Gotham Gazette http://www.gothamgazette.com/component/tags/tag/111 Tue, 19 Jun 2018 00:46:58 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Webmaster) The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 18 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7741:the-week-ahead-in-new-york-politics-june-18 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7741:the-week-ahead-in-new-york-politics-june-18 New York City Hall

New York City Hall


What to watch for this week in New York politics:

The final three scheduled days of this year’s legislative session in Albany are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week. Will there be the annual “big ugly” mash-up of compromise policy passed on the final night of session? Stay tuned.

There are not very many issues that appear close to a compromise among Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, the Democrat-led Assembly, and the Republican-led Senate. But, most years the parties come to some agreement on a few big-ticket items. This year that could include sports gambling, decoupling teacher evaluations from student test scores, school area speed cameras, economic development transparency, criminal justice reform, gun control, and/or a handful of other items. Most signs have pointed to a limited, if any, big ugly, but machinations in Albany are difficult to predict, other than knowing that the details of whatever is passed will most likely not be given the proper public discussion or review before legislators vote it through.

As is the case every two years when the entire Legislature is up for election, but even more so every four years when the statewide positions are on the ballot, like this year, the session is clouded with political considerations. Senate Republicans, hoping to keep their one-seat majority through the fall elections, have little reason to say “yes” to anything that Democrats want. The ongoing saga of corruption trials involving state government also continue as a backdrop to government business this week.

Also this week: we’re hitting one week until the congressional primaries in New York. There are a handful of primaries in New York City where incumbents are facing spirited challenges. The most-watched primary is of course centered on Staten Island, where incumbent Republican Representative Dan Donovan is being challenged by former Representative Michael Grimm. The Democratic primary in that race, NY-11, is also worth watching, as the general election will be an important race in the larger picture whereby Democrats are trying to flip enough seats in New York and beyond to take control of the House of Representatives.

Several other city races on the Democratic side are interesting, and though incumbents are heavily favored, several -- like Reps. Joe Crowley, Carolyn Maloney, and Yvette Clarke -- have had to sweat more this year than in past cycles.

And there are of course primaries outside the five boroughs worth watching as they set the stage for key swing district general election battles.

Additionally on the elections front, we are of course continuing to watch the races for those statewide seats: governor, lieutenant governor, comptroller, and attorney general. Cynthia Nixon appears to have lost some momentum in the Democratic primary challenge to Gov. Cuomo -- can she regain some? What are the Democratic candidates for attorney general -- Letitia James, Zephyr Teachout, Sean Patrick Maloney, Leecia Eve -- doing to differentiate themselves and to introduce themselves to the many New York voters who don’t know them well? How is fundraising and ballot signature petitioning going for candidates?

We spoke at length with incumbent Democratic Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul this past week -- listen to the conversation: Max & Murphy Podcast: Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

And we spoke with Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro about his developing campaign platform, which is still devoid of most details but coming into somewhat sharper focus: On Taxes, the MTA & More: Molinaro Discusses Developing Campaign Platform.

As for city government, on Friday Mayor Bill de Blasio told WNYC’s Brian Lehrer that this coming week he and NYPD officials will be announcing the results of the department’s 30-day review of its marijuana policing practices. It’s not yet clear which day that will occur. And, there are two more meetings of the mayor's charter revision commission this week.

There’s also a variety of City Council hearings this week and the usual bunch of singular panel and other events to be aware of -- see the day-by-day rundown below.

***Do you have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics?
e-mail Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max: bmax@gothamgazette.com***

The run of the week in detail:

Monday
At 6 a.m. Monday morning Mayor de Blasio will make a taped appearance on NPR's Morning Edition. In the evening, the mayor will make his usual weekly appearance on NY1's Inside City Hall, in the 7 and 11 p.m. hours.

The New York State Legislature will be in session on Monday in Albany, the first of the final three scheduled days of the session.

At the City Council on Monday: The Committee on Civil and Human Rights will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss proposed laws relating to “protections for workers under the city’s human rights law” and “prohibiting retaliation against individuals who request a reasonable accommodation under the
city’s human rights law.”

The corruption trial of former SUNY Polytechnic President Alain Kaloyeros, for bid-rigging, bribery, and other charges related to his work in Governor Cuomo’s signature Buffalo Billion economic development program, will begin on Monday in Manhattan.

Democratic attorney general candidate Zephyr Teachout and Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro are both holding morning press conferences outside the federal courthouse. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon will present her campaign finance reform agenda at a press conference at Tweed Courthouse at noon.

And, at 12:15 outside the federal courthouse, “Government and budget watchdogs highlight corruption risks identified by bid rigging trial and call on the Assembly to stop stalling and pass transparency and accountability bills already passed by the state senate, and supported by state comptroller and over twenty prominent NYS organizations.” Participants will include Citizens Budget Commission, Citizens Union, Common Cause NY, Fiscal Policy Institute, and Reinvent Albany.

At 9 a.m. Monday, New America will host “2020 Census: A Tech Revolution or Risk” at NYU Law School’s Greenberg Lounge. Topics of discussion will include whether issues such as a citizenship question and a digitally-based census will lead to lower turnout among minority populations. Speakers will include U.S. Reps Adriano Espaillat and Carolyn Maloney, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Joe Salvo of the Department of City Planning, and Steve Choi of the New York Immigration Coalition, among others. Dr. Christina Greer of Fordham University will moderate.

At 11 :15 a.m. Monday, "Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul Rallies to Pass Red Flag Gun Protection Bill" at Nottingham High School in Syracuse.

On Monday at 12:30 p.m. in Bay Ridge, "members of the de Blasio Administration, elected officials and street safety advocates will gather at P.S. 264 Bay Ridge Elementary School for the Arts to urge for the passage of A7798C/S6046C, a bill that would preserve existing speed cameras near school zones while also expanding them to additional, high priority school zones where speeding is prevalent. Currently, A7798C/S6046C has bipartisan support in the state Senate and 33 co-sponsors. The bill has yet to reach the floor for a vote where only 32 votes are needed to pass any given bill. A7798C/S6046C passed the Assembly overwhelming in June 2017." Participants will include James P. O’Neill, Police Commissioner; Elizabeth Rose, Deputy Chancellor, Department of Education; Dr. Oxiris Barbot, First Deputy Commissioner, NYC Health Department; Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams; City Council Member Justin Brannan; Patrice Edison, Principal, P.S. 264; Zaman Mashrah, P.S. 264 Parent and Advocate; and Adam McLeer, Families for Safe Streets.

At 1 p.m. Monday, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson will speak at a rally calling for the immediate release of Pablo Villavicencio, at 26 Federal Plaza in Manhattan. At 7 p.m., Johnson will attend the LGBT Center Garden Party, at Hudson River Park, Pier 84.

On Monday, Comptroller Scott Stringer will deliver graduation remarks at three schools in Brooklyn: P.S. 279 Herman Schreiber; P.S. 198 Magnet School of Applied Learning in Arts & Engineering Graduation; and I.S. 340 North Star Academy Graduation.

On Monday at 1 p.m. at City Hall, family members of individuals killed by members of the NYPD and others will rally “to demand action from Mayor de Blasio” on police “accountability and transparency” for the officers who killed Eric Garner, Delrawn Small, Saheed Vassell, and others. Ralliers will call for “firings and release of information.” Participants will include Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner; Victoria Davis and Victor Dempsey, sister and brother of Delrawn Small; Eric Vassell, father of Saheed Vassell; other family members; City Council Members Antonio Reynoso and Brad Lander; Communities United for Police Reform; Brooklyn Movement Center; Justice Committee; Picture the Homeless; and others.

On Monday afternoon, schools Chancellor Richard Carranza will deliver brief remarks at the NYC Teaching Fellows welcome event.

On Monday at 5:30 p.m., Public Advocate Letitia James will deliver remarks at the Project FIND annual gala, at Fifth Ave Presbyterian Church.

Tuesday
The New York State Legislature will be in session on Tuesday in Albany.

At the City Council on Tuesday:
--The Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet at 9:30 a.m.
--The Committee on Veterans will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss proposed laws relating to “benefits counseling services for veterans,” “creating veterans resource centers,” “the creation of a veterans resource guide,” and “peer support services for veterans.”
--The Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting, and Maritime Uses will meet at noon
--The Committee on Sanitation will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss a proposed law relating to “reducing permitted capacity at putrescible and non-putrescible solid waste transfer stations in overburdened districts.”
--The Committees on Governmental Operations and Women will meet jointly at 1 p.m. to discuss several proposed laws relating to childcare, including laws related to lactation accommodations, diaper provisions, “providing on-site childcare for city employees,” and “permitting the use of campaign funds for certain childcare expenses.”
--The Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions, and Concessions will meet at 2 p.m.

The retrial on federal corruption charges of former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos will begin on Tuesday in Manhattan.

