Brad Lander Tag All blog entries tagged as Brad Lander http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/latest Tue, 15 Jul 2014 13:18:48 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Today's Lead: Tackling Outside Spending In City Races http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/08/27/todays-lead-tackling-outside-spending-in-city-races http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/08/27/todays-lead-tackling-outside-spending-in-city-races

Councilman Brad Lander is proposing legislation aimed at cracking down on spending by outside groups in city races. Such "independent expenditures" exploded following the Citizens United court decision, which allows near-unlimited spending, as long as the groups don’t directly co-ordinate with campaigns. Lander's plan would close a loophole that allows corporations to spend lavishly on candidates through LLCs and require mailings and similar communications to include a notice outlining who paid for them.

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Of particular concern to Lander is the real estate industry-backed "Jobs 4 NY" committee. It's already spent $1.35 million - including $167,000 in support of Brooklyn Councilwoman Sara González and $110,000 to back Paul Vallone in Queens - and aims to spend $10 million citywide. The PAC supports several council incumbents who are up for re-election, which might make it difficult to pass during an election year. But even some candidates who've received its support, like Brooklyn's Laurie Combo, say it's unwelcome and support Lander's proposal.

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City At Risk From Rising Seas, Stronger Hurricanes (Daily News)

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Corruption Panel Co-Chair Received Campaign Contributions From Silver (Daily News)

De Blasio Once Supported Expanding Term Limits Too (Wall Street Journal)

Parsing de Blasio's "Two Cities" (Crain's)

Why New York Tech Is Still Lagging (Fortune Magazine)

Lone Woman In Mayoral Race Steps Up Appeal To Female Voters (NY Times)

Mayoral Rivals In Two-Way Fight For Black Vote (NY Times)

Lhota Favors Fiscal Discipline, Abortion, Same-Sex Marriage, Pot Legalization (NY Post)

City Plans To Fix Rockaway Beach Comfort Stations After Summer (DNAinfo)

State Payments To Non-Profits Lag (Albany Times Union)

Public Advocate Candidates Talk Ethics, Integrity In Debate (WNYC)

Mapping New Yorkers' Energy Use (The Atlantic Cities)

Who Will Be The Next Schools Chancellor? (DNAinfo)

GothamVotes 2013: Campaign Trail Weekend Roundup

The Times endorsed City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for the Democratic nomination for mayor in the primary; it endorsed former subways chief Joe Lhota for the Republican nomination. (The Times Editorial Board)

A look at mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio's handling of Hilary Clinton's 2000 Senate race finds he "could be agonizingly inefficient in a high-pressure, ever-shifting situation." (NYT)

The clashing political ambitions of Quinn and De Blasio. (The Daily News)

Candidates for public advocate gave "deeply populist and liberal answers to questions during a televised debate Sunday but clashed over a range of issues." (The Wall Street Journal)

"Many voters have already made up their minds, by looking backward and judging the lives and careers of the contenders." (New York Magazine)

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) The Eye-Opener Tue, 27 Aug 2013 12:54:26 +0000
Legendary Morgenthau Thinks City Council Shouldn't Rein In Stop-And-Frisk http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/safety/2013/06/24/legendary-morgenthau-thinks-city-council-shouldnt-rein-in-stop-and-frisk http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/safety/2013/06/24/legendary-morgenthau-thinks-city-council-shouldnt-rein-in-stop-and-frisk

NEW YORK — Legendary former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau recalled yesterday how in the 1960s and 1970s police avoided making stops of potential suspects out of fear of retribution.

"That's where we were," he said as he stood with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and a bevy of law enforcement leaders who had gathered at One Police Plaza. They had gathered to voice their opposition to a package of City Council bills aimed, in part, at reining in the New York Police Department's use of stop-and-frisk.

Morgenthau, who was the city's top prosecutor for more than three decades until his retirement in 2009, praised the NYPD's record and said that, instead of pursuing the legislation, the Council should tackle what he called the disproportionate deaths of black men by gun violence.

"What's the City Council going to do about that?" he asked. "If City Council wants to do something that's important, let see how they can reduce or propose a reduction of the murder of African American men."

It was an argument that echoed defenses of stop-and-frisk put forth in the past by Bloomberg and Kelly.

