The NYC Thorn, Sponsored by REBNY: Cuomo Beats Back Socialist Scourge in Budget

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Local News:

  • Cuomo and the State Legislature agreed to an annual state budget that included implementing congestion pricing in Manhattan, a reduction (but not elimination) of cash bail, and a plastic bag ban across the state.
  • A pied-á-terre tax was killed thanks to real estate industry lobbying, but a mansion transfer tax that mandates a one-time levy on expensive home sales was included in the final budget.
  • The budget excluded any provisions surrounding the legalization of recreational marijuana as well as public campaign finance, but included the establishment of a commission to study the latter.
  • In the final weeks of New York State budget negotiations, Governor Andrew Cuomo held a secret, private $5,000-minimum campaign fundraiser attended by many lobbyists, real estate developers, and those doing business with the State, as well as his State budget director. Neither attendees or the Governor’s staff could say what Cuomo, who won re-election last year, is raising money for.
  • The de Blasio Administration’s plan to open four “community” jails in lieu of Rikers Island began its formal review this week.
  • As part of their energy democracy campaign, the NYC Ecosocialist Working Group is fighting Con Edison’s 2019 rate case, which would increase electricity rates by 4.9% and gas rates by 9.1% for their 3.4 million customers. Con Edison terminated service for over 650,000 residents between 2010 and 2018, and forces the public to pay for crumbling fossil fuel infrastructure.
  • Brooklyn Council Member Kalman Yeger (D-South Brooklyn) tweeted “Palestine does not exist” at a Muslim journalist in an argument over Representative Ilhan Omar. There is a push to remove Yeger from the Council’s Immigration Committee in response to his Islamophobia.


  • DSA endorsee Tiffany Cabán received major endorsements from the Working Families Party and State Senator Julia Salazar (District 18, North Brooklyn). The Intercept and Gothamist covered the Cabán campaign’s growing momentum in her bid for Queens DA.
  • Assembly Member Ron Kim (District 40, Flushing) became the first sitting elected official in NYC to endorse Bernie Sanders for president in 2020.
  • Bronx Rep. José Serrano (NY-15) has announced his retirement due to Parkinson’s Disease, only a few days after Council Member Ritchie Torres (District 15, Fordham) announced his intent to run for his congressional seat in 2020. State Senator Gustavo Rivera (District 33, University Heights) and Assembly Member Mike Blake (District 79, Morrisania) are also rumored to be interested in this seat.
  • The special election to fill the City Council seat for the 45th District (Flatbush, East Flatbush) vacated by Jumaane Williams has been scheduled for Tuesday, May 14th.
  • To help gear up for a busy 2019 and 2020, the NYC-DSA PAC is holding a fundraiser on Wednesday, April 10 in Bushwick. The Facebook event can be found here.

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