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Gotham Gazette

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Vincent Gentile

Vincent Gentile

  • Oversight Bill Moves Ahead, with Police Union Opposition But De Blasio Support

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    Mayor de Blasio & Council Member Williams (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    A police oversight bill sponsored by City Council Member Jumaane Williams unanimously sailed through the Council’s Committee on Oversight and Investigations on Tuesday, and is all but certain to be voted through the full City Council on Thursday. The legislation, which increases reporting requirements about and efforts to mitigate police misconduct, has the support of the de Blasio administration, but is being opposed and criticized by the city’s largest police

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  • Brooklyn District Attorney Candidates Address Criminal Justice Reform at Forum

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    Brooklyn DA candidates at Thursday's forum (photo: @FaithinNewYork)


    The candidates for the Brooklyn District Attorney race gathered at St. Francis College in Brooklyn on Thursday for a forum hosted by criminal justice and civil rights advocacy groups, focusing on contentious issues revolving around criminal justice in the borough. Five candidates offered their takes to an audience of community advocates and Brooklynites concerned about mass incarceration, police abuse, bail, and other contentious issues.

    The candidates present were Acting DA Eric Gonzalez, City Council

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  • Illegal Conversions Crackdown Could Worsen City’s Housing Crisis

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    (photo: Tarry Hum)


    The New York City Council recently passed an “Aggravated Illegal Conversions” bill by a 49-0 vote. The legislation -- sponsored by City Council Members Gentile, Williams, and Grodenchik, and Brooklyn Borough President Adams, and signed into law by Mayor de Blasio -- significantly increases the civil penalties for owners who illegally subdivide their residential property to create

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  • Southern Brooklyn Candidates Pitch Democratic Club

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    City Council Member Gentile (photo: Sam Raskin)


    Brooklyn Democratic office-seekers pitched their candidacies to the Brooklyn Young Democrats (BYD) club at a forum the group hosted in Bay Ridge Wednesday night.

    The event was part of the candidate and club endorsement circuit leading up to the September primary elections for City Council and other offices, including Mayor.

    The BYD meeting featured candidates for several offices, but was centered around the race for City Council in District 43, which includes parts of Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst, along with Bath

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  • Substandard Housing Is Not Affordable Housing, It's Dangerous Housing

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    City Council Member Gentile, the author (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Over two years ago I stood with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and City Council Member Jumaane Williams on Flatbush Avenue by the ravaged remains of a building consumed by a fatal two-alarm fire. A 23 year-old security guard was killed and 15 others were injured.The cause? Illegal residential conversions.

    Partitioning one and two

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  • Investigations Commissioner Lays Out Budget Needs For Agency

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    DOI Commissioner Mark Peters (photo: @DOInews)


    At a City Council preliminary budget hearing on Thursday, Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters laid out new funding and staffing needs for his agency, which is facing a $5 million proposed reduction in its fiscal year 2018 allocation by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

    The proposed preliminary budget for the Department of Investigation (DOI), the watchdog body that monitors and probes public corruption and other wrongdoing at 45 city agencies, is $41.7 million, down from

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  • At Rivington Hearing, Discussion of Extent of City Hall Mismanagement

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    First Deputy Mayor Shorris testifies (photo: William Alatriste)


    Over the course of a Thursday oversight hearing lasting more than six hours, top officials from the de Blasio administration attempted to explain to the City Council all the missteps that led to a Lower East Side AIDS hospice being sold to a luxury condominium developer with virtually no public benefit.

    Council Member Ben Kallos, chair of the governmental operations committee, said early in the hearing, “Something went very wrong here and we must address issues

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  • Illegal Conversions and South Brooklyn’s Affordable Housing Crisis

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    A home that has been illegally converted (photo: Tarry Hum)


    Described as “a secret world of New York City housing” by The New York Times, several actions by the Department of Buildings (DOB) this summer exposed the ubiquity of illegal subdivisions in South Brooklyn’s immigrant neighborhoods.

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  • Without Key Stakeholders, Administration Supports Council Police Misconduct Bill

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    Council Member Jumaane Williams (photo: William Alatriste)


    The City Council’s Committee on Oversight and Investigations heard a bill on Tuesday, sponsored by Council Member Jumaane Williams, which would require centralized reporting of data on police misconduct from multiple agencies to identify systemic problems and help create an early intervention system for the NYPD. To the disappointment of Williams and others, though, key stakeholders to be affected by the bill and instrumental in implementing it if it becomes law, were not

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  • Budget Allocations Measure Mayor’s Commitment to Ethics Agencies

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    Mayor de Blasio at a town hall (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    Over the last few weeks, facing the spectre of multiple investigations, Mayor Bill de Blasio has repeatedly stressed that he, his administration, and his allies operate ethically. “We hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity,” the mayor has said repeatedly as reporters have questioned him about allegations of impropriety in his fundraising operations.

    In support, the mayor has regularly referred to the city’s internal mechanisms for ensuring

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, October 5

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week will include a focus on what the city can do to stop gas-related explosions after another such explosion occurred this weekend, this time in Borough Park; education politics and policy, as the pro-charter, anti-de Blasio group Families for Excellent Schools will hold a large rally; a continuation of negotiation and criticism between city and state entities over MTA funding; and more.

    Oh, and it's the

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  • Three 2015 District Attorney Races Set to Begin

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    Former SI DA Dan Donovan is sworn in to Congress (@dandonovan_ny)


    Voters can look forward to soon having a clearer picture of the potential contenders for the district attorney races on November’s ballot.

    Three of New York’s five district attorney positions will be voted on this fall — in Staten Island, Queens, and the Bronx — and signature petitioning to get on the ballot begins the first week in June. Brooklyn’s District Attorney, Ken Thompson, and Manhattan’s District Attorney, Cyrus

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 30

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    March madness in Albany has been quite a ride, and word Sunday night is that a fiscal year 2016 budget agreement is in place. At about 9:30 p.m., the governor's office announced that Cuomo is now five for five in on-time budgets as governor - not a small

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  • New York's Unique Campaign Finance Ecosystem

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    Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (photo: Joyce Choi Li)


    New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has been the subject of much speculation of late. She is the most powerful member of the Council and influential in politics beyond the city. As a woman of Puerto Rican descent she represents a voting bloc that is woefully underrepresented in New York elected offices. She also maintains a busy travel schedule and ties to a wide swath of

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 9

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week will be another dominated by budget negotiations and hearings, both in New York City and Albany. In the city, the City Council began its preliminary budget hearings last week and continues them this week and throughout March, evaluating Mayor Bill de Blasio's spending plans agency by agency.

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  • Money to Run: Past Fundraising of Donovan & Gentile

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    Donovan, left (photo: Staten Island Advance/Rachel Shapiro) and Gentile (@VGentile43)


    The May 5 special election for NY's 11th Congressional District approaches, and two seasoned New York politicians face off for the privilege of filling the seat vacated in January by Michael Grimm. The candidates to represent the district, which includes Staten Island and a small portion of Southern Brooklyn, are Democrat Vincent Gentile and Republican Daniel Donovan.

    A sitting New York City Council Member representing Bay

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