A Humanitarian Crisis at Rikers + City Council Speaker Race Heats Up

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Local News

  • Assemblymember Emily Gallagher, Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani, State Senator Julia Salazar, State Senator Jabari Brisport and other elected officials visited jails on Rikers Island, witnessing a humanitarian crisis of abuse and neglect. The New York Times joined these officials in calling on Governor Hochul to immediately sign the Less is More act into law.
  • Governor Hochul had New York State’s Parole Board release 191 inmates from Rikers Island after signing Assemblymember Phara Souffrant Forrest’s Less Is More bill, which limits the kinds of small violations of parole that can return a parolee to prison.
  • The Legal Aid Society filed two petitions in Queens court on Thursday, alleging that the city’s Department of Correction (DOC) is refusing to disclose how it ensures the safety of Rikers Island inmates during heat waves. The filing came one day after City Council held an emergency hearing on the deteriorating conditions at Rikers Island.
  • A driver fatally hit a baby in a stroller and injured two pedestrians in Clinton Hill last Saturday after being chased by the police for driving erratically. Transportation Alternatives says that the total number of people killed in traffic incidents in 2021 is now 188, about 30% over last year and on pace to be the deadliest year since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office with his Vision Zero plan to bring traffic deaths to zero by 2024.
  • The long-awaited Brooklyn Bridge bike lane opened on Tuesday. The two-way lane is protected from cars and pedestrians but just eight feet wide, which has sparked critiques from cyclists and activists.
  • The city is delayed in giving some students subsidized MetroCards to commute to and from school, resulting in city officials instructing students to jump turnstiles. Although schools have issued these students official notes to allow this, many are worried that law enforcement may attempt to intervene and endanger students.
  • A recent labor report finds that the city has regained less than 50% of the jobs lost during the pandemic. Public sector unions were able to protect their members, who are disproportionately women, from job loss.
  • Two appellate courts have overturned a judge’s previous decision to allow Byron Brown on the ballot for the general election Buffalo’s mayoral race. Brown was defeated in the democratic primary by DSA-endorsed India Walton. He will not appear on the general ballot.


  • City Council Speaker race is shaping up, with Keith Powers (District 4, Midtown East), Carlina Rivera (District 2, East Village), Justin Brannan (District 43, Bay Ridge), Francisco Moya (District 21, Corona), and Adrienne Adams (District 32, Jamaica) each jockeying for the support of Eric Adams, Democratic Party leadership, and other power brokers in the City.
  • The New York State legislature’s Democratic supermajority is likely to renege on the state’s 2014 law establishing nonpartisan redistricting and instead gerrymander the state to secure new Democratic congressional seats.
  • Jacobin interviewed Joel Brooks, a union organizer running for Jersey City Council this November with a chance to be New Jersey’ first elected socialist in a century.

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