Gotham Gazette

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Zellnor Myrie

Zellnor Myrie

  • gov cuomo vote

    Governor Cuomo at a Census conference early this year (photo: governor's office)


    After months of relative silence about the ongoing 2020 Census count and with New York at risk of a large and costly undercount, Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday re-launched a state effort to urge New Yorkers to fill out the once-a-decade federal questionnaire.

    The COVID-19 pandemic turned the 2020 Census on its head, forcing officials at the city, state, and federal levels to reconsider outreach plans and pivot awareness campaigns. The self-response deadline was extended from

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  • parollee restor oped

    Questioning which New Yorkers can go to the polls (photo: Gotham Gazette)


    Practicing social distancing is by no means easy, but the guidelines are simple: maintain six feet of distance from others, avoid crowded environments, public bathrooms, and shared dining facilities, and to blow off steam, go outside. Stick to the guidelines, health officials assure us, and we can all help protect each other, especially the vulnerable. 

    But many of the most vulnerable people during the COVID-19 crisis are those whom most of us will never see and for whom social

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  • state senators

    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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    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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  • voting

    Coronavirus complicates voter registration efforts & voting itself (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    A bill before the state Legislature expanding online voter registration in New York City has taken on particular urgency amid the coronavirus pandemic, its sponsors say, as in-person voter registration drives become impossible and New Yorkers are told to avoid leaving their homes but for essentials and emergencies.

    The New York City Board of Elections currently only allows an individual to register to vote online through the Department of

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  • central bk census

    Senator Myrie, Assemblymember Richardson, and volunteers (photo: Vashon Hill Jr.)


    Predominantly black communities often have among the lowest response rates to the U.S. Census, the once-a-decade count of the country’s population mandated by the Constitution. In New York City, those and other hard-to-count groups contributed to an especially low response rate in 2010, which can hurt New York’s ability to bring in federal funding, among other important negative consequences,

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  • bill online voter

    State Senator Myrie, middle, is pushing his online voter registration bill (photo: @SenatorMyrie)


    Last year, the New York City Board of Elections hobbled a City Council effort to create an online voter registration portal for city residents, claiming it conflicted with state law. But the state Legislature may take steps to correct that situation this year by clarifying the law and allowing an online portal that would act as a test case for a statewide system slated to launch next year.

    The New York City Council passed ...

  • gov cuomo casts

    (photo: the governor's office)


    Few New York elections go by without controversy, and this year’s relatively quiet slate has been no exception. As voters head to the polls during the inaugural early voting period and heading into Election Day, one major question that came up during the June primary continues to hang over the general election.

    A bill that could change the way provisional affidavit ballots are counted as soon as this year is languishing in Albany, having passed both houses of the state Legislature in June. The bill would make it harder to disqualify

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  • union sq counts

    (photo: @NYCImmigrants)


    New York City is moving full steam ahead with its effort to ensure that the 2020 Census counts each and every resident of the five boroughs, with millions of dollars in funding and a four-pillar strategy for outreach to hard-to-count communities. But New York State’s effort seems to have stalled and there is little indication that state authorities are moving with urgency despite the many billions of dollars in federal funding and congressional representation at stake.

    In the 2010 Census, New York City residents’ self-response rate to the

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  • krueg myrie 600

    l-r: Liz Krueger (photo: @LizKrueger) & Zellnor Myrie (photo: @zellnor4ny)


    The New York State Legislature, under full Democratic control for the first time in a decade, had an exceptionally productive 2019 legislative session in Albany. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie ushered through ...

  • mryie krueger wbai 600px

    (photo: NYSenate)


    June 26, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Reflecting on the Year in Albany, with Senators Krueger & Myrie

    wbai krueger myrieState Senators Liz Krueger of Manhattan and Zellnor Myrie of Brooklyn joined the show to reflect on the year that was in Albany, the January through June session with Democrats in full control of state government for the first

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  • myrie avr

    Senator Zellnor Myrie at Thursday's pre-hearing rally (photo: @SenatorMyrie)


    Following several reforms to the state’s election and voting laws that were passed by the state Legislature and signed by Governor Cuomo earlier this year, the New York State Senate’s elections committee seems poised to move ahead with legislation to implement a system of automatic voter registration.

