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Laurie Cumbo

Laurie Cumbo

  • Women's Caucus Secures Commitments from City Council Speaker Candidates

    Helen Rosenthal City Council Speaker

    Helen Rosenthal among Speaker hopefuls Cornegy, Levine, Johnson (photo: William Alatriste)


    The Women’s Caucus of the City Council recently interviewed the eight candidates -- all men -- seeking to become the next Speaker of the Council, arguably the second most powerful position in city government. While the Women’s Caucus will not be endorsing a speaker candidate ahead of the January vote, according to caucus co-chair Helen Rosenthal, it did secure important commitments from each candidate and the process, which also

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  • Don’t Forget: Cumbo Won with Promise of 100% Affordability at Armory

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    Bedford Union Armory rendering


    For months, thousands of Crown Heights residents have petitioned, testified, marched, and protested against a proposed redevelopment at the Bedford Union Armory, where the plan backed by the de Blasio administration would take a massive parcel of public land and give it to a private developer to build high-end housing and a recreation facility.

    The local City Council member, Laurie Cumbo, recently won her Democratic primary for reelection after opposing the deal, promising that she would insist on no luxury condominiums, while her backers

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  • Can Redevelopment of the Bedford Union Armory Be Saved?

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    Rendering of the Bedford Union Armory via BFC Partners


    A land use proposal to redevelop the 138,000-square-foot, publicly-owned Bedford Union Armory in Crown Heights to create a mix of different types of housing and a state-of-the-art recreation center has seen successive setbacks in recent months. As proposed, the project has been rejected by community advocates, the local community board, the local City Council member, Laurie Cumbo, and the borough president, Eric Adams, all of whom believe the project should include more affordable

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  • At the City Council, Better Gender Balance Among Chiefs of Staff

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    Council Member Mark Levine & his Chief of Staff, Aya Keefe (photo: Levine's office)


    The New York City Council, a 51-member body, currently includes only 13 women, down from 18 in 2009, and that number is likely to soon fall to 12 when the next Council is seated in January, if this year’s elections continue as expected. There has been widespread recent attention given to the City Council gender imbalance, in part because the Council’s Women’s Caucus released a report on the subject, and there are efforts underway to improve

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  • Ede Fox Unsuccessful in Second Attempt at Election to City Council

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    Ede Fox, in white, with campaign help (photo via Facebook)


    At 7 a.m. on primary day, September 12, Ede Fox had already been campaigning for an hour, since polls opened, at P.S. 20 in Fort Greene. The neighborhood is part of the 35th City Council District, where Fox was trying to unseat incumbent Democrat Laurie Cumbo, who had bested Fox four years ago when the seat was open.

    That year, Fox finished third in a five-way primary, 1,825 votes behind Cumbo. This year, she decided to take Cumbo on again, motivated by community concerns around affordability and gentrification, and

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  • Forecasting the Upcoming City Council Gender Imbalance

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    CMs Chin, left; Rose, center; & Rosenthal, center right (photo: Gotham Gazette)


    There are currently only 13 women in the 51-seat New York City Council, a troubling 25 percent. The number is down from 18 women in the Council a few years ago. With the city’s quadrennial elections upon us, a new Council class will be inaugurated in January, with the September 12 primaries largely determining who will fill the city’s legislative body for the next four years in this very Democratic city.

    Most would agree that gender balance in the City Council

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  • Heated Rematch in Central Brooklyn, Where Incumbent Seeks to Hold City Council Seat

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    Council Member Laurie Cumbo (@cmlauriecumbo)


    Hundreds of Crown Heights residents and community activists laughed and jeered at a recent community forum as a lanky man wearing a paper mask of Mayor Bill de Blasio joked about bringing affordable housing to their neighborhood.