At 8 a.m. Tuesday, City Planning Commission Chair Marisa Lago will deliver keynote remarks at the Citizens Budget Commission’s Trustee Breakfast at the Harvard Club. “Topics for discussion will include the decennial census, zoning initiatives, and resiliency planning.”

At 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, the League of Women Voters “will present its 2018 Distinguished Service Award to the Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide,” “at the League’s annual awards breakfast at the Roosevelt Hotel.”

At 1 p.m. Tuesday, the Charter Revision Commission empaneled by Mayor Bill de Blasio will hold an issue forum regarding community boards and land use at the Pratt Institute.

At 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, the New York City Board of Elections will hold a commissioners’ meeting.

At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, JustLeadershipUSA will hold a demonstration at Foley Square as part of a statewide day of action to protest against the state’s bail, discovery, and speedy trial laws, and inaction on ameliorating the issues with those.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, the Sexual Harassment Working Group will host “Fixing Albany’s #MeToo Problem: What’s Next?” at the Cooper Union in Manhattan. The group, consisting of seven women who experienced sexual harassment as staffers at the State Legislature, “will be releasing policy recommendations created after extensive dialogues with advocates and experts.” Panelists include Danielle Bennett, former administrative assistant to Assemblymember Micah Kellner; Elizabeth Crothers, former Assembly legislative aide; Leah Hebert, former Chief of Staff to Assemblymember Vito Lopez; Eliyanna Kaiser, former Chief of Staff to Kellner; Tori Burhans Kelly, former legislative aide to Lopez; Rita Pasarell, former legislative counsel to Lopez; and Erica Vladimer, former counsel for the IDC. The discussion will be moderated by strategist and columnist Alexis Grenell.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, the New York City Bar Association will host “Implementation of Raise the Age: Challenges and Opportunities.” Speakers will include Martin Feinman of the Legal Aid Society, Felipe Franco of the Administration for Children’s Services, Faith Lovell of the Office of Corporation Counsel, Judge Edwina Mendelson, Gineen Gray of the Department of Probation, Nitin Savur of the Manhattan DA’s office, and Lisa Schreibersdorf of Brooklyn Defender Services.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, NY1 will host U.S. Representative Yvette Clarke and challenger Adem Bunkeddeko for a Democratic primary debate for the 9th Congressional District.

Wednesday
The New York State Legislature will be in session on Wednesday. This is the final scheduled day of the 2018 legislative session.

At the City Council on Wednesday:
--The Committee on Land Use will meet at 11 a.m.
--The Committees on Hospitals and Mental Health will meet jointly at 1 p.m. at the Metropolitan Hospital Center on the Upper East Side for an oversight hearing regarding “the future of psychiatric care in New York City’s hospital infrastructure.”
--The Committee on Fire and Emergency Management will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “New York City’s emergency planning for coastal storms,” as well as to discuss a proposed law relating to “the use of outdoor residential fire pits.”

At 9 a.m. Wednesday, the MTA will hold its monthly board meeting.

This week’s Max & Murphy podcast from Gotham Gazette and City Limits will be recorded and published Wednesday, featuring scholar and columnist Nicole Gelinas discussing the latest on the MTA.

At 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Statewide Local Development Corporation will hold a board of directors meeting at Empire State Development in Murray Hill.

At noon Wednesday, the Drug Policy Alliance and other advocates will gather at the City Hall steps to call on Mayor de Blasio to completely end the policing of marijuana, with no exceptions, and for other agencies “to address the harms caused by past arrests and adopt policies to align with the marijuana policy shift.”

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, the Panel for Educational Policy will meet at Prospect Heights High School in Brooklyn.

Thursday
At the City Council on Thursday:
--The Committee on Economic Development and the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet jointly at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing “assessing the zoning and financial incentives of the Food Retail Expansion to Support Health programs.”
--The Committee on Aging will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “senior center model budgets.”
--The Committee on Justice System will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “addressing the opioid crisis in criminal court.”
--The Committee on Consumer Affairs will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss proposed laws relating to “prohibiting single-use plastic beverage straws and beverage stirrers,” “allowing restaurant surcharges,” and “applications for retail dealer licenses for sale of cigarettes or tobacco products.”
--The Committees on General Welfare and Contracts will meet jointly at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding the “model budget for human services contractors.”

This week’s What’s The [Data] Point? podcast from Gotham Gazette and Citizens Budget Commission, hosted by Ben Max and Maria Doulis, will be recorded and published on Thursday and will feature New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

At 1 p.m. Thursday, the Charter Revision Commission empaneled by Mayor de Blasio will hold an issue forum regarding civic engagement and independent redistricting at NYU’s D’Agostino Hall.

At 5:30 p.m. Thursday, the Association for a Better New York will host an “ABNY Talk” on “Human Services and Unions” at LMHQ in the Financial District. Two talks will be presented: the first on “understanding human services in NYC,” delivered by former Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Lilliam Barrios-Paoli; and the second on “the evolution of labor’s role in NYC,” delivered by Alan van Capelle, President of the Educational Alliance and formerly of 32BJ SEIU.

Friday and the weekend
Mayor de Blasio may make his weekly appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show at 10 a.m. Friday.

***
Have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics? E-mail Gotham Gazette executive editor Ben Max any time: bmax@gothamgazette.com (please use "For Week Ahead" as email subject).

***
by Ben Brachfeld and Ben Max
@GothamGazette

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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 18 Sun, 17 Jun 2018 04:00:00 +0000
City Council Allocates Discretionary Funding, with Significant Increase for the Speaker http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7739:city-council-allocates-discretionary-funding-with-significant-increase-for-the-speaker http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7739:city-council-allocates-discretionary-funding-with-significant-increase-for-the-speaker council meeting cojo

Speaker Corey Johnson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


The New York City Council increased the funding it distributes to local nonprofits and for Council members’ favored projects in their districts to $66.4 million for next fiscal year, which begins July 1, an increase of about $5 million, which largely went to initiatives sponsored by Speaker Corey Johnson. The money is part of the larger $89.2 billion budget deal reached between Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Council, which was announced on Monday.

The Council on Wednesday released details of its “Schedule C” discretionary funding, allocated annually to support nonprofits across the city and provide services where city agencies do not meet the need. Members items, as they are known, are meant to allow local elected officials to disburse funding to organizations that they know in their communities and help their constituents, especially the young, the old, and those living in or near poverty.

Discretionary allocations in broad categories remained unchanged this year. The Council is spending $5.6 million on programs providing services for the elderly, through the Department for the Aging; initiatives under the Department of Youth and Community Development will receive $7.7 million; anti-poverty initiatives received a $2.8 million allocation.

About $20.4 million will go to various local initiatives on what is called the “Speaker’s List,” sponsored by individual members, while local initiatives sponsored by the speaker himself will get $16.1 million in funding. A separate “Speaker’s Initiative” pot of funding saw the $5 million increase, to $11.9 million. Another $2 million was allocated to borough-wide needs.  

Johnson’s predecessor, former Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, reformed the discretionary funding process when she took the Council’s top office in 2014, adding equalizing measures to the formula by which funding is allocated to members while providing certain bumps to less well-off districts using objective measures. Speakers that came before her had used Schedule C to reward allies and to punish individual members when they spoke out or opposed them. Each member, including the speaker, received about $660,000 each to dole out to local, youth and aging initiatives this year. Additional allocations based on district poverty rates ranged from $25,000 to $100,000 depending on the members’ districts.

The discretionary grants range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands. In a twist, the largest single grant of $500,000 was made by Johnson to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to fund a study on the decaying Lefferts Boulevard bridge in Queens.

Certain boroughs were clear winners. Of the $2 million for borough-wide initiatives, the Brooklyn delegation received the most, a total of $620,000. Queens came in second with $540,000. Manhattan received $380,000 while the Bronx was allocated $340,000, and Staten Island received $120,000.

[Read: Mayor, City Council Reach Agreement on $89.2 Billion Budget, Funding Key Council Priorities]

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by Samar Khurshid, City government reporter, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

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City Council Allocates Discretionary Funding, with Significant Increase for the Speaker Thu, 14 Jun 2018 04:00:00 +0000
De Blasio and City Council Agree on $89.2 Billion Budget, Funding Key Council Priorities http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7731:de-blasio-and-city-council-agree-on-89-2-billion-budget-funding-key-council-priorities http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7731:de-blasio-and-city-council-agree-on-89-2-billion-budget-funding-key-council-priorities de Blasio Corey Johnson budget City Hall

De Blasio & Johnson shake on it (photo: William Alatriste)


Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on Monday announced an agreement on an $89.15 billion budget for the 2019 fiscal year that includes key Council priorities that the mayor had been hesitant to fund for months.

“This budget is profoundly responsible, it is balanced, it is progressive and it is early,” de Blasio said at the ceremonial budget handshake with Johnson and other Council members at City Hall on Monday evening, about three weeks before the July 1 deadline that is the start of next fiscal year.

