Cuomo Meets Trump + 2019 Legislative Agenda Takes Shape

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Local News:

  • Governor Cuomo met with President Trump as part of an effort to re-secure a funding agreement for a sorely-needed tunnels under the Hudson River.
  • Boris Santos, a NYC-DSA member and Julia Salazar’s incoming Chief of Staff, wrote an op-ed supporting an ambitious rent reform agenda in 2019, including the Housing Justice For All platform and universal rent control.
  • Mayor de Blasio came out against a City Council bill, introduced by Rafael Espinal, that would legalize e-bikes powered by a hand throttle. While the Mayor has legalized pedal-assist bikes (which are used by bike sharing services like Citi Bikes), he refuses to extend to the same freedoms to throttle bikes, which are often used by the City’s delivery workers.
  • NYC Councilmember Ritchie Torres introduced legislation that would require restaurants and retailers in the City to accept cash, saying that cashless establishments discriminate against underbanked communities.
  • Despite still being under a State of Emergency, the MTA will likely continue with its plan to raise fares in 2019 (and again in 2021).
  • Sanitation Salvage, a private commercial trash hauler that had numerous worker violations and was recently suspended from operations by the City, has announced that it will cease operations entirely.
  • In recognition of its potential for passage, likely Senate Health Chair Gustavo Rivera plans to introduce a new version of the New York Health Act in 2019. The bill’s reception from soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Governor Cuomo remain major questions.
  • DC37 and other municipal worker unions are pushing back on the New York Health Act, fearing that single-payer healthcare will threaten their bargaining power and value to members.
  • Council Members Jumaane Williams, Brad Lander, and Jimmy Van Bramer are introducing legislation to bar the City from negotiating any future deals with non-disclosure agreements like those used in the Amazon HQ2 deal.
  • Gothamist highlighted the very limited legal options available to opponents of the Amazon deal to stop or renegotiate the plan.
  • Warren Kanders, a Vice Chair of the Board of the Whitney Museum, has been in the news for his association with Safarliand Group, the maker of pyrotechnical chemical grenades deployed against migrants at the US-Mexico border this week. Kanders association with enormous private profit from military responses to social and environmental catastrophe goes way back. He’s made much of his hundreds of billions through widespread ownership of military/industrial and police weapons manufacturing companies. For example, Kanders was CEO of Armor Holdings, once the world’s largest Humvee armor manufacturer, before Kanders sold Armor Holdings to UK-based BAE Systems, following criminal penalties for violations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.


  • Gothamist detailed some of the inner workings of the State Democratic Party’s successful strategy to win the State Senate.
  • Eight candidates for Public Advocate participated in a NYC DSA hosted forum on Tuesday evening. The forum ultimately voted to make no recommendation for endorsement.
  • Starting in 2019, the State Assembly’s votes on progressive legislation will become less ceremonial thanks to the new Democratic majority in the Senate, and for that reason it is unclear if Democrats in the Assembly will remain as serious about pushing this agenda.
  • CWA and 32BJ are supporting an effort to enact a statewide public financing system similar to New York City’s in the 2019 state legislative session.
  • Former Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced her entry in February’s Public Advocate special election, and her name recognition and existing campaign funds will likely make her a front runner along with Council Member Jumaane Williams.
  • Assembly Member Latrice Walker (District 55, Brownsville) announced her intent to run for Public Advocate.
  • February’s Public Advocate special election will be followed by another Public Advocate primary and general election in the Fall of 2019, but it could also set off one or two more special elections in 2019 if a sitting elected official wins the race.

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