Diane Savino Tag All blog entries tagged as Diane Savino http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/latest Mon, 14 Jul 2014 06:30:33 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Today's Lead: Forgotten Coney Island http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/07/25/todays-lead-forgotten-coney-island- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/07/25/todays-lead-forgotten-coney-island-

Forgotten Coney Island

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Only a few blocks down from the amusement district, where the sounds of the frolicking beachgoers and carnival games have come back with renewed vigor after the seashore neighborhood's near-cataclysmic meeting with Hurricane Sandy, there is a different Coney Island that most tourists and beach goers don’t see.

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This is the Coney Island that continues to struggle to return to normalcy nearly a year after Hurricane Sandy came ashore. The Coney Island where parks and playgrounds remain fenced off because of sinkholes or other damage done by last year’s storm.

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“They say Coney Island is open for business. Sure, the entertainment district is, but no one talks about the parts of Coney Island where people actually live. They don’t talk about the neighborhoods,” said Ed Cosme, a resident who formed The People’s Coalition of Coney Island to raise awareness about the problems in the parts of the neighborhood that don’t normally draw tourists and bathers.


EXCLUSIVE: Environmentalists Call on Bloomberg to Make the Most of Time Left: As Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure draws to a close, a coalition of environmental organizations is urging him to take action now to make the city more sustainable.“Now is the time to lock in forward-thinking sustainability policies and prioritize the most critical projects for completion,” the New York League of Conservation Voters and other organizations say in a new report being issued today. Continue reading more about the 2013 New York City Sustainability Countdown on Gotham Gazette and download the report. By Sarah Crean.

GothamVotes 2013: Daily updates on the historic 2013 elections.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) The Eye-Opener Thu, 25 Jul 2013 12:00:57 +0000
IDC Touts Fundraising http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/07/15/idc-touts-fundraising- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/07/15/idc-touts-fundraising-

The IDC today announced that it has $2,835,000 on hand between it's four members and the IDC PAC.

The Independent Democratic Conference had a rough end of session this year with progressive advocates blaming them for the failure of the 10-point women's agenda and campaign finance reform.

Some advocates indicated that they are prepared to primary the group. IDC head Sen. Jeff Klein is known as a prolific fundraiser and has the biggest haul, his colleagues lag behind him but Klein and the PAC could bolster any member should a challenger arise.

The IDC actually tried to win seats for itself in the last election cycle by unseating longtime Albany Sen. Neil Breslin but the effort failed.

Here are the totals from the IDC's press release:

Approx. Amount Raised During Period
Approx. Cash On-Hand

dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Mon, 15 Jul 2013 21:10:28 +0000
Today's Lead: Cuomo's Women's Agenda Stalls http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/06/14/todays-lead-cuomos-womens-agenda-stalls- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/06/14/todays-lead-cuomos-womens-agenda-stalls-

Cuomo's Women's Agenda Stalls

In an attempt to gain support from Senate Republicans Gov. Andrew Cuomo and women's advocates offered an amendment to the abortion plank of his 10-point women's agenda yesterday. The amendment made it clear that the bill that creates an affirmative right to abortion "as established by the United States Supreme Court in the 1973 decision Roe v. Wade" would not allow for partial-birth abortions or interfere with the federal ban on them. Cuomo and advocates have insisted that all 10 points must be voted on as a whole. Republicans and members of the Senate's Independent Democratic Conference have said they would vote on 9 of the points that include measures to assure pay equity, tough penalties for sexual harassment and domestic violence. The amendment was dismissed by Republicans on Thursday who have insisted the bill will not come to a vote.

