Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Jumaane D. Williams

Jumaane D. Williams

  • Hochul, Williams Outline Drastic Differences in Lieutenant Governor Debate

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    Jumaane Williams and Kathy Hochul (photo: Gotham Gazette)


    New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams on Wednesday pledged to remake the lieutenant governor position he is seeking, as Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul defended her record and approach to the job, as well as Governor Andrew Cuomo’s tenure. The two Democrats were appearing in their only scheduled televised debate ahead of the September 13 vote.

    The 30-minute debate, hosted by Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) and moderated by Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max, aired Thursday evening on MNN, while also being live-streamed

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  • Rep. Jeffries Backs Gov. Cuomo for Reelection

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    Gov. Cuomo with Rep. Jeffries (photo via the Governor's office)


    U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries, a rising Congressional star and Brooklyn political power-broker, is backing Governor Andrew Cuomo for reelection.

    Jeffries, who represents the 8th Congressional District of New York, which includes parts of Brooklyn and Queens, sees Cuomo’s case as airtight, despite a fierce gubernatorial primary challenge being waged by actor and activist Cynthia Nixon.

    “As the governor of the state of New York, he’s done a phenomenal job over the last eight

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  • Some New York Democrats are Backing Nixon for Governor and James for Attorney General

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    Mark-Viverito & Nixon (photo: @CynthiaNixon)


    Two of the most compelling storylines of the contentious primaries playing out this election season in New York are which Democrats decide to back Cynthia Nixon in her challenge to two-term incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo and to what extent an alliance with Cuomo is to the benefit of Letitia James as she seeks to win an open, four-way primary for Attorney General.

    Loyalty and litmus tests are being taken daily by elected officials, political club members, labor leaders, and others as the September 13 primary vote approaches. As the

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  • Democratic Candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor File Pre-Primary Fundraising Numbers

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    Cynthia Nixon and Council Member Jumaane Williams (photo:@CynthiaNixon)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo, a two-term Democrat, spent millions over the last month on his reelection campaign, far outpacing his Democratic primary rival, actor and education activist Cynthia Nixon, according to pre-primary campaign finance disclosures filed by candidates this week with the state Board of Elections. Cuomo’s running mate, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, overwhelmingly outraised her own primary opponent, New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams.

    Cuomo ...

  • Working Families Party Puts It All On The Line

    Cynthia Nixon, Jummane Williams, and Alessandra Biaggi

    Cynthia Nixon (left), Alessandra Biaggi (top right), Bill Lipton & Jumaane Williams (bottom)


    The Working Families Party celebrated its 20th anniversary last month at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg, with its rank-and-file cheering on a line up of politicians that have served as standard bearers, past and present. But it’s the future of the party that is especially uncertain as the upstart liberal organization lays it all on the line in backing insurgent candidates in state elections this year.

    In doing so,

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  • In Wide Open Lieutenant Governor Primary, Hochul Targets Votes in Williams’ Backyard

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    Lt. Gov. Hochul, center, in Brooklyn (photo: @KathyHochul)


    Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, in campaign mode, has appeared in the Bronx and Brooklyn several times over the past few weeks. The Democratic lieutenant governor, facing a challenge from Brooklyn City Council Member Jumaane Williams as she seeks a second term, has been spending more time in New York City as primary day gets closer.

    Hochul’s focus on the city, and its communities of color in particular, are indicative of the importance of voters from the five boroughs,

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  • Statewide Candidates File July Fundraising Numbers

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    Gov. Cuomo at a funding event (photo: The Governor's Office)


    With less than two months till the September 13 primary election, candidates running for state office filed campaign financial disclosure reports with the New York State Board of Elections by the Monday deadline, showing fundraising and expenditures from a six-month period between January 16 and July 16.

    Governor Andrew Cuomo, the two-term incumbent Democrat who is running for reelection, continues to maintain an overwhelming funding advantage with more than $31 million in his campaign coffers. Cuomo

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  • Amid Primary Fights, Cuomo and Hochul Increase Frequency of Joint Governmental Events

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    Gov. Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Hochul (photo: The Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul have increased the frequency of their public appearances together in recent months, perhaps a reaction to the Democratic primary challenge against Hochul by City Council Member Jumaane Williams, not to mention Cynthia Nixon’s parallel attempt to unseat Cuomo.

