Taxi Drivers Win Debt Relief + Voting Rights Ballot Initiatives Fail

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Local News

  • After two weeks on hunger strike, the New York Taxi Workers alliance won significant debt relief for drivers in a deal brokered with Mayor de Blasio and the asset management company that is the largest holder of taxi medallion loans in the city. Under the new agreement, current loans will be reduced to $170,000 and restructured to a 20-year, city-backed repayment plan with monthly payments capped at $1,122.
  • Unionized undergraduate and graduate teaching and research assistants at Columbia University are currently leading the second-largest strike in the country, joining student workers at Harvard and the University of California  system in demanding better pay, dental care, more secure contracts, and arbitration with an entity that is not a school representative in cases of harassment. Columbia’s endowment is one of the largest in the United States, most recently reported at $14.4 billion.
  • Albany’s district attorney agreed to postpone the arraignment of former Governor Andrew Cuomo after saying that the warrant for forcible touching filed by the Albany County Sheriff is “potentially defective.”
  • Governor Hochul, New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams, and other lawmakers spent five days in Puerto Rico for the annual SOMOS conference. Intended as an opportunity for elected officials to learn about the issues important to Puerto Ricans, SOMOS provides an opportunity for the political class to form alliances and discuss the issues likely to shape New York politics for the coming year.
  • The Champlain Hudson Power Express project will soon send hydropower hundreds of miles from Quebec via transmission cables to a converter station in Queens that is expected to provide the five boroughs with more than 18 million megawatt hours of renewable energy a year, which constitutes about a third of the city’s annual electricity usage. Opponents of the project cite issues like the route of the cables that go through threatening local drinking water, tribal lands, and wildlife.
  • Due to gridlock, the Independent Redistricting Commission has released two drafts of the political map to the public, thus giving City residents a say in how district lines will be drawn for the coming ten years. Public hearings will take place for the next two weeks throughout the five boroughs and surrounding areas. 


  • Three statewide ballot measures on elections meant to expand voting access and reform redistricting, failed after coordinated opposition from the Republican Party and other conservative groups.
  • Although write-in votes will not be tabulated until November 17, it appears that Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown has defeated DSA-endorsed challenger India Walton after losing to her in the Democratic primary and running as a write-in candidate in the general. In the final days of the race, Byron’s campaign spent $100,000 on rubber stamps bearing his name and distributed them to supporters.
  • Eric Adams was elected mayor of New York City. The Democrat and former New York Police Department officer will be the second-ever Black mayor in the City’s history, and faces an incoming city council that leans to the left of him on issues like public schooling and police budgets.
  • The suburbs turned decisively against the Democratic Party, with Republicans potentially sweeping races in Nassau County.
  • At less than twenty percent of registered voters, citywide voter turnout was lower in 2021 than in either 2017 and 2013, which were already historically quite low.
  • With the general election over, the incoming City Council will now elect a Speaker, though one of the contenders, Justin Brannan, does not yet know if he won reelection.
  • New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy narrowly won reelection after results from mail-in ballots and Democratic-leaning counties helped the incumbent Democrat extend his lead over Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli.

Comic by Annalisa Wilde

Comic by Annalisa Wilde

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