    The event was punctuated by moments of levity but mostly dominated by anger from residents who feel their elected representatives have sold out their interests to the real estate industry, with a focus on the proposed redevelopment of the vacant Bedford Union Armory. The

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  • De Blasio, Cumbo Teams Mum on Campaign Aid

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    Mayor de Blasio & Council Member Cumbo (arm raised) (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayor's Office)


    As she seeks re-election, City Council Member Laurie Cumbo has key advantages that come with incumbency -- name recognition, access to donors, and a degree of institutional support. Included in that support is the backing of Mayor Bill de Blasio, a fellow Democrat also running for a second term this fall, though the mayor and his team appear to be helping Cumbo quietly, in part because of the complicated politics surrounding a key issue in her district, the

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  • Rep. Jeffries Endorses Council Member Cumbo for Reelection

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    Council Member Laurie Cumbo (photo: William Alatriste/New York City Council)


    New York Congressional Representative Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat who represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens, has endorsed City Council Member Laurie Cumbo for reelection. Cumbo, a first-term Democrat from District 35, which covers Prospect Heights, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and parts of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights in Brooklyn, is in the midst of a tough primary battle against Ede Fox, a Democrat who lost to Cumbo in 2013 and is running again this year.

    Jeffries,

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  • Rare Green Party Primary in Brooklyn City Council Race

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    (Credit via @Jabari2017)


    Despite laying claim to less than one percent of party affiliated registered voters within New York City, the Green Party has two candidates competing in a rare primary this year.

    Candidates Jabari Brisport and Scott Hutchins are facing each other

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  • City Council Women's Caucus Rallies for Equity Legislation

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    Equality rally at City Hall (photo via Council Member Cumbo)


    The Women’s Caucus of the New York City Council announced a legislative package Tuesday aimed at equal rights and opportunities for women. With an “equality rally” outside City Hall before the full Council held a meeting at which some of the bills were introduced, legislators, advocates, and service providers expressed support for the legislation and argued for its necessity in light of Donald Trump’s election as President.

    The co-chairs of the Women’s Caucus, Council

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  • Hearing Shows Lack of Communication on Young Men’s Initiative

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    Council Member Eugene (photo: CMMathieuEugene)


    There was confusion and some angst at the City Council on Wednesday. At an oversight hearing held by the Council’s Youth Services Committee, several Council members said they were unaware of the programming of the city’s Young Men’s Initiative, which was the focus of the hearing.

    Council Member Mathieu Eugene chairs the committee and led the hearing. Only one other committee member, Council Member Margaret Chin, was present when Cyrus Garrett, executive director of

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  • Cultural Affairs Funding One Point of Contention as City Budget Finalized

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    CM Van Bramer, Mayor de Blasio, & Dennis Walcott (l-r) (photo via The Mayor's Office)


    Members of the New York City Council have joined together with cultural institutions and advocates to petition Mayor Bill de Blasio to increase by $40 million the funding for cultural programming and organizations in the upcoming city budget. With a budget deal due by the July 1 start of the new fiscal year, final negotiations are underway between the City Council and the de Blasio administration, and outside groups are making their last

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  • De Blasio Administration Backs Council Push for Increased Tampon Access

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    Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland (photo: William Alatriste)


    Representatives from the de Blasio administration testified in “strong support” of a package of legislation to make feminine hygiene products readily available and free in New York City public schools, shelters, and correctional facilities on Thursday at the City Council’s first hearing on the bills since they were introduced in

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  • Time to Say and Do More for Women's Health

    Eric Adams Brooklyn women's health

    Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams


    Tampons. Periods. Breastfeeding. Hot flashes.

    These terms, and others relevant to women’s health, have traditionally been considered taboo — inappropriate for polite conversation and therefore left unmentioned. That silence has had serious consequences for women and girls, who are denied access to feminine hygiene products, charged more at the cash register for “women’s” versions of household items, and made to feel ashamed about their bodies.

    This taboo extends to sexual health, with terrible costs for young

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  • James Takes Softer Stance on Atlantic Yards

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    James (at podium) & Cumbo (in green) at Barclays Center (photo: Azi Paybarah)


    When Public Advocate Letitia (Tish) James served as City Council Member for the 35th District in Brooklyn, from 2003 through 2013, she was a vocal, high-profile opponent of the Atlantic Yards megaproject, as reflected in the 2011 documentary Battle for Brooklyn.

