- The City is bracing for mass evictions after the failure of New York’s rent relief program.
- As pushback grows against the State and City’s plans to reopen schools in the fall, some officials have called for reopening to be delayed until later in the year. The Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE), a leftist rank-and-file caucus within the United Federation of Teachers, is discussing the possibility of a teacher sick-out to protest reopening.
- New York State rent regulation is based on a decades-old definition of a “housing emergency,” defined as a 5% or lower apartment vacancy rate. The vacancy rate is currently suspected to be growing as households leave the city due to the pandemic. State Senator Brad Hoylman (D, East Village and Midtown) and Assembly Member Harvey Epstein (D, East Village) introduced a bill to protect rent regulated units by pausing the vacancy count until two years after the city’s COVID-19 emergency declaration has ended. Landlord-run groups have forcefully opposed the legislation.
- Council Speaker Corey Johnson has seemingly retaliated against VOCAL-NY for the group’s role in last month’s budget protests by cancelling City funding for a new headquarters for the homeless and HIV/AIDS advocacy organization.
- An 18-year-old protest leader was thrown into an unmarked van and arrested by plainclothes police officers. The NYPD lied about the incident.
- The Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island District Attorneys have said they may choose not to prosecute police officers under a new city law that prohibits police officers from sitting or kneeling on a suspect.
- Following the repeal of 50-a, the law that prevented police officers’ records from being available to the public, ProPublica has compiled and released a database of complaints against NYPD police officers. Newly released data from the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) showthat 1 in 9 police officers have a confirmed record of misconduct.
- Governor Cuomo stated that unless the federal government sends aid to the state, New York may have to increase tolls and transit fares to compensate for the state’s almost $13 billion budget shortfall. As Cuomo resists calls from the state legislature to raise taxes on the wealthy, The Guardian reports that over one-third of New York’s billionaires have donated to the Governor. In a move against Cuomo, State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie have voiced their support for increasing taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers.
- NYCHA chair Greg Russ announced a plan to transfer ownership of two-thirds of its apartments to a new city-owned corporation, which would contract back to NYCHA to provide maintenance and management.
- Governor Cuomo announced a relaunch of the state’s Census efforts, which includes some limited field work. The state’s compliance rate currently lags behind the national average, which could lead to the loss of federal funding and congressional representation.
- Maya Wiley, former board chair of the CCRB and counsel to Mayor de Blasio, is stepping down from her current job at MSNBC to run for mayor in 2021.
- This year’s election of six open socialists to the State Legislature is the first time there will be such a bloc in Albany in 100 years, when as many as 10 socialists held power following the 1917 election.
- Gothamist covered the collapse of machine power within the Bronx County Democratic Party over the past two years, which prior to 2018 had one of the most disciplined and powerful party machines in the City.
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.