Public Power Campaign is Electrifying + 2021 Manhattan DA Race Heats Up

Local News

  • During last weekend’s heat wave, Con Edison intentionally cut power to 33,000 customers in southeast Brooklyn, including several majority black neighborhoods that rank highly on the city’s heat vulnerability index. Con Edison said that cutting power to these customers was necessary to prevent a larger blackout that would have knocked the power out for those residents anyway.
  • Con Edison’s recent high profile failures have opened up organizing opportunities for environmental justice activists, including NYC-DSA’s Ecosocialist Working Group, to bring debate around a public takeover of the electric grid into the mainstream. Council Member Antonio Reynoso (District 34, Williamsburg) has firmly come out in favor of a public energy grid, and even Mayor de Blasio raised the prospect of a public takeover without fully committing to it.
  • On Wednesday, the MTA Board approved a major reorganization plan that will eliminate up to 2700 white collar jobs and alter the transit authority’s hierarchy, despite transit advocates’ concerns that it was rushed and crafted out of public view.
  • The City Council is leaning towards passing a package of bills sponsored by Council Members Keith Powers and Carlina Rivera to limit upfront rental costs, some of which would cap both broker’s fees and security deposits to a maximum of one month’s rent.
  • As a result of a lawsuit from disability advocates that claimed the City was violating the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, City Hall officially pledged to make all 162,000 street corners across NYC fully ADA-accessible within 15 years.
  • Over 24,000 people have inundated the NYS Department of Education with comments regarding a proposal to bolster the agency’s oversight of private schools’ curricula and practices. The proposed regulations, which arose from repeated criticism of ultra-Orthodox yeshivas failing to provide students with sufficient coursework in secular subjects, would allow the agency to audit independent schools every five years to ensure equivalency with public school curricula.

Elections

  • The recount for the Queens District Attorney race was completed, resulting in a 60 vote lead for Melinda Katz over Tiffany Cában. Cában’s legal team now intends to contest the validity of an unknown number of individual affidavit ballots that were thrown out by the Queens Board of Elections. Their court date is August 6.
  • Janos Marton, a decarceration activist who helped lead the #CLOSERikers campaign, has announced his campaign for Manhattan District Attorney in 2021 as a reform candidate. Marton joins a growing field that includes law professor Alvin Bragg and potentially Assembly Member Dan Quart (District 73, Upper East Side). Incumbent DA Cy Vance has not yet decided whether he will run for a fourth term.
  • 2020 congressional primaries are heating up. Cabán volunteer Mel Gagarin announced a challenge to Queens Rep. Grace Meng (NY-6), and Adem Bunkedekko, who nearly defeated Brooklyn Rep. Yvette Clarke (NY-9) in 2018, announced a second run.

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