Corey Johnson Likely Next City Council Speaker + Compromised Right to Know Act Bill Passes

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Local News

  • Corey Johnson has apparently secured enough votes to become the next City Council Speaker by brokering a deal with the Bronx and Queens Democratic Party leaders. The official vote from City Council will happen in January. The decision was apparently timed by the Queens and Bronx Democratic machines to occur unbeknownst to the Mayor while he was in Iowa. Council Members Robert Cornegy and Jumaane Williams have refused to concede to Johnson, protesting the lack of people of color in power at City Hall.
  • Crain’s highlights that Johnson has received over $63,000 in campaign contributions from real estate interests, including $10k from the developer of the Hudson Yards, which is in his district.
  • The federal tax bill recently signed into law portends doom for both the State and City budget.
  • The City Council passed both parts of the Right to Know Act, with Council Member Ritchie Torres’ altered Intro 182-D securing a 27-20 margin, the narrowest Council vote of the entire de Blasio administration. Torres’ acquiescence to the Mayor and the NYPD and his justification in saying that the NYPD would not accept the original bill raises questions about separation of powers in the City government.
  • Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña is stepping down after four years of reversing many of the Bloomberg administration’s education policies but leaving issues surrounding school integration and underperforming schools unaddressed.
  • Uber is publicly supporting congestion pricing, as they believe that a tolling structure will draw New Yorkers out of their personal cars and into for-hire vehicles.
  • A waste equity bill supported by the Mayor and the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance was mysteriously killed in the City Council’s final 2017 session last week.
  • Infamous landlord Steve Croman will have to pay $8 million to tenants he harassed and will be subject to increased monitoring, as a result of a settlement reached yesterday with the State Attorney General’s office. It is the largest ever settlement with an individual landlord in New York.
  • A new coalition called the Upstate Downstate Housing Alliance hopes to build statewide support to win housing reforms for renters and public housing tenants.


  • NYC-based IDC Senators Marisol Alcantara (District 31, Upper Manhattan), Jesse Hamilton (District 20, Central Brooklyn), Jose Peralta (District 13, Northern Queens), and conference leader Jeff Klein (District 34, Bronx/Westchester) appear to be each facing organized and significant challenges in next September’s primaries.
  • Assembly Member Luis Sepúlveda (District 87, Parkchester) announced his plans to run for the State Senate’s 32nd district seat once Council Member-elect Ruben Diaz, Sr. vacates it in January and Cuomo sets a date for a special election. As the Bronx Democratic machine’s preferred pick, Sepúlveda has a likely path to victory, but there are fears that he may join the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) once elected.
  • Cuomo released a “Democracy Agenda” platform for New York State that includes long-sought progressive electoral reforms like early voting and automatic voter registration. Its prospects are questionable in a Republican/IDC controlled Senate.
  • City Hall is investigating State Senator Marty Golden’s (District 22, Southern Brooklyn) parking placard use. Meanwhile, Democratic challenger Ross Barkan is gathering media and fundraising attention in his push to defeat the Republican.

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