Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics


Gotham Votes 2013

Gotham Votes

East Harlem District Debate on Affordable Housing Turns Ugly


What could have been a straight-forward debate between the candidates running for City Council’s 8th District on Tuesday turned into a noisy, raucous event with plenty of unexpected audience participation.

"She’s a millionaire and living in public housing!," shouted one audience member, pointing at incumbent Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito. "She’s a millionaire!"

Gathered in East Harlem’s Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, the candidates took a range questions but were most passionate in talking about housing and affordability within the district. The district includes parts of northern Manhattan and the South Bronx, and is home to the country's second highest concentration of public housing units.

Read more: East Harlem District Debate on Affordable Housing Turns Ugly

Outside Money, Scandal Play Into Queens Council Race

NEW YORK — The future of the 19th City Council District seat in northeast Queens was thrown into flux in April when the officeholder was arrested in a bribery scheme to sell a spot on the Republican mayoral ballot.

Dan Halloran was preparing to run for a possible second term in the City Council, but announced in May that he would not seek re-election following his arrest.

Six candidates — five Democrats and one Republican — are now vying to replace Halloran and represent the district. The Democrats running include Halloran's former chief of staff, a member of the Vallone political family, a former assemblyman, an urban planner and a former state senate press secretary. The winner will represent one of the larger geographic districts in Queens that was redefined during last year’s district process and spans from the tip of the College Point neighborhood to Little Neck bordering Long Island.

Read more: Outside Money, Scandal Play Into Queens Council Race

Campaign Trail: De Blasio Surges. Again.

A Quinnipiac University poll released today revealed Bill de Blasio is leading the way with 36 percent — four points shy of avoiding a run-off — with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former Comptroller Bill Thompson trailing behind with 21 and 20 percent, respectively. [Capital New York]

The New York Police Department reportedly labelled several area mosques as terrorist organizations, leading to at least a dozen unsubstantiated investigations into these mosques and their patrons. [AP]

Comptroller and mayoral candidate John Liu promised to audit NYPD’s Intelligence Unit in light of AP’s mosque surveillance report. [Capital New York]

Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to release weekly updates on NYPD crime stats and city lawyers urge Judge to postpone policy reform as numbers show sharp decrease in stop-and-frisks. [Daily News]

The first live televised debate between the Republican mayoral candidates airs tonight on CBS at 7 p.m.. Stream it here.

City Council Candidates To Discuss Affordable Housing In East Harlem

NEW YORK — The growing threat of gentrification in East Harlem is forcing residents, community leaders, and City Council candidates to discuss affordable housing in one of the most diverse working-class communities in Manhattan.

The candidates vying for New York City’s 8th District — incumbent City Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito, Ralina Cardona, Sean Garner, Gwen Goodwin, Tamika Humphreys and Ed Santos — are expected to discuss their policy ideas for preserving and encouraging affordable housing at a forum tonight.

Marina Ortiz, founder of East Harlem Preservation, said the neighborhood is facing the possibility of losing its character and historical richness because of the rise in “luxury developments that look nothing like the rest of the neighborhood.” The district spans from East Harlem north to Mott Haven in the South Bronx.

Angel Mescain, assistant district manager of the Community Board 11 of Manhattan, said affordable housing has always been key to East Harlem’s diversity. Rising home prices “affects the ability of the local housing market to serve lower and middle income households,” he said.

Ortiz said the median income of a household in East Harlem, around $20,000, is far less than the median income of the city as a whole, which is $63,000 for a family of four. “Even when affordable housing is developed, young adults and families in the neighborhood cannot afford to move in so we lose that next generation,” she said.

The forum, which begins at 6 p.m., is co-sponsored by East Harlem Preservation and [email protected] It will to be held at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College
2180 Third Ave.

Campaign Trail: Weekend Roundup

The Times endorsed City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for the Democratic nomination for mayor in the primary; it endorsed former subways chief Joe Lhota for the Republican nomination. (The Times Editorial Board)

A look at mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio's handling of Hilary Clinton's 2000 Senate race finds he "could be agonizingly inefficient in a high-pressure, ever-shifting situation." (NYT)

The clashing political ambitions of Quinn and De Blasio. (The Daily News)

Candidates for public advocate gave "deeply populist and liberal answers to questions during a televised debate Sunday but clashed over a range of issues." (The Wall Street Journal)

"Many voters have already made up their minds, by looking backward and judging the lives and careers of the contenders." (New York Magazine)


Piling On De Blasio In The Democratic Mayoral Debate

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

NEW YORK — Tag team. That was the phrase that seems to have endured since last night’s first official Democratic primary debate, where Public Advocate Bill de Blasio was the main target of fiery attacks by his rivals.