The mayor, for his part, said the bills would be a burden on the NYPD. "What we mustn’t have is what these laws would create: A police department pointlessly hampered by outside intrusion, and recklessly threatened by second-guessing from the courts," the mayor said.

The City Council bills had been stalled in the public safety committee, where the chair, Peter Vallone Jr., opposed it and refused to bring it to a vote. Using a seldom-used legislative procedure known as a "motion to discharge," the Council voted to circumvent the public safety committee today and the bills will now go to the floor for a vote.

The pair of bills aim to strengthen the city's racial profiling ban and create an inspector general to independently monitor the NYPD — potentially setting the ground to reshape police policy.

Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams said New Yorkers who are disproportionally stopped and frisked or who are under police surveillance are already living in a 1960s-like reality as a result of racial profiling by the NYPD.

"We're making our communities trust police," Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams, a co-sponsor of the bill, said, defending the legislation. "I've gone to my community and said we have to view them as community partners."

William's co-sponsor, Brooklyn Councilman Brad Lander, said the bills would improve public safety.

"The bills are simple," Lander said. "When we vote to discharge them today, when we vote to pass them on Wednesday, when we override Mayor Bloomberg's veto when it comes back to us — we will help makes sure that we have safer streets. We will make sure that people's rights are protested and respected. And we will restore the bonds of trust that are necessary for good policing in New York City."

On Monday, the motions to discharge by the sponsors of the Council legislation were met with bipartisan opposition from seven Council members: Queens Democrats Vallone, James Gennaro and Peter Koo joined with Queens Republican Eric Ulrich, as did Staten Island Republicans James Oddo and Vincent Ignizio. Brooklyn Democrats Lew Fidler and Mike Nelson voted against the discharges as well.

It was the first time in the seven-year tenure of Speaker Christine Quinn that a motion to discharge had been brought in the Council. Quinn is opposed to the racial profiling bill, but has said she would support the inspector general bill.

The bills now go to to a floor vote at a second City Council meeting currently scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. As of Monday afternoon, only the inspector general bill has a veto-majority of 35 co-sponsors secured.

The racial profiling bill only has 33 of the same 35 co-sponsors its sister legislation enjoys.

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Gotham Gazette intern Daniel Stein-Sayles contributed to this report.

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) Public Safety Mon, 24 Jun 2013 21:26:05 +0000
Brooklyn Councilman: Opposition To NYPD Bills 'Paternalistic' http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/safety/2013/06/11/brooklyn-councilman-opposition-to-nypd-bills-paternalistic http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/safety/2013/06/11/brooklyn-councilman-opposition-to-nypd-bills-paternalistic

Brooklyn City Councilman Jumaane Williams calls opposition to two bills that would increase oversight and regulation of the New York Police Department "paternalistic."

The bills to create an independent police department inspector general and expand the city's ban on racial profiling are expected to be introduced at tomorrow's Council meeting.

"What sometimes disturbs me is that the most vociferous people against these bills generally are not the ones that deal with gun violence in their district and are not the ones who deal with over-policing in their district," Williams said earlier today after unveiling the latest versions of the bills at City Hall. His district has already seen at least 27 shootings this year.

"I would wager a bet," Williams continued while punctuating his points by thumping his fist at the podium before him, "that I have been to more funerals of young black men than they have. That I have spoken to more mothers just minutes, hours, days after they've lost a young black or Latino male than they have."

Yesterday, Williams and fellow Brooklyn City Councilman Brad Lander, a co-sponsor, announced that they would bypass the chair of the Council's public safety committee in order to get the bills to the floor for a vote in the next few weeks.

The committee's chair, Queens Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., told the Gotham Gazette today that he opposes the racial profiling bill in particular, which builds upon legislation he helped write and pass in 2004.

"Virtually everyone in law enforcement is opposed to this bill," Vallone said. "And I can't think of anybody more affected by gun violence than law enforcement."

Vallone specifically questioned a part of the bill that would allow residents to sue police for biased profiling, a move that he said would put a hole in the city budget and take police officers off the streets.

"If anyone doesn't think massive costs will not lead to an increase in crime, well, they're absolutely naive," Vallone said, adding that there is no middle ground in a debate between police and those "without a single day of experience in law enforcement."

Lander said the bill only allows for declaratory releif in lawsuits, not monetary, and there's a high bar for plaintiffs to bring about a lawsuit.

