- City Council member Laurie Cumbo announced her opposition to the Bedford Union Armory deal on Thursday, in a press conference with Scott Stringer, Letitia James, and Eric Adams, calling the proposal “gentrification at its worst.” The controversial plan has faced stiff opposition, including from Cumbo’s primary opponent Ede Fox, and a Green Party challenger and DSA member Jabari Brisport. Cumbo has vacillated on the deal up until now, and while her call for the Mayor to “go back to the drawing board” suggests that it is dead, some of the deal’s opponents fear that she will revive it after the election. Protesters who favored the deal showed up on Sunday to show their support.
- Delivery drivers at Clare Rose, a distributor of Budweiser in Long Island, have been striking since April 23rd. Several stores are reportedly refusing to carry Budweiser until a contract with the drivers has been met. Clare Rose has began advertising for permanent replacements of striking union members, in an apparent violation of federal law. The temporary non-union workers have been caught on video making egregious errors.
- The MTA put out a six-point improvement plan that it says was definitely NOT in response to a week of embarrassing delays and mismanagement. Transit advocates like the Riders Alliance are using this an occasion to point out Cuomo’s abysmal record on the issue. Cuomo has deliberately misrepresented his control over the MTA in an attempt to distance himself from the agency’s recent high profile failures.
- For the third year in a row, the Assembly overwhelmingly passed the New York Health Act, which would institute a single-payer universal health care system across the State. The bill currently appears to be one vote short in the State Senate, but DSA and others are organizing to win.
- Potentially illegal stipends paid to members of the State Senate (5 Republicans and 3 members of the IDC, a group of Democrats who vote with Republicans) are now officially under investigation.
- IDC members Jesse Hamilton and Marisol Alcantara hosted a roundtable with anti-Broken Windows activists, along with three members of the City Council’s Progressive Caucus. The failure of traditional Democrats on policing issues might help account for the IDC’s success in communities of color.
- NYC has enacted the Freelance Isn’t Free Act (FIFA) which the first law in the Nation to protect freelancers from non-payment or late payment; legally requiring payment within 30 days of completion.\
- Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of Brooklyn has announced that he will not challenge Mayor Bill de Blasio. He won a leadership position in the House Democratic conference last year and will hence be focusing on national politics from here on out. This further clears the way for De Blasio’s reelection.
- Hiram Monserrate has announced a campaign for the 21st Council District (North-Central Queens) against Julissa Ferreras-Copeland. Monserrate was previously a State Senator who took part in a proto-IDC coup that gave power to Republicans in 2009 before he was ejected from the Senate due to domestic violence charges. He also served prison time on federal corruption charges.
- The amount of money a candidate is required to have spent on their campaign in order to appear in NY’s mayoral primary debates has more than tripled since last year, now at $174,225. Police reform advocate Bob Gangi (and the furthest left candidate) has raised less than $7,000 but has loaned himself $45,000 more. Sal Albanese has raised almost half of the money required, but if he can’t raise (and spend!) the rest by September, De Blasio will not be required to debate fellow Democrats.
- A daycare owner, Moreen King, is joining the race for term-limited Darlene Mealy’s council seat (District 41, Bed-Stuy/Brownsville).
- The Campaign Finance Board’s most recent filing deadline shows DSA-endorsee Khader El-Yateem and and Justin Brannan nearly tied for raised donations to datein the race for the 43rd Council District.
- PENNSYLVANIA - In the Philadelphia DA’s race, a defense attorney who opposesthe death penalty, cash bail, and who has sued the police department 75 times won a decisive victory in the Democratic primary.
AT&T Weekend Strike
Over 35,000 AT&T workers in 36 states were striking at 1295 stores over the weekend. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) organized the strike after months of working without a contract, negotiating for wage increases to cover rising healthcare costs, a fair scheduling policy and security from outsourcing. AT&T has been sending more of its new jobs either overseas or to third-party non-union shops,
Stores across the country completely closed due to the strike including the Sunset Park and Wall Street store in NYC, but AT&T flew reps into NYC to keep some other stores open. DSA members made strong showings across the nation, in many cases representing more than half the picket line. Teamsters refused to deliver packages to AT&T., American Federation of Teachers, National Nurses United, New York State Nurses Association and the AFL-CIO also showed their support, with some some bringing food and coffee to the picketers. DSA Phoenix reportedly experienced violent intimidation but everyone is okay.