Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Andrew Cuomo

Andrew Cuomo

  • Surveillance and the City: Cuomo’s Covid Security Theater

    update progress covid

    Governor Cuomo headed to Georgia (photo: governor's office)


    For years, travelers have complained about security theater at our airports. Even as we’re forced to do everything short of strip naked for TSA agents, people are still able to sneak guns, ...

  • New York City Public Hospitals Were Unprepared for Major Crisis, Costing Lives During Covid Outbreak, Review Finds

    5 health hos elmhurst

    Mayor de Blasio visits Elmhurst Hospital (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    New York City and State governments’ lack of support for the city’s public hospitals left them underprepared in almost every way for the COVID-19 pandemic, even when the disease seemed likely to come to the city and despite warnings dating back to 2006 about the very conditions that would lead to an overwhelmed hospital system that became a real-life nightmare for New Yorkers, according to a preliminary report by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer

    And when COVID-19

    ...
  • Requests for Emergency Rent Grants Fell During Pandemic, But Expected to Skyrocket When Evictions Resume

    tenants eviction protections rally

    Tenants on edge amid eviction moratorium (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    A city-run emergency grant program that helps keep people in their homes has seen fewer applications during the COVID-19 pandemic, seemingly due to a moratorium on evictions. But housing advocates worry that the program will be hard pressed to respond to a “tsunami of evictions” that is likely to follow once the moratorium ends, which could happen as early as next month.

    As the pandemic raged across New York City, more than a million people lost

    ...
  • 'Break in the Dam': New York Sees Flood of Long-Stalled Police Reforms in Response to Outcry

    Eric Garner police reform NYPD

    Eric Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, at a recent press conference (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    New York, and the nation, was teetering on the edge when it was suddenly and violently pushed over it on May 25, as George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota by police officer Derek Chauvin. It was an incident as shocking as it was familiar, an unarmed Black man dying at the hands of a police officer with the episode caught on video and broadcast to millions of people.

    “I can’t breathe,” Floyd cried out, as Chauvin knelt on his

    ...
  • Push Is On for 10 Bills to Strengthen Absentee Voting and More Ahead of Fall Election

    boe nyc votes table pandemic

    Voting during a pandemic (photo: @NYCVotes)


    Ahead of a special state legislative session set for next week, a coalition of election reform advocates is backing ten bills that would change or codify elements of the now widely-used absentee voting process before the fall general election.

    The agenda, released Thursday by the Let NY Vote coalition, comes amid party primary elections where the voting is over but the counting

    ...
  • Life and Death at the Stroke of the Governor's Pen

    Cuomo signs bills

    Governor Cuomo signs criminal justice reforms (photo: Governor's Office)


    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been trying in his daily press briefings to position himself as the national voice of reason, truth, and compassion regarding the coronavirus. To that end, he has liberally signed an array of executive orders ranging from shutting down businesses and closing schools to limiting the size of social gatherings.

    When the evidence revealed that COVID-19 was especially ravaging communities of color, the governor then tried to assume the mantle of race

    ...
  • U.S. Census Bureau Resumes Limited Field Operations in New York and NYC Continues Outreach While State Remains MIA

    2020 Census efforts in New York

    2020 Census efforts continue, though NY State is MIA (photo: Governor's Office)


    When the COVID-19 pandemic hit New York, it posed severe impediments to the 2020 Census process, forcing local, state, and federal officials to suspend plans for on-the-ground outreach to make sure all state residents are counted. But federal and city officials have continued remote operations to encourage a robust self-response to the decennial population count and, as regions across New York State begin to approach a sense of normalcy, the U.S. Census Bureau has resumed

    ...
  • With No Relief from Washington in Sight and Billions in Budget Cuts Looming, What Can New York State Do?

    gov cuomo outlinesfy

    Gov. Cuomo delivers a budget address (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)


    Despite pleas from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and state and local government leaders across the nation for major new federal help for budgets devastated by the COVID-19 recession, there is still no clear path to Washington acting quickly to provide financial relief. 

    Although on May 15 the House of Representatives, with its Democratic majority, passed a $3 trillion aid bill for the country that included $1 trillion for state and local governments, President

    ...
  • Front-Line Workers Must Prove They Contracted Coronavirus on the Job to Receive Workers' Comp

    nurses hospital

    Nurses at the frontlines of the coronavirus battle (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Nine weeks after Governor Andrew Cuomo closed all but essential businesses and services, many of the state’s essential workers are now finding themselves struggling with their employers and insurance companies for injury benefits related to COVID-19, and for those who die, their survivors are left to pick up the mantle.

