Gotham Gazette Gotham Gazette is an online publication covering New York policy and politics as well as news on public safety, transportation, education, finance and more. http://www.gothamgazette.com/component/tags/tag/puerto-rico 2018-06-23T08:17:06+00:00 Webmaster webmaster@gothamgazette.com Without the Federal Government But With New York, Puerto Rico Endures 2018-06-22T04:00:00+00:00 2018-06-22T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7763:without-the-federal-government-but-with-new-york-puerto-rico-endures Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/gov-puertorican-day.jpg" alt="gov puertorican day" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p>(photo via the Governor's office)</p> <hr /> <p>Loíza is a town on the northeastern coast of Puerto Rico, home to almost 30,000 American citizens. For 72 hours last September, as Hurricane Maria ravaged the island and other territories in the Caribbean, Loíza and all of its residents became isolated from the outside world when the three main roads that connect this medium-sized town to the rest of the island became impassable.&nbsp;</p> <p>The challenges that residents of Loíza faced and continue to deal with are not only emblematic of the lack of resources invested in rebuilding efforts and the crumbling economy hindering the island's recovery, but also of the resilience and resourcefulness of the Puerto Rican people.&nbsp;</p> <p>Last March, I returned to my native Puerto Rico to see the impact of the disaster firsthand. I visited six different towns across the island, including Loíza, and with a great deal of frustration and heartbreak, I confirmed what I had feared: the inadequate and anemic responses from the federal government and the island’s central administration have left almost 3 million Puerto Ricans on the island and their local governments to fend for themselves. &nbsp;</p> <p>Thousands, especially those in low-income communities, continue to suffer from unreliable electricity and water systems, food and resource shortages, and serious mental and physical health emergencies. Considering this, it should come as no surprise that the real number of storm-related fatalities is closer to 4,600 souls, according to a recent Harvard University&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMsa1803972" target="_blank" rel="noopener">report</a>, as opposed to the 64 official deaths counted by the U.S. government. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>While the trip was disheartening in many ways, it was also inspiring and hopeful. I met several mayors, nonprofit organizations, scholars, labor leaders, and dedicated individuals whose steadfast leadership in helping Puerto Rico recover has been nothing short of heroic. Together, they have slowly built an important grassroots recovery movement that has made significant progress despite minimal resources.&nbsp;</p> <p>For instance,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.tallersalud.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Taller Salud</a>, a Loíza-based nonprofit organization seeking to ensure the physical and emotional well-being of low-income women and girls, saw its mission transform out of necessity, becoming a critical emergency response provider giving out life-saving assistance to thousands.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>To put it plainly, Puerto Ricans do not need or want charity. What they need is our support to further invest in those leaders and communities working tirelessly to implement innovative visions and projects locally. They want to maintain full agency over how their hometowns and infrastructure are rebuilt. We do not need to tell them or show them how to survive or thrive -- what we need to do is augment their ability to do what they have already been doing.</p> <p>Many states and cities across the mainland United States have stepped up to provide support in the face of the failed response by our federal government. I am proud to say that New York has done this and in spades.</p> <p>Our State and City governments, along with elected officials across all levels of government, local nonprofit organizations, civic leaders, and many New Yorkers launched an extremely dynamic relief effort, which continues to this day. From millions of dollars in monetary donations, to collecting tons of essential items, to sending highly qualified emergency responders, medical staff, and expert personnel to help rebuild the island’s decayed infrastructure, New York has led by example as to how to coordinate a comprehensive relief response and empower the Puerto Rican people to take the lead in its recovery efforts.</p> <p>During a recent meeting of Governor Cuomo’s New York Stands with Puerto Rico Rebuilding and Reconstructing Committee, I joined my fellow committee members and Governor Cuomo’s administration to identify a list of priorities and recommendations to help facilitate Puerto Rico’s rebuilding efforts.</p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/01-29-14_rivera-hs-_009.jpg" alt="01 29 14 rivera hs 009" width="92" height="92" style="margin: 10px; float: left;" />My list of recommendations focuses on counseling and mental health services, access to higher education, employment assistance, accessibility of clean water, and promotion of green energy infrastructure.&nbsp;</p> <p>As a result of the recent committee meeting, I penned a <a href="https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/gustavo-rivera/senator-rivera-and-members-senate-democratic-conference-call" target="_blank" rel="noopener">letter</a> with members of the Senate Democratic Conference urging SUNY and CUNY to extend their in-state tuition credit program. This program aims to ensure that Puerto Rican and U.S. Virgin Islands students who relocated to New York are able to continue their higher education for the next academic year. Last week, SUNY extended the program and CUNY is expected to do the same imminently.</p> <p>Puerto Ricans have not only seen their lives completely torn apart by a natural disaster, but also by the criminal inaction of our federal government. While the road to recovery will be long and filled with challenges, the spirit of my fellow Boricuas remains intact. At a time of such darkness, the clarity of their ideas and their commitment to rebuilding is worthy of support. The goal of the diaspora, and all who seek to help, must be to empower our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters to transform and improve their neighborhoods and towns as they see fit. The storm and this administration have dealt a painful blow to Puerto Rico, but the island and Puerto Ricans endure.</p> <p>***<br /> Gustavo Rivera is a state senator representing part of the Bronx and a native of Puerto Rico. On Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/NYSenatorRivera" target="_blank" rel="noopener">@NYSenatorRivera</a>.</p> <p>