The latest spending plan is a slight uptick from the mayor’s $89.06 billion executive budget proposal released in April, and a total $480 million increase from the $88.67 billion preliminary proposal put forward by the administration in February. Overall, it reflects a $16.45 billion increase from the $72.7 billion budget that de Blasio inherited when he took office in 2014. Asked about that significant growth, de Blasio said on Monday, “It’s an investment model, it’s a strategic investment concept,” insisting that much of the city’s prosperity over the last few years stemmed from his administration’s responsible spending and fiscal management.

The money has certainly been there to spend, even as the budget has grown so large, the city has put record sums in reserves, though watchdogs do warn of long-term fiscal impacts of the large growth in public sector headcount de Blasio has overseen.

It was Johnson’s first budget as speaker and he notched a massive victory, convincing an initially reluctant de Blasio to provide $106 million to partially fund the ‘Fair Fares’ program that will provide half-priced MetroCards to New Yorkers that live below the federal poverty line. The Council members in attendance struck an especially celebratory tone.

“I believe that Speaker Johnson said the words ‘Fair Fares’ to me an unfair number of times,” de Blasio mused of Johnson’s almost single-minded focus on the issue in the lead up to the budget deal. The speaker headed a concerted campaign for the program, using digital and social media and grassroots advocacy. All but three members of the City Council had expressed their support for it by this week; it was clearly the speaker’s top priority in negotiations with the mayor.

De Blasio said Monday that the program will launch in January 2019 and run through the rest of the fiscal year, and will be implemented by the city rather than the MTA, in a similar fashion to the Human Resource Administration’s cash assistance and food stamp programs. Following the six-month rollout, the city will evaluate participation and cost to decide on future funding, Johnson later said as he insisted that both he and the mayor will continue to push for an additional millionaires tax approved in Albany to fully fund the program.

The mayor also added $225 million in funding to reserves, conceding nearly half of the Council’s $500 million demand for more rainy day funds. About $125 million was added to the general reserve, bringing it to $1.25 billion each year, and $100 million to the Retiree Health Benefits Trust Fund, increasing it to $4.35 billion, while the capital stabilization reserve remained static at $250 million.

De Blasio also touted other top items that had been outlined in earlier iterations of the budget, namely $125 million in increased fair school funding, added resources for the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), an expansion of 3-K for all, and funding for police body cameras.

“This spending plan will strengthen our social safety net and do more for New Yorkers who are struggling to get by on less,” Johnson said as he thanked the mayor for “good faith” negotiations over the last few months.

“We are taking a sharp-eyed, sober approach to the future,” he added, detailing a few of the initiatives funded in the budget, including $150 million in additional capital funding over three years to improve accessibility for the disabled at city schools and an expansion of of the summer youth employment program from 70,000 to 75,000 slots.

Johnson also highlighted the hundreds of millions of dollars that the city previously committed to the MTA Subway Action Plan, as Johnson had wanted it to but de Blasio did not, after the state budget forced the city's hand. He also stressed additional investment in supportive housing, to accelerate the pace of units opening.

The deal, according to a press release from the mayor's office, also increases and baselines funding for the Emergency Food Assistance Program "to $20 million annually" and adds $3.5 million "for additional litter basket pickup" to avoid trash can overflow on street corners.

The final budget does not include a $400 property tax rebate for thousands of homeowners -- another key Council priority -- since the administration and Council announced late last month that they would convene a property tax commission to review the system and propose reforms. The commission is expected to begin its work with the July 1 start of the new fiscal year and will hold ten hearings to seek public input.

The budget agreement announcement came hours after another, more tense news conference at City Hall where de Blasio addressed the city’s agreement, announced Monday morning, with federal prosecutors to accept a federal monitor for NYCHA. The deal also requires the city to provide billions more in funding for the ailing housing authority over the several years, and that funding will be reflected in the capital budget when it passes the City Council later this month, de Blasio said.

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by Samar Khurshid, City government reporter, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

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De Blasio and City Council Agree on $89.2 Billion Budget, Funding Key Council Priorities Mon, 11 Jun 2018 04:00:00 +0000
The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 11 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7724:the-week-ahead-in-new-york-politics-june-11 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7724:the-week-ahead-in-new-york-politics-june-11 New York City Hall

New York City Hall


What to watch for this week in New York politics:

Tuesday will mark two weeks until congressional primary election day in New York: June 26. Until then, hotly contested races will feature intense campaigning, and there will even be a few debates. In New York City, there are a handful of House of Representative primaries worth watching, headlined by the Republican contest between Rep. Dan Donovan and former Rep. Michael Grimm. There are two Donovan-Grimm debates set for this week -- see details below -- among others on the Democratic side, where a few incumbents, such as Rep. Joe Crowley, are being challenged from the left in spirited campaigns (NY1 will be hosting several debates this week and next). There's also an open primary on the Democratic side in the mostly-Staten Island district that Donovan represents, the winner of which (Max Rose is seen as the favorite) may have a shot at a pick-up for the Democrats, who are hoping to swing enough seats in November to take control of the House at the start of next year.

Outside of New York City, there are a variety of other seats thought to be at play in the general election. In some, the upcoming primaries will have significant impact in selecting the candidates who will face off in the general.

Election season is also heating up for state-level offices, with a crowded Democratic field for attorney general now jockeying and the Governor Andrew Cuomo-Cynthia Nixon gubernatorial primary continuing to intensify ahead of the September 13 vote. Those two races, along with the state Senate primaries involving the eight members of what was the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), among others, are worth watching this week and beyond.

On the government side of the equation, there are four days of legislative session scheduled for this week in Albany, with just three more scheduled for next week before the end of the session. Will anything major get done this year? Usually, Cuomo and the Legislature come to an agreement on at least several big-ticket items to form a "big ugly" compromise of legislation at the end of the session, but there's a good deal of ill will this year amid Democratic reunification in the Senate and other election-year jockeying.

We're waiting for a city budget deal, which could be announced as early as Monday. Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson appear close to a deal on what will be a roughly $90 billion expense budget for fiscal year 2019, which begins July 1.

Meanwhile, two public meetings are scheduled this week for the mayor’s charter revision commission, each one focused on certain issue areas -- see details below.

And it’s a busy week at the City Council beyond the possible budget deal, with a variety of committee hearings scheduled for oversight and consideration of legislation. Those and other events to be aware of in our day-by-day rundown below.

***Do you have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics?
e-mail Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max: bmax@gothamgazette.com***

The run of the week in detail:

Monday
The New York State Legislature will be in session on Monday in Albany.

The New York State Board of Regents will meet on Monday and Tuesday in Albany.

At 9 a.m. Monday, Governor Cuomo will be in Nassau County to makes an announcement in Plainview. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will be in attendance.

On Monday at 11 a.m. in the Bronx, Governor Andrew Cuomo, City Council Member Andy King and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will “hold a press conference...on the front steps of Evander Childs High School Campus...to announce legislation the governor has proposed for Gun-Violence Awareness Month,” according to King's office. Lieutenant Governor Hochul will also be in attendance, per her schedule.

Mayor de Blasio will make his usual weekly appearance on NY1’s Inside City Hall on Monday evening in the 7 and 11 p.m. hours.

On Monday at 11:30 a.m., Comptroller Scott Stringer will deliver remarks at the opening ceremony of 3 World Trade Center. At 6:30 p.m., Stringer will attend the New York Board of Rabbis Humanitarian Awards Dinner.

At noon Monday, WABC radio will host a Republican primary debate for the 11th Congressional District between U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan and former U.S. Rep Michael Grimm, who is challenging Donovan for his old seat. The event will air live on the radio, and will be moderated by WABC’s Rita Cosby.

At noon Monday, U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza will host the “2018 Education Summit” at the George Washington Educational Campus in Washington Heights. The hosts “will provide an overview of the status of NYC School District 6 and the ongoing efforts to ensure educational equity and opportunities for students throughout New York’s 13th congressional district.”

At 5:30 p.m. Monday, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Dr. Joseph Salvo, Director of the population division at the Department of City Planning, will host “The Changing Demographics of Queens” at Queens Borough Hall, discussing both the changing demographics of the borough and “the importance of ensuring that the upcoming 2020 Census accurately counts Queens residents.”

On Monday at 6 p.m. at City Hall, City Council Member Andy King and other members of the Council’s Black, Latino & Asian Caucus “will celebrate African-American Music Appreciation Month with an awards ceremony...Honorees will receive a proclamation from the City of New York, the New York City 12th Council District Arts and Music Award and the Power Of Influence Award. To be honored are Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Winner Kendrick Lamar, Bronx native Fat Joe, former NBA player John Starks, the President of Urban Music at RCA Records Mark Pitts and others.”

At 6:30 p.m. Monday, First Lady Chirlane McCray will speak at City & State’s “Pride Power 50,” where the magazine will reveal its list of the 50 most influential LGBTQ New Yorkers. Also speaking is Emma Wolfe, Chief of Staff to Mayor de Blasio.

