Cuomo, De Blasio trade blame for vaccination rollout + Celebrating 200 Issues

A note to our readers: The Thorn has switched from Mailchimp to Substack so we can keep delivering you local New York politics news from a socialist perspective with fewer administrative costs. Starting in January 2022 our new issues can be at along with how to subscribe. This website will serve as an archive of our past issues.

Local News 

  • Only 34% of the City’s supply of the Covid-19 vaccine has been used, with some having even been thrown away. After Mayor De Blasio put blame on the Governor’s strict eligibility rules, Cuomo announced that Phase 1B, which includes patients aged 75 and over, as well as education workers, first responders, public transit workers, and public safety workers, will begin today. Several of the factors for the slow rollout cited by De Blasio seem to contradict earlier statements from his own administration.
  • The City will open five 24-hour COVID vaccine sites as it scales up its vaccination operation. Overnight subway service will remain suspended, despite calls from transit advocates and some elected officials to restore service in order to support the overnight vaccination effort.
  • In response to the January 6 Capitol riot, NYC-DSA organized a protest of several thousand that marched from the Barclays Center to Chuck Schumer’s house.
  • A participant in the Capitol riot was identified as Aaron Mostofsky, the son of Brooklyn Supreme Court judge Shlomo Mostofsky and brother of Brooklyn Conservative Party figurehead Nachman Mostofsky.
  • A coalition made up of NYC-DSA, unions, and other progressive organizations in New York State formally launched a campaign to pass the Invest in Our New York Act, a package of six bills designed to raise over $50 billion in revenue by taxing the rich.
  • Democratic control of the US Senate will likely result in an increase of federal aid to states, and Cuomo has made statements suggesting he is rethinking his approach to the 2021 budget as a result.
  • A limited pilot project in Brownsville pulled NYPD cops from their posts and replaced them with community-led violence interrupter groups.
  • The City’s Department of Health has partnered with chain pharmacies in neighborhoods seriously affected by fentanyl overdoses to provide free naloxone over the counter.
  • Governor Cuomo announced plans to legalize recreational marijuana use in 2021, just as he announced plans to do so in 2020 and 2019.
  • Ross Barkan covered the ambitions of the new class of socialist and progressive state legislators in 2021.
  • The legal aid attorneys at Queens Defenders announced a plan to unionize, following a trend in public defenders’ offices around the City. Management has been hostile so far.
  • NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea has tested positive for Covid-19.


  • State Senator Brian Benjamin’s comptroller campaign will return almost $6000 of donations after a report revealed that several of his listed donors never recalled donating money.
  • The first major candidate forum in Brooklyn’s Council District 35 race was marked by tension between former District Leader Renee Collymore and Crystal Hudson regarding Hudson’s relationship with outgoing Council Member Laurie Cumbo. DSA-endorsed Michael Hollingsworth will participate in Part 2 of the forum tomorrow.
  • Ahead of announcing his mayoral campaign, Andrew Yang is facing questions about his decision to leave the City during the spring Covid-19 outbreak.
  • Nine Democratic candidates for Mayor attended an online forum hosted by Uptown Community Democrats.

The NYC Thorn Reader Survey

As we celebrate our 200th issue, we are asking you to fill out a brief survey to share your thoughts and help us bring you the content you want.

Thorn 200th Issue

Celebrating 200 Issues with Reader Testimonials

“The Thorn provides grounded insight on what is happening in New York politics that is useful to socialist organizers as well as the public – our constituents in the Great 18th District and across the State. With all the disingenuous news that is out there, I’m grateful to The Thorn for keeping it real and sending us the NYC and NYS news we need to know. Congratulations on Issue 200!” - State Senator Julia Salazar, SD18

“We’re not going to Albany to do business as usual: we’re going to Albany and bringing the socialist movement with us. I can’t wait to work with The Thorn to illuminate and explain the back room deals that have defined New York State politics for far too long. The Thorn will be an invaluable resource in bringing my constituents in the 36th district and all NYC-DSA members with me to Albany.” - State Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani, AD 36

“I love The Thorn. Now that we have DSA electeds going to Albany (and soon city hall too!) having a socialist perspective is vital. Albany in particular is so murky and poorly reported following along our slate and the new progressive wave in our state legislature is imperative to achieving a better future.” - Brandon Acton-Bond, a Thorn reader in Brooklyn

“The Thorn is one of the first emails I open every Monday morning for a grounded perspective on the New York State politics news of the week. It helps me get focused on what I need to know as I get ready to organize and serve my community all week,” - State Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes, AD 51

“In politics, people are always trying to twist the things you said. But The Thorn lets us speak directly about the issues our State is fighting right now: our story, in our own words. Congratulations to the Thorn on our 200th issue!” - Phara Souffrant Forrest, AD 57

“While Albany leaders operate in the dark, NYC-DSA does politics differently. The Thorn is critical to that: it helps keep thousands of our members informed on the top stories in NYC and NYS politics. As we take office, the Thorn will help us bring the people with us behind the scenes in Albany,” - State Senator Jabari Brisport, SD 25

“I always make time for the thorn each week. Looking forward to 200 more.” - Mike, a Thorn reader in Brooklyn

You can read through our archive here.

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