De Blasio introduces austerity budget + Yang enters the mayoral race

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Local News

  • Mayor De Blasio unveiled a new budget, reduced by $5 billion from the budget he proposed last month due to a sharp decrease in property taxes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Progressive lawmakers and activists were dismayed by State Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousin’s pick for the Senate Finance Committee secretary. The position, which plays a critical role in budget negotiations, was given to David Friedfel, a policy analyst from the Citizens Budget Commission, a right-leaning fiscal policy think tank.
  • Newly elected State Senator Jabari Brisport (District 25, central Brooklyn) was appointed to the Senate Housing Committee, where he will join sophomore Senator Julia Salazar (District 18, north Brooklyn).
  • State Attorney General Letitia James sued the NYPD and called for an independent federal monitor of the agency, detailing extensive civil rights violations within their response to local protests against Minneapolis police officers’ killing of George Floyd  last year.
  • The New York City Department of Education announced that it will discontinue testing administered to kindergartners for its gifted-and-talented program beginning in 2022.
  • The new Moynihan Train Hall, a $1.6 billion expansion of Penn Station, has no benches and closes between 1 and 5 a.m., creating an unwelcome environment for the area’s homeless population. Cuomo also announced a $60 million connection between the train hall, which will soon include dining and retail offerings, and the High Line.
  • Governor Cuomo announced support for a proposal to convert hotels made vacant by the COVID-19 crisis into affordable and supportive housing.
  • State Senator Luis Sepúlveda (District 32, South Bronx) was arrested on a serious charge of domestic assault, and is facing calls to resign.
  • Hundreds of people in south Brooklyn protested their new Representative Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11), a Republican who voted against certifying electors for Joe Biden hours after the storming of the federal Capitol building on January 6. This week, a longtime aide and former campaign manager for Malliotakis and current Staten Island Borough President was caught on camera saying “Heil Hitler.”
  • The Brooklyn Paper interviewed new Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes (District 51, Sunset Park) about her tenant advocacy in office.


  • Andrew Yang officially launched his mayoral campaign with a video directed by Darren Aronofsky and the endorsement of Representative Ritchie Torres (NY-15, Bronx).
  • State Senators Jabari Brisport (District 25, central Brooklyn) and Julia Salazar (District 18, north Brooklyn) endorsed Lincoln Restler for New York City Council District 33 (Greenpoint, Boerum Hill).
  • The City’s Campaign Finance Board (CFB) denied Moumita Ahmed, a candidate in the special election in City Council District 24 (Kew Gardens, Fresh Meadows, Jamaica), $124,000 in matching funds, citing irregularities in some cash donations. Ahmed alleges the CFB unfairly scrutinizes cash donations from immigrant communities. 
  • 2017 Republican mayoral candidate and grocery magnate John Catsimatidis is considering switching parties to run in the City’s Democratic mayoral primary this year.
  • Wall Street executives are rallying behind Raymond McGuire’s mayoral candidacy, pouring over $5 million into his campaign with an average contribution of $1,100 per donor. As a result of the large donations, the City’s public campaign financing system will make additional funds available for smaller dollar campaigns that qualify for public matching.

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