Tuesday
The New York State Legislature will be in session on Tuesday in Albany.

At the City Council on Tuesday:
--The Committee on Housing and Buildings will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss several proposed laws relating to “education and outreach regarding single-occupant toilet room requirements,” “requiring carbon monoxide detectors in commercial spaces,” awning violations and programs for fixing them, and fire safety.
--The Committee on Transportation will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss several proposed laws relating to parking.

At 9 a.m. Tuesday, the New York City Board of Correction will hold a public meeting at 125 Worth Street.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday, State Senator Catharine Young, Assemblymember William Magnarelli, and others will hold a press conference at the State Capitol in support of the “School Bus Camera Safety Act,” which “authorizes the installation and use of stop-arm cameras on school buses to detect and record vehicles illegally passing stopped school buses.”

At 1 p.m. Tuesday, the mayor’s Charter Revision Commission will hold an “issue forum” related to election administration, voting participation, and voting access at 125 Worth Street in Manhattan. “The issue forum will feature experts...This meeting is open to the public. Because this is a public meeting and not a public hearing, the public will have the opportunity to observe the Commission’s discussions, but not testify before it.”

At 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, the New York City Board of Elections will hold a commissioners’ meeting.

At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Brooklyn Voters Alliance will host City Council Member Brad Lander and election lawyer Jerry Goldfeder for a discussion on the charter revision commission and how it could bring forth voting reform. The event will take place at the Brooklyn Central Library at Grand Army Plaza.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, NY1 will host U.S. Rep Carolyn Maloney and challenger Suraj Patel for a Democratic primary debate for the 12th Congressional District.

Wednesday
The New York State Legislature will be in session on Wednesday in Albany.

At the City Council on Wednesday:
--The Committee on Health will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss a proposed law relating to “amending sex designation on birth records.”
--The Committees on Education and Youth Services will meet jointly at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “youth civic engagement opportunities,” and to discuss proposed laws relating to reporting requirements for public school PTAs and “requiring the department of education to provide information about the department of citywide administrative services civil service examinations to students.”
--The Committee on Public Safety will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding the “NYPD’s gang takedown efforts,” as well as to discuss resolutions calling on Congress to pass a federal version of New York’s SAFE Act, calling on the State Legislature and Governor to pass legislation establishing “a center for research into firearm-related violence and a firearm research fund,” and calling on the State Legislature and Governor to pass legislation relating to “the establishment and funding of the gun research safety fund.”

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, the City Planning Commission will hold a public meeting at 120 Broadway.

At 4 p.m. Wednesday, the Civilian Complaint Review Board will hold a board meeting at 100 Church Street.

Thursday
The New York State Legislature will be in session on Thursday. After Thursday, there will only be three scheduled days remaining in the legislative session.

At the City Council on Thursday:
--The Committee on Consumer Affairs will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss proposed laws relating to street vending.
--The Committees on Women and Higher Education will meet jointly at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding childcare services at CUNY.
--The Committee on Economic Development and the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet jointly at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing “assessing the zoning and financial incentives of the Food Retail Expansion to Support Health programs.”

At 1 p.m. Thursday, the mayor’s Charter Revision Commission will hold an “issue forum” featuring “experts to discuss Campaign Finance. The meeting will be held at NYU’s D’Agostino Hall, 108 West Third Street. This meeting is open to the public. Because this is a public meeting and not a public hearing, the public will have the opportunity to observe the Commission’s discussions, but not testify before it.”

At 5 p.m. Thursday, activists and protesters will converge at the New York Public Library’s main branch for the “Tenant March against #CuomosHousingCrisis.”

At 6 p.m. Thursday, the Association for a Better New York will host Council Member Rafael Espinal and “Nightlife Mayor” Ariel Palitz to discuss the work of the recently created nightlife mayor position. The event will take place at Stout in Chelsea.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, the New York City Bar Association will host U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, former U.K. Supreme Court Justice Lord John Dyson, and former Canadian Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin for a discussion on “the importance of judicial independence to the rule of law.”

At 6 p.m. Thursday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Council Member Ben Kallos, and State Senator Liz Krueger will host an “Overdevelopment Forum” at the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House on the Upper East Side, discussing “community initiatives, closing loopholes & our fight against overdevelopment.”

At 7 p.m. Thursday, NY1 will host U.S. Rep Dan Donovan and former U.S. Rep and challenger Michael Grimm for a Republican primary debate for the 11th Congressional District at the College of Staten Island’s Lab Theatre. NY1’s Errol Louis will moderate.

Friday and the weekend
Mayor de Blasio may make his usual weekly appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show on Friday morning at 10 a.m.

At 7 p.m. Friday, NY1 will host U.S. Rep Joe Crowley and challenger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for a Democratic primary debate for the 14th Congressional District.

***
Have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics? E-mail Gotham Gazette executive editor Ben Max any time: bmax@gothamgazette.com (please use "For Week Ahead" as email subject).

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by Ben Brachfeld and Ben Max
@GothamGazette

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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 11 Sun, 10 Jun 2018 04:00:00 +0000
Johnson Makes Series of City Council Changes, But Sidelines Formal Rules Reforms http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7726:johnson-makes-series-of-city-council-changes-but-sidelines-formal-rules-reforms http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7726:johnson-makes-series-of-city-council-changes-but-sidelines-formal-rules-reforms cojo cm team

Speaker Johnson, middle, and Council members (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


In December, several City Council members jostling to become the powerful next speaker of the 51-member legislative body signed on to a broad platform of reforms to the Council’s rules and procedures, which can have a significant impact on city law-making and funding for communities. Both returning and newly-elected Council members, 33 of them in total, backed the proposals, which would make legislative drafting procedures more transparent, bolster staffing for prominent divisions such as land use, and tweak the Council’s internal culture in significant ways, among other more minor adjustments.

But a deadline set in that platform for convening a public hearing on the proposals came and went as new Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who was among the signatories, has chosen instead to implement administrative changes in lieu of more formal reforms through the Council’s Committee on Rules, Elections and Privileges. Several Council members who spoke with Gotham Gazette largely praised those measures but others expressed concern that important promises have been left unfulfilled.

In a process somewhat similar to four years prior when Council members proposed changes ahead of the election of a new speaker, the document signed by the Council members in December of last year laid out broad areas where the Council could improve its functions, including in bill drafting, the role and operations of the 40-plus issue committees, the body’s oversight and investigations capacity, its budget negotiation process, its land use powers, and the quality of working life for members and their staff.

“A hearing should be held in the Rules Committee on these reforms – as well as any others proposed by good government groups or members of the public – in the first quarter of 2018,” states the letter, signed by both Speaker Johnson and Council Member Karen Koslowitz, whom he appointed as chair of the rules committee. “The reforms should then be converted into a Rules Resolution, and adopted by the Council by March 2018, but no later than June 2018.”

By this time in 2014, then-Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito had ushered in transformative rules changes that made the body more democratic, diluting some of the traditional powers of the speaker and empowering individual members. The changes were spearheaded along with Council Member Brad Lander, who she appointed to chair the rules committee and was instrumental in drafting the reforms.

Discretionary funding -- also known as “member items” that are usually awarded by Council members to local nonprofits in their districts -- was equalized across Council districts, with additional resources allocated to poorer districts, and could no longer be a tool to punish members who might oppose the speaker, as Mark-Viverito’s predecessors had used it. A new bill drafting unit was created to aid Council members and speed up the legislative process, and other changes were made to how bills are introduced and heard in committees.

Johnson has taken a different tack, making significant administrative changes that cover large parts of the rules reform package and were key pledges he made as he ran for speaker.

The Council voted to significantly increase its own annual budget to $81.3 million, up from $64 million, with the new funds pegged for staffing increases in the land use, legislative, and finance divisions. A dedicated 15-member oversight and investigations unit was created to conduct systemic analyses of city agencies and their functioning. According to a Council spokesperson, the central staff has also internally overseen improvements in bill drafting, no longer allowing indefinite delays on bill introductions and impressing on members to move their bills or release them for others. Members can now also electronically access the status of their bills in real time and there is a timely process for staff to express legal concerns with bill language. Members are provided legal memos on their bills on request, which is apparently rare. All moves meant to address major areas of frustration for some members, though key pieces of proposed changes to bill-drafting have not been implemented.

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, the Council also moved rapidly to change its rules to mandate anti-sexual harassment trainings.

“I am proud to have taken important steps on necessary reforms in my first months as speaker, including the creation of the new Oversight and Investigations Unit that will strengthen our capacity for monitoring city agencies as mandated by the charter,” Johnson said in a statement to Gotham Gazette. “I will continue to discuss with members what reforms should be made in the future to help better serve the people of New York.”

photobyemilyWhen asked for comment, a spokesperson for Council Member Koslowitz (pictured), chair of the rules committee, initially said the Council member was unfamiliar with the rules reform package that she had signed. When presented with the full list of proposals, the spokesperson declined to comment.

