De Blasio introduces austerity budget + Yang enters the mayoral race

Local News

  • Mayor De Blasio unveiled a new budget, reduced by $5 billion from the budget he proposed last month due to a sharp decrease in property taxes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Progressive lawmakers and activists were dismayed by State Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousin’s pick for the Senate Finance Committee secretary. The position, which plays a critical role in budget negotiations, was given to David Friedfel, a policy analyst from the Citizens Budget Commission, a right-leaning fiscal policy think tank.
  • Newly elected State Senator Jabari Brisport (District 25, central Brooklyn) was appointed to the Senate Housing Committee, where he will join sophomore Senator Julia Salazar (District 18, north Brooklyn).
  • State Attorney General Letitia James sued the NYPD and called for an independent federal monitor of the agency, detailing extensive civil rights violations within their response to local protests against Minneapolis police......
Read more

Cuomo, De Blasio trade blame for vaccination rollout + Celebrating 200 Issues

Local News 

  • Only 34% of the City’s supply of the Covid-19 vaccine has been used, with some having even been thrown away. After Mayor De Blasio put blame on the Governor’s strict eligibility rules, Cuomo announced that Phase 1B, which includes patients aged 75 and over, as well as education workers, first responders, public transit workers, and public safety workers, will begin today. Several of the factors for the slow rollout cited by De Blasio seem to contradict earlier statements from his own administration.
  • The City will open five 24-hour COVID vaccine sites as it scales up its vaccination operation. Overnight subway service will remain suspended, despite calls from transit advocates and some elected officials to restore service in order to support the overnight vaccination effort.
  • In response to the January 6 Capitol riot, NYC-DSA organized a protest of several thousand that......
Read more

NYS Eviction Moratorium In-Depth + The Thorn Reader Survey

Local News 

  • In an emergency legislative session, the State Assembly and Senate passed an extension of the residential eviction moratorium, suspending proceedings for 60 days and allowing most tenants to apply for relief through May 1. 
  • A number of new state laws went into effect starting January 1, including an expansion of paid family leave.
  • Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will nominate Housing Justice for All coordinator and NYC-DSA organizer Cea Weaver to serve on the City Planning Commission.
  • Mayor Bill De Blasio says that the City will administer one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine by the end of this month.
  • Gov. Cuomo issued an executive order raising the penalties on providers that disregard the vaccine prioritization order, which critics say will slow the vaccine’s distribution.
  • The federal aid package passed last week includes $4 billion for the MTA, which will prevent......
Read more

Jail Population Increases Despite Reforms + Mayoral Race Takes Shape

Local News

  • Despite recent bail reforms, the city’s jail population has increased this year, primarily due to people being held on pre-trial detention. 
  • Two major redevelopment projects on Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights experienced significant setbacks as a result of activist pressure. A lawsuit filed in part by DSA-endorsed City Council candidate Michael Hollingsworth (District 35, Crown Heights) to overturn a 2018 rezoning on Franklin between Carroll and Crown Streets was successful. Mayor de Blasio also announced his opposition to a project at the Spice Factory site one block to the south.
  • Despite COVID-19’s devastating impact on incarcerated populations, Governor Cuomo has granted only 12 sentencing commutations, of over 2,500 requested, in 2020.
  • Representatives of various industries and unions, including ride-sharing services, transit, and hotel and hospitality, are pressuring Governor Cuomo and State officials to include their workers in the next round......
Read more

Damning City Report on NYPD + Heastie Resists Rent Relief

Local News

  • A report from the City’s Department of Investigation confirmed that the NYPD escalated violence at this summer’s protests over the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The report blamed the Commissioner and the other higher ups in the Department for a failed strategy and enforcement policy. Mayor De Blasio, who had previously defended the police’s handling of the protests, has apologized.
  • Ahead of a possible emergency session of the State Legislature, New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is unwilling to commit to either an eviction moratorium or tax increases of $4 billion. The Senate reportedly supports both measures.
  • Governor Cuomo announced a revamped Covid rent relief program after strict eligibility requirements left $60 million of the federal money initially allocated unspent. Housing advocates question whether the changes are enough to address the rent arrears tenants face, and whether there......
Read more

Subscribe to The Thorn

The Thorn is a weekly update on what's happening in local New York politics from a socialist perspective. Please sign up with us to receive an email every Monday morning.

Donate