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Gotham Gazette

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Ydanis Rodriguez

Ydanis Rodriguez

  • City Council Speaker Candidates Address Power, Reform and Transparency

    city spe canidates

    the City Council Speaker candidates at a prior forum (photo: William Alatriste)


    Seven of the eight candidates vying to become the next Speaker of the New York City Council convened at New York Law School on Monday night for a forum focused on government reform, running the Council, transparency, ethics, voting, and elections.

    The candidates made their cases for their leadership prowess, and discussed extending term limits for Council members, greater transparency around lobbying, key questions about campaign finance reform in the city, and

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  • The Right to Know Act and the City Council Speaker Race

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    Jumaane Williams at a Right to Know Act rally (Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    In less than two months, the current class of the New York City Council ends its term, and eight incumbents who won reelection on Tuesday are running to lead the 51-member legislative body as its next speaker. It is an internal race influenced by county party affiliates, labor unions, Mayor Bill de Blasio, himself newly reelected, and others.

    As the clock ticks on this term and the speakership of Melissa Mark-Viverito, a de Blasio ally who is

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  • City Council Members, with Notable Exceptions, Send Letter to MTA Supporting De Blasio Tax Plan

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    De Blasio on the train (Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    Amid an ongoing feud -- between the Mayor Bill de Blasio on one side and Governor Andrew Cuomo and the MTA on the other -- over funding for mass transit infrastructure in New York City, 27 New York City Council Members on Thursday announced support for the mayor’s proposal to tax wealthy New Yorkers to raise money for subway and bus improvements.

    The mayor has pitched a tax increase on the top-most earners in the city as part of his “Fair Fix” plan, which would raise about $700

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  • At Oversight Hearing, Council Members Seek Answers on MTA Funding and Operations

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    Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez (photo William Alatriste/New York City Council)


    At a contentious hours-long hearing held on Tuesday by the the City Council’s Committee on Transportation, Council members grilled representatives of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) on the problems facing the city’s transit infrastructure and the challenges of finding both short- and long-term funding streams to adequately maintain and upgrade the city’s subway system.

    The hearing comes amid an increasingly testy fight between the city and state over the

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  • Calls for Small & Large Fixes to City Congestion, Transit Woes

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    Cmsr Trottenberg, right (photos: John McCarten/City Council)


    The New York City Council Committee on Transportation held a hearing Monday to discuss sources of, and solutions to, traffic congestion in the city.

    City Council Member Ydanis Rodríguez, chair of the committee, began the hearing by lamenting New York City’s heavy traffic. “As most New Yorkers can tell you, our streets look like parking lots,” said Rodríguez, a Democrat from upper Manhattan. In addition to economic impediments and general inconvenience, the Council member framed

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  • De Blasio’s 'Piecemeal' Transportation Agenda

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    Mayor de Blasio on the subway (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor’s Office)


    Announcing the next steps of his citywide ferry service initiative at a recent press conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he is pleased with what his administration has done to improve transit options for New Yorkers, but admitted that he hasn’t put forth a coherent, comprehensive transportation agenda.

    Though transit experts have praised some of de Blasio’s moves to expand the city’s transportation network, many have also criticized

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  • 'Fair Fares' Proposal Dominates Transportation Hearing

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    Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez (Photo: William Alatriste)


    A campaign to provide discounted MetroCards to low-income New Yorkers took center stage at a City Council hearing on Monday, with council members and transit advocates calling for greater equity in the public transportation system.

    The City Council’s Committee on Transportation conducted oversight of the Department of Transportation’s citywide initiatives to examine how they can better serve New York City residents. Central to the proceedings was the issue of transportation equity,

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  • Saying City ‘Can’t Afford’ ‘Fair Fares,’ De Blasio Points to State

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    Mayor de Blasio & First Lady McCray in the subway (photo: Edwin J Torres/ Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio says he supports the “Fair Fares” campaign to reduce public transit fares for low-income New Yorkers, but insists that the city cannot afford it and that the funding must come from the state.

    Both Tuesday during his preliminary budget presentation and Wednesday during an transportation-related press conference de Blasio was

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  • Don't Dismiss Community Concerns as 'NIMBYism'

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    (photo: Michael Applebaum/Mayor's Office)


    Inwood opponents of a luxury tower widely touted as bringing affordable housing to the community are exhibit A in “Bill de Blasio Versus NIMBYism,” a Gotham Gazette article published October 7.

    But as one of several grassroots organizations who fought this project, we at Inwood Preservation are disappointed in the undeservedly negative and inaccurate picture of sincere citizen

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  • Council to Hear Bills on Providing Tampons at Shelters, Prisons & Schools

    Gibson Ferreras-Copeland Mark-Viverito hearing

    Council Members Gibson, Ferreras-Copeland, Mark-Viverito (l-r) (photo: William Alatriste)


    The City Council is about to take the next step toward making feminine hygiene products readily available, and free, in New York City public schools, shelters, and correctional facilities. On Thursday, June 2, the Council’s Committee on Women’s Issues will hold its first hearing on a package of bills to ...

  • Bill Requires More Vision Zero Data

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    Council Member Van Bramer at a Vision Zero event (DOT)


    A bill set to be introduced before the City Council on Wednesday seeks to codify the Department of Transportation’s data tracking under Vision Zero, the city’s program aimed at eliminating traffic fatalities and injuries.

    Two City Council members who have been integrally involved in the city’s rollout of Vision Zero, Jimmy Van Bramer and Ydanis Rodriguez, will introduce legislation to mandate DOT’s Vision Zero View portal,

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 23

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Thanksgiving week will see just a few days of political activity, but the beginning of the week is looking busy. Highlights include closing arguments in Sheldon Silver's corruption trial; the continuation of Dean Skelos' corruption trial; the release of the Public Advocate's "worst landlord list"; several City Council hearings and a full-body "Stated Meeting"; two public meetings of the city's ...

  • 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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