Gotham Gazette

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Zellnor Myrie

Zellnor Myrie

  • state senate hearing

    State Senate elections hearing (photo: @CitizensUnionNY)


    The State Senate analyzed the execution of the June primary elections in a major hearing Tuesday that included testimony from election administrators for New York City and State, as well as counties, and election reform experts. The lawmakers not only examined how elections were run, but the systems and structures that undergirded their performance -- and, as many said, enabled their failures. 

    Tuesday's event was unusual in that it served as the culmination of a series of public hearings held

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  • Senator Myrie Brooklyn Albany

    Senator Zellnor Myrie (photo: NY Senate)


    After a novel round of public hearings throughout the state, the New York State Senate elections committee is gearing up to hold its traditional post-election oversight hearing, where the New York City and State boards of elections will have to answer questions about what went right and what went wrong in the primaries earlier this year.

    On September 21, lawmakers will have their perennial conversation with representatives from the boards, as well as good government groups and other election experts, where

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  • statedwide public meeting

    (l-r) Top: Ivelisse Cuevas-Molina, Ross Brady & Jack Martins; Middle: John Flateau & David Imamura; Bottom: John Conway


    New York's legislative redistricting commission is moving into its next phase following a series of public hearings intended to get a sense of the contours of "communities of interest," a new criteria being incorporated into the line-drawing process for the first time this cycle, in addition to constitutional and statutory requirements.

    The commission, itself a nascent entity, held nine

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  • senator zell myrie budget hearing

    State Senator Myrie (photo: NY Senate Media Services)


    The New York State Senate election committee may be breaking the mold of cyclical and predictable debate about voting administration and its discontents with a series of public hearings meant to broadly chronicle the experiences and ideas of voters across the state.

    The committee is holding four hearings "in every corner of the state" to give a platform to voters ahead of the traditional post-election oversight hearing where lawmakers interrogate election

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  • edit width despair hope resillence

    State Senator Myrie, a co-author, with other electeds and advocates


    2020 was a year of tragedy and despair, hope and resilience. In 2021 we must take long overdue steps to address the myriad injustices laid bare by the pandemic, and others plainly evident well before COVID-19.

    We must shore up our medical system and our schools. We must rebuild our social safety net. And we must once and for all, decidedly and without hesitation, address the long-standing harms perpetrated by the criminal legal system against

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  • waits line hundred

    A long early voting line (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City's first early voting period in a presidential general election saw 1.1 million in-person votes cast, hours of waiting across the city, and the threat of a court challenge to expand voting options. Experts and administrators didn't know exactly what to expect because of the unprecedented confluence of the coronavirus pandemic, universal absentee voting, and Trump-era political zeal.

    The results point to a number of potential changes that could improve the option in the

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  • online voter sep

    Voter registration (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    A bill that would have made it possible for many thousands of New York City residents to register to vote online, which passed the State Senate but stalled in the Assembly earlier this year, is unlikely to pass before the general election registration deadline and would be too late to be implemented even if it did, officials say.

    The legislation, first introduced in the summer of 2019, would allow the New York City Campaign Finance Board to open the online voter registration portal it created

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  • Myrie Gianaris State Senate voting

    State Senators & election officials (photo: Senator Gianaris' office)


    After the June primaries, when tens of thousands of absentee ballots were rejected on technical grounds or never cast because they were mailed to voters late or not at all, state lawmakers passed a series of measures aimed at correcting some of those mishaps. But several other bills introduced by legislators and pushed by voting rights advocates that could prevent thousands of ballots from being thrown out are still on the table as the clock ticks toward the

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  • 2 youth wave

    Queens Assembly candidate Khaleel Anderson (photo: @KhaleelAnderson)


    A younger generation of Democratic political candidates — which has grown up amid the Great Recession, growing inequality, rising costs of higher education and massive student loan debt, the ticking time-bomb that is climate change, and other crises including, now, the coronavirus pandemic and its fallout — has been offering ambitious policy goals and great urgency around achieving them, resonating with voters and finding success in their runs for office.

    In recent election cycles, New York

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  • NYPD officers oath academy graduates

    New NYPD officers are sworn in (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    In the wake of the killing of George Floyd and other Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement, the Qualified Immunity Doctrine has come under increased scrutiny from activists and elected officials. Simply put, when applied to police officers, qualified immunity means that officers can rarely be subject to civil lawsuits in their individual capacities over allegations of excessive force, brutality, or other misconduct while on the job. In other words, they

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  • Myrie Senate

    State Senator Myrie in the Senate chamber (photo: State Senate)


    After June saw drastic shifts in how voting in New York is conducted, elections administrators, state legislators, and watchdogs have a long list of changes they want to see enacted before the general election this fall. But above all they want clarity from Governor Andrew Cuomo.

    Many of the key players in New York City and State elections testified Tuesday at an oversight hearing held by both houses of the Democrat-controlled Legislature examining the June primary, its successes and

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  • 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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  • 3 maj leader asc

    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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  • 1 calls for grow

    Mayor de Blasio on line to vote (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Hours-long lines for early voting in New York City have become the latest fodder for New York’s highest elected officials to renew calls to overhaul the New York City Board of Elections. The general request comes from some government leaders every election cycle but has never been followed with action by those in power and there is little indication that this time will be different.

    Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, three of the

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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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