A Preview of Potential Ballot Measures from the Mayor’s Commission & The New York Times Endorses Zephyr Teachout for Attorney General

Local News:

  • The Mayor’s Commission to revise the City Charter proposed ballot measures for the 2018 election that include new community board term limits, and strengthening of the City’s campaign finance rules.
  • Over two-thirds of applicants to the Governor’s touted Excelsior Scholarship were denied, mostly due to the program’s burdensome academic credit requirements.
  • MTA President Andy Byford and Transport Workers Union Local 100 have called for body cameras for MTA workers, to combat a rise in assaults against them. The program, which would be voluntary, would differ from other body camera programs in explicitly calling for their use in the surveillance of non-employees.
  • The MTA suspended expansion of the Select Bus Service program without consulting the City Department of Transportation.
  • The NYC Department of Small Businesses is working on a program that offers grants to bodegas in neighborhoods slated for rezoning, to help them appeal to new clientele in the rapidly-gentrifying areas.
  • The Mayor’s Office released its plan to create four borough-based jails to replace Rikers Island, including at least one that could potentially include retail.

Elections:

  • The New York Times has endorsed Zephyr Teachout in the New York State Attorney General race.
  • August campaign finance numbers for the Governor/Lieutenant Governor and State Attorney General races were released. The donations of real estate giant The Durst Organization make their first and second choices in the AG race clear.
  • In an article about her alliance with Governor Cuomo, NYC Public Advocate and candidate for State Attorney General Letitia James said that “it’s really critically important that I not be known as the ‘Sheriff on Wall Street.’”
  • Both candidates in the 18th State Senate District race (North Brooklyn) received significant national attention: NYC DSA-endorsee Julia Salazar for her platforms related to both technology and sex workers’ rights; and her opponent, incumbent Martin Dilan, for his use of contributions from an IDC slush fund that has now been ruled to be illegal.
  • Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has recently pursued a strategy framing himself as a foil to Donald Trump rather than engaging with Democratic primary challenger and NYC-DSA endorsee Cynthia Nixon, has finally agreed to a debate with Nixon on August 29th.
  • The 20th State Senate District (Central Brooklyn) Democratic race between incumbent former IDC member Jesse Hamilton and challenger Zellnor Myrie continues as one of the most closely watched primary battles this election season. In a questionably timed process, close Hamilton ally and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has allowed Hamilton to run the allocation of $1 million in government funds in his district, making him the first, and so far, only, State level representative to be a part of the participatory budgeting process.
  • State Senator for the 17th District (Borough Park) Simcha Felder was unsuccessful in his legal attempt to have his Democratic primary opponent Blake Morris removed from the ballot for using his middle name.

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