By and large, Council members are appreciative of the steps Johnson has taken. Several members said their bills are moving faster and, without making any comparisons with Mark-Viverito, that Johnson is openly seeking member input on the budget and larger strategy.  

“The rules reform this time around, there were a lot of legitimate questions about whether or not these reforms needed to be put into the Council’s rules or they could just be effected,” said Council Member Rory Lancman, a member of the rules committee. “A lot of them had to do with resource allocation. So I don’t know if once Corey’s done with putting his administrative imprint on the body, how much of the rules reforms still need to get done. Maybe that’ll be something to assess once we get through the city budget.”

At the same time, some members declined to comment, taking a wait-and-see approach before they evaluate Johnson’s commitment to rules reform. Others only agreed to speak anonymously, fearing what they say is increased scrutiny of public comments by the speaker’s office.

Those members pointed out, for instance, that though there have been changes to bill drafting, the process still falls largely to the discretion of the speaker’s central staff. Under a long-standing process, Council members who made “first-in-time” legislative services requests -- Council speak for when a member asks for a bill to be drafted -- were given priority even if other members may have similar bill requests. Having a “first-in-time” request meant that members could sit on bills indefinitely, which the rules reforms would have amended with an official time-bound process.

A Council spokesperson said that practice has ended and that members have offered positive feedback for the changes that have been made. Members are no longer allowed to sit on bills, and lose them to other members, the spokesperson said, without providing the details of how the new protocols work.

Alex Camarda, senior policy advisor at Reinvent Albany, a government reform group, said that is perhaps the most significant item in the rules reform package. “There’s no known criteria by which they’re making that decision and that needs to change,” he said in a phone interview. “At the very least, the speaker’s office ought to declare the criteria by which they decide which bills are moved.”

Council members who spoke to Gotham Gazette seemed to be in the dark about whether rules reforms were even being discussed. The overarching platform hasn’t been discussed in hearings though some of the issues have been raised in the Democratic conference meetings, said one member who would only speak on the condition of anonymity.  

“The first-in-time issues have not been changed,” the member said. “They did update the database -- truthfully, this was mostly done last term -- you can find out more quickly whether you’re first-in-time or not, but the process itself is still exactly as it was. And the legal concerns issue,” about getting legal opinions on bills in a timely manner, “is still as it was...And some of the disability and accessibility investments [for Council hearings] still need to be advanced.”

Though the Council allocated more money for pay raises for staffers, it hasn’t implemented pay parity with other city agencies where benefits are better and salaries are higher, despite that being a priority outlined in the draft of reforms. “Yeah, I would add that to the list,” the Council member said. Nor is childcare provided to members or staffers, as called for in the reform proposal.

The Council spokesperson noted that audio induction loops for those with hearing impairments were added last year and that language accessibility can be requested. The spokesperson also said that pay parity has been discussed with members when the Council was deciding its own budget, and ultimately members get to decide how they will use the increased funds budgeted for their offices and staff. The spokesperson also acknowledged that the Council does not currently provide childcare options but insisted that the Council is always looking at ways to expand it for all New Yorkers.

Council Member Mark Levine, one of Johnson’s chief rivals for the speakership, said the Council has made major improvements. “[The Speaker] has made progress on a lot of fronts,” he said, pointing to the uptick in the budget, the staffing increases, and more transparency and faster timelines on bill introductions. “It helps tremendously in managing your LS [legislative service] requests to have real-time access to that information. They’ve also staffed up pretty dramatically in the bill-drafting unit,” he said. “And it’s more equitable now. Everybody gets to identify 10 priority LSs which we want staff to work on and that evens it out a little bit more.”

Echoing Lancman, Levine said a formal hearing wasn’t absolutely necessary. “These changes have been possible through a combination of changing internal procedure, through allocation of resources, and that really is a very big deal,” he said.  

Some members are waiting until after budget negotiations have concluded with the administration to see more changes go into effect, particularly with new funding at the Council’s disposal.

“To date, the specifics of the rules reform stuff that we signed on to hasn’t been evidenced,” said Council Member Robert Cornegy, another current rules committee member and speaker candidate of last year. “There has been some efforts, especially in bill drafting, to make sure that bills move faster. But we’re so deep in the budget and I’m on the budget negotiation team, I can’t really see anything. I almost don’t know what’s going on around me as it relates to the legislation or the rules reform because we’re so deep in the budget.”

Cornegy said he wants to see “a bit more latitude” for members in the drafting process so bills can move more quickly.

Council Member Adrienne Adams, also a rules committee member, said very briefly before a Council hearing, “We’re still waiting. It’s been a while. We’re still waiting. I really don’t have anything to add right now.”

Among other items that remain unfinished are changes to the functioning of the Council committees, which hear bills and hold oversight hearings.

Despite being included in the proposed agenda, there’s still no protocol for committee hearing scheduling; there isn’t a standard process for members who want to switch committees midway through the term; hearings are not automatically triggered for bills with popular support; and committee staff aren’t publishing recaps of hearings that summarize testimony, requests made by members and promises made by the administration (though the full testimony from hearings continues to be readily available online.)

It’s likely once the budget is decided, which could be as soon as the coming week, that the Council will ramp up some of the changes put in motion by Johnson and get to other delayed reforms. Yet, Council members and government reform groups say that needs to happen in a public, transparent way. “If the speaker and 32 members made a commitment to pass rules reforms,” said Camarda of Reinvent Albany, “they should honor that commitment and hold public hearings to solicit input and pass meaningful rules changes.”

Camarda also pointed to a New York Post report from May that highlighted Johnson’s partial reversal on a promise to regularly publish his full public schedule and details of his contact with lobbyists. “We hope this isn’t the beginning of a trend that the speaker’s promises on good government issues go unfulfilled,” Camarda said.

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by Samar Khurshid, City government reporter, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

Inset Koslowitz photo by Emil Cohen

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Johnson Makes Series of City Council Changes, But Sidelines Formal Rules Reforms Fri, 08 Jun 2018 04:00:00 +0000
Three City Council Members Don't Support 'Fair Fares' http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7722:three-city-council-members-don-t-support-fair-fares http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7722:three-city-council-members-don-t-support-fair-fares citycouncil cojo

Speaker Johnson on the subway (photo via City Council)


A budget proposal to provide half-priced MetroCards to low-income New Yorkers has the New York City Council’s full weight this year. Well, almost.

Only three City Council Members -- Joe Borelli, Steven Matteo, and Ruben Diaz, Sr. -- in the 51-member body have so far declined to support Fair Fares, the proposal that would cost the city about $212 million to offer discounted fares to nearly 800,000 city residents living below the federal poverty line.

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has made an unprecedented push for the proposal to be funded in the next city budget, due by July 1, which will outline roughly $90 billion in spending. Johnson, his Council colleagues, and his aides have employed social media campaigns and on-the-ground outreach to convince Mayor Bill de Blasio to agree to the necessary funding. The mayor has shown nominal support for the idea but has insisted that it should be funded by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which is controlled by the state and effectively answers to Governor Andrew Cuomo, or through an added tax on high income earners.

“The Fair Fares proposal is not a representation of the needs of my constituents, who continually face the longest and costliest commutes in the city,” said Council Member Matteo from Staten Island, one of three Republicans in the Council and the minority leader, in a statement. “It is certainly not a budget priority for me.”

Matteo and fellow Staten Island Republican Council Member Joe Borelli, who is also unsupportive of Fair Fares, are among those behind a Council push -- supported by Johnson -- to convince de Blasio to fund a $400 property tax rebate to homeowners with household incomes under $150,000, another initiative the mayor has thus far spurned.

Last month, the Council organized a digital Day of Action, followed the next week with a street-level effort at subway stations across the city, to build a crescendo around Fair Fares targeted largely at an audience of one: the mayor. Of the 51 members, 47 had signalled their support for the proposal. Since then, Council Member Chaim Deutsch from Brooklyn has also signed on. In a brief phone interview, he told Gotham Gazette, “I support it 100 percent.”

Borelli was less enthused. “Where have all these ‘Fair Fares’ supporters been while my constituents pay $6.50 for a bus to Manhattan, or shell out $15 tolls to subsidize a subway system we don’t have access to?,” he said in a text message. “Do they not understand that the middle class will be on the line to pay for this subsidy?”

Politico New York reported last month that Speaker Johnson was considering cutting certain Council initiatives from the budget to fund Fair Fares, which could mean that individual members may see some of their own priorities unfunded in the final budget if the mayor doesn’t concede to the Council’s demand. Johnson has declined to confirm the report, and a new report by Politico indicated on Wednesday that the speaker appeared to be close to getting de Blasio to agree to some initial version of a Fair Fares program in an imminent budget deal.