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<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/gov-puertorican-day.jpg" alt="gov puertorican day" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p>(photo via the Governor's office)</p> <hr /> <p>Loíza is a town on the northeastern coast of Puerto Rico, home to almost 30,000 American citizens. For 72 hours last September, as Hurricane Maria ravaged the island and other territories in the Caribbean, Loíza and all of its residents became isolated from the outside world when the three main roads that connect this medium-sized town to the rest of the island became impassable.&nbsp;</p> <p>The challenges that residents of Loíza faced and continue to deal with are not only emblematic of the lack of resources invested in rebuilding efforts and the crumbling economy hindering the island's recovery, but also of the resilience and resourcefulness of the Puerto Rican people.&nbsp;</p> <p>Last March, I returned to my native Puerto Rico to see the impact of the disaster firsthand. I visited six different towns across the island, including Loíza, and with a great deal of frustration and heartbreak, I confirmed what I had feared: the inadequate and anemic responses from the federal government and the island’s central administration have left almost 3 million Puerto Ricans on the island and their local governments to fend for themselves. &nbsp;</p> <p>Thousands, especially those in low-income communities, continue to suffer from unreliable electricity and water systems, food and resource shortages, and serious mental and physical health emergencies. Considering this, it should come as no surprise that the real number of storm-related fatalities is closer to 4,600 souls, according to a recent Harvard University&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMsa1803972" target="_blank" rel="noopener">report</a>, as opposed to the 64 official deaths counted by the U.S. government. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>While the trip was disheartening in many ways, it was also inspiring and hopeful. I met several mayors, nonprofit organizations, scholars, labor leaders, and dedicated individuals whose steadfast leadership in helping Puerto Rico recover has been nothing short of heroic. Together, they have slowly built an important grassroots recovery movement that has made significant progress despite minimal resources.&nbsp;</p> <p>For instance,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.tallersalud.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Taller Salud</a>, a Loíza-based nonprofit organization seeking to ensure the physical and emotional well-being of low-income women and girls, saw its mission transform out of necessity, becoming a critical emergency response provider giving out life-saving assistance to thousands.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>To put it plainly, Puerto Ricans do not need or want charity. What they need is our support to further invest in those leaders and communities working tirelessly to implement innovative visions and projects locally. They want to maintain full agency over how their hometowns and infrastructure are rebuilt. We do not need to tell them or show them how to survive or thrive -- what we need to do is augment their ability to do what they have already been doing.</p> <p>Many states and cities across the mainland United States have stepped up to provide support in the face of the failed response by our federal government. I am proud to say that New York has done this and in spades.</p> <p>Our State and City governments, along with elected officials across all levels of government, local nonprofit organizations, civic leaders, and many New Yorkers launched an extremely dynamic relief effort, which continues to this day. From millions of dollars in monetary donations, to collecting tons of essential items, to sending highly qualified emergency responders, medical staff, and expert personnel to help rebuild the island’s decayed infrastructure, New York has led by example as to how to coordinate a comprehensive relief response and empower the Puerto Rican people to take the lead in its recovery efforts.</p> <p>During a recent meeting of Governor Cuomo’s New York Stands with Puerto Rico Rebuilding and Reconstructing Committee, I joined my fellow committee members and Governor Cuomo’s administration to identify a list of priorities and recommendations to help facilitate Puerto Rico’s rebuilding efforts.</p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/01-29-14_rivera-hs-_009.jpg" alt="01 29 14 rivera hs 009" width="92" height="92" style="margin: 10px; float: left;" />My list of recommendations focuses on counseling and mental health services, access to higher education, employment assistance, accessibility of clean water, and promotion of green energy infrastructure.&nbsp;</p> <p>As a result of the recent committee meeting, I penned a <a href="https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/gustavo-rivera/senator-rivera-and-members-senate-democratic-conference-call" target="_blank" rel="noopener">letter</a> with members of the Senate Democratic Conference urging SUNY and CUNY to extend their in-state tuition credit program. This program aims to ensure that Puerto Rican and U.S. Virgin Islands students who relocated to New York are able to continue their higher education for the next academic year. Last week, SUNY extended the program and CUNY is expected to do the same imminently.</p> <p>Puerto Ricans have not only seen their lives completely torn apart by a natural disaster, but also by the criminal inaction of our federal government. While the road to recovery will be long and filled with challenges, the spirit of my fellow Boricuas remains intact. At a time of such darkness, the clarity of their ideas and their commitment to rebuilding is worthy of support. The goal of the diaspora, and all who seek to help, must be to empower our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters to transform and improve their neighborhoods and towns as they see fit. The storm and this administration have dealt a painful blow to Puerto Rico, but the island and Puerto Ricans endure.</p> <p>***<br /> Gustavo Rivera is a state senator representing part of the Bronx and a native of Puerto Rico. On Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/NYSenatorRivera" target="_blank" rel="noopener">@NYSenatorRivera</a>.</p> <p>