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Savino Blames Squadron For Lack of Action on Gender Expression Legislation (Gotham Gazette)

Legislature Passes NYC Housing Authority Reform (Gotham Gazette)

dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) The Eye-Opener Fri, 14 Jun 2013 11:40:36 +0000
Savino Blames Squadron For Lack of Action on Gender Expression Legislation *Updated* http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/06/12/savino-blames-squadron-for-lack-of-action-on-gender-expression-legislation http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/06/12/savino-blames-squadron-for-lack-of-action-on-gender-expression-legislation

Sen. Diane Savino may be getting tired of advocates pressuring her and other members of the Independent Democratic Conference to move progressive peices of legislation through the Senate.

Savino told advocate Bryan John Ellicott in an exchange on Facebook, that it wasn't her fault that the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act has not come to a vote, instead casting blame for the delay on fellow Democrat state Sen. Daniel Squadron for being too busy running for Public Advocate to tend to his legislation.

Savino told the Facebook poster : "You already ave my vote, but maybe you should speak to the sponsor of the bill, Dan Squadron. I know he is busy running for another office, but it is his bill and he needs to move it. Legislating does not mean introducing a bill and then doing nothing. I have a full agenda of my bills and I don't leave them to anyone else"

Savino and her IDC colleagues have faced pressure to move progressive legislation since forming a governing coalition with Senate Republicans last year.

"We all have to make sure we have the votes. It is part of our job," Savino said.

"Sometimes you get testy when people tell you it is your job to move a bill. It is really busy right now and I have lots of my own legislation to move. Sometimes people react in ways that don't really relfect how they feel," Savino told the Gazette.

Savino told the advocate that Squadron must prove there are enough votes for passage of a bill before it comes up for a vote. "you need to have the votes declared to move it," she said.

There is nothing in the Senate rules that says a bill must be gauraneed passage for it to come to a vote.

Squadron has held a number of events and rallies in support of GENDA and The New York Times editorialized in favor of the legislation today while mentioning Squadron's efforts to pass the bill. Squadron's office declined to comment on Savino's statements.

Savino has been the target of much lobbying on a number of different pieces of legislation because she and her boyfirend Sen. Jeff Klein. are key members of the Independent Democratic Conference and Klein shares the ability to decide which bills come to a vote with Republican Leader Dean Skelos.

Savino says she supports GENDA but that she isn't sure the votes exist to pass the bill this year.

Interestingly enough, Savino is the Senate sponsor of the Sensible Opportunity for Legislative Equality Act that would allow each legislator to bring one bill to a vote in a two-year session regardless of what leaders have to say as long as the bill has made it through committee.

SOLE may seem surprisingly straightforward, or even underwhelming, to those unfamiliar with Albany. But the act isn't any sort of guarantee rank-and-file legislators will get even one of their bills to a vote in two years as legisaltion can be held up in committee.

"It is a very distinct possibility that SOLE could help move legislation like GENDA, in instances like this," Savino said.

Savino says she doesn't think SOLE has a chance of passing the legislature this year but says it will percolate. "Legislating is hard sometimes," said Savino.

Here is the Facebook exchange:

Bryan John Ellicott:

even if you don't live in the district call Diane J. Savino and Jeffrey Klein and make them know how you feel about GENDA...think of all the young people who haven't come out yet because they are scared. Yes, NYC has GENDA like provisions but they aren't enforced.

Diane J. Savino:

You already ave my vote, but maybe you should speak to the sponsor of the bill, Dan Squadron. I know he is busy running for another office, but it is his bill and he needs to move it. Legislating does not mean introducing a bill and then doing nothing. I have a full agenda of my bills and I don't leave them to anyone else.

Bryan John Ellicott:

Diane, you have the ability to move this bill out committee all by yourself and with the other members of the IDC. Daniel Squadron and I we talk often. He can't do that with Skelos or the IDC. You are no longer just the Senator from the Staten Island you gave that up when you broke off from the Dems. You have the chance to make the lives of transgender people and especially transgender youth better. What are you going to say to them when they don't get a vote for pride?Are you prepared for that? Don't say but we have GENDA provisions in NYC because they don't get enforced.