“I’m still undecided,” said Council Member Ruben Diaz Sr., a Democrat from the Bronx and the fourth of the four Council members who didn’t sign the Fair Fares letter, when reached by phone on Wednesday. “I’m inclined to support it but I’m looking at other things to see what happens.”

When asked to elaborate on his concerns, Diaz Sr. refused. “I’m telling you as much as I can tell you,” he said.

[Read: City Council Pushes Property Tax Rebate as De Blasio Stalls Broader Reform]

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by Samar Khurshid, City government reporter, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

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Three City Council Members Don't Support 'Fair Fares' Thu, 07 Jun 2018 04:00:00 +0000
It’s Time for Airbnb to Share Its New York Listings http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7717:it-s-time-for-airbnb-to-share-its-new-york-listings http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7717:it-s-time-for-airbnb-to-share-its-new-york-listings time share airbnb

(photo: Sofie Hecht / Gotham Gazette)


Teaching children to share is difficult. Teaching Airbnb to share is impossible. Airbnb’s version of the “sharing economy” means more profits for the company and less affordable housing for the rest of us. 

Airbnb repeatedly allows and provides cover for commercial operators to break the law, turn our homes into hotels, and parachute into our communities to make a profit, pilfering apartments along the way. Instead of working with enforcement officials to curb illegal listings, the company uses every legal maneuver in the books—fighting subpoenas and refusing to share data—to take more and more housing out of our communities.

Airbnb could easily disclose data on its listings. It does so in San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, and even China. But it refuses in New York. Why? Because it’s by far the company’s largest U.S. market, where it makes hundreds of millions more than any other U.S. city. 

It even goes as far as shielding unscrupulous commercial operators that evict tenants from rent-stabilized apartments just to protect its biggest money makers. 

And that’s on top of fueling gentrification and contributing to rising rents around the city as a result of stripping the long-term housing market of thousands of units.

Again, that’s not sharing. That’s taking. And that’s why the New York City Council’s efforts to rein in an unaccountable, deceitful corporation by forcing Airbnb to disclose the addresses of its listings to enforcement officials needs to happen, and happen soon.

Here’s the thing about Airbnb: the company thinks the rules don’t apply to it. In cities across the country and, in fact, across the globe, there has been a reckoning with communities and local governments passing sensible regulations to protect residents, only to see those laws ignored by a corporation that has built assets totaling more than $30 billion. And there are few cities that know this better than New York.

In 2010, state lawmakers modified the 1929 Multiple Dwelling Law to ban short-term rentals in New York City apartment buildings for fewer than 30 days while the primary tenant is not present to ensure the “sharing economy” did not close the door to affordable housing on actual long-term tenants, or create quality-of-life issues in buildings not zoned for hotel and commercial activity. It was strengthened in 2016 to allow for more enforcement but Airbnb continues to throw up roadblocks.

The company’s refusal to follow that law has allowed tens of thousands of illegal entire home/apartment listings to proliferate across the city in the midst of an affordable housing crisis when New Yorkers needed those apartments the most. 

Just last year alone, Airbnb generated $435 million in revenue from illegal listings in New York City, according to the School of Urban Planning at McGill University. That’s 435 million reasons why Airbnb cannot be trusted to police its own website, and why New York officials must step up, yet again, to pass additional regulations to stop Airbnb from breaking our laws. 

Like the stories we have heard in cities such as San Francisco, Boston, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Chicago, Barcelona, Paris, Toronto, and Amsterdam, to name a few, the wealthiest among us have come to view Airbnb as a tool to make millions by turning homes into hotels and reducing available housing stock for everyone else. In New York, this has resulted in 13,500 units being removed from the housing market, according to the McGill report, making it even harder to find an available and affordable place to live. 

Make no mistake: despite the company’s best attempts to distract from the truth, the legislation being proposed by the New York City Council would have zero effect on the nice families in Airbnb’s commercials using the platform to make ends meet. Regular folks sharing their homes legally and responsibly are not the problem, and they are also not the norm when it comes to Airbnb. The millions of dollars the company invests in slick marketing and expensive lobbyists to peddle their ongoing misinformation campaigns does not change the fact its platform is overrun by unscrupulous landlords subverting our laws to make extra bucks at the expense of regular New Yorkers.

Why should Airbnb be rewarded for having the track record of a greedy corporation that refuses to follow the law?

In San Francisco, when Airbnb refused to police its site of illegal listings, the city enacted regulations forcing Airbnb to disclose the addresses of its listings, sending a strong message to bad actors and serial lawbreakers that they would no longer get a free pass to flout the law and profit from illegal activity.

Almost immediately, Airbnb listings in San Francisco dropped by more than half and thousands of apartments returned to the long-term market for permanent residents. 

Now it’s New York’s turn. 

No corporation should get to pick and choose what laws it follows and what laws it breaks in order to make a profit on the backs of middle-class families.

The New York City Council and Mayor de Blasio must see through Airbnb’s lies and deceit and act once and for all to protect tenants by swiftly passing legislation requiring Airbnb to share the addresses of its listings so enforcement officials can protect our communities and affordable housing.

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Tom Cayler is a member of the West Side Neighborhood Alliance in Manhattan.

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Have an op-ed idea or submission for Gotham Gazette? Email opinion@gothamgazette.com

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It’s Time for Airbnb to Share Its New York Listings Wed, 06 Jun 2018 04:00:00 +0000
The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 4 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7708:the-week-ahead-in-new-york-politics-june-4 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7708:the-week-ahead-in-new-york-politics-june-4 New York City Hall

New York City Hall


What to watch for this week in New York politics:

We're about to hit three weeks until congressional primary day in New York, which is Tuesday, June 26. There are several contentious primaries in New York City and more around the state, all of which will help set the stage for extremely important general elections in November, where New York races will be key to which party has control of the House of Representatives in January.

We're also now in the final weeks before a new city budget is due by July 1. Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council will continue negotiations and are expected to come to terms well ahead of the deadline for the start of the new fiscal year. [Read: De Blasio and City Council Tangle Over How to Spend $1 Billion]

This week will also feature more analysis and fallout from de Blasio's Sunday announcement of a plan to diversify the city's specialized high schools that currently rely on a single admissions test and enroll low numbers of black and Hispanic students.

This week includes four scheduled days of legislative session in Albany, four of just 11 that remain on the calendar. Last week, the Senate was deadlocked given that the Republican conference is down one member and thus the chamber is even at 31-31. It's unclear whether the Senate will vote on any legislation this week. Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins discused the state of play and much more on the Max & Murphy podcast on Friday.

And, the gubernatorial race will of course continue to be part of the news this week, as Governor Andrew Cuomo, Cynthia Nixon, Marc Molinaro and other candidates campaign, release policy, respond, attack, demur, and more.

Plus, there's a City Council Stated Meeting this week, at which the Council passes legislation that has moved through committee and sees new legislation introduced.

And there are other events to be aware of, including a special panel on sexual harassment in state government - see our day-by-day rundown below.

***Do you have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics?
e-mail Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max: bmax@gothamgazette.com***

The run of the week in detail:

Monday
“On Monday, Mayor de Blasio will deliver remarks at NYPD's Department of Education active shooter tabletop exercise. This event is closed press.” De Blasio will also his weekly appearance on NY1’s Inside City Hall on Monday evening in the 7 and 11 p.m. hours.

The New York State Legislature will be in session on Monday in Albany.

On Monday at noon, "Senators Brian Kavanagh, Michael Gianaris, and Brad Hoylman will join their Democratic colleagues and good government groups at a press conference immediately before a meeting of the Senate Elections Committee to call on Republicans to vote for election and campaign finance reform legislation pending in the Committee. The four bills would enact and fund early voting, close the LLC Loophole, enact the Voter Empowerment Act to reform the voter registration system, and require presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns."

At 9:30 a.m. Monday, the Assembly Standing Committees on Insurance and Health will meet jointly in Albany for a public hearing regarding the acquisition of health insurance company Aetna by CVS, and “the potential impacts on the delivery of health care and the health insurance market in New York State.”

At 9:30 a.m. Monday, Comptroller Scott Stringer will host an “MWBE Letter Grade Briefing with Asian American Stakeholders” at the David Dinkins Municipal Building.

At 6 p.m. Monday, The ALT will host a panel discussion on sexual harassment legislation, past, present, and future, at the Renaissance Hotel in Albany. Susan Arbetter of WCNY radio will moderate a panel consisting of State Senator Liz Krueger, attorney Sarah Burger, political strategist Alexis Grenell, and Leah Hebert, former chief of staff for Vito Lopez, a former Assemblymember who resigned in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal.