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Latino New Yorkers Must Find Common Ground to Move Toward Progress 2018-05-28T04:00:00+00:00 2018-05-28T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7696:latino-new-yorkers-must-find-common-ground-to-move-toward-progress Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/35112012871_eea9e47be7_z.jpg" alt="Puerto Rican Day Parade" width="600" height="399" /><br /> <br />Puerto Rican Day Parade (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor’s Office)</p> <hr /> <p>About 2.5 million New York City residents are Latino, making the community the second largest ethnic group in the city only after non-Latino whites. The majority of the city’s Latino population is U.S. born and nearly 80% say they speak Spanish at home.<br /><br />But despite strong population growth, Latino New Yorkers face a number of adverse conditions that continue to put constraints on their economic progress. About 26.4% of all Latino families live in poverty. That number jumps to 49.9% among households led by women with children. Immigration status, high unemployment, and displacement are just a few of the pressing contributing factors leaving Latinos behind.<br /><br />The Latino community must work together to shape its future.<br /><br />With that in mind, last year three Latino research institutes at CUNY—the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Hunter College-CUNY) and the Mexican Studies Institute —along with other partners, held the first ever New York City Summit on Latinos (SoL-NYC), to forge advocacy coalitions to develop an action-based agenda of policy priorities that can move the Latino community forward.<br /><br />As we prepare to hold the second SoL-NYC Summit on Friday, June 1, we released <a href="http://dominicanlandmarks.com/Report-First-Annual-SOL.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a set of recommendations</a> produced at last year’s conference through the participation of over 40 representatives of Latino or Latino-serving organizations. While it identifies some of the constraints on Latinos in New York City, it also calls for immediate action.<br /><br />The recommendations include education reforms responsive to the linguistic and cultural needs of our children; increasing civic and political participation of the community; better access to jobs and economic opportunities, as well as strengthening the city’s “sanctuary” status to better protect law-abiding immigrants at risk of deportation.<br /><br />This year is particularly important given the federal government’s one-sided focus on immigration, the upcoming gubernatorial election, where Latinos could play a crucial role, and the still-painful devastation left in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria. The aftermath of Maria in particular is driving a new exodus to the New York area of Puerto Rican families, which could once again bring demographic change.<br /><br />As academic institutions, we do not engage in direct action or endorse political candidates. However, we recognize the importance such strategies bring to other stakeholders as they see fit.<br /><br />Latinos are not a homogeneous group. In New York City, Hispanics represent over 20 different countries of origin and national ethnicities, which can pose a challenge to finding a common agenda.<br /><br />As conveners, our role is to produce data and non-partisan policy analysis as well as an important space for key stakeholders to find common ground, build alliances, and strengthen their organizing power.<br /><br />Latinos are strong in numbers; we are the youngest New Yorkers, with a median age of 31 and 36% under the age of 18. We now need to come together to wake up our own sleeping giant and create change.<br /><br />It is encouraging to see Latinas obtaining college degrees at a faster pace now and also represented among new candidates for office and those recently elected. <br /><br />However, there are deep, ongoing challenges -- the unemployment rate is still very high, for example, at 11%, compared to the overall unemployment rate of 3.9% in New York City (as of December 2017). Who is making sure that every job creation effort at the city and state levels includes Latinos? Without good-paying jobs there is no upward mobility for a group that’s the poorest and whose diversity brings language barriers as well as different educational levels and immigration statuses. Those are the kinds of discussion our annual conference wants to foster.<br /><br />While the Puerto Rican and Dominican populations have been growing and spreading around the country, New York City remains the place with the most Puerto Ricans and Dominicans anywhere in the United States. New York City is also the seat of Puerto Rican and Dominican political power at the local, state, and federal levels, given both representation and influence. The Mexican population in the city continues to grow as well, leading also to political empowerment at the city level. Overall, Latinos have become nearly one-quarter of the New York City electorate, mirroring the importance of the Latino vote on the national level.<br /><br />We are calling on neighborhood leaders, organizations, and other stakeholders in the Latino community to use the conference as a powerful tool to help bring the much-needed resources Latinos need.<br /><br />Latinos are in good position to drive legislative change. Let’s take advantage of that power to make New York City a more livable home for Latinos and everybody else!<br /><br />***<br />Carlos Vargas-Ramos, Director of Policy, External and Media Relations, Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College (CUNY).</p> <p>

