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Would Expired Rent Regs, Mayoral School Control Spell Doomsday for New York City?


BdB Cuomo

De Blasio & Cuomo (photo: Governor's Office via flickr)


"Mayor of the City of New York, frustrated with Albany? Now there's a shocker," Gov. Andrew Cuomo responded on Thursday to reporters who inquired about Mayor Bill de Blasio's concerns over Albany's reluctance to deliver more than simple extenders of policies like mayoral control of schools and rent regulations that impact millions of city residents.

Read more: Would Expired Rent Regs, Mayoral School Control Spell Doomsday for New York City?

The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 1


New York City Hall

New York City Hall


What to watch for this week in New York politics:

Welcome to June! A city budget is due by the end of the month. The state legislative session is due to end mid-month. And, it's both Gun Violence Awareness Month in New York City (legislation in 2013 declared it the first city in the United States to have a month dedicated to the cause) and LGBT Pride Month. Look for events and legislation related to each this week and as the month continues.

Read more: The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 1

Education Upheaval in Albany is Backdrop to DOE Budget Hearing


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Chancellor Carmen Farina testifying Thursday (photo: @MarkLevineNYC)


With an eye on Albany, it was time Thursday morning for New York City schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to again testify in front of the City Council about her agency's proposed fiscal year 2016 budget and key education issues facing the city. The heightened level of concern with events in the capital comes amid shakeups in state leadership, important legislation on the negotiating table with deadlines looming, and recently passed controversial state teacher evaluation laws.

Read more: Education Upheaval in Albany is Backdrop to DOE Budget Hearing

With Legislative Package, Schneiderman Challenges Lawmakers to Act on Ethics


AG

AG Schneiderman at Tweed Courthouse on Wednesday (Ben Max)


Standing on the steps of Manhattan's Tweed Courthouse, surrounded by activists, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman unveiled a legislative package Wednesday that is designed to challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers who have written off negotiating ethics reform this year despite the arrest of two of the most powerful men in Albany on corruption charges.

"I'm done vouching for incremental reforms," Schneiderman announced to cheers from the gathered crowd on the steps of Tweed, his unamplified voice somewhat drowned out by the roar of passing traffic on Chambers Street.

Read more: With Legislative Package, Schneiderman Challenges Lawmakers to Act on Ethics 

Does 2015 Offer Return of the Albany Big Ugly?


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Cuomo had linked the EITC & DREAM Act (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)


Pop quiz: what do the DNA of felons, casinos, teacher performance, the drawing of legislative district lines, and pension reform have to do with one another? This isn't a trick question - in Albany all of these issues were crammed together by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders in 2012 to form the traditional Albany deal that has come to be known as "The Big Ugly." The only thing that stood out about it was that the 2012 big ugly was achieved in March, three months earlier than the traditional end-of-legislative-session deal.

Read more: Does 2015 Offer Return of the Albany Big Ugly?

Through Committee, Bill to Create Office of Civil Justice Heads Toward Law


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Mark-Viverito, front, & Levine, behind her, are the lead sponsors (photo: William Alatriste)


New York City is one step closer to having a new Office of Civil Justice. On Tuesday, the City Council's Committee on Courts and Legal Services unanimously passed a bill that would create the office, to be tasked with assessing, coordinating, and helping reform the civil legal services available to low-income New Yorkers. Among the most pressing concerns are ensuring legal representation for immigrants facing deportation and tenants facing eviction.

Read more: Through Committee, Bill to Create Office of Civil Justice Heads Toward Law

Cuomo Seizes on Wage Issue as Legislature Sits Paralyzed by Scandal, Partisanship


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Gov. Cuomo at a minimum wage rally (Office of the Governor - Kevin P. Coughlin)


"Do we have any members of labor in the house today? I can't hear you!" Gov. Andrew Cuomo shouted to a crowd of union members holding signs touting the "Fight for $15." Cuomo held a large rally in Manhattan's Union Square earlier this month as he announced he had instructed his labor commissioner to empanel a wage board to consider upping the minimum wage for fast food workers.

Read more: Cuomo Seizes on Wage Issue as Legislature Sits Paralyzed by Scandal, Partisanship

The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 26


New York City Hall

New York City Hall


What to watch for this week in New York politics:

EYES ON ALBANY: The Legislature is back in session on Wednesday and Thursday this week, two of the final 12 days until session is due to end Wednesday June 17. Will there simply be a big end-of-session deal as in years past? Will there be compromise reached to extend New York City rent regulations, the 421-a real estate tax abatement, or mayoral control of city schools? Will there be a deal reached on a hike to the minimum wage - or will Governor Andrew Cuomo continue to move through the wage board he had the Department of Labor convene? Will Senate Republicans agree to some semblance of the DREAM Act or to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18? Will Assembly Democrats agree to the education investment tax credit that the governor and Senate Republicans are behind? Those are among the top questions heading into the final weeks of negotiations. [Read the latest on Albany from Gotham Gazette]

Read more: The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 26

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 Vance, will not face reelection until 2017.

Read more: Three 2015 District Attorney Races Set to Begin

City Council Highlights Gains in Participatory Budgeting Program


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PB voting in CD5 (photo: @BenKallos)


51,362. That's how many New Yorkers cast ballots in the recently-finished participatory budgeting cycle to determine which community projects receive funding. Implemented this year in 24 of the City Council's 51 districts, the participatory budgeting program sees council members devote $1 million or more in capital funding toward the community initiative. In a year-long process that engages district residents in local decision-making and community-building, New Yorkers not only have the opportunity to interact with each other and their local representatives, but also to learn about city government and budgeting.

Read more: City Council Highlights Gains in Participatory Budgeting Program



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