Diane J. Savino:

bryan, i wish thst were true, but it is not. if i had that kind of power i would have passed medical marijuana already. you need to have the votes declared to move it.

dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Wed, 12 Jun 2013 23:37:41 +0000
NYPIRG's Mahoney: Senate Hearing on NYC Campaign Financing A 'Kangaroo Court' *Updated* http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/05/06/nypirgs-mahoney-senate-hearing-on-nyc-campaign-financing-a-kangaroo-court http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/05/06/nypirgs-mahoney-senate-hearing-on-nyc-campaign-financing-a-kangaroo-court The Senate elections committee will hold hearings on corruption in the New York City public campaign finance system at 11 a.m. tomorrow. Oral testimony is by invite-only, and it just so happens that a good number of campaign finance experts from New York are not welcome to speak.

Bill Mahoney, New York Public Interest Research Group's number-cruncher extraordinare, just happens to be one of those campaign finance experts.

"Oral testimony is by invitation only," Mahoney said. "I suppose they are not interested in hearing from actual New Yorkers who have been effected by the system. They just want to hear people criticize a system that works better than ours."

Members of some of the state's largest government watchdog groups wrote the committe chairs — Sens. Thomas O'Mara and Diane Savino — to ask to be allowed to testify but they were not allowed to give oral testimony. The groups include Common Cause/NY, The Brennan Center, Citizen Action New York and Center For Working Families.

When asked about why good government groups were not allowed to give oral testimony, Senate Republican spokesman Scott Reif replied:"I don't believe that is accurate. Dick Dadey, from Citizens Union, is on our confirmed speaker list."

When the Gazette clarified that the quesiton was about specific watchdog groups, Reif replied:

"The witness list reflects a wide range of views on taxpayer-funded political campaigns. Anyone who is not testifying is welcome to submit written testimony for the committee to review and consider."

Jessica Wisnewski of Citizen Action New York has her own thoughts on why Republicans wouldn't want to have a group of diverse experts speaking on the issue. "Report after report shows massive corporate donations benefit the Senate Republcians. Big money goes where power is," she said. "Senate Republicans are protecting the status quo rather than bringing real people's voices into the process."

Speaking of reports, Mahoney will issue one tomorrow showing that there have been 103,805 campaign finance violations since 2011. Mahoney and a number of people who have not been allowed to testify before the elections committee are in favor of the state adopting a public campaign financing system like New York City's.

Senate Republicans have spent a great deal of time recently attacking the city's financing system, calling it corrupt and pointing to scandals like one involving two former members of Comptroller John Liu's campaign staff.

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb recently told the Gazette that he is "excited" to hear about more corruption in the New York City system.

Senate Republicans have mailed constituents in the recent past attacking Democrats for wanting the public to fund their campaigns but they have been loathe to talk about campaign finance reform in public. Until, that is, the recent string of legislative scandals that has brought campaign finance reform to the forefront of public discussion.

"It certainly seems like the most urgent time in recent memory," said Mahoney of campaign finance reform. "The longer politicians like Thomas O'Mara hold off on real hearings and real discussion of reform, the more indictments and scandals we are going to see."

dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Mon, 06 May 2013 21:09:13 +0000
What Happened to Cuomo's Women's Agenda? http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/04/24/what-happened-to-cuomos-womens-agenda http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/04/24/what-happened-to-cuomos-womens-agenda It has been three months since Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave his State of the State Address and announced a 10-point plan to address injustices facing women in today's society.

Since then, Cuomo has successfully passed major gun law changes and enacted a state budget.

Supporters of the plan expectthe legislation will resemble the already-proposed Reproductive Health Act that would take abortion out of New York's penal code and make it part of health law. But the wide-ranging proposal was also supposed to deal with human trafficking, pay discrepency and sexual harassment.

Cuomo indicated earlier this week on Susan Arbetter's The Capitol Pressroom radio show that he is in no hurry to introduce precise bill language on the issue.

