Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Robert Jackson

Robert Jackson

  • Don’t Let Belmont Bonds Become the Next New York Boondoggle

    An empty Belmont


    The twice-bankrupt New York Racing Association (NYRA) is back at the State Capitol, cup in hand, asking the state to back $450 million in bonds to rebuild Belmont Park’s perfectly suitable and usually empty racetrack. The bonds would be in addition to the millions of dollars the state already provides to the industry through subsidies and tax exemptions. Considering the ongoing financial problems, coupled with diminishing interest and economic development as a result, it would be fiscally irresponsible for the state to back the

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  • The State Should Restart the City’s Clock on Shrinking Class Sizes

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    School in session (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In 1980, Robert Jackson enrolled his daughter in Kindergarten at P.S./I.S. 187 on Cabrini Boulevard in Washington Heights. He soon noticed that her class sizes were huge, sometimes more than 30 or 35 children. There were no science or art rooms left because the school had been forced to convert them to classrooms. He decided to run for president of the school’s parents association, was elected, and soon thereafter became the head of the Community School Board in District

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

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    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

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  • Manhattan Senate Debate Offers Another Round of IDC Argument, Few Ideas to Fix NYCHA or the MTA

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    Sen. Alcántara, Jackson, & Leon (l-r) during the MNN debate


    Roughly three weeks before the September 13 primary elections, three candidates running for the Democratic nomination in state Senate District 31 – an area that spans the west coast of Midtown and the Upper West Side before encompassing most of Northern Manhattan – debated the incumbent’s involvement with the now defunct Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) and discussed some of the district’s most pressing issues, including those regarding transit, public and affordable housing, and

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  • Rematch of Tight Manhattan Senate Primary Takes Shape in Different Political Environment

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    Sen. Alcántara, middle (photo: @NY31Alcantara)


    Both are Democrats with a steady history of politics and activism in New York. Both graduated from in-state universities and began their careers by working with labor unions. Both are people of color and have participated in the political arena while being the only one of their demographic in the room. On virtually every policy issue, they agree, yet the two -- Marisol Alcántara and Robert Jackson -- are engaged in a nasty political race that will be decided on primary election day, September 13.

    Alcántara is the

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Manhattan State Senate Rematch Centered on Breakaway Democrats

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


    August 1, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The Epicenter of the Fight Over the IDC, with guests State Senator Marisol Alcántara and challenger Robert Jackson

    marisol alcantara robert jackson stateMarisol Alcántara won a close, competitive four-way Democratic primary in 2016 to take her seat in the state

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  • Senate Candidates Outline Primary Campaigns Against ‘Trump Democrats’

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    Jessica Ramos and Robert Jackson


    The eight-member Independent Democratic Conference of the New York State Senate has drawn increasing ire from Democrats around the state, especially in New York City. Democratic senators who have broken away from their colleagues in the regular Democratic conference, IDC senators form a power-sharing agreement with Senate Republicans, helping the GOP enhance its razor thin majority. The Senate is the only current Republican stronghold in state government.

    Several factors, including the election of

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: IDC Challengers Robert Jackson & Jessica Ramos

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


    February 26, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: IDC Challengers Robert Jackson & Jessica Ramos

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    Jessica Ramos and Robert Jackson have launched Democratic primary challenges to two state senators who are members of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), a group of eight breakaway

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  • Anger, Protests & Potential Bellwether in Democratic Senate Primary Already Underway

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    (photos: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    “No fake Democrats! Take the New York Senate back!,” yelled the crowd of protestors huddled on the sidewalk outside 5030 Broadway in Inwood, near the northern tip of Manhattan. The demonstrators -- a cohort of about three dozen older New Yorkers, millennials, and one as young as 10 years old -- were one of a number of groups that had gathered at locations across the city on a recent Wednesday to protest at the offices of Democratic state Senators who the protesters believe have betrayed them. These senators are

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  • In Race to Replace Espaillat, Ramifications for Senate Control, His Power, and More

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    Espaillat, center, & Alcantara, right of center (photo: @Espaillat4NY)


    Marisol Alcantara, a labor organizer who ran a successful insurgent campaign for district leader in 2010, is seen by many in her Uptown district as a liberal firebrand. As Alcantara now pursues election to the New York State Senate, she is also fighting a proxy war for Senator Adriano Espaillat, who is about to be elected to Congress and Alcantara hopes to replace. The hotly contested Democratic primary for Espaillat’s Senate seat is becoming a test of his power and that

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