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<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/35112012871_eea9e47be7_z.jpg" alt="Puerto Rican Day Parade" width="600" height="399" /><br /> <br />Puerto Rican Day Parade (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor’s Office)</p> <hr /> <p>About 2.5 million New York City residents are Latino, making the community the second largest ethnic group in the city only after non-Latino whites. The majority of the city’s Latino population is U.S. born and nearly 80% say they speak Spanish at home.<br /><br />But despite strong population growth, Latino New Yorkers face a number of adverse conditions that continue to put constraints on their economic progress. About 26.4% of all Latino families live in poverty. That number jumps to 49.9% among households led by women with children. Immigration status, high unemployment, and displacement are just a few of the pressing contributing factors leaving Latinos behind.<br /><br />The Latino community must work together to shape its future.<br /><br />With that in mind, last year three Latino research institutes at CUNY—the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Hunter College-CUNY) and the Mexican Studies Institute —along with other partners, held the first ever New York City Summit on Latinos (SoL-NYC), to forge advocacy coalitions to develop an action-based agenda of policy priorities that can move the Latino community forward.<br /><br />As we prepare to hold the second SoL-NYC Summit on Friday, June 1, we released <a href="http://dominicanlandmarks.com/Report-First-Annual-SOL.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a set of recommendations</a> produced at last year’s conference through the participation of over 40 representatives of Latino or Latino-serving organizations. While it identifies some of the constraints on Latinos in New York City, it also calls for immediate action.<br /><br />The recommendations include education reforms responsive to the linguistic and cultural needs of our children; increasing civic and political participation of the community; better access to jobs and economic opportunities, as well as strengthening the city’s “sanctuary” status to better protect law-abiding immigrants at risk of deportation.<br /><br />This year is particularly important given the federal government’s one-sided focus on immigration, the upcoming gubernatorial election, where Latinos could play a crucial role, and the still-painful devastation left in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria. The aftermath of Maria in particular is driving a new exodus to the New York area of Puerto Rican families, which could once again bring demographic change.<br /><br />As academic institutions, we do not engage in direct action or endorse political candidates. However, we recognize the importance such strategies bring to other stakeholders as they see fit.<br /><br />Latinos are not a homogeneous group. In New York City, Hispanics represent over 20 different countries of origin and national ethnicities, which can pose a challenge to finding a common agenda.<br /><br />As conveners, our role is to produce data and non-partisan policy analysis as well as an important space for key stakeholders to find common ground, build alliances, and strengthen their organizing power.<br /><br />Latinos are strong in numbers; we are the youngest New Yorkers, with a median age of 31 and 36% under the age of 18. We now need to come together to wake up our own sleeping giant and create change.<br /><br />It is encouraging to see Latinas obtaining college degrees at a faster pace now and also represented among new candidates for office and those recently elected. <br /><br />However, there are deep, ongoing challenges -- the unemployment rate is still very high, for example, at 11%, compared to the overall unemployment rate of 3.9% in New York City (as of December 2017). Who is making sure that every job creation effort at the city and state levels includes Latinos? Without good-paying jobs there is no upward mobility for a group that’s the poorest and whose diversity brings language barriers as well as different educational levels and immigration statuses. Those are the kinds of discussion our annual conference wants to foster.<br /><br />While the Puerto Rican and Dominican populations have been growing and spreading around the country, New York City remains the place with the most Puerto Ricans and Dominicans anywhere in the United States. New York City is also the seat of Puerto Rican and Dominican political power at the local, state, and federal levels, given both representation and influence. The Mexican population in the city continues to grow as well, leading also to political empowerment at the city level. Overall, Latinos have become nearly one-quarter of the New York City electorate, mirroring the importance of the Latino vote on the national level.<br /><br />We are calling on neighborhood leaders, organizations, and other stakeholders in the Latino community to use the conference as a powerful tool to help bring the much-needed resources Latinos need.<br /><br />Latinos are in good position to drive legislative change. Let’s take advantage of that power to make New York City a more livable home for Latinos and everybody else!<br /><br />***<br />Carlos Vargas-Ramos, Director of Policy, External and Media Relations, Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College (CUNY).</p> <p>

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The Week That Was in New York Politics, October 12-16 2015-10-16T15:31:18+00:00 2015-10-16T15:31:18+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=5936:the-week-that-was-in-new-york-politics-october-12-16 Super User <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/week_in_review_bus_readers.jpg" alt="week in review bus readers" width="600" height="409" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><a href="http://blog.mcny.org/2012/04/24/a-ride-on-the-subway-in-1946-with-stanley-kubrick/" target="_blank">photo</a>: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York</span></p> <hr /> <p>Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday October 16</p> <p><strong>PHOTO OF THE WEEK:&nbsp;</strong>Mayor de Blasio and former Mayor David Dinkins at the ceremony naming The David N. Dinkins Municipal Building, via The Mayor's Office; Hillary Clinton and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito at a protest rally in Las Vegas before the Democratic presidential debate, <a href="https://twitter.com/PedroJulio/status/653735190309703680" target="_blank">via Pedro Julio Serrano</a></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/BdB_Dinkins_via_mayors_office.jpg" alt="BdB Dinkins via mayors office" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="400" height="266" /></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/HRC_MMV.jpg" alt="HRC MMV" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="400" height="400" /></p> <p><strong>TOP FIVE STORIES OF THE WEEK:</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>1. MTA Funding Deal:</strong> This past Saturday, after months of debate, city and state officials reached a <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/editorial-mta-capital-plan-finally-article-1.2393980" target="_blank">deal</a> over funding for the MTA’s capital plan. New York City will pay an additional $2.5 billion, while the state will contribute $8.3 billion to meet what was the outstanding need of the $26 billion plan to expand and repair the MTA system over the next five years. As part of the <a href="http://observer.com/2015/10/cuomo-and-de-blasio-bury-hatchet-in-mta-funding-fight/" target="_blank">deal</a>, the state cannot divert funds from the capital plan, as the state has repeatedly removed money from the MTA budget in the past. Questions remain, however, over how the state and the city plan to pay for their shares - Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan has <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/exclusive-nys-eyes-ways-fund-8-3b-mta-article-1.2393330" target="_blank">said</a> his conference won’t support new taxes to pay for the commitment and questioned new borrowing. De Blasio’s team is expected to outline its plans as part of a reworked capital budget in 2016.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>2. De Blasio’s First Town Hall:</strong> Mayor de Blasio held the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/15/nyregion/mayor-de-blasio-at-rare-public-forum-presents-himself-as-a-protector-of-tenants.html?ref=nyregion&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">first town hall</a> of his mayoralty in Washington Heights on Wednesday evening. The mayor took questions from a crowd of about 250 during the two-hour town hall with a focus on rent security and tenant protection. The town hall seems to be <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5935-the-mayors-media-blitz-de-blasio" target="_blank">part of a shifting strategy</a> for public interaction that began in late August, when Mayor de Blasio began <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5935-the-mayors-media-blitz-de-blasio" target="_blank">making more appearances on TV and radio shows</a>, as well as more formal in-person outreach to New Yorkers.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>3. Cuomo Team Returns to Puerto Rico:</strong> A delegation of New York State officials led by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul returned to <a href="http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Hochul-to-lead-team-on-Puerto-Rico-trip-6565430.php" target="_blank">Puerto Rico</a> this week in an attempt to help the territory deal with its debt and health care crises. The delegation <a href="http://www.nystateofpolitics.com/2015/10/cuomo-admin-sends-more-help-to-puerto-rico/" target="_blank">included</a> Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, Medicaid Director Jason Helgerson, and Assemblymembers Marco Crespo and Richard Gottfried. Cuomo led the first delegation to Puerto Rico about a month ago.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>4. De Blasio to Israel:</strong> The mayor&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/15/nyregion/mayor-de-blasio-on-israel-trip-plans-visit-with-palestinians.html" target="_blank">headed to Israel</a> late Thursday to deliver a keynote address at the annual Conference of Mayors, where he will speak on the <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/mayor-de-blasio-israel-international-conference-article-1.2390617">topic</a> “Anti-Semitism in the West: How Cities Must Lead.” During the three-day trip, Mayor de Blasio will meet with Palestinians at a bilingual school in Jerusalem, a break from his predecessors, who only met with Israelis while visiting Israel in the past - though mayor won’t be meeting with official representatives of the Palestinian government. Questions remain around the private funding of de Blasio’s trip.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>5. Cuomo’s Common Core Task Force:</strong> Governor Cuomo's "Common Core Task Force"&nbsp;<a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2015/10/8579078/cuomos-common-core-panel-set-meet-next-week" target="_blank">met</a> for the first time Friday. The panel, made up of 15 educators, lawmakers, and business leaders, could suggest overhauling the Common Core standards in New York. Governor Cuomo <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2015/09/8578053/new-task-force-familiar-faces-cuomo-wants-common-core-total-reboot" target="_blank">announced</a> a ‘total reboot’ of Common Core was necessary after roughly 20 percent of state students opted not to take standardized tests aligned with the tougher standards. On a related note, earlier in the week, the State Assembly education committee held a meeting on the state's most struggling schools. After Friday's meeting the Common Core Task Force announced plans for at least a dozen public forums and that it had appointed its first "student ambassador." [From September 29 when the task force had just been announced:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5913-absent-from-cuomos-new-education-task-force-a-student" target="_blank">Absent from Cuomo's New Education Task Force: A Student</a>]</p> <p><strong>THIS WEEK'S NUMBERS:</strong></p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"><strong>$1.67 million</strong> in unclaimed funds have been <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/exclusive-nyc-finds-1-67m-lost-cash-state-registry-article-1.2393467" target="_blank">returned</a> to the city after Public Advocate Letitia James led a push for the city to recover money from New York’s unclaimed funds registry, which found that the city had more than 2,000 accounts with unclaimed funds.</li> </ul> <ul> <li dir="ltr"><strong>$174,000</strong>is outgoing Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson’s new judicial <a href="http://nypost.com/2015/10/10/outgoing-bronx-da-to-score-300k-in-judge-salary-pension/" target="_blank">salary</a>, which he intends to collect in addition to his pension, which is estimated could be as much as $142,000 per year, according to The New York Post.</li> </ul> <ul> <li dir="ltr"><strong>41 months</strong> in federal prison for former Rikers correction officer Austin Romain for accepting over $11,000 in <a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2015/10/13/former-rikers-correction-officer-who-accepted-more-than--11k-in-bribes-gets-41-months-in-federal-prison.html" target="_blank">bribes</a> as part of a scheme to distribute marijuana to Rikers inmates.