New MTA Action Plan + NY State Democratic Convention

Local News:

  • The MTA revealed its ‘Fast Forward’ Plan to overhaul the City’s subways and buses. It is slated to take 15 years and cost $43 billion. According to the Wall Street Journal, Gov. Cuomo made the MTA remove the cost and timeline from its report, although the MTA disputes this.
  • Mayor de Blasio plans to tell the NYPD to stop arresting New Yorkers for smoking pot. Though he continues to publicly oppose legalization, the Mayor also  commissioned a task force to prepare the City for full recreational legalization in the future.
  • MTA Chairman Joe Lhota, appointed by Cuomo last year, is serving part time in his role while simultaneously sitting on a number of boards of private institutions that appear to be blatant conflicts of interest.
  • The City Council passed a bill requiring debates for citywide elected offices to be shown on public broadcast.
  • Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams appointed Sal Albanese, a vocal critic of the De Blasio administration and former opponent of the Mayor’s, to the New York City Council’s Charter Review Commission.
  • The New York State Legislature confirmed Barbara Underwood as Attorney General for the remainder of the the term left open by Eric Schneiderman’s resignation.
  • If Tish James becomes the next NY Attorney General, a special election will need to happen in early 2019 to replace her, the first time a special election has happened for the Public Advocate position.

Elections:

  • The NY State Democratic convention happened this week, and a slew of high-ranking centrist Democrats came to support Governor Cuomo, including Hillary Clinton, DNC chair Tom Perez and former Vice President Joe Biden.
  • The Queens Democratic Party, run by Rep. Joe Crowley, endorsed State Senator Jose Peralta for re-election even though he spent much of his last term caucusing with Republicans as part of the IDC. Crowley and his Queens machine are somewhat isolated in their endorsement of Peralta and the IDC, as many local council members and progressive organizations are supporting his opponent, Jessica Ramos, and other members of the NYC congressional delegation have endorsed other IDC challengers.
  • The Intercept ran an extensive profile on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, NYC-DSA’s endorsed challenger to Rep. Joe Crowley in the June 26 Democratic primary.
  • The Women’s Equality Party, which was established as a sham ballot line by Governor Cuomo in 2014 to siphon votes from the Working Families Party and has largely been dormant ever since, unsurprisingly endorsed Cuomo this week and is planning on endorsing other statewide candidates in this year’s election.
  • Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Crown Heights) will not debate her primary opponent, Adam Bunkeddeko. Clarke, who has represented the 9th Congressional District since 2006, has never faced a serious challenger.

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