Lincoln Restler & Shahana Hanif (photos: John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit)
The newly-seated 51-member New York City Council has a particularly large progressive wing, with a whopping 34 members, including Speaker Adrienne Adams, signing up for the Progressive Caucus. That caucus, which seeks to pull the Council leftward and is already acting as a counterweight to a more moderate mayor, especially on policing issues, is led by co-chairs Shahana Hanif and Lincoln Restler, two Brooklyn Democrats selected by their fellow caucus members.
Outside Rikers Island jails (photo: Gerardo Romo/NYC Council Media Unit)
Rikers Island is a devastatingly terrible investment. New York City spends more on jails than anywhere else in the country – over $500,000 per person per year. Yet, violence rates dwarf those elsewhere.
The jails on Rikers Island are decrepit beyond repair. Their crumbling walls are turned into weapons. Built mostly on decaying landfill, the jails are plagued by methane leaks and asbestos. Working conditions for staff, and morale, are abysmal....