</li> </ul> <ul> <li dir="ltr"><strong>3 states, 8 people, and over $100,000</strong> in <a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/criminal-justice/2015/10/14/eight-face-charges-in-connection-with-alleged-illegal-gun-smuggling-operation.html" target="_blank">illegal weapons</a> were involved in a gun-running ring busted by Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson. 112 guns were sold to an undercover police officer during the year-long investigation into the gun-smuggling ring.</li> </ul> <ul> <li dir="ltr"><strong>11-year&nbsp;</strong>difference between the <a href="http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Community-Health-Profiles-Show-Disparity-Between-New-York-City-Neighborhoods-332607172.html" target="_blank">life expectancy</a> of residents of Brooklyn’s impoverished Brownsville neighborhood and the residents of Manhattan’s more affluent financial district.</li> </ul> <p><strong>THE GLORY AND THE GOAT:</strong></p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"><strong>It was a good week for</strong> former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, who this week had the Manhattan Municipal Building <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/municipal-building-renamed-mayor-david-dinkins-article-1.2383824" target="_blank">renamed</a> in his honor.</li> </ul> <ul> <li dir="ltr"><strong>It was a bad week for</strong> Wendell Walters, former assistant commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, who was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday for accepting $2.5 million in <a href="http://goo.gl/hacbvH" target="_blank">bribes</a>.</li> </ul> <p><strong>THE FLASH:</strong></p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"><strong>Around this time 103 years ago</strong>, on October 14, 1912, then-presidential candidate Teddy Roosevelt was <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2007/10/roosevelt-shot-in-milwaukee-on-oct-14-1912-006332" target="_blank">shot</a> in the chest by a Manhattan man while campaigning in Milwaukee. He went on with a scheduled speech despite his wound.</li> </ul> <ul> <li dir="ltr"><strong>Around this time three years ago</strong>, on October 16, 2012, the FBI arrested Mohammed Nafis for plotting to <a href="http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/17/man-arrested-in-plot-to-blow-up-federal-reserve-bank-in-new-york/" target="_blank">detonate</a> a 1,000 pound car bomb in front of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.</li> </ul> <ul> <li dir="ltr"><strong>Around this time last year</strong>, on October 14, 2014, Mayor de Blasio kicked off two Hurricane Sandy-related employment programs in Queens as a means to better connect residents with <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2014/10/8554657/de-blasio-kicks-sandy-jobs-programs-rockaways" target="_blank">jobs</a> and training programs in the storm-ravaged Rockaways.</li> </ul> <p><strong>GOTHAM GAZETTE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK:</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5935-the-mayors-media-blitz-de-blasio" target="_blank">The Mayor's Media Blitz</a>, by Ben Max</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5934-reform-proposals-fly-as-panel-evaluates-ethics-watchdog" target="_blank">Reform Proposals Fly as Panel Evaluates Ethics Watchdog</a>, by Samar Khurshid</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5933-measuring-the-mayors-education-agenda" target="_blank">Measuring the Mayor’s Education Agenda</a>, by Kaela Sanborn-Hum</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/5932-albany-transparency-and-the-mta-funding-deal-show-us-our-money" target="_blank">Albany Transparency and the MTA Funding Deal: Show Us Our Money</a>, by John Kaehny (opinion)</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong><span face="Times New Roman">MORE FOR THE WEEKEND:</span></strong></p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">Gotham Gazette's David King <a href="http://www.twcnews.com/nys/capital-region/capital-tonight-interviews/2015/10/9/reporter-roundtable-100915.html" target="_blank">appeared on last Capital Tonight's reporters roundtable</a>&nbsp;to discuss the latest in New York state politics [video].</li> <li dir="ltr">Politico New York's Azi Paybarah <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2015/10/8579843/quinns-next-chapter-working-homeless" target="_blank">looks at former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's next chapter</a>, which she begins soon as head of a nonprofit combatting homelessness and its effects</li> <li dir="ltr">The Manhattan District Attorney's Office and John Jay College <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/witness-for-the-prosecution-1444946704" target="_blank">are partnering to open a new think tank</a> focused on prosecutorial training and practice.</li> <li dir="ltr">And, the Mets won their NLDS series against the Dodgers; they'll start the NLCS with the Cubs Saturday night at Citi Field in Queens.</li> </ul> <p><em>***<br />NOTE TO READERS: we hope you enjoy this new Gotham Gazette weekly feature - please share it if you do; on Twitter, use our handle&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@GothamGazette</a>.</em></p> <p><em>If you have feedback on this feature for us, you can email editor Ben Max:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com">bmax@gothamgazette.com</a></em></p> <p><em>Watch Sunday evening for our latest Week Ahead in New York Politics, which gives you a preview of key issues and events to be aware of for the week about to start. In the meantime, catch up on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government" target="_blank">the latest original reporting from Gotham Gazette here</a>. And have a great weekend!