On Monday at 6 p.m. at Brooklyn Borough Hall, “Borough President Eric L. Adams will kick off Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Month by presenting awards to trailblazers in the LGBTQ+ community who have advanced the mission of equality and fairness for all. The honorees at his annual LGBTQ+ Pride Celebration include Immigration Equality, a leading immigrant rights organization in the United States that has helped LGBTQ+ and HIV-positive immigrants seek refuge and a new life in Brooklyn and across the country; Park Slope-based New York Times columnist Charles Blow, whose cutting-edge column on current affairs appears on Mondays and Thursdays; Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who became the first HIV-positive person to lead the New York City Council when he was chosen by his peers to serve in January 2018, and activist Abby Stein, who was born and raised in a Hasidic family of rabbinic descent in Williamsburg and came out as a transgender woman in 2015. Borough President Adams will be joined by Council Member Carlos Menchaca and Brooklyn Pride in speaking on the importance of continuing the fight for LGBTQ+ equality, particularly regarding the passage of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) in the New York State Legislature, which proposes to add gender identity and expression as a protected class in the State’s human rights and hate crimes statues; since 2008, GENDA has passed the Assembly ten times, but has yet to come up for a vote in the State Senate.”

On Monday at 7:30 p.m. “First Lady Chirlane McCray will receive the JED Mental Health Visionary Award and deliver remarks at the JED Foundation's Annual Gala 2018.”

At 7:30 p.m. Monday, Public Advocate Letitia James will deliver remarks at HELP USA's HELP Heroes Awards Gala, at The Garage in Manhattan.

Tuesday
Tuesday will mark three weeks until primary day for federal elections in New York, including all of the state’s congressional seats.

The New York State Legislature will be in session on Tuesday in Albany.

At the City Council on Tuesday:
--The Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions, and Concessions will meet at 10:30 a.m.
--The Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet at 10:45 a.m.
--The Committee on Land Use will meet at 11 a.m.
--The Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities and Substance Abuse will meet at noon to pass a package of legislation aimed at preventing drug overdoses.
--The Committee on Health is holding an oversight hearing on animal shelters at 1 p.m.

"Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., a 1998 graduate of LaGuardia Community College, will give the alumni speech" at the college's graduation ceremony on Tuesday.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Board of Standards and Appeals will hold a public hearing at Spector Hall.

At 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, state lawmakers, CWA members, and call center workers will rally at the Capitol in Albany to urge support for a bill in the Senate “that would stop tax breaks that ship call center jobs overseas.”

At 11 a.m. Tuesday, State Senator Richard Funke, Assemblymember Latoya Joyner, and physicians Sarah Nosal and Chris Gabriels will hold a rally at the Capitol urging passage of legislation “ensuring physicians are protected against assaults in the workplace as the one year anniversary of the tragic Bronx-Lebanon Hospital shooting approaches.”

At 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, the New York City Board of Elections will hold a commissioners’ meeting.

At 5 p.m. Tuesday, the Center for New York City Affairs will host “Dare to Reimagine Integration for New York City’s Public Schools” at the New School.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, City Comptroller Scott Stringer will hold a town hall meeting at the Gouverneur Health center on the Lower East Side. He will be joined by U.S. Reps. Nydia Velazquez and Carolyn Maloney, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senators Brian Kavanagh and Brad Hoylman, Assemblymembers Yuh-Line Niou and Harvey Epstein, and City Council Members Margaret Chin and Carlina Rivera.

Wednesday
The New York State Legislature will be in session on Wednesday in Albany.

At 8 a.m. Wednesday, Crain’s New York Business will host a breakfast forum with City Council Members Ben Kallos, Francisco Moya, Rafael Salamanca, and Ritchie Torres. The Council Members will discuss topics related to “construction safety, zoning, scaffolding, and housing policy.” The event will take place at the New York Athletic Club on Central Park South.

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, the Assembly Standing Committees on Social Services and Government Operations, and the Senate Standing Committees on Finance and Social Services, will meet jointly in Albany to discuss the state’s Community Services Block Grant program.

Thursday
The New York State Legislature will be in session on Thursday. After Thursday, only seven days will remain in the legislative session.

The City Council will hold a stated meeting at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall. Prior to the Stated Meeting, Speaker Corey Johnson will host a press conference.

At 4 p.m. Thursday, City Limits will host "Beyond Parkland: NYC Needs a Different Kind of Conversation About Guns," discussing the state of gun violence in New York, including state and federal laws, the city's "gun courts," and the connection with policing. Panelists include Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Elizabeth Glazer of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, Richard Aborn of the Citizens Crime Commission, Michael Palladino of the Detectives Endowment Association, Nick Suplina of Everytown for Gun Safety, and Heidi Hynes of the Mary Mitchell Center.

Friday and the weekend
Mayor de Blasio may make his weekly appearance on WNYC radio’s The Brian Lehrer Show on Friday at 10 a.m.

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Have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics? E-mail Gotham Gazette executive editor Ben Max any time: bmax@gothamgazette.com (please use "For Week Ahead" as email subject).

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by Ben Brachfeld and Ben Max
@GothamGazette

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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 4 Sun, 03 Jun 2018 04:00:00 +0000
Task Force Created by City Council Recommends CUNY Go Tuition-Free http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7706:task-force-created-by-city-council-recommends-cuny-go-tuition-free http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7706:task-force-created-by-city-council-recommends-cuny-go-tuition-free Inez Barron City Council

Council Member Inez Barron (photo: Ben Brachfeld)


A long-awaited report was released on Thursday by the Task Force on Affordability, Admissions, and Graduation Rates at the City University of New York -- convened through City Council legislation -- that included recommendations for broad changes to the operations and funding of CUNY. Most notably, the task force, consisting of students, faculty, advocates, government officials, members of the business community, and one member of the CUNY Board of Trustees, recommended that tuition charges be eliminated at the city public university system.

The report was commissioned by an act of the City Council in November 2016, introduced and championed by Brooklyn Council Member Inez Barron, a Hunter College graduate who says she wouldn’t be able to attend college and become a member of the New York City Council had she not attended during a period when tuition to CUNY was largely free.

The task force, consisting of members appointed by the mayor, City Council speaker, and public advocate, was expected to produce a report within a year outlining recommendations for improving the status of CUNY, and examining policy solutions including free tuition. The Task Force was co-chaired by Stephen Brier, a professor in urban education at the CUNY Graduate Center, and Hercules Reid, a student at the New York Institute of Technology and former vice chair for legislative affairs for the CUNY University Student Senate.

The report was released just ahead of a Council hearing on its recommendations, chaired by Barron, who leads the Council’s Committee on Higher Education. The day was not without tension, as Barron said the de Blasio administration had delayed the release of the report for several months.

  • The report outlines 21 recommendations for improving CUNY. First and foremost is the aforementioned free tuition, to be funded by increased subsidy from the state and city, which both currently help fund the university system. Recommendations also include:
  • Hire significantly more full time faculty, reversing a decades-long trend of faculty hemorrhaging in favor of adjuncts;
  • Create an emergency fund to meet pressing needs of low-income students such as rent and food;
  • Hire, through CUNY and the city Department of Education, full-time guidance counselors to help students with the transition between high school and college;
  • Expand much-heralded Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP);
  • Eliminate yearly credit requirements for the state-run Excelsior Scholarship;
  • Provide free MetroCards to all CUNY students;
  • Double pay for adjuncts, to around $7,000 per course;
  • Increase CUNY capital funding, to address infrastructure-related issues.

Barron said on Thursday that the report was finished in December, but that the de Blasio administration requested an indefinite extension so that it could review the report and announce its findings together with the task force. Barron said she complied, but on Thursday she said that she had not heard anything from the mayor’s office since December.

“Well, here it is, six months later, and there has been nothing different done in terms of what this report said at its completion in December,” Barron said at a rally outside City Hall prior to the hearing. The rally was also attended by members of the task force, CUNY students, and advocates, but no other City Council members; Barron said that this was due to prior commitments rather than a lack of support for eliminating tuition at CUNY, and that several Council members had reaffirmed their support to her.

“We’re very displeased,” she continued. “I think that was very disingenuous of the mayor to do that, and I think that we need to make sure that we let him know we are committed to CUNY improving, having better access, being affordable -- of course my position is that it should be free.”

Speaking with Gotham Gazette, Barron said that the administration was not being forthcoming as to why it had stalled, beyond the extension request in December.

“They’re not involved in supporting us at this point,” she said. “They haven’t given any reasons that relate to this document, but we do want to make sure that we go forward and that we don’t let them deter us.”

In response to allegations about stalling the report, the de Blasio administration touted an increase in city funding for CUNY under his watch.

“The Mayor believes that CUNY should be affordable, and we continue to invest to help make that happen despite not having control over the system,” said Raul Contreras, a spokesperson for the mayor. “In fact, the City will contribute nearly $255 million annually by 2021. We will continue to work with the City Council and State to provide high-quality, affordable education at CUNY.”

According to the task force report, CUNY was largely free for much of its existence. Founded in 1847 as “The Free Academy,” qualifying students from New York City schools were given a free education. In 1969, CUNY switched to free open enrollment for any New York City public high school student. This significantly increased both the matriculated student population and the diversity of the student body. The 1970-71 term, the first with open admissions, saw a 75 percent increase in the matriculated student body over the 1969-70 term. In 1969, 78 percent of freshmen entering CUNY were white; by 1975, after five years of open enrollment, this number dropped to 30 percent, according to the task force report.