“Oftentimes they don’t want the bill to come to the floor for a vote because they don’t want to take the position,” Cuomo told Arbetter, adding, “What we need to do is strip away the devil is in the details as just an excuse.”

Despite not introducing actual bill language, Cuomo told Arbetter that legislators are ducking the details. "Legislators sometimes don’t want to take the votes that will clarify: choice, corruption, public finance. Raise your hand! Yay or nay!” Cuomo told Arbetter. “The quote-unquote IDC coalition, they’re either going to end up going to be a facilitator of transparency and progressive politics or an enabler of obfuscation. I think all of this is going to be for the positive.”

Sen. Dean Skelos said Cuomo's act would legalize late-term abortions.

The question seems to be whether, at this late point in the session, how much political capital Cuomo wants to spend on his women's agenda with Albany fixated on ethics reform and anti-corruption measures thanks to a number of recent arrests. Cuomo hasn't made it exaclty clear what he wants from legislators on that either.

But it is likely he will have to expend quite a bit of energy molding legislators to his will on ethics issues.

The National Organization for Women held a press conference in Albany yesterday and pushed for actual legislation. Sen. Diane Savino indicated at the press conference that she was looking for bill language sooner rather than later. "We're waiting for the governor to give us direction," Savino told reporters.

dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Wed, 24 Apr 2013 20:03:47 +0000
Savino: Dems 'Blatantly Political' While Families 'Were Burying Babies' http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/12/18/savino-dems-blatantly-political-while-families-were-burying-babies http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/12/18/savino-dems-blatantly-political-while-families-were-burying-babies

Sen. Diane Savino's spokesman Eric Soufer did not grant Gotham Gazette's request for an interview about gun-control legislation last week — a request that was made a day before the mass shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn.

But someone using her Facebook account did take the time to respond to the article this evening:

i am fully confident that we will take up many of these issues this session. and, btw, you should ask my former conference members in regular democratic conference how many votes they have for these measures. when we held the majority we did not have 32 votes to pass them, there may be more votes now. i must say that i was rather dismayed to see them issue press releases in a blatantly political attempt while there are families burying babies. the call for microstamping is very important, i have supported and will continue to do so, but it has no relevance to what happened on friday, someone using Savino posted around 6:30 p.m.

I asked Savino if she would like to be interviewed on the subject now, but have yet to receive a response.

dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Tue, 18 Dec 2012 02:27:23 +0000
Addabbo: Sandy Recovery Too Important For Political Differences http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/12/10/addabbo-sandy-recovery-too-important-for-political-differences- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/12/10/addabbo-sandy-recovery-too-important-for-political-differences-

Senate Republicans and members of the Independent Democrats will gather in Queens today for the first meeting of the Bipartisan Senate Task Force on Hurricane Sandy — and they have invited a couple of members of the Democratic conference as well.

"There isn't any room for poltical differences," said Queens Sen. Joe Addabbo who is a member of the Demcoratic conference. "We have no room for that when there are still 10,000 without power in the Rockaways."

Addabbo will be just one of a number of legislators who have seen their districts ravaged by the storm. From Staten Island to Long Island, the senators who will gather in the Rockaways today represent areas that need immediate attention.

Sens. James Sanders, Dean Skelos, Diane Savino, Andrew Lanza, Jeff Klein, Diane Savino, Martin Golden and Charles Fuschillo have been confirmed for the gathering. The group will tour the Rockaways and then meet with community leaders.

Addabbo says it will be the task force's job to keep the Legisalture connected to the areas and constituents that need the most help.

"We have to have a constant dialogue while listening to the needs of people and we need to feed what we arehearing into that task force," he says. "The people need to understand there is a way of getting in touch with there legislators."

Addabbo says he expects there will be many more taskforce meetings in areas hit hardest by Sandy in the coming months.

Sen. Joe Addabbo at a hearing. Photo from NYS Senate Democrats.

dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Mon, 10 Dec 2012 16:31:56 +0000