    At a public hearing on Thursday in Albany, the elections committee, chaired by Democratic Senator Zellnor Myrie of Brooklyn, heard testimony from experts, election officials, voting reform advocates, and

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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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  • express poll e poll book

    (photo: Elections Systems & Software)


    As Democrats in the state Legislature continue a rapid pace of passing legislation to start the new session, the state Senate seems poised to advance another round of election and voting reforms, including approving the use of electronic poll books to administer elections.

    Electronic poll books, used in at least 34 states and the District of Columbia, are a fairly simple but significant instrument in

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  • cuomo smiling andrewcuomo

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: @andrewcuomo)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo, emboldened after a sizeable Democratic primary victory, and an invigorated progressive movement with recent wins of its own, are again forced to grapple with the rift between them, as the factions must decide what steps they are willing to take to unite in the aftermath of a contentious primary season.

    Facing a handful of general election opponents

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  • mxm logo

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


    August 15, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Central Brooklyn Senate Primary Tests IDC Awareness with Zellnor Myrie and Senator Jesse Hamilton

    myrie hamilton 277State Senator Jesse Hamilton is a member of the now-defunct Independent Democratic Conference, a group of Democrats who caucused with Republicans for seven years and,

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  • myrie w congressmembers via indivisble bk

    Zellnor Myrie receives the endorsement of Rep. Clarke, among others (photo: @BKIndivisible)


    A wide swath of central Brooklyn is hosting its second contentious Democratic primary race this year. After a surprisingly close congressional primary in June, voters in a largely overlapping state Senate district will vote in September in another race where an incumbent is facing an upstart challenger.

    Brooklyn Congressional District 9...

  • liu and ramos via jessicaramos

    John Liu and Jessica Ramos (photo: @JessicaRamos)


    The deadline for candidates for state office to file their latest campaign finance disclosures with the state Board of Elections was Monday, July 16. The disclosures show candidate fundraising and expenditures from the last six months, from January to July.

    All 213 seats in the state Legislature -- 150 Assembly and 63 Senate -- are on the ballot this year, but few incumbents face competitive races. The state Assembly is overwhelmingly composed of Democrats, most of whom do not have a

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  • Jesse Hamilton IDC

    Members of the IDC, including Sen. Hamilton (center), and others (photo: @IDC4NY)


    A recent phone poll surveying residents of Senator Jesse Hamilton’s Brooklyn district asked residents to react to a number of statements associating the Independent Democratic Conference with President Donald Trump, among a variety of other questions, according to two residents of the district.

    The polling was conducted “on behalf of a Democrat regarding state Senate elections in September 2018” by the Florida-based Kalamata Group, one resident, who took meticulous notes during

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  • IDC opponents

    Zellnor Myrie, center, and other IDC challengers


    The Working Families Party is escalating its efforts to unseat members of the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference of the New York State Senate. The WFP, a progressive political party that regularly cross-endorses Democrats, is rolling out additional endorsements of candidates challenging IDC members in this year’s elections, which include all the seats in the state Legislature.

    The IDC has a power-sharing agreement with Senate Republicans that helps keep the GOP in control of the upper chamber of

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  • zellnor myrie event

    Zellnor Myrie at a campaign event (photo: @zellnor4ny)


    Despite a tentative unity deal between the Senate Democratic conference and the breakaway Democrats in the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), a number of progressives are pushing forward in their bids to unseat the so-called “turncoat Democrats.”

    Challengers of the eight-member IDC, which forms a ruling coalition government with Senate Republicans, say they have drummed up broad grassroots support, as evidenced by pulling impressive fundraising numbers over a short period of time, with

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