</em></p> <p><em>***</em><br />by Meg O'Connor and Ben Max</p> <p>Note: this article has been updated</p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/week_in_review_bus_readers.jpg" alt="week in review bus readers" width="600" height="409" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><a href="http://blog.mcny.org/2012/04/24/a-ride-on-the-subway-in-1946-with-stanley-kubrick/" target="_blank">photo</a>: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York</span></p> <hr /> <p>Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday October 16</p> <p><strong>PHOTO OF THE WEEK:&nbsp;</strong>Mayor de Blasio and former Mayor David Dinkins at the ceremony naming The David N. Dinkins Municipal Building, via The Mayor's Office; Hillary Clinton and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito at a protest rally in Las Vegas before the Democratic presidential debate, <a href="https://twitter.com/PedroJulio/status/653735190309703680" target="_blank">via Pedro Julio Serrano</a></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/BdB_Dinkins_via_mayors_office.jpg" alt="BdB Dinkins via mayors office" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="400" height="266" /></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/HRC_MMV.jpg" alt="HRC MMV" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="400" height="400" /></p> <p><strong>TOP FIVE STORIES OF THE WEEK:</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>1. MTA Funding Deal:</strong> This past Saturday, after months of debate, city and state officials reached a <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/editorial-mta-capital-plan-finally-article-1.2393980" target="_blank">deal</a> over funding for the MTA’s capital plan. New York City will pay an additional $2.5 billion, while the state will contribute $8.3 billion to meet what was the outstanding need of the $26 billion plan to expand and repair the MTA system over the next five years. As part of the <a href="http://observer.com/2015/10/cuomo-and-de-blasio-bury-hatchet-in-mta-funding-fight/" target="_blank">deal</a>, the state cannot divert funds from the capital plan, as the state has repeatedly removed money from the MTA budget in the past. Questions remain, however, over how the state and the city plan to pay for their shares - Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan has <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/exclusive-nys-eyes-ways-fund-8-3b-mta-article-1.2393330" target="_blank">said</a> his conference won’t support new taxes to pay for the commitment and questioned new borrowing. De Blasio’s team is expected to outline its plans as part of a reworked capital budget in 2016.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>2. De Blasio’s First Town Hall:</strong> Mayor de Blasio held the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/15/nyregion/mayor-de-blasio-at-rare-public-forum-presents-himself-as-a-protector-of-tenants.html?ref=nyregion&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">first town hall</a> of his mayoralty in Washington Heights on Wednesday evening. The mayor took questions from a crowd of about 250 during the two-hour town hall with a focus on rent security and tenant protection. The town hall seems to be <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5935-the-mayors-media-blitz-de-blasio" target="_blank">part of a shifting strategy</a> for public interaction that began in late August, when Mayor de Blasio began <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5935-the-mayors-media-blitz-de-blasio" target="_blank">making more appearances on TV and radio shows</a>, as well as more formal in-person outreach to New Yorkers.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>3. Cuomo Team Returns to Puerto Rico:</strong> A delegation of New York State officials led by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul returned to <a href="http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Hochul-to-lead-team-on-Puerto-Rico-trip-6565430.php" target="_blank">Puerto Rico</a> this week in an attempt to help the territory deal with its debt and health care crises. The delegation <a href="http://www.nystateofpolitics.com/2015/10/cuomo-admin-sends-more-help-to-puerto-rico/" target="_blank">included</a> Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, Medicaid Director Jason Helgerson, and Assemblymembers Marco Crespo and Richard Gottfried. Cuomo led the first delegation to Puerto Rico about a month ago.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>4. De Blasio to Israel:</strong> The mayor&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/15/nyregion/mayor-de-blasio-on-israel-trip-plans-visit-with-palestinians.html" target="_blank">headed to Israel</a> late Thursday to deliver a keynote address at the annual Conference of Mayors, where he will speak on the <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/mayor-de-blasio-israel-international-conference-article-1.2390617">topic</a> “Anti-Semitism in the West: How Cities Must Lead.” During the three-day trip, Mayor de Blasio will meet with Palestinians at a bilingual school in Jerusalem, a break from his predecessors, who only met with Israelis while visiting Israel in the past - though mayor won’t be meeting with official representatives of the Palestinian government. Questions remain around the private funding of de Blasio’s trip.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>5. Cuomo’s Common Core Task Force:</strong> Governor Cuomo's "Common Core Task Force"&nbsp;<a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2015/10/8579078/cuomos-common-core-panel-set-meet-next-week" target="_blank">met</a> for the first time Friday. The panel, made up of 15 educators, lawmakers, and business leaders, could suggest overhauling the Common Core standards in New York. Governor Cuomo <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2015/09/8578053/new-task-force-familiar-faces-cuomo-wants-common-core-total-reboot" target="_blank">announced</a> a ‘total reboot’ of Common Core was necessary after roughly 20 percent of state students opted not to take standardized tests aligned with the tougher standards. On a related note, earlier in the week, the State Assembly education committee held a meeting on the state's most struggling schools. After Friday's meeting the Common Core Task Force announced plans for at least a dozen public forums and that it had appointed its first "student ambassador." [From September 29 when the task force had just been announced:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5913-absent-from-cuomos-new-education-task-force-a-student" target="_blank">Absent from Cuomo's New Education Task Force: A Student</a>]</p> <p><strong>THIS WEEK'S NUMBERS:</strong></p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"><strong>$1.67 million</strong> in unclaimed funds have been <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/exclusive-nyc-finds-1-67m-lost-cash-state-registry-article-1.2393467" target="_blank">returned</a> to the city after Public Advocate Letitia James led a push for the city to recover money from New York’s unclaimed funds registry, which found that the city had more than 2,000 accounts with unclaimed funds.