Food Delivery Workers Win Landmark Protections + Rikers Crisis Continues

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Local News

  • The New York City Council passed legislation to set minimum working standards for app-based food delivery workers, the first of its kind nationwide. Los Deliveristas Unidos, a grassroots collective of immigrant food delivery workers, began organizing last winter around the issue of bathroom access.
  • State hospitals and nursing homes are preparing for waves of layoffs and resignations in response to New York State’s vaccine mandate. While some hospital systems have near 99-percent vaccination rates, compliance varies widely among providers. Governor Kathy Hochul is considering calling in the National Guard to replace fired hospital workers.
  • Schools are also preparing for staff shortages, with as many as 10,000 teachers still unvaccinated (although the teachers’ number says the numbers are lower), and nearly 20,000 other school staff members not having received a shot. Over 500 school staffers have received religious exemptions. Unions for both the teachers and principals have called for delaying the mandate.
  • On Friday a federal appeals court issued a temporary stop order on the City’s vaccine mandate for Department of Education (DOE) employees. DOE Chancellor Meisha Porter said in a memo to employees that she expects the ultimate ruling to favor the mandate.
  • The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) pledged to increase enforcement of mask requirements after the subway broke a pandemic-era ridership record during the first week public school students returned to the classroom and city workers returned to their offices. MTA police have only issued 41 tickets for improper mask wearing since former Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order last September allowing people to be fined fifty dollars for failure to wear a mask.
  • With the crisis at Rikers Island mounting—12 people have died in custody so far this year, including five suicides—Mayor Bill De Blasio announced he would visit the jail complex for the first time since 2017. Meanwhile, district attorneys across the city continue to request bail “on almost anything that’s bail eligible,” exacerbating already overcrowded jails. Mayor De Blasio blames correction officers’ absences from work for the egregious treatment of inmates at Rikers Island.
  • State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, who presided over Cuomo’s coverup of nursing home COVID deaths, has resigned.
  • The New York State Assembly is planning to release its report on former Governor Cuomo’s misconduct “very soon.”
  • The City Planning Commission has officially rejected the proposed tower at 960 Franklin Avenue, which would have cast its shadow over the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, killing many of their plants, and taxed the neighborhood’s already strained infrastructure.
  • Brokers fees for New York City apartments, which dipped during the pandemic, are reportedly higher than ever.


  • The Bronx Democratic Party nominated Yudelka Tapia as its nominee for the special election in Assembly District 86 (Morris Heights), more or less ensuring her election. Tapia lost a primary for City Council District 14 (Morris Heights, Fordham, Kingsbridge) earlier this year.
  • The Manhattan Democratic Party nominated Cordell Cleare for the upcoming special election in Senate District 30 (Harlem), which was recently vacated by Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin. Following her likely win, Cleare will have to run again in the June 2022 primary, in which she is likely to face off against Ali Diini—a self-described democratic socialist who was recently endorsed by the Working Families Party.

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