AOC Endorses Samelys Lopez  + Boris Santos Suspends Campaign For Assembly

Local News

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a willingness to turn over New York’s DMV database to federal immigration authorities, but without the Social Security numbers, after the federal government froze the “trusted traveler” program for New Yorkers.
  • The congestion pricing program may be delayed beyond its original start date of January 2021 pending a regulatory decision by the US Department of Transportation.
  • The Staten Island DA’s office is compiling an internal list of police officers it will not call to testify, for fear their testimony cannot be trusted. This comes after a similar list in the Brooklyn DA’s office was released following a FOIL request. 
  • State Attorney General Letitia James is suing the City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission for inflating the price of medallions.
  • Although the State’s ban on single-use plastic bags goes into effect March 1st, there is still some confusion among......
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Broker’s Fees Hang On (For Now) + de Blasio Endorses Bernie

Local News

  • Last week’s rule change that outlawed broker’s fees has been halted for at least a month by a state judge as a result of a lawsuit by the real estate industry.
  • New York State Senate Dems unveiled a proposal to roll back the bail reforms passed last year.
  • Brad Lander’s Reckless Driver Accountability Act passed, after an extra round of scrutiny from some lawyers.
  • With the launch of the new OMNY system, read about Cardvaark, the MTA’s ill fated MetroCard mascot.

Elections

  • Democratic operatives are speculating that Andrew Yang will run for mayor in 2021.
  • Mayor de Blasio endorsed Bernie Sanders for president.
  • Rep. Gregory Meeks, the chair of the Queens County Democratic Party, has endorsed Mike Bloomberg for President.
  • City Limits covered the housing platforms of incumbent Rep. Yvette Clarke (NY-9) and one......
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Brokers Fees Banned + Good Cause Eviction Moves Forward

LOCAL NEWS

  • In an addendum to last year’s package of rent regulation bills, New York effectively banned the practice of making tenants pay brokers fees. The real estate industry is up in arms over the rule change, vowing legal action.
  • State Senator Julia Salazar’s good cause eviction bill was amended to allow for 3% rent increases instead of its original 1.5% amidst a new push to pass the legislation that includes support from Rep. Nydia Velazquez and DC37.
  • State Senator Zellnor Myrie is drafting the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, which would give tenants priority to purchase their building and covert it into a limited equity cooperative should a landlord choose to sell the property.
  • Amid a youth homelessness crisis, the City has gradually increased its shelter capacity for young people between 16 and 20 years old. However, advocates and Council Speaker......
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Fare-Evasion Enforcement Data Shows Racial Disparities + New Wave of NYC Bernie Endorsements

Local News:

  • Over 500 people gathered in Grand Central Terminal to protest escalated police presence on mass transit. Earlier in the week, new fare evasion data showed that NYPD has higher enforcement rates in high-poverty black and latinx neighborhoods.
  • A new independent union representing hundreds of City Council staffers has asked Speaker Corey Johnson for recognition, which he is expected to do.
  • Housing activists are renewing a push to pass State Senator Julia Salazar’s Good Cause Eviction bill, and they released a poll showing that a majority of New Yorkers support the legislation.
  • State Senator Brad Hoylman (District 27, Chelsea) has proposed a bill that would ban law enforcement in New York State from using facial recognition software.
  • Climate activists including NYC-DSA’s Ecosocialist Working Group disrupted a budget hearing in Albany, demanding that the State raise taxes on the wealthy......
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MTA Transit Chief Resigns + Council Member Espinal Resigns

Local News:

  • The MTA transit chief Andy Byford resigned on Thursday, after threatening to multiple times in the past year. Because part of Byford’s frustrations had to do with gubernatorial meddling into the scope of his work, this resignation is seen as a blow to Cuomo. In the wake of his resignation, some officials, including New York City Council Speaker Carey Johnson, are renewing calls for municipal control of the city’s trains and buses.

  • In his executive budget proposal on Tuesday, Governor Cuomo focused on Medicaid spending reductions as the primary way to close the State’s $6.1 billion budget deficit. Additionally, Cuomo announced a far lower increase in educational spending than experts say is needed. Despite these proposed cuts to spending, he touted continuing middle-class tax cuts and never discussed raising taxes on the wealthy.

  • Despite Mayor De Blasio pledging to......

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