"Let's be clear," Lander said during the presser, "the goal of this legislation is to make sure the NYPD does good policies that doesn't involve biased-based profiling. The standards of the law are clear, and if they simply use the clear test provided in the law, they'll easily be able to continue to implement permissible policies."

Lander added that he and Williams were confident that the City Council will have secured veto-proof majorities by the time the bill goes to a vote. Bloomberg has committed to vetoing both bills, which Lander expects will happen before August.

Over the last few months, Bloomberg has used both bills as a measure of his replacement's commitment to public safety, making them a central point of debate in many mayoral forums.

Democratic frontrunner and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has committed to the inspector general bill, but not to the profiling legislation. Still, she's willing to let the bill go to a vote.

Besides Quinn, only Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is supportive of both bills. Former comptroller Bill Thompson and former Congressman Anthony Weiner have argued that they would be unnecessary under their administrations.

Sitting Comptroller John Liu often describes stop-and-frisk as institutionalized profiling. Like like Thompson and Weiner, he dismisses the need for a monitor under his leadership. All the Republican candidates support NYPD's stop-and-frisk.

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) Public Safety Tue, 11 Jun 2013 20:21:36 +0000
#Sandy Evacuees Sue To Stay In Hotels (UPDATED) http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/04/29/sandy-evacuees-sue-to-stay-in-hotels http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/04/29/sandy-evacuees-sue-to-stay-in-hotels

A group of evacuees left homeless by Superstorm Sandy are suing to stay in hotels that the city says they need to leave by tomorrow.

Six months to the day that Sandy hit New York City, five individuals filed a lawsuit today to prevent the city from following through with its deadline to end its temporary hotel program for Sandy victims.

Calling the city's deadlines "arbitrary," the suit seeks to force the city to keep paying for hotels until the residents can secure permanent housing. The lawsuit also says that the city's evictions notices were served without a fair hearing, which attorneys say does not comply with federal and state law.

"They have attempted to use whatever resources have been made available to them," said the complaint, "but have been stymied by poor case work, a lack of adequate housing resources and the failure of government agencies to timely implement forthcoming federally-funded housing resources."

The news came on the heels of a rally held in front of City Hall today, where a range of labor, faith and reform groups asked the city to extend the hotel deadline. They also called on the city to address the invasive mold problem in afflicted housing and properly track how the city spends money devoted to Sandy recovery.

Council members Donovan Richards and Brad Lander introduced a bill last week that would track how the government spends Sandy relief funds, including the $1.77 billion the city expects to received through the community development block grant.

"The City Council legislation we're unveiling today will help track how recovery dollars are spent, and ensure that new jobs created as part of the rebuilding process are good jobs for families and households hit hardest by Sandy," Richards said today. "Residents who are still struggling to pick up the pieces six months after Sandy deserve to know that the city is actually investing in their recovery."

Nathalie Alegre of the Alliance for a Greater New York said that the organizations gathered — including members from 32BJ, VOCAL-NY, Good Jobs New York and Faith in NY — were there to ask the city to help the communities still most in need after last year's devastating storm.

"The reality is that the communities hardest hit, particularly low-income communities of color, continue to struggle," she said.

Allison Puglisi, 46, lived in Staten Island's South Beach neighborhood before Sandy and mold forced her out of her home. Currently living in a hotel, Puglisi said she knows that many of those in her hotel are being forced out tomorrow despite what she called a humanitarian need.

"I've lived here my whole life," Puglisi said. "This is supposed to be the greatest city in the world, and I don't understand this."

UPDATE: Thomas Crane of NYC's Law Department provived a statement that the city "made heroic efforts after Hurricane Sandy" and that the "complaint is without merit."

While the city said that it had not been served by late Monday, Crane also wrote that a restraining order preventing the evacuee's eviction signed by the New York State Supreme Court violated the law. The administration, he said, should have received notice before the order was entered.

"We will be in court tomorrow morning to vigorously challenge it," Crane wrote.

UPDATE 2: Councilwoman Annabel Palma, chair of the Council's general welfare committee, released a statement restraining order on Monday night.

“Today's ruling is a welcome relief to the hundreds of families living in hotels who cannot afford to have their lives uprooted once again," she wrote. "But it should not have come to this; New Yorkers should know that they will not be abandoned by the city in time of great need."

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) City Mon, 29 Apr 2013 21:20:55 +0000