2019 City Budget Proposal + NYC-DSA endorses Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

"Divestment"

Local News

  • Bill De Blasio presented his 2019 budget proposal. Included was an additional $125 million for 854 NYC schools that De Blasio said were underfunded in the New York State budget. Missing was funding for the Fair Fares program supported by the majority of New York’s City Council.
  • The Republican State Senate says it will no longer rush through Gov. Cuomo’s appointments, as it did last year with Cuomo’s appointment of Joe Lhota to run the MTA.
  • The MTA released its plan to overhaul New York City’s flagging bus system.
  • The executive order signed by Governor Cuomo to restore voting rights to parolees does not actually restore voting rights to parolees.
  • Meetings of the NYPD’s “Build the Block” initiative, which had a $3.5 million advertising budget that was primarily aimed at young people and communities skeptical of the police, have primarily attracted the same constituents already attending Community Board meetings and Precinct Council meetings: typically elderly residents, or BID representatives, complaining about parking or homelessness, and demanding more enforcement of petty crimes.
  • Former Black Panther and Black Liberation Army member Herman Bell has been freed on parole.
  • New NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza tweeted a video of Manhattan parents angrily opposing efforts to desegregate schools. The video was taken at a hearing on a plan to reserve spots in Upper West Side middle schools for students scoring below grade level.
  • Seven of the 15 members of the Mayor’s Charter Revision Commission have donated to one of De Blasio’s previous campaigns. The City Council passed a bill to create its own commission on reforming the charter, which it claims will be protected from conflicts of interest – although the Mayor would still pick four members of that commission.
  • New York’s Rent Guidelines Board passed a preliminary proposal to allow rent increases for the second year running on rent stabilized apartments.

Elections

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was officially endorsed by NYC-DSA in her challenge against Queens Democratic Party boss and current Congress Member Joe Crowley (NY-01).
  • Results are in for the 11 state level special elections that took place on April 24th. A special election in Westchester officially tipped the State Senate to a 32 Democrat majority, but Brooklyn Democrat Simcha Felder (District 17, Borough Park) announced that he would continue to caucus with Republicans for at least the rest of the year, ensuring continued GOP control of the chamber at least until November’s elections.
  • The New York State AFL-CIO, fresh off of a Dan Donovan endorsement, likely will endorse Cuomo for re-election this fall after they declined to support him in 2014.
  • After Cynthia Nixon rolled out a progressive environmental platform, Cuomo stalled a controversial natural gas pipeline project and proposed a plastic bag ban that is unlikely to pass through the legislature this year.
  • Ross Barkan, who is running for the Democratic nomination to face State Senator Marty Golden, called on Golden to distance himself from a Republican fundraiser featuring former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka as a keynote speaker.
  • Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr, Public Advocate Tish James, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams are taking significant steps towards 2021 mayoral campaigns, with Diaz already filing official papers for a run.

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