- Politico detailed NYC-DSA’s rank and file strategy to push the City’s unions to the left. One of the most conservative and Cuomo-aligned unions in the City, the Hotel Trades Council, is believed to have recently ordered its staffers to spy on NYC-DSA chapter meetings.
- This past Monday, Gregory Russ began his tenure as NYCHA chairperson. Formerly head of Minneapolis’s public housing authority, Russ has faced criticism for embracing the controversial federal RAD program, which allows private non-profit developers to control public housing units through funding for repairs. Russ replaces former NYCHA chairperson Shola Olatoye, who resigned in April following a lead paint inspection scandal. Russ will be paid an annual salary of $402,628, a 73% increase from his predecessor’s.
- City Council members Mark Gjonaj and Margaret Chin have proposed a bill to legalize hostels in NYC.
- The New York Times’ crime......
- At the conclusion of the recount and court case in the race for Queens District Attorney, Tiffany Cabán trailed by just 55 votes and conceded. The impact of her campaign has been felt throughout New York City, and the progressive coalition that backed her, including Queens DSA, is setting its sights on next year’s races.
- The Queens machine also awarded a State Supreme Court seat to a judge who lost his Civil Court primary in June.
- A Manhattan judge ruled in favor of a group of Fordham University students who were barred from forming a campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine.
- The developers of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park are badly behind on their agreement to build 2250 units of affordable housing by 2025, and will face steep fines from the State if they miss their deadline.
- A New York......
- A police department administrative judge ruled that Officer Daniel Pantaleo should be fired for killing Eric Garner with an illegal chokehold. The ruling comes over five years after Garner’s death.
- New York City immigration courts have the largest backlog of any city in the country. With 116,828 cases awaiting trial, judges face a quota of 700 cases per year. Additionally, translators are limited, meaning many asylum-seekers must work with translators through the phone.
- Last Monday, Governor Cuomo signed a bill decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana and creating a system to expunge the records of those with certain marijuana convictions. The legislation removes criminal penalties for possession of less than two ounces of marijuana. It reduces the penalty for possessing less than 1 ounce of marijuana to a $50 fine, and imposes a maximum $200 fine for possessing between 1 and......
- During last weekend’s heat wave, Con Edison intentionally cut power to 33,000 customers in southeast Brooklyn, including several majority black neighborhoods that rank highly on the city’s heat vulnerability index. Con Edison said that cutting power to these customers was necessary to prevent a larger blackout that would have knocked the power out for those residents anyway.
- Con Edison’s recent high profile failures have opened up organizing opportunities for environmental justice activists, including NYC-DSA’s Ecosocialist Working Group, to bring debate around a public takeover of the electric grid into the mainstream. Council Member Antonio Reynoso (District 34, Williamsburg) has firmly come out in favor of a public energy grid, and even Mayor de Blasio raised the prospect of a public takeover without fully committing to it.
- On Wednesday, the MTA Board approved a major reorganization plan that will......
- After the US Department of Justice declined to prosecute NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo for federal civil rights violations in connection with the death of Eric Garner, political pressure is increasing on Mayor de Blasio to fire the officer. Leaders in the city’s African-American community, want De Blasio to see that Pantaleo does not escape all punishment for killing Garner while arresting him for selling loose cigarettes.
- City Limits examines how last week’s dangerous heat wave could be a preview of New York City as climate change worsens. Nearly a third of seniors were out of reach of the City’s existing network of “cooling centers” during last week’s heat wave. Streetsblog asks why the Mayor disregards cars as a source of heat and pollution on hot days.
- The warden at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, who oversaw the
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.