Cuomo Silent on Rent Cancellation Bill + Presidential Primary Postponed to June 23

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Local News:

  • Governor Andrew Cuomo has been silent on an emergency bill to waive rent for New York’s renters during the coronavirus crisis. Bernie Sanders announced his support for the legislation.
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio called for an immediate rent freeze on rent stabilized units, meaning that rents would not go up this year in the approximately 1 million units regulated by the Rent Guidelines Board.
  • De Blasio announced the city may start issuing fines to individuals not following social distancing rules. The White House Coronavirus Task Force has instructed people who recently visited New York City to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • The COVID-19 infection rate at Rikers Island is 7 times worse than the rest of the city; nearly 200 people there have tested positive for the virus. Governor Cuomo has released 1,100 people jailed due to parole violations, and the Governor and Mayor are slowly moving to release more inmates after weeks of criticism.
  • After mounting pressure to do so, Governor Cuomo has halted the majority of construction work.
  • A surge in biking during the coronavirus pandemic is putting pressure on the City to close streets to cars and improve safe cycling infrastructure. Mayor de Blasio announced the city will be testing closing some of its roads to vehicles in order to give more room to pedestrians. The test includes 1.6 miles of the city’s 6,000 miles of roads.
  • Mayor de Blasio has said it is unlikely that New York City students will return to the classroom this school year. The administration is also developing plans to offer free school meals to adults; free meals are already available to children.
  • Landlords are bad: A major Manhattan landlord is increasing rent 25% because “We have high demand [for apartments] for medical personnel coming to NYC with Javits center turning into a hospital.”
  • The New York State Office of Court Administration has halted all new nonessential court filings, which include debt-related cases. This is not a moratorium on debt collection. Enforcement for existing judgments will continue, so, for example, wages will still be garnished for some.
  • Governor Cuomo is claiming that hospital have enough protective gear for healthcare workers, but nurses are reporting this is not true. New York hospitals may turn to lotteries to determine allocation of a limited ventilator supply.


  • Governor Cuomo postponed New York’s April presidential primary to June 23, the same day as the primary for state and federal legislative seats. The special elections for City Council District 37 and Queens Borough President are also likely to be rescheduled to this date.
  • State Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan (District 2, Suffolk County) announced his retirement after the petitioning deadline, meaning the Suffolk County GOP can likely handpick his successor. Flanagan’s shocking retirement means that at least ten of the 23 Republican state senators will not run for re-election this year.
  • The Working Families Party endorsed Jabari Brisport’s campaign for State Senate District 25. Among NYC-DSA’s other candidates running this year, WFP has also endorsed Marcela Mitaynes in Assembly District 51, as well as Sen. Julia Salazar and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in their re-election campaigns. However, they endorsed incumbent Walter Mosley over Phara Souffrant Forrest in Assembly District 57 and are yet to issue an endorsements in Assembly District 36 (Astoria) and NY Congressional District 15 (South Bronx), where Zohran Mamdani and Samelys López are respectively challenging machine candidates.
  • The Jewish Vote has endorsed DSA-backed candidates Zohran Mamdani, Marcela Mitaynes, and Samelys López. They did not endorse in Phara Souffrant Forrest’s race and backed Jason Salmon over Jabari Brisport.
  • Governor Cuomo is considering including language in the state budget that would establish a $100 million publicly-financed election system and limit minor parties’ access to the ballot. This mirrors the Campaign Finance Commission’s recommendations, released late last year. Initially, the recommendations were set to become law, despite significant pushback from legislators. However, a state judge recently ruled that such a commission is not empowered to make laws, and threw the recommendations out.

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