    James was a plaintiff in ...

  • Rethinking ‘Women’s Issues’ in Public Policy

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    Council Members Rosenthal (front) and Cumbo (photo: William Alatriste)


    Access to reproductive health care is generally viewed as a “women’s issue,” a label that some say excludes men and more specific impacted groups from a variety of important conversations, and can make it more difficult for so-labeled issues to get the attention they deserve from public policy-makers. While closing the wage gap, securing paid family leave, combatting sexual assault and domestic violence, and protecting and improving access to reproductive health care impact everyone, not just

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  • Investments, Not Cuts, in Youth Summer Programs

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    Students rally at City Hall (photo via @CMMathieuEugene)


    In a short time, it will be summer, but it's not the impending warm weather that's causing parents to feel the heat.

    Parents are scrambling to make plans for their children because Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has not included funding for summer programs in the city budget, and this severe cut will impact more than 34,000 students across New York City.

    Our children deserve to have the educational and recreational opportunities they need to succeed. School’s Out New York, or SONYC, is a vital

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  • To Combat Increase in Reported Rapes, Experts Point to Prevention

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    City Coucil Member Laurie Cumbo leads a press conference (photo: William Alatriste)


    Reported rapes are on the rise in New York City. Despite an overall downward trend in felony crime, 2015 saw a 6.3 percent increase in the number of rapes reported, up to 1,439 from 1,354. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and others have attributed this

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  • Sexual Assault Becomes Focus of Public Discussion

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    Council Member Cumbo (photo: William Alatriste)


    Even before a horrific rape incident became the focus of news reports and statements from elected officials over the weekend, lawmakers and advocates planned to rally Monday morning at City Hall to call for new measures to protect women from violent assault.

    While major felonies dropped overall in New York City in 2015, there were more rapes reported than the year before. There have also been alarming reports of rape connected to women riding in cabs and other for-hire vehicles. In discussing crime data ...

  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, October 26

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week will be dominated by the World Series, we know that. The New York Mets begin their quest for the title against the Royals in Kansas City on Tuesday night, followed by another game in KC on Wednesday and then games in Queens on Friday, Saturday, and, if necessary, Sunday. If the series continues, games six and seven would be the following Tuesday and Wednesday (Nov. 3 and 4) back in Kansas City. On Sunday,

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, July 6

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Don't expect to see much action from the biggest political players this week. Mayor Bill de Blasio may have launched a salvo against Governor Andrew Cuomo before leaving for vacation last week but the Mayor remains somewhere in the "Southwestern and Western United States" according to his official schedule. De Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray, and their children Chiara and Dante are scheduled to return to the city on

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  • In Changing District, Cumbo Continues Culture Crusade

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    Council Member Laurie Cumbo (photo: William Alatriste)


    In one of Brooklyn's most rapidly changing districts, where brownstones sell for millions of dollars around the corner from deteriorating public housing complexes, Council Member Laurie Cumbo believes that arts and culture can be a unifying factor.

    "The whole purpose of humanity is to create culture and to advance culture. So it can't be separated from all of the other priorities," Cumbo said during an interview in her legislative office. "If you're not

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  • Council Members Aim Help at Parents Returning to Workforce

     

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    Council Members Kallos (middle), Cumbo (left), & Cornegy (photo: @BenKallos)


    NEW YORK - City Council Members Ben Kallos, Laurie Cumbo, and Robert Cornegy today introduced a bill and five-point plan to help working parents re-enter the workforce after temporary disruptions in employment.

    The proposed legislation, of which Kallos is the lead sponsor and he introduced at the

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  • The City Council Definition of Women's Issues

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    Council Member Cumbo at a Women's History Month celebration (photo: Ben Max)


    On Monday, March 30, the New York City Council will host a Women's History Month celebration at City Hall. Council members will likely celebrate women heroes of city government, past and present, and acknowledge the history-making leadership of both Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the first Latina to hold the position, and Public Advocate Letitia James, a former council member who is the first woman

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