    Between the close of state budget season at the end of March and mid-July, Cuomo and Hochul appeared together at 17 separate public government events, eight more than their nine

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  • New York Democrats’ Season of Choosing

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    Corey Johnson endorses IDC challengers (photo: Gotham Gazette)


    As progressives aggressively attempt to wrest control of the Democratic Party from the hands of those they call centrists and establishment politicians, elected Democrats across New York find themselves in an unenviable position. Abiding by their self-professed progressive values to support insurgent Democratic primary challengers could mean bucking the state party establishment and its leader, Governor Andrew Cuomo, while, on the

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  • EMILY’s List Backs Hochul for Reelection as Lieutenant Governor

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    Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul (photo: Governor's Office)


    One of the country’s most powerful political organizations, EMILY’s List, has endorsed Kathy Hochul for reelection as lieutenant governor of New York.

    Hochul, a Democrat seeking a second term in the statewide position, is facing a primary challenge from New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams, with the vote just over two months away, on September 13.

    EMILY’s List is a national organization founded in 1985 to “elect pro-choice Democratic women to office” that helps recruit, train, and support female

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  • From Awareness to Action: Combating The Epidemic of Gun Violence

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    Jumaane Williams, co-author, center (photo: @JumaaneWilliams)


    Throughout June, we observed Gun Violence Awareness Month. In the year since we last marked this occasion, 33,000 people lost their lives to gun violence in this country. A mass shooting of four or more casualties occurred nearly every day of that year, and just last week, five people were killed and two injured as a shooter opened fire on an Annapolis newsroom. Over the course of the month about 3,000 people were killed. Over 200 were children.

    The statistics are staggering, but at the

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  • Hochul: Divided Democratic Party Only Benefits Republicans

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


    With the September primaries for New York state elections fast approaching, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, both Democratic incumbents, are being forced to defend their records in challenges from the left. While many other elected officials and labor unions are supporting the incumbents, a wide swath of activists that form part of the party’s base is supporting challengers to Cuomo, Hochul, and a group of state senators who, until recently, made up the rogue Democratic faction

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul

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    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    June 14, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul

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    Kathy Hochul is in the fourth year of her first term as lieutenant governor, and, running alongside Governor Andrew Cuomo, seeking another term this fall. She's facing a primary challenge, however, from City Council Member Jumaane

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  • Three Themes to Watch at State Democratic Convention

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    New York Democrats at the 2016 DNC (photo: New York Democratic Party)


    This year’s statewide election campaigns are in full swing, with the Democrats and Republicans hosting their nominating conventions this week. While Republicans are set to back a unified slate of candidates to avoid contested primaries, the Democratic Party finds itself in a degree of turmoil with multiple incumbents facing primary challenges from the left and a progressive base increasingly disillusioned with the state party machinery.

    As the September primary and

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  • Party Nominations for Statewide Elections Come Into Focus

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    Cynthia Nixon at the WFP convention (photo: Make The Road Action)


    It’s political party convention season as this state and federal election year heats up in New York, with federal primaries on June 26, state primaries September 13, and the general election November 6.

    Over the weekend, the Working Families Party and Green Party held their nominating conventions on Saturday and the Reform Party held its on Sunday. This week the Democratic and Republican state parties will hold their conventions, nominating candidates for the

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  • City Council Progressive Caucus Calls for Crisis Intervention Reforms

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    (Credit: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The New York City Council Progressive Caucus is stepping up calls for Mayor Bill de Blasio to reconstitute a citywide task force to examine how emergency responders help people suffering from mental illness, and are insisting that the mayor consider creating a parallel response force of social workers and therapists that can answer calls rather than police officers.