But in the midst of New York City’s fiscal crisis, the report says, that nearly led it to bankruptcy, the city handed over control of CUNY’s operating budget to the state, which promptly started charging tuition across the board for the first time in CUNY’s history. With tuition instated, the state could begin diminishing its subsidy and forcing CUNY to rely on student tuition for an increasing portion of its operating budget. The task force report released Thursday included a chart demonstrating this trend: in the 1990-91 school year, student tuition accounted for 21 percent of CUNY’s operating revenue; in 2014-15, that number had risen sharply, to 46 percent. In the same time frame, state funding fell from 74 percent to 53 percent, and city funding fell from 5 percent to 1 percent.

Cuomo, who in 2016 launched an investigation into CUNY over administrative misuse of funds, has resisted shifting costs from students to the state. The fiscal year 2019 enacted state budget, in effect beginning April 1 of this year, increases state funding for CUNY over last year by approximately $50 million; the increase in state funding this year for SUNY and CUNY was touted by Cuomo in the wake of the budget’s passage. Regardless, the state’s $1.9 billion funding comprises 52 percent of CUNY’s $3.6 billion total operating budget, about equal to the 2014-15 percentage.

As it stands, tuition at CUNY, where half a million students pursue either undergraduate or graduate degrees, is $6,530 per year at senior colleges and $4,800 per year at community colleges (for in-state students; out-of-state students pay much more). In the 2008-09 school year, tuition at senior colleges was $4,000 and at community colleges was $2,800. There has been a 63 percent and 71 percent jump, respectively, in ten years.

Even these somewhat modest tuition costs are unaffordable for many students, but large numbers pay tuition with state and federal aid through TAP, Pell Grants, and student loans. The maximum TAP award in 2017-18 was $5,165, while for Pell Grants the maximum award was $5,920. According to David Crook, CUNY’s Associate Dean of Student Affairs, 61 percent of CUNY senior college students attend school for free, and 71 percent of community college students do the same, vis a vis a mixture of TAP and Pell grant benefits. Crook was the only CUNY official to testify at the City Council hearing; he said his colleagues were overseeing graduations on Thursday, otherwise they would have come.

For those who qualify, the Excelsior Scholarship can fill in what’s unaccounted for. Excelsior, a Cuomo program passed in 2017 with the blessing of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, was the object of ire among speakers at the rally and the hearing.

“I want to thank [Inez Barron] for figuring out how to actually give us free CUNY,” said Samitha, a CUNY student and student leader at the New York Public Interest Research Group, at the rally. “Not watered down policies like Excelsior, which 99 percent of CUNY students don’t even qualify for.”

The report claims that “only about 2,000 of CUNY’s 240,000 undergraduates qualified for” the Excelsior Scholarship, which would put the number of students in the CUNY system who qualify for Excelsior at around 1 percent. At the hearing, Crook claimed that the number of qualifying students was actually closer to 4,700, though the total number of undergraduates attending CUNY has also risen to 275,000.

Excelsior kicks in after a student’s TAP and Pell Grant benefits have been exhausted, and comes with requirements that have been criticized as exclusionary for low-income students. To qualify, New York State students from households earning less than the income threshold ($100,000 the first year, $110,000 this year, and $125,000 next year and beyond) must take 30 credits per year and be on track to graduate in two years for an associate’s degree or four years for a bachelor’s degree. This can exclude part-time students, many low-income, who cannot attend school full-time or consecutively, potentially due to work or family commitments. The task force’s recommendations include an elimination of the credit requirements for Excelsior.

The governor’s office, in a statement, disputed the notion that Excelsior doesn't help low-income students.

"New York leads the nation in creating equal opportunity for all, no matter one’s background or family fortune,” said Tyrone Stevens, a spokesperson for the governor. “Governor Cuomo’s first-in-the-nation Excelsior Scholarship is helping students receive a tuition-free education that taps their potential and prepares them for the 21st century economy. It’s a critical investment in future of New York, and we’re proud of the progress this program has already delivered.”

For students pursuing an associate’s degree, Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) provides tuition waivers as well as career and financial advisory, free Metrocards and textbooks, and generalized advisory services. ASAP has been a success, increasing graduation rates for students pursuing associate’s degrees: an analysis found that 52.5 percent of ASAP students completed their degrees within three years, versus 26.8 percent of a control group. It has garnered praise from former President Barack Obama, among others; the report recommends it be made available at all campuses.

But even for students who don’t pay a dime of tuition out of pocket, the costs can add up. The cost of rent, food, transportation, and textbooks alone can add up to several thousands of dollars per year. Barron said that, at a recent budget hearing, a CUNY student named Levi testified that he had not eaten for two days so that he could afford a Metrocard to go to class. The problem of food insecurity among college students is widespread: a recent study from Temple University found that 36 percent of students surveyed had been food insecure in the past year, and that this number was likely low due to stigma attached to student poverty.

According to data presented by Crook, 42 percent of CUNY students come from families with household incomes below $20,000, and 58 percent receive Pell Grants, a federal grant for low-income students.

The task force report, in turn, recommends that CUNY provide free Metrocards to all CUNY students, and that CUNY establish a $5 million “emergency fund” to “help respond to its students’ immediate financial problems and emergencies (e.g. rent payments, medical expenses, food and book purchases) that prevent students’ from completing their university studies.”

The report also recommends that CUNY increase full-time faculty significantly, and rely less on adjuncts. Brier reported that CUNY has lost about 3,000 full-time faculty members since the 1970s, and that almost all of these positions had been replaced by adjuncts, who are paid meager amounts of money and often have to teach several classes just to scrape by. Adjuncts currently make up one-in-two faculty members at CUNY; they are paid between $3,000 and $3,500 per course, which the report recommends be doubled to $7,000 per course.

City Council Member Laurie Cumbo, a former CUNY adjunct, noted that the meager pay and lack of benefits, leading to adjuncts taking several positions at different institutions, causes professors to be absent for their students in terms of office hours and other assistive functions, such as advising on theses and writing letters of recommendation.

“All of these different things are not calculated into the time that it takes for an adjunct to effectively teach a course,” Cumbo said.

A critical factor missing from the report concerns costs. Free tuition, not to mention the other recommendations, would cost hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, and there is no question that the city, state, and federal governments would fight over who has to pony up. Brier, questioned by Council Member Bob Holden, noted that free tuition would cover what isn’t already covered by the city, state, and federal governments in funding; in 2016, this number, amounting to the out-of-pocket tuition paid by students, amounted to $784 million annually to pay for free tuition. In an email to Gotham Gazette, Brier said that number is likely higher today.

“It hasn’t been costed out and the number is likely higher because of the increase in undergrad numbers,” Brier said. “This is work we hoped would be done following the report. We didn’t have the staff or time to do that work, which is much needed.” Reid, the co-chair of the task force, had earlier said that the de Blasio administration finally contacted the task force on Wednesday, the day before the hearing, and shared feedback.

Because the administration was not involved in the release of the report and the funding numbers and mechanisms are not clear, the report has not technically been completed, though the task force says it has reached the end of the work. In effect, it’s more of a framework of recommendations than it is a detailed policy document. The report had “draft” written on the front and contains a “confidential” watermark on each page, despite being made publicly available at the City Council on Thursday.

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by Ben Brachfeld, Gotham Gazette

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Task Force Created by City Council Recommends CUNY Go Tuition-Free Thu, 31 May 2018 04:00:00 +0000
What's The [Data] Point? 1,988, with Antonio Reynoso http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7701:what-s-the-data-point-1-988-with-antonio-reynoso http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7701:what-s-the-data-point-1-988-with-antonio-reynoso whats the data point


What's The [Data] Point? Episode 42 -- 1,988, with Antonio Reynoso [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

antonio reynoso

1,988 pounds -- almost one ton! -- is the average amount of garbage a New York City household throws out each year, according to a recent study by the City Department of Sanitation. Citywide Sanitation disposed of 3.2 million tons in 2017, and that does not include commercial waste.

City Council Member Antonio Reynoso of Brooklyn, chair of the Council's sanitation committee, joined the podcast to discuss what he believes are essential steps the city must take regarding waste management, both regarding the public sector and private sector, including elements related to recycling requirements, new routes, and more. Reynoso discusses how he got elected to the Council in 2013, why he wanted to chair the sanitation committee, how he approaches waste management with an equity lens, and more, including measures he believes should be taken during the looming L-train shutdown.

Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think: Ben Max of GG (@TweetBenMax), Maria Doulis of CBC (@MariaDoulis). Listen below or download wherever you get your podcasts!

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by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

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What's The [Data] Point? 1,988, with Antonio Reynoso Thu, 31 May 2018 04:00:00 +0000