Outrage Over Pablo Villavicencio’s Detention + Specialized High School Reform Stalled

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Local News

  • Pablo Villavicencio, who was detained by ICE at the Fort Hamilton Army Base while delivering pizza, was granted an emergency stay on his deportation proceedings. Protests against his appalling detention have taken place across both NYC and New Jersey, where he is being held. Cynthia Nixon blamed Governor Cuomo for not issuing an executive order that would allow all New Yorkers to obtain drivers licenses, regardless of citizensship status, as Villavicencio only had a NYC municipal ID at the time of his arrest.

  • The State Assembly Education Committee passed a plan supported by the De Blasio Administration to desegregate the City’s specialized high schools by setting aside seats for the top 7% of students at all City middle schools. Currently, a few “elite” middle schools receive a disproportionate share of admits to the specialized high schools. However, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie later announced that the Legislature would not address specialized high school desegregation until 2019.

  • A North Brooklyn coalition is pushing the City to commit to 24/7 bus service during the L Train shutdown that begins next year.

  • New York’s City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio are reportedly close to striking a deal to at least partially fund Fair Fares in the City’s 2019 budget proposal.

  • ProPublica published a feature highlighting Sanitation Salvage, a private trash hauler that epitomizes the industry’s reputation for dangerous working conditions and corrupt political connections.

  • A task force commissioned by the City Council recommended that CUNY go tuition-free, but the de Blasio administration resisted the report’s release and does not appear to be interested in enacting its suggestions.

  • City Council Member Brad Lander introduced legislation targeting the City’s most reckless drivers.

  • A petition to restore “Tappan Zee” to the name of the replacement bridge going up over the Hudson River was delivered to Albany with over 108,000 signatures. Last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo snuck in a provision to name the new bridge after his father, Mario Cuomo.

  • This Wednesday, a coalition of community organizations including NYC-DSA will be marching to Governor Cuomo’s midtown office to protest Cuomo’s abysmal housing record and demand Universal Rent Control as part of the renewal of Rent Laws in 2019.


  • Tim Wu, who ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2014, will not run for New York State Attorney General.

  • Zephyr Teachout has officially declared for the open New York Attorney General seat and has stepped down from her role as Cynthia Nixon’s campaign treasurer to do so.

  • Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18, D-Hudson Valley) has announced a run for New York State Attorney General, even as the Democratic establishment is closing ranks around NYC Public Advocate Tish James. If he were to win the primary, he would leave open a congressional seat that voted for Trump in 2016.

  • Bernie Sanders openly criticized DNC Chairman Tom Perez’s endorsement of Cuomo, while The Nation endorsed Cynthia Nixon for Governor.

Despite having been largely critical of unions during his initial 2010 run, Governor Cuomo has developed close ties to many of New York’s labor organizations.

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