the Bronx were surprised in August when what looked like a new newspaper arrived in their mailboxes. Upon closer inspection of Riverdale Record, some could tell they had received an elaborate piece of campaign literature from state Senator Jeff Klein dressed up as a community newspaper.

    “Riverdale Record Serving the communities of Riverdale, Van Cortlandt Village

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  • How To Become a New York City Council Member

    bdb cms muni id alatriste

    Mayor de Blasio, a former Council member, with several current CMs (William Alatriste)


    Ask any New York City Council member and they'll tell you— there is no set formula that will send an aspiring candidate to City Hall.

    "If you want to be a lawyer, the path is the same: get a bachelor's degree, take the LSATs, go to law school, take the bar exam, and voila, you're a lawyer," Ritchie Torres, the 51-member Council's youngest rep, told Gotham Gazette. "Whereas in politics, there is no single path."

    Torres'

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  • Progress Elusive as Bronx DA Cruises Toward Reelection

    BX DA Johnson (AP)

    Bronx DA Robert Johnson, foreground (photo: Associated Press) 


    There’s a rooftop rock garden at the Bronx County Hall of Justice, the sprawling ten-story glass building that houses the county’s criminal and supreme courts. In theory, the space was designed to be a contemplative, community place, but in practice, it is not open to the public. Lawyers quip it has something to do with a potentially precarious confluence of angry people, the courthouse’s glass facade, and rocks.

    The suggestion that people would throw rocks from a zen

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  • The Mayor's Vacant Lots

    vacant lot - Walton Ave - Bronx

    A vacant lot in the Bronx


    City Seeks to Sharpen Picture of Vacant Lots and Add Incentives to Boost Affordable Housing

    A neat stretch of row houses comes to an abrupt halt at 2247 Walton Ave., in the Bronx, where a boarded-up house warning of rat poison sits beside a fenced-in lot covered in dead grass and garbage. The site has remained empty for several years and has served as an effective backdrop for media events held by Picture the Homeless, an advocacy group headquartered

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