Public Advocate Special Election Tomorrow + Andrew Cuomo Is Sad

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 along with how to subscribe. This website will serve as an archive of our past issues.

Local News:

  • In an interview, Cuomo said that the Amazon HQ2 pullout constituted “the greatest tragedy I have seen since I’ve been in politics.” Cuomo has been “in politics” for at least 30 years, a span of time that includes 9/11, Hurricane Sandy, and the 2008 economic collapse.

  • State Senator Michael Gianaris’ nomination to the Public Authorities Control Board, which seemed to precipitate Amazon’s cancellation of the Long Island City deal, is being withdrawn by State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. In a letter to Cuomo, Sen. Stewart-Cousins castigated the Governor for refusing to work with the Senate. The new nominee will be Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-Queens).

  • A class action lawsuit was filed against the warden of the Metropolitan Detention Center on behalf of those who went a week without heat or power earlier this year. This is an addition to a previous class action suit over MDC’s refusal to allow people to speak to their lawyers.

  • After taking a high-paying DC lobbying job, Joe Crowley has resigned as Queens Democratic Chair after controlling the county party for 13 years, leaving the Queens machine in new hands.

  • The MTA’s “Fast Forward” Plan to improve accessibility at 50 subway stations is already being scaled back due to  lack of funding.

  • Uber has sued to challenge the City’s one-year cap on for-hire vehicles (FHVs), which was finally enacted last year after a string of taxi driver suicides. With Lyft and Juno’s lawsuits to challenge the City’s minimum wage requirements last month, now all three major ridesharing companies are engaged in legal battles to fight City regulation.

  • Despite drops in total arrests for turnstile jumping, NYPD numbers show that there is still a racial disparity in who is getting arrested and being issued summonses for fare evasion.

  • The BQX streetcar plan, which was mostly dead until it was sort of revived last month, is now likely dead again, thanks to the failed Amazon deal.

  • The conservative advocacy group, Job Creators Network, has been putting up billboards in Times Square attacking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for causing the Amazon deal to fall apart.


  • The Special Election for NYC Public Advocate is tomorrow. City Limits has a preview of the race.

  • The New York Times endorsed Jumaane Williams for Public Advocate in this week’s special election. The Daily News endorsed Eric Ulrich, the lone Republican in the race. A second and final debate was held for seven of the 17 candidates on tomorrow’s ballot.

  • José Nieves, a former Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, has announced his entry into the increasingly crowded Queens DA primary this June.

  • The New Queens Democrats have endorsed Tiffany Cabán for District Attorney.

  • The New York City Board of Elections is suing the de Blasio Administration for trying to make translators who have not been vetted by the Board available at poll sites. The City hired additional translators because the Board is not required to provide translation for Russian, Polish, Haitian Creole, or Yiddish.


Tote graphic by Annie Zhao!

NYC Thorn tote bags will be for sale this week at NYC-DSA branch meetings. If you want to support the newsletter, pick one up!

If you can’t make those events, please consider donating to The NYC Thorn here. And if you already bought a Thorn tote, share your photos of it with us online!

Contribute to The Thorn

We welcome submissions of in-depth articles, comics and illustrations from anyone in DSA. Whether you want to write for us or just know of stories we should be covering, please get in touch.

Subscribe to The Thorn

The Thorn is a weekly update on what's happening in local New York politics from a socialist perspective. Please sign up with us to receive an email every Monday morning.