Paid Parental Leave for NYC Teachers + US Congressional Primaries Are This Tuesday, June 26th

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Local News:

  • Union officials have struck a deal with the City to grant paid parental leave to public school employees, starting with the 2018-19 school year.

  • The new City budget, agreed to last week, contains only five of the 123 new units of appropriation requested by the City Council in the name of transparency.

  • Both the State and City governments took baby steps toward legalizing cannabis: Cuomo’s State Department of Health released a report (whose timeline was magically sped up thanks to the gubernatorial primary) that recommended full legalization, though it is unlikely that a bill will be passed in 2018. And de Blasio announced that the NYPD will shift from arrests to summonses for smoking in public. However, the NYPD’s enforcement shift is unlikely to fully prevent arrests and overpolicing of marijuana violations in communities of color.

  • Council Member Mark Gjonaj (District 13, East Bronx), who poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into his own election campaign last year, appears to have earmarked $130,000 of city money for his former nonprofit in this year’s budget.

  • Legislation to extend the life of NYC’s speed camera program died in the State Senate thanks to opposition by Senator Simcha Felder, Republicans, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, and inaction by Governor Cuomo. The cameras are proven to decrease speeding in locations where they have been placed.

  • The New York State Senate passed a bill that, if enacted, would allow members of the public to call for state agency hearings.

  • Gothamist detailed the atrocious conditions of the Manhattan Correctional Center, a federal prison near City Hall in downtown Manhattan.

  • Though the NYPD’s policy of Stop and Frisk is supposedly a thing of the past, a pervasive culture of discriminatory stops continues in the form of lower-level, unreported encounters.

  • City records show that 466 students attending City schools after arriving in the US as unaccompanied minors were arrested and detained by ICE between October 2017 and March 2018, an increase from 24 the previous year. The students were in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is responsible for providing unaccompanied minors with services like education.


  • Primary elections for US Congressional seats in a number of districts are this Tuesday, June 26th, and are open to voters registered with party affiliations. The New York City Campaign Finance Board has published a map of NYC area districts holding primaries here and a large list of primary related news items here. As always, Gotham Gazette has an interactive voter guide here, in which you can find out if there is a primary in your neighborhood by entering your address.

  • After blowback for skipping a local debate reached as far as the generally centrist New York Times Editorial Board, Rep. Joe Crowley finally found time in his schedule to face his DSA-Endorsed challenger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Jackson Heights. Ocasio-Cortez was also profiled in both The Nation and In These Times, and received an endorsement from MoveOn.

  • Cynthia Nixon unveiled a plan for campaign finance reform as part of her campaign against Andrew Cuomo, and called for ICE to be dismantled.

  • Stephanie Miner announced her intention to run for governor as an independent.

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