Power restored at MDC after days without heat, lighting + Our 100th Issue!

A note to our readers: The Thorn has switched from Mailchimp to Substack so we can keep delivering you local New York politics news from a socialist perspective with fewer administrative costs. Starting in January 2022 our new issues can be at thethornnyc.substack.com along with how to subscribe. This website will serve as an archive of our past issues.

Local News:

  • Electrical failures at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park left inmates with little access to heat or hot water during the coldest week of the winter so far. As of 7 p.m. Sunday, the lights were back on and there was regular heat inside the building, but there was no hot water.

  • The City and the federal government reached a deal that will see HUD take more control of NYCHA while stopping short of a full federal takeover. The new agreement comes after a federal judge rejected an earlier deal in November as insufficient.

  • NYCHA’s Red Hook Houses remain dangerously vulnerable if another storm like Hurricane Sandy hits the City.

  • Senator Julia Salazar (District 18, North Brooklyn) proposed a bill that would require landlords in market-rate housing to provide justification to raise rents more than 3.3%, effectively protecting all New York tenants from exorbitant rent increases.

  • An Amazon executive told a City Council hearing that he would oppose unionization efforts by workers at the proposed HQ2 campus. Meanwhile, the Teamsters joined the coalition against Amazon’s NYC plans, and even Cuomo’s office made a statement criticizing Amazon’s unionization stance.

  • Lyft and Juno have sued to block a minimum wage law that benefits NYC FHV drivers.

  • City Limits looked at the effects of the decision by the Manhattan DA’s office to stop prosecuting turnstile jumping, on both the MTA and the criminal justice system

  • A report highlighting key problems with the NYPD discipline system was issued by a panel of former federal prosecutors and a former federal judge (the panel was appointed by NYPD Commissioner O’Neill to review NYPD discipline).

Comic by Annalisa Wilde


  • Corey Johnson has already announced that he’s considering running for mayor in 2021. Johnson committed on Twitter to refuse individual donations over $250, and will accept “zero” money from real estate developers, lobbyists, or PACs.

  • The final count of candidates to qualify for the ballot in the February 26 Public Advocate special election is 17.

  • The City Council is moving forward on its charter revision proposals which will be placed on the ballot in this November’s general election. Current indications suggest that it will support referendums on increased Council power in NYPD and CCRB appointments, ranked choice voting, and more.

  • Last year’s electoral victories by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Alessandra Biaggi have helped empower opposition to the entrenched powers of the Bronx Democratic Party.

  • Council Members Brad Lander (District 39, Park Slope) and Helen Rosenthal (District 6, Upper West Side) have declared their intentions to run for Comptroller in 2021. Along with other borough and citywide races, the field may balloon due to the vast majority of sitting council members who will be term-limited in two years.

  • Assembly Member and Public Advocate candidate Michael Blake (District 79, Morrisania) consulted for a Bermudan political party for two years without registering as a “foreign agent” under federal law.

Tote graphic by Annie Zhao!

Our 100th issue:

Over the last two years, the NYC Thorn has emerged as a dependable source for New York political news and commentary. Every week we reach thousands of readers, all for free.

We are committed to ensuring New Yorkers continue to have a local news digest with a socialist outlook. Over the next year, we’ll produce more in-depths, New York political explainers and artwork.

But as our audience grows, our newsletter service costs increase, we have to count on you, our most committed readers, to thrive.

In honor of our 100th issue and as a way to keep the lights on, we’ve created limited edition Thorn tote bags! We’re not selling them online, so you’ll need to purchase yours in person at any of the following NYC-DSA events:

If you can’t make those events, please consider donating to The NYC Thorn here.

But don’t stop there, evangelize for us a bit. Buy your friends totes, share our newsletter, send us feedback, and join in the conversation online.

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