Council Split over Industry City Rezoning + Brooklyn Census Responses Lag

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Local News:

  • Council Members Ritchie Torres (CD-15, Bronx), Donovan Richards (CD-31, Queens), and Robert Cornegy (CD-36, Bedstuy) have called for the city council to overrule Carlos Menchaca’s decision to oppose the Industry City rezoning. The rezoning plan has been opposed by various community groups who cite concerns of displacement and gentrification.
  • With less than 100 days before the deadline, nearly half of Brooklyn residents haven’t responded to the 2020 Census. Brooklyn’s response rate lags behind that of the City and State, and is far lower than the national response rate of 63%.
  • Rich Upper West Side residents are campaigning to kick homeless New Yorkers out of emergency shelters in their neighborhoods.
  • Eviction courts are preparing to release new guidance this week on whether and how they will treat eviction filings. In preparation, tenants repeatedly rallied in front of the Brooklyn housing court to demand that eviction trials do not restart, and that the City cancel rent.
  • Governor Cuomo signed a bill extending the “look-back window” for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, which will allow the victims to pursure legal action against their accused abusers for another year, outside of the bounds of the standard statute of limitations.
  • Utility giant NRG Energy Power is reviving plans to replace its oil burning generators in Astoria with gas units, and has come under fire from climate activists for not moving towards fossil fuel-free infrastructure.
  • After weeks of organizing, a group of 30 homeless New Yorkers won a major concession from the City on Thursday: the Department of Homeless Services pledged to pay for them to stay in empty hotel rooms during the remainder of the pandemic.
  • Teachers, parents, students, and community members gathered outside of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) office on Monday to protest the unsafe reopening of schools. The rally was organized by the MORE (Movement of Rank and File Educators) faction of the UFT.
  • Police Commissioner Dermot Shea has publicly criticized and disregarded the policy aims of his boss, Mayor de Blasio, but de Blasio has notably refused to fire or reprimand Shea.
  • New York City’s Health Commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, has resigned her post, claiming that the De Blasio administration sidelined her department during the height of the pandemic.
  • Summer Youth Programs are still reeling from COVID-related budget cuts and a last-minute overhaul of the programming, thanks to a series of decisions that one non-profit says “sits squarely on the shoulders of the de Blasio administration.”


  • Gotham Gazette analyzed the crowded field of candidates – which includes DSA member Elisa Crespo and speculation of Samelys López – running in the presumed special election to replace Ritchie Torres in New York City Council District 15, likely to be scheduled in February or March 2021. Incumbent City Council Member Torres declared victory in the Bronx’s 15th Congressional District Democratic Primary, but Torres will not vacate his Council seat until after the general election on November 3rd.

  • A federal judge has ordered that the New York Board of Elections count ballots that arrived without a postmark that arrived on June 24 or June 25. Previously, the BOE was not counting these ballots, since there was no postmark to verify they were sent on June 23, but many post offices did not postmark the ballot because they were sent in pre-paid envelopes.

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