The tallest guy on the stage by far weathered attacks on his record as a legislator, his fight to keep struggling hospitals open and his television ad in which his son Dante de Blasio claims his dad was the only candidate who would end the New York Police Department’s current use of stop-and-frisk.

Read more: Piling On De Blasio In The Democratic Mayoral Debate

EXCLUSIVE: Labor Leader Disputes Quote Used By De Blasio Campaign [UPDATED]

NEW YORK — One of Christine Quinn's biggest labor supporters is spitting mad with Bill de Blasio.

Hector Figueroa, president of SEIU 32BJ — the city's biggest service workers union — called the public advocate's divisiveness "sad and pathetic" today after the De Blasio campaign floated a quote from Figueroa after the Council's original vote on the racial profiling bill.

"For Bill, the issue is always about principle; we're about getting results," Figueroa said after a Quinn press event earlier today. After being shown the quote, which was distributed in late April, Figueroa told the Gotham Gazette that he had never seen the quote before.

Read more: EXCLUSIVE: Labor Leader Disputes Quote Used By De Blasio Campaign [UPDATED]

Development And Its Discontents In Race For Quinn's Council Seat


Corrected version. Please see notes at the end of this story.

NEW YORK — Manhattan’s 3rd City Council District, covering the West Village, Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, has been altered immeasurably in the last decade. Depending on your perspective, the last 12 years under the leadership of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the district’s current representative, have either destroyed the area, or remade it into a fabulously exciting international destination. Or both.

The race to succeed Quinn, who is term-limited and running for mayor, has come down to a contest between Yetta Kurland, an attorney in private practice who challenged the speaker in 2009, and Corey Johnson, chair of Community Board 4.

Read more: Development And Its Discontents In Race For Quinn's Council Seat

Campaign Trails: The Latino Vote & More

TONIGHT: Live video stream of the first official Democratic mayoral primary election debate on Gotham Gazette. 7 pm

Mayoral candidates step up efforts to win the Latino vote. (Wall Street Journal)

Scott Stringer Appears on Gov. David Paterson radio show to reinforce the former governor’s endorsement. (Huffington Post)

Eliot Spitzer calls for reforms in NYC public housing system and rejects Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to fingerprint tenants in his first policy proposal of the election. (The Associated Press)

Mayoral Candidate Christine Quinn releases web campaign to slam de Blasio as a flip-flopper in ‘A Tale of Two de Blasios’. (Daily News)


Not Much New In Thompson Plan To Reform Stop-And-Frisk


Announcing himself as the first mayoral candidate to lay out a specific plan to reform stop-and-frisk, Bill Thompson said earlier today that if he is elected he would create a more accountable police department that protects New Yorker's rights.

"As I've said throughout this campaign, protecting our civil rights and preventing crime must not be competing ideas," the former comptroller said. "As a mayor, I will keep New Yorkers safe and protect their constitutional rights."

Standing in front of police headquarters this morning, Thompson not only vowed to find a commissioner who would be willing to reform how police officers conduct stops but also reevaluate how the New York Police Department tracks incidents and even assigns officers. In a detailed outline of what he would do as mayor, Thompson prioritized ending racial profiling by eliminating quotas, training officers to base stops on better-defined actionable suspicion, tracking of stops via the department's CompStat system, and providing those stopped with a written note of why they were stopped.

Read more: Not Much New In Thompson Plan To Reform Stop-And-Frisk

Print Friendly and PDF

Editor's Choice

Gotham Gazette: 3 Issues the Governor Says Will Form Basis of His 2020 Agenda3 Issues the Governor Says Will Form Basis of His 2020 Agenda Gotham Gazette: Charter Revision Commission Puts 20 Proposals Toward November Ballot Charter Revision Commission Puts 20 Proposals Toward November Ballot Gotham Gazette: How De Blasio Fared in Albany This Year How De Blasio Fared in Albany This Year Gotham Gazette: The Max & Murphy Podcast The Max & Murphy Podcast