NYPD Subway Crackdown Continues + Council Staffers Launch Union Drive

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Local News

  • The NYPD crackdown on subway “quality of life” issues continues to have disastrous results. This week saw fallout from the arrest of a woman for selling churros, a homeless woman being assaulted by police officers in Queens, and a ticket for putting up post-its. A protest in Harlem against the subway crackdown resulted in 58 more arrests.
  • New York City Council staffers have formally launched a union drive. Roughly 150 employees have already signed onto the effort and organizers are hoping to organize roughly 600 staff members in total, including both central staff and those who work directly for council members. The union, known as the Association for Legislative Employees, will be unaffiliated to avoid potential conflicts of interest with labor unions.
  • The Queens DA office has agreed to release internal records on police officers whose honesty has been challenged by judges or who have been sued for misconduct in civil suits. The records come from the office’s credibility database, which includes substantiated misconduct allegations, criminal matters, adverse credibility findings and civil lawsuits that help determine whether prosecutors need to make disclosures to defense counsel about officer witnesses’ potentially suspect credibility.
  • After months of resisting requests from the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the NYPD has agreed to share body-camera footage with the oversight panel for some cases.
  • Rep. Nydia Velazquez has introduced a bill to provide federally subsidized transit fares to low-income individuals. The bill is meant to supplement the City’s own Fair Fares program, which has faced eligibility and enrollment issues in its early phases.
  • Mayor de Blasio signed the “Streets Master Plan” safety bill into law. The law will require the City Department of Transportation to to create a “master plan” for installing 250 miles of protected bike lanes and 150 miles of dedicated bus lanes within five years. Notably, the Mayor seemed willing to support the measure only after it adjusted the implementation timeline to after de Blasio’s tenure.
  • Lyft and the Department of Transportation are establishing an Equity Advisory Board to evaluate the program’s “equity strategy” as it expands into more New York. The board will include members of community groups, as well as representatives from NYCHA, the Department of Public Health, and Human Resources Administration. The announcement of the board comes after a report this summer by New York Communities for Change that highlighted the failure of the Citi Bike program to serve low-income communities and communities of color.
  • According to leaked documents, roughly 2,000 New York prisoners were subjected to flawed drug tests that produced false positives and increased sentences.


  • Senator Chuck Schumer defended the Working Families Party, telling the Daily News that he hopes the New York State Public Financing Commission does not undermine fusion voting. Although the stated purpose of the commission is to develop a statewide plan for publicly financing elections, Gov. Cuomo’s appointee has indicated he will raise the threshold for third parties in the state to receive ballot access. This move was widely seen as retaliation by Cuomo against the WFP for endorsing Cynthia Nixon last year.
  • Hiram Monserrate is preparing to challenge Assembly Member Jeffrion Aubry (District 35, East Elmhurst) in his latest comeback attempt after being expelled from the State Senate in 2010 for domestic abuse and imprisoned in 2012 for stealing public funds.
  • Congressmember Carolyn Maloney (NY-12) was confirmed as the chair of the House Oversight Committee. She will be the first woman to lead the committee.
  • City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has continued a practice used to reward allies and make political deals in the legislative body, even after members voted to curtail top-down influence under his predecessor. Johnson has awarded eight city council members bonuses to their offices’ operating budgets. Johnson says the bonuses were awarded to members who have more responsibility (i.e., chair an important committee), but many of the members who received bonuses were critical to Johnson’s election to the speaker position.
  • Evelyn Farkas, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense under President Barack Obama, is launching her campaign to succeed Representative Nita Lowey in New York’s 17th Congressional District.
  • During a hearing to evaluate the first year of early voting in New York, State legislators mostly praised New York City and State Boards of Election.

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