    Infected front-line staff, from health-care workers to grocery store clerks, are being asked to prove they contracted the virus on the job in order to

    ...
  • Muddled, Shifting Messages from De Blasio on Essential Metrics as City Nears 'Reopening'

    de Blasio coronavirus briefing

    Mayor de Blasio during a recent coronavirus briefing (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New York City’s response to the coronavirus outbreak has been a battle on shifting sands. As information about the disease and officials’ recognition of its threat evolved over time, so did the government approach, from initially continuing business as usual well after the first cases in the city were confirmed to a statewide shutdown of sorts and strict social distancing guidelines that have now been in place in New York City for over two

    ...
  • City Budget Crisis, State Bail Reform Could Delay Closure of Rikers Island Jails

    dcc jponte rikers

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The Rikers Island jail complex, a notorious and decrepit institution sitting on 413 acres in the East River, was slated for closure well before New York City became the country’s epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, during which the complex has emerged as a hotspot for infections that have led to the deaths of several detainees and corrections officers.

    But the timeline for shutting down the jail complex and building local jails in four boroughs has been thrust into uncertainty by countervailing

    ...
  • Governor Cuomo Owes Subway Riders and Homeless New Yorkers A Housing Plan

    flushing amid pandemic

    Governor Cuomo disinfects a subway car (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    The subway is New York’s circulatory system. If it doesn’t recover, New York won’t. But reopening the subway and the city means more than running more trains: It also means helping homeless New Yorkers who today have nowhere else safe to go.  

    That is because, as Governor Cuomo demonstrated, the city’s transit crisis is too entwined with its housing crisis for the MTA alone to bring the subway back. In response to the rising number of New Yorkers with no choice

    ...
  • As 2020 Count Proceeds, New York State Census Plans Haven't Launched

    gov cuomo census

    Gov. Cuomo at the NY Census Conference (photo: governor's office)


    According to plans, New York state government would have spent the equivalent of $70 million this year on its effort to ensure that all New Yorkers are counted in the 2020 Census. But as the state has experienced a devastating coronavirus outbreak, that effort has, for all appearances, never gotten off the ground, and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration has done little to inform residents that it is in their best interest and that of the entire state to fill out the Census.

    The

    ...
  • Coronavirus Crash Prompts Renewed Calls for New York Divestment from Fossil Fuels, But Comptroller Stands Pat

    divest ny fos

    A protest to push for New York pension system divestment from fossil fuel stocks (photo: @350)


    The oil and gas industries are experiencing significant upheaval as the coronavirus pandemic decimates economies across the globe. The price of crude oil in the United States temporarily fell below $0 per barrel for the first time ever last month, prompting renewed energy among activists and elected officials in New York who want to rid the state pension fund of all investments in the fossil fuel industry.

    But the one person they must convince, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli,

    ...
  • Cuomo v. De Blasio: Who Has the Last Word on Reopening New York City?

    Cuomo de Blasio coronavirus

    Cuomo and de Blasio at a March briefing (photo: Don Pollard/Governor's Office)


    This guest column is part of Citizens Union Speakers, a regular series of op-eds written by members of

    ...
  • Democratic State Senators Call for Raising Taxes on Wealthy, Passing Coronavirus Relief Measures

    state senators

    Senators Ramos and Gounardes (photo: NY Senate)


    A group of Democratic state senators, mostly from New York City, gathered in a digital forum Wednesday night to discuss the government’s COVID-19 response. The virtual event, held in partnership with the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI), a nonprofit liberal think tank, covered topics including the state budget, impending cuts and proposals to raise revenue, and legislation to address ramifications of the virus.

    Eight senators, or a fifth of the Democratic majority in the 63-seat chamber, participated in

    ...
  • The Governor’s Clemency Negligence

    gov health dep

    Governor Cuomo (photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    At his daily coronavirus press briefing on Sunday, April 26, Governor Cuomo was asked  whether he had any plans to grant broad clemencies to people in prison, particularly to vulnerable populations. His testy and dismissive response – “How about if they are violent and just started their sentence?” – was telling. Presumably, the governor meant to remove from consideration people he believed remained a threat to public safety and had not been sufficiently punished.

