What New York Can Learn From Nebraska

Written by James Coll on . Posted in Features, Opinion

If New York abandoned its winner-take-all allocation of electoral votes in presidential elections, our state could start the transformation to become a powerful influence in national politics. Instead, Albany has legislated our state to irrelevance. Article II of the U.S. Constitution expressly gives each individual state legislature the power to choose how to give out the state’s electoral votes. The New York State Assembly and Senate decided years ago—like 47 other states—that the candidate for President who wins the most… [More]

To G Or Not To G

Written by Seth Barron on . Posted in Opinion

chirlane Chirlane McCray made her first official solo appearance as New York’s First Lady last month at an immigration forum sponsored by the Black Institute, an “action tank” run by longtime de Blasio friend and political ally Bertha Lewis. McCray’s talk was followed by the release of a Black Institute video spot featuring McCray and the ubiquitous de Blasio children, in which the three of them proudly announce themselves as “G,” a term that, according to the Black Institute’s “G Project”… [More]

The Difficulty Of Righting Wrongs

Written by Steven M. Cohen on . Posted in Opinion

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently proposed legislation that would remove obstacles that make it difficult for the wrongly convicted to obtain financial compensation from New York State. His proposal is admirable. But attention also needs to be paid to the difficulty of getting wrongful convictions righted, not just financially compensated. Twenty years ago, as an assistant United States attorney, I was part of a team of police officers and prosecutors who listened as a gang member admitted to his role… [More]

No Good Deed

Written by Morgan Pehme on . Posted in Opinion

Five hundred years before House of Cards, Niccolò Machiavelli counseled in The Prince that “men should either be caressed or crushed, because they can avenge themselves of lighter injuries, but of more serious ones they cannot; therefore the injury that one does to a man should be such that one does not fear revenge for it.” A deft practitioner of pragmatic political philosophy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is doubtlessly well acquainted with the substance of this advice—all the more reason he… [More]

Winners and Losers, February 21, 2014

Written by City & State on . Posted in Winners & Losers

  A mayor filling potholes. A reporter dodging buses. A governor who insists he isn’t running for president tweeting about past presidents on Presidents’ Day.  A state senator accused of plagiarism. And a fury over educating prison inmates. This was just one of those weeks in New York State where you felt like you were at a tennis match–your head bobbing back and forth from story to story. Like any game, there were winners and losers.   Blair Horner – When… [More]

Replacing Bullying and Bribery With Consensus

Written by Brad Lander on . Posted in Features, News, Opinion

images-1 Distrust and cynicism about government prevail these days—with partisan gridlock in Congress, NSA surveillance, New Jersey embroiled in Bridgegate, the New York State Senate denying New York City a vote on whether we can tax ourselves to pay for universal pre-K or raise our own minimum wage and Albany refusing meaningful campaign finance reform. At the New York City Council, we are pushing in the other direction. On Monday, Feb. 24, the Council’s Rules Committee will hold a public hearing… [More]

Amid Debate Over Pre-K, Kindergarten Could Be Lost

Written by Sister Ana Maria Causa on . Posted in Features, Opinion

As anybody who reads local papers knows, there is an important political contest taking place in New York politics. The mayor and governor are arguing how to fund a full expansion to universal pre-kindergarten (UPK). Each side is holding firm, making moves, counter moves. The resolution of this conflict is important, not just for the game of politics between New York’s governor and New York City’s mayor, but for the future of all of New York State’s children. While we… [More]

Controversy Should Not Diminish Port Authority’s Essential Work

Written by Robert Douglass on . Posted in Features, Opinion

To acknowledge the obvious, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has recently been beset by controversy. While the questions being raised appropriately command our attention and commitment to discovery and reform, they also risk distracting us from a larger point: the essential nature of the Port’s good work and its indispensable role as our most potent vehicle for regional public investment and cooperation. Although I have been an observer and participant in state, regional and city government… [More]

De Blasio’s Budget: Progressive or Aggressive?

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Budget/Taxes, Economic Development, Education, Environment, Features, Government Operations, Housing, Labor/Unions, News

What does a “progressive” city budget look like? During his preliminary budget presentation last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio attached his favorite buzzword to a supposedly apolitical document. Through the explicit and implicit priorities laid out in his financial plan, the mayor—who mere months ago dubbed himself a “fiscal conservative”—threw caution to the wind, etching his major policy items into the budget with or without the necessary cooperation from Albany, and despite the element of unpredictability stemming  from the city’s… [More]

NYPD Promises More Transparency on TrafficStat

Written by Kristen Meriwether on . Posted in Features, Government Operations, Latest, News, News & Features, Technology, Transportation

As part of his continued push to increase transparency in the New York Police Department, Commissioner Bill Bratton announced on Tuesday that the department will open up TrafficStat to more city agencies. The reforms are aimed at meeting Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero goal of zero traffic fatalities. TrafficStat was created in 1998 using the same model as CompStat, which tracks a wide range of crime statistics, including murder rates, shootings and rapes in a particular precinct, all of… [More]