Gotham Gazette

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Carl Heastie

Carl Heastie

  • 1 billions push

    The Financial Control Board meets (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio has until the end of September to present a state fiscal oversight body with a plan to find $1 billion in savings that will help balance the city budget for the current fiscal year. In lieu of a federal aid package to help replace lost tax revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic, the mayor and labor union leaders are pushing the Legislature and Governor Cuomo to allow the city to borrow billions of dollars to cover operating expenses, a proposal that many city and state

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  • Bronx Democrats Heastie Diaz Jr Crespo

    Bronx political leaders Heastie, Diaz Jr., Crespo (photo: Bronx Borough President's Office)


    To say the Bronx political landscape is changing is simultaneously both a trite observation and a vast understatement. The once-vaunted Democratic machine in the borough is currently leaderless and has lost many of its longtime fixtures in recent years, with more on their way off the political stage. This comes at a time when progressive and anti-establishment forces are gaining momentum across the city, though in some ways less so in the

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  • 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

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  • 5 progressive assembly

    The State Assembly (photo: @NYSA_Majority)


    For some time, a lack of Democratic control in the New York State Senate prevented progressive legislation from becoming law. But even after the chamber flipped from red to blue through the 2018 elections and a long list of Democratic priorities were acted on, some bills that once passed the State Assembly when Republicans held the Senate are now having trouble reaching that chamber’s floor, leading to frustration that multiple insurgent campaigns capitalized on in this year’s primary

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  • 3 maj leader asc

    A nearly-empty State Senate Chamber as business is conducted amid coronavirus outbreak (photo: NY Senate)


    If New Yorkers take Governor Andrew Cuomo’s word for it, the new $177 billion budget approved last week will “deliver results” for the people of the state and was a far cry from a “bare minimum” spending plan at a time when the state’s finances are racked by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. But within his own Democratic Party, which controls both houses of the Legislature where the plan was passed, the budget is a highly unpopular document that to

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  • Cuomo legislative leaders

    Gov. Cuomo and other state leaders (photo: Darren McGee, Governor's Office)


    In the opening days of the 2020 state legislative session, debate continues to rage over whether to revisit major changes to the bail system made last year and key Albany policy-makers have been staking out initial positions in a reignited conversation that could lead to revising the reforms.

    The three top decision-makers -- Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, all Democrats -- have each taken a

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  • elec state college

    (photo: governor's office)


    The 2019 legislative session in Albany was, as Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins described it, “[T]he most historic and productive legislative session in New York State history, period.” The Democratic-controlled Legislature notched up a long list of victories, including many progressive bills that had languished under prior Republican leadership in the state Senate. But there remained unfinished business, imperfect new laws, and pressing concerns that have carried forward and will define the legislative calendar in 2020, which

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  • state legislators hearing

    (photo: @FairElectionsNY)


    A state commission charged with creating a system of public financing for state elections has prompted harsh rebukes from several state legislators for proposing what they say is watered down campaign finance reform and for ostensibly advancing a political agenda that targets longtime critics of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

    The New York State Public Campaign Financing Commission was appointed by Cuomo and state legislative leaders after a failure of consensus on overhauling the state’s campaign finance system. It was tasked in

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  • pubic hearing 1

    the state campaign finance commission at its final meeting


    The New York State Public Campaign Financing Commission held its final meeting on Monday, voting to institute the creation of a new system for public funding of campaigns for statewide and state legislative offices, with lower contribution limits intended to reduce the effect of money in elections. Though the commission did not act to eliminate fusion voting, as minor political parties and their allies feared, it did move to increase the threshold for parties to obtain a position on the ballot, creating uncertainty

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  • new york start capitol

    (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    New York State government leaders are fond of appointing commissions, but those bodies are not known for meeting their deadlines. With those facts in mind, an advocacy group released a public letter Tuesday with an important message about governmental machinations that will significantly impact the state’s future.

    With the 2020 Census around the corner, the League of Women Voters of New York State is urging the state Legislature to keep its eye on a key deadline that falls ahead of the all-important population

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  • govcuomo justice

    The State Capitol (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    The New York State Public Campaign Financing Commission, tasked with devising a voluntary system of public funding for state elections, held its first meeting Wednesday at the CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan. The commission has inspired a measure of optimism among government reformers that it will limit the influence of money in state elections and reduce pay-to-play politics that have long defined

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  • albany gov cuomo carl heastie

    Speaker Heastie & Governor Cuomo (photo: the governor's office)


    Despite previously lauding the 2019 state legislative session as the “most productive session in modern political history,” Governor Andrew Cuomo went on to call the session “not progressive enough,” citing a need “to do more on poverty.”