    The reporter’s question was

    ...
  • Cuomo's Density Dodge: Pandemics Aren’t Anti-City, Failure to Act Early Is

    act early cr

    An altered image from one of Gov. Cuomo's briefings (by Aaron Carr, the author)


    Dear fellow urbanites, city dwellers, and city lovers, 

    I regret to inform you that the heart and soul of New York City is under attack. And not just by COVID-19, which, as of April 27, has taken the lives of an astonishing 16,936 New York City residents, but by fictional statements made by our own governor, Andrew Cuomo, who has deceptively blamed the spread of this infectious, vicious, and deadly disease primarily on our city's population density. 

    The governor

    ...
  • Cuomo Orders All Voters Get Absentee Ballot Applications and Polls Open for June Elections, While Presidential Primary Canceled

    cuomo announces

    All voters will get an absentee application for the June elections (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday, April 24 signed an executive order mandating that the State Board of Elections send every registered voter in the state an absentee ballot application with paid postage to facilitate voting in elections slated for June 23 without increasing the risk of

    ...
  • Questions and Concerns About Potential Shift to Vote-By-Mail as New Yorkers Await Further Action from Cuomo

    1 good advo

    Voting in New York is undergoing major shifts, with more possibly to come (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Amid reports that Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to allow or require voting by mail for all New Yorkers in primary and special elections set for June 23, government reform advocates have raised concerns that the measure could end up adversely affecting the election, while the State Republican Party has promised to sue if the governor follows through.

    The coronavirus pandemic has forced several delays in the state’s election calendar and in-person voting

    ...
  • Largely Absent from Cuomo's Coronavirus Briefings, Lieutenant Governor Hochul Charged with Western New York Role

    briefing covid daily

    Gov. Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Hochul (photo: Darren McGee, Governor's Office)


    As Governor Andrew Cuomo garnered national attention while leading briefings on New York’s response to the novel coronavirus outbreak each day for well over a month, often from Albany and sometimes from Manhattan, one top state official was conspicuously absent: Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

    Not only was the lieutenant governor not present for any of the governor’s first 40-plus daily coronavirus briefings, she was curiously never mentioned as part of the Cuomo

    ...
  • 10 Dead, Hundreds Infected as State Psychiatric Facilities Become Another Crisis Point in Coronavirus Outbreak

    hospital pano

    Manhattan Psychiatric Center, Wards Island (photo: @nicknormal via Flickr)


    Ten people have died of coronavirus and another 193 have tested positive among the nearly 3,500 residents living in state-run inpatient psychiatric facilities, according to officials, making them one of the hardest hit institutional settings per capita in New York State. Another 283 staff that work at the state's 23 centers have tested positive for COVID-19, which has killed well over 13,000 people across the state.

    After inquiries, the information was provided to Gotham Gazette on

    ...
  • State Budget Includes Extensive Cutbacks But We Don’t Know What They Are Yet

    gov cuomo enacted budget highlights

    Governor Cuomo gives a budget presentation (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    New York State and City are the gruesome public health epicenter of COVID-19, with horrific daily death tolls. The coronavirus is likely causing New York to also be the economic epicenter of the nation’s staggering job and economic loss, although those are statistics that will play catch up.

    New York State’s fiscal year is April 1 to the following March 31, so the Governor and the Legislature just adopted a new budget (slightly

    ...
  • Surveillance and The City: A New York Dictatorship?

    Cuomo coronavirus briefing power Albany

    Gov. Cuomo at one of his coronavirus briefings (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    The consequences of poor social distancing, inadequate supply chains, and nearly every other facet of our COVID-19 calamity are nothing short of life and death. But as New York endures a disaster unlike any in our lifetimes, as we see our morgues filled and our store shelves stripped bare, this teeming tidal wave of death might upend most fundamental assumptions about our way of life.

    We are about to face a deeply dangerous moment, not

    ...
  • New York's Smaller Political Parties Must Quickly Meet New Ballot Thresholds

    Cuomo political rally winking

    Gov. Cuomo appears interested in seeing the demise of New York's smaller political parties (photo: New York Democratic Party)


    Included in the bills to approve a state budget for the new fiscal year beginning April 1 was the creation of a new campaign finance system with a public-matching program, lower individual contribution limits, and various other changes to campaign finance law. But the controversial inclusion of changes to ballot thresholds could prove to be a poison pill, not for the law but for the several minor political parties

    ...