- The City government is expecting potentially thousands of City workers, especially firefighters and sanitation workers, to go on unpaid leave beginning Monday, when the City’s requirement that all City workers be vaccinated goes into effect.
- Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been charged by the Albany County Sherrif’s Office with forcible touching, a misdemeanor sex crime. Although some confusion emerged about whether the prosecutor’s office and accuser had been notified beforehand. Cuomo is accused of groping a woman inside the Executive Mansion on Dec. 7, 2020.
- The New York Rising Community Reconstruction program, launched by then Governor Cuomo in response to the destruction caused by storms like Sandy, was created to provide $750 million in federal funds to finance repair projects and install infrastructure to improve resiliency against future disasters. However, nine years later unnavigable bureaucracies, opaque decision-making and broken promises have resulted in communities unprepared for the next storm.
- The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) denied a controversial proposal for a new, fracked gas power plant in Astoria, citing that the project was not in line with the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLPCA), which aims to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by 2050. The decision also noted that the project would also not have complied with the CLCPA’s provision that new permits “shall not disproportionately burden disadvantaged communities.”
- New York City is experiencing a surprising and remarkable return of native wildlife, which local ecologists and parks officials attribute to a 40-year effort to expand and clean up our parks, rivers, and wetlands. Notable wildlife includes endangered sea turtles and a baby seal in Queens, sea horses at piers along the Hudson River, a coyote in Central Park, and bobcats in the Bronx. Parks officials say this resurgence needs to correlate with an increase in funding.
- A new report from the Pratt Center for Community Development found 30,000 basement units in the city that were previously unaccounted for, overwhelmingly in rent-burdened communities of color.
- Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a roll out of “unannounced” metal detectors and NYPD “youth coordination officers” to boost security at schools experiencing an uptick in violence since students have resumed in-person learning. Officials have also pledged to hire 600 new social workers and counselors, and are rolling out a mental health screening for all kindergarten through 12 grade students this month.
- The Police Benevolent Association of New York sued in Staten Island over vaccine mandates.
- NYS Budget Director Robert Mujica accuses CUNY officials of playing down their declining enrollment.
- New York Attorney General Letitia James announced her plans to run for governor, making her a top threat to Gov. Kathy Hochul.
- New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams also announced his run for New York governor.
- Five proposals are on the ballot Nov 2nd that give voters the power to directly change the state constitution. These measures include questions on the future of political representation in Albany, environmental protections, easier voter registration and absentee balloting, and how New York’s civil courts function.
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