</li> </ul> <ul> <li dir="ltr"><strong>$174,000</strong>is outgoing Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson’s new judicial <a href="http://nypost.com/2015/10/10/outgoing-bronx-da-to-score-300k-in-judge-salary-pension/" target="_blank">salary</a>, which he intends to collect in addition to his pension, which is estimated could be as much as $142,000 per year, according to The New York Post.</li> </ul> <ul> <li dir="ltr"><strong>41 months</strong> in federal prison for former Rikers correction officer Austin Romain for accepting over $11,000 in <a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2015/10/13/former-rikers-correction-officer-who-accepted-more-than--11k-in-bribes-gets-41-months-in-federal-prison.html" target="_blank">bribes</a> as part of a scheme to distribute marijuana to Rikers inmates.</li> </ul> <ul> <li dir="ltr"><strong>3 states, 8 people, and over $100,000</strong> in <a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/criminal-justice/2015/10/14/eight-face-charges-in-connection-with-alleged-illegal-gun-smuggling-operation.html" target="_blank">illegal weapons</a> were involved in a gun-running ring busted by Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson. 112 guns were sold to an undercover police officer during the year-long investigation into the gun-smuggling ring.</li> </ul> <ul> <li dir="ltr"><strong>11-year&nbsp;</strong>difference between the <a href="http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Community-Health-Profiles-Show-Disparity-Between-New-York-City-Neighborhoods-332607172.html" target="_blank">life expectancy</a> of residents of Brooklyn’s impoverished Brownsville neighborhood and the residents of Manhattan’s more affluent financial district.</li> </ul> <p><strong>THE GLORY AND THE GOAT:</strong></p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"><strong>It was a good week for</strong> former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, who this week had the Manhattan Municipal Building <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/municipal-building-renamed-mayor-david-dinkins-article-1.2383824" target="_blank">renamed</a> in his honor.</li> </ul> <ul> <li dir="ltr"><strong>It was a bad week for</strong> Wendell Walters, former assistant commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, who was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday for accepting $2.5 million in <a href="http://goo.gl/hacbvH" target="_blank">bribes</a>.</li> </ul> <p><strong>THE FLASH:</strong></p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"><strong>Around this time 103 years ago</strong>, on October 14, 1912, then-presidential candidate Teddy Roosevelt was <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2007/10/roosevelt-shot-in-milwaukee-on-oct-14-1912-006332" target="_blank">shot</a> in the chest by a Manhattan man while campaigning in Milwaukee. He went on with a scheduled speech despite his wound.</li> </ul> <ul> <li dir="ltr"><strong>Around this time three years ago</strong>, on October 16, 2012, the FBI arrested Mohammed Nafis for plotting to <a href="http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/17/man-arrested-in-plot-to-blow-up-federal-reserve-bank-in-new-york/" target="_blank">detonate</a> a 1,000 pound car bomb in front of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.</li> </ul> <ul> <li dir="ltr"><strong>Around this time last year</strong>, on October 14, 2014, Mayor de Blasio kicked off two Hurricane Sandy-related employment programs in Queens as a means to better connect residents with <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2014/10/8554657/de-blasio-kicks-sandy-jobs-programs-rockaways" target="_blank">jobs</a> and training programs in the storm-ravaged Rockaways.</li> </ul> <p><strong>GOTHAM GAZETTE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK:</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5935-the-mayors-media-blitz-de-blasio" target="_blank">The Mayor's Media Blitz</a>, by Ben Max</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5934-reform-proposals-fly-as-panel-evaluates-ethics-watchdog" target="_blank">Reform Proposals Fly as Panel Evaluates Ethics Watchdog</a>, by Samar Khurshid</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5933-measuring-the-mayors-education-agenda" target="_blank">Measuring the Mayor’s Education Agenda</a>, by Kaela Sanborn-Hum</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/5932-albany-transparency-and-the-mta-funding-deal-show-us-our-money" target="_blank">Albany Transparency and the MTA Funding Deal: Show Us Our Money</a>, by John Kaehny (opinion)</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong><span face="Times New Roman">MORE FOR THE WEEKEND:</span></strong></p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">Gotham Gazette's David King <a href="http://www.twcnews.com/nys/capital-region/capital-tonight-interviews/2015/10/9/reporter-roundtable-100915.html" target="_blank">appeared on last Capital Tonight's reporters roundtable</a>&nbsp;to discuss the latest in New York state politics [video].</li> <li dir="ltr">Politico New York's Azi Paybarah <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2015/10/8579843/quinns-next-chapter-working-homeless" target="_blank">looks at former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's next chapter</a>, which she begins soon as head of a nonprofit combatting homelessness and its effects</li> <li dir="ltr">The Manhattan District Attorney's Office and John Jay College <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/witness-for-the-prosecution-1444946704" target="_blank">are partnering to open a new think tank</a> focused on prosecutorial training and practice.</li> <li dir="ltr">And, the Mets won their NLDS series against the Dodgers; they'll start the NLCS with the Cubs Saturday night at Citi Field in Queens.</li> </ul> <p><em>***<br />NOTE TO READERS: we hope you enjoy this new Gotham Gazette weekly feature - please share it if you do; on Twitter, use our handle&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@GothamGazette</a>.</em></p> <p><em>If you have feedback on this feature for us, you can email editor Ben Max:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com">bmax@gothamgazette.com</a></em></p> <p><em>Watch Sunday evening for our latest Week Ahead in New York Politics, which gives you a preview of key issues and events to be aware of for the week about to start. In the meantime, catch up on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government" target="_blank">the latest original reporting from Gotham Gazette here</a>. And have a great weekend!</em></p> <p><em>***</em><br />by Meg O'Connor and Ben Max</p> <p>Note: this article has been updated</p>