    In a letter sent to the mayor last Wednesday, the 21 members of the Progressive Caucus said the mayor should act by the end of

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  • Council Members Renew Call for Task Force on NYPD Response to Emotionally Disturbed Persons

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    Mayor de Blasio & top NYPD officials (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    In August of last year, shortly after NYPD officers shot to death an emotionally disturbed man in his apartment, City Council Member Jumaane Williams led an effort calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to set up a task force to conduct a wholesale review of the police department’s protocols in dealing with “emotionally disturbed persons,” or EDPs. Almost eight months later, with many in the city again reeling from the fatal shooting of an emotionally disturbed man at the

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  • As Hochul Pushes Cuomo Agenda, Williams Takes on Both in Primary Challenge

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    Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul (photo: The Governor's Office)


    “That’s what we do in New York -- that’s what we need in our nation!” declared Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul from a church lectern Sunday, sounding not unlike her boss, Governor Andrew Cuomo.

    Hochul, whose remarks were at times drowned out by applause, was highlighting Cuomo’s progressive accomplishments -- paid family leave, equal pay provisions, and criminal justice reform -- before a congregation of elected officials, aides, and others attending the New York State Association of

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Lieutenant Governor Candidate Jumaane Williams

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    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    February 22, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Lieutenant Governor Candidate Jumaane Williams

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    City Council Member Jumaane Williams recently announced his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor, opening a Democratic primary challenge to incumbent Kathy Hochul, Governor Andrew Cuomo's chosen

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  • City Council Oversight Hearing on Policing Protests Dominated by Disputes

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    City Council Member Rodriguez (photo: William Alatriste)


    The City Council Committee on Public Safety held an oversight hearing on Wednesday to examine the NYPD’s tactics and procedures regarding protests and crowd control. The perpetually controversial issue has come to the fore once again in the wake of immigrant activist Ravi Ragbir’s detention by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the NYPD’s subsequent aggressive handling of protesters, culminating in the arrests of two City Council members and 16 others on January 11.

    Both Council

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  • City Council Member Jumaane Williams to Explore Run for Lieutenant Governor

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    City Council Member Jumaane Williams (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    At the end of stirring and emotional remarks on Martin Luther King Day, City Council Member Jumaane Williams announced that he is exploring a run for Lieutenant Governor. Williams, who was just re-elected to a third Council term and was unsuccessful in his pursuit of the speakership of the city’s legislative body, gave the keynote address at Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Brooklyn on Monday, passionately discussing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  • Now Pursuing Diversity, New City Council Speaker Has Employed Mostly White Men

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    Speaker Corey Johnson (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Corey Johnson’s ascension to speaker of the New York City Council came amid concerns by elected officials and activists that yet another white man would be in a seat of leadership in a majority-minority city where the mayor and comptroller, two of three citywide elected officials, are also white men. During his pursuit of the position against several men of color and amid citywide outcry over the gender imbalance in the City Council, Johnson promised to ensure a diverse senior leadership

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  • Why Does Crime Keep Falling in New York City?

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    James O'Neill, Bill Bratton, Bill de Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York Police Department have much cause for celebration. Last year was undoubtedly the safest year on record in decades, setting new benchmarks for crime reduction across most major categories, according to the latest crime data released by the NYPD on Friday.

    The total number of major felony crimes fell below 100,000 for the first time ever, no small feat for a city now home to more than 8.5 million residents.

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  • City Council to Pass Bills Mandating Assessment of Vacant Lots

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    (photo via @NYCHousing)


    Two years ago, Public Advocate Letitia James and City Council Members Jumaane Williams and Ydanis Rodriguez each introduced a bill under a set called the Housing Not Warehousing Act, a package aimed at reducing homelessness and increasing the city’s affordable housing stock. The bills seek to mandate an annual tally of the number of vacant lots and buildings in the city, determining which of those under city jurisdiction could be developed for affordable housing, while also requiring landlords with vacant properties to

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  • Council Speaker Candidates Hesitant to Criticize or Reform Party-Controlled Board of Elections

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    photo by William Alatriste/City Council


    The New York City Board of Elections has widely been acknowledged as a dysfunctional agency in need of urgent and sweeping reform, yet the political will for modernizing and professionalizing the board has not existed, at least in part because its current structure benefits those in power.

    Its system of appointments based on political patronage has long been a source of criticism and its mismanagement of election operations has frustrated voters and been the subject of City

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