    At his celebratory, mostly upbeat end-of-session press conference on June 21, Cuomo was asked about what did not get done, and cited three issues he said he would work on next year: legalizing adult-use marijuana and paid

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  • gov cuomo protecting

    Heastie, Stewart-Cousins, Cuomo, Hochul (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    Following a historically productive legislative session in Albany, a broad coalition of progressive advocates has scored the performance of state lawmakers on a range of topics, pointing to major victories and unfinished tasks for reformers as political dust continues to settle from last year’s elections and this year’s governing.

    True Blue NY, a grassroots coalition formed

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  • gov cuomo photos

    (photo: the governor's office)


    Just after it ended, Governor Andrew Cuomo deemed 2019’s “the most productive legislative session in modern history” at a news conference on Friday in Albany.

    The Democrat in the first year of his third term went through only a partial list of the many laws and investments he and state legislators had made between January and June, in what was the first period of full and functional Demcratic control of state government in decades.

    Though the session included a good deal of sparring between Cuomo and legislators,

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  • mayor bdb carls assembly

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    With 11 days of state legislative session left, including Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio headed to Albany to confab with Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to push for several legislative priorities.

    Among the major items on his agenda, according to mayoral spokesperson Freddi Goldstein, are reforming rent regulations, legalizing marijuana, eliminating the Specialized High School Admission Test (SHSAT), authorizing design-build contracting at several city

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  • Ruben Dia Jr.

    Ruben Diaz Jr. (photo: Diaz Jr.'s office)


    Development in the Bronx has defined Ruben Diaz Jr.’s borough presidency, now in its tenth year and coinciding with record economic expansion across the city and country coming out of the Great Recession. And Diaz Jr. has defined his borough presidency –– and plans to build his upcoming run for Mayor –– around economic and housing development.

    The Bronx has seen $18.96 billion poured into development since 2009, the majority of which has gone to residential units, according to the borough president’s ...

  • Cuomo legislators bills

    (photo: governor's office)


    Although the state budget approved earlier this week included several progressive priorities for Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature, there are still three months left in the legislative session this year and a list of remaining items on which the governor and legislators have promised action.

    Taking advantage of their party’s newfound control over both houses of the Legislature, Democrats moved a long list of bills already this year, both prior to and in the budget. Though there has been a

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  • myrie camp fin

    Senate Democrats push campaign finance reform (photo: @zellnor4ny)


    With less than two weeks until a new state budget is due, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature have yet to come to an agreement on a public campaign financing model for state elections. But the conversation around the measure, which advocates and experts say is a long-due reform in a state beset with repeated corruption scandals, has taken a turn since Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie raised several doubts about the viability of public campaign financing, some of which Cuomo has

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  • heastie carl nys assembly speaker 9.62

    (photo: Buck Ennis/Crain's)


    Though Democrats have for years blamed Republican intransigence for the failure of key campaign finance and ethics reforms in Albany, those measures still appear stalled even as their party controls the entire state Legislature and governor’s office. On Friday, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said that the votes are not there in his chamber to approve a public-matching campaign finance system, despite the fact that the Assembly has repeatedly passed such a measure in the past when

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  • gov cuomo provide update clinton

    (photo: the governor's office)


    Taking the stage at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park last September, Governor Andrew Cuomo promised to end cash bail “once and for all,” a move that would launch New York into the national spotlight with New Jersey and California. “In America you are still innocent until proven guilty,” he told the cheering crowd. “And that’s whether you’re black or white. That’s whether you’re rich or poor.”

    The elimination of the cash bail system, under which poor black and Hispanic New Yorkers

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  • senatechamberalbany2

    (Photo via Wiki Commons)


    Statewide elected officials, legislators and agency heads are slated to get pay raises next year following recommendations issued Thursday by a four-member panel that was created in this year’s state budget.

    The New York State Compensation Committee voted on Thursday to raise the salaries of legislators for the first time in nearly twenty years, as well as for the four statewide offices and for executive agency commissioners. The committee will publicly release a report and deliver it to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature on Monday

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  • how hard push

    Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (photo via the Governor's office}


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    As New York lurches out of election season and looks to what issues the state legislative session in 2019 could tackle, the

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  • cuomo jeffries

    Gov. Cuomo & Rep. Jeffries (photo via Governor's Office)


    Before Amazon announced the placement of one of its next satellite “headquarters” in Queens, drawing mixed reactions from local lawmakers and significant overall pushback, the company’s campaign finance footprint in New York shows it was spreading its money around to many New York politicians, mostly those at the federal level.

    Eight members of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York City, all Democrats, who signed a now ...

  • stewart cousins senate

    Andrea Stewart-Cousins (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    After the election results from earlier this month, Andrea Stewart-Cousins is set to become majority

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  • cuomo stewart-cousins democrats

    Byron Brown, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Andrew Cuomo (photo: NY Democratic State Party)


    This is the opening story in a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project: AGENDA 2019
    Find the rest of the series here

    The voting machines are back in storage, the “Vote Here” signs are gone, and politics in New York have entered the interregnum between Election Day and the start of the new term in Albany, when a newly-Democratic State Senate and a

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