Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Robert Holden

Robert Holden

  • In Queens, Council Member Who Unseated Incumbent Tries to Hold Off Primary Challenge from the Left

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    Council Member Robert Holden (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    City Council Member Bob Holden, a first-term Democrat from Queens, is known for being one of the Council’s more moderate-to-conservative members, having won his seat running on the Republican ballot line in 2017 after losing the Democratic primary to the incumbent at the time. Especially in a legislative body that includes just three Republicans in 51 seats, Holden regularly takes among the more right-leaning positions on a number of issues, particularly policing, whether in his district or on a

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  • Dermot Shea's Rocky First Year as NYPD Commissioner

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    Mayo de Blasio & NYPD Commissioner Shea (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    This past Wednesday, December 2, marked one year since Dermot Shea was sworn in as the 44th commissioner of the New York Police Department, the third commissioner to serve in the role under Mayor Bill de Blasio. Shea’s first year in the top-cop job has been tumultuous and punctuated with controversy; a trial by fire in unprecedented times, and he often came up short, as judged by critics on both his left and his right and those simply frustrated by police brutality and rising

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  • De Blasio Administration Pledges to Finally Address City's Persistent 'Digital Divide' with Universal Internet Access

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    Mayor de Blasio at a LinkNYC kiosk (photo: Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As the pandemic forced New Yorkers to shelter at home, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration launched several efforts to assist those who lacked the necessary access to the internet to adapt to working and learning virtually. But there remains a deep digital divide across the city, particularly in terms of lack of access in low-income communities of color, creating significant challenges for students, residents of homeless shelters and public housing, and others.

    According to city data, 40%

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  • Progressive Challenger Launches City Council Campaign to Unseat Conservative Democrat in Queens

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    Juan Ardila (photo: campaign website)


    First-term City Council Member Bob Holden, a conservative Democrat from Queens known for controversial statements and criticism of the de Blasio administration, is facing a 2021 challenge from Juan Ardila, a first-generation immigrant and Maspeth native who says Holden is failing the 30th Council District.

    Ardila, the son of a Honduran-Cuban mother and Colombian father, says he is running to fight for working class families in a district plagued by rising costs of living, lack of mass transit, limited employment opportunities,

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  • Council to Examine Persistent and Growing Violence Plaguing City Jails

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    Mayor de Blasio on Rikers Island (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    In the wake of a series of damning reports showing a rise of violence and use of force in city jails -- even as the inmate population has plummeted and city government has significantly increased its spending on the Department of Correction -- lawmakers are looking at ways to address the problem, beginning with court-mandated reforms, which seem to have fallen by the wayside.

    The City Council’s Committee on Criminal Justice will be holding an oversight

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  • In Second 311 Oversight Hearing, City Council Examines Agency Responsiveness

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    Council Members Holden, right, and Yeger (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    The City Council recently held its second in a two-part oversight hearing on the city’s 311 system, the country’s largest non-emergency call center. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and City Council Member Fernando Cabrera, the chair of the governmental operations committee, led both hearings. While the first hearing focused on system upgrades to 311 that are in process and language

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