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By now, you've probably heard that workers in a Staten Island Amazon warehouse have voted to unionize, making it the fir...
04/03/2022
Meet the DIY Duo Behind the Amazon Labor Union’s Guerrilla Bid to Make History

By now, you've probably heard that workers in a Staten Island Amazon warehouse have voted to unionize, making it the first in the U.S.

But maybe you haven't heard much about the dynamic duo who took on Jeff Bezos' company and won: https://buff.ly/38i4aQB

Workers begin voting Friday at the warehouse in Staten Island where packages from the online retail behemoth get packed for New York City customers, culminating an organizing drive by upstarts from their ranks.

New York state’s election process is now in limbo, thanks to a court decision that tossed political district lines. So, ...
04/02/2022
District Drama: What Happens Now That a Judge Has Tossed Albany-Drawn Political Maps?

New York state’s election process is now in limbo, thanks to a court decision that tossed political district lines. So, what's next? Here’s your guide.

When the "independent" commission failed to come up with legislative maps everybody could agree on earlier this year, Democrats who control the Capitol took matters into their own hands. Republicans cried foul and an Upstate judge has agreed with them.

New York state’s election process is now in limbo, thanks to a court decision that tossed political district lines. So, ...
04/02/2022
District Drama: What Happens Now That a Judge Has Tossed Albany-Drawn Political Maps?

New York state’s election process is now in limbo, thanks to a court decision that tossed political district lines. So, what's next? Here’s your guide.

When the "independent" commission failed to come up with legislative maps everybody could agree on earlier this year, Democrats who control the Capitol took matters into their own hands. Republicans cried foul and an Upstate judge has agreed with them.

Amazon warehouse workers on Staten Island won a historic bid to form a labor union after federal officials tallied votes...
04/01/2022
Amazon Warehouse Workers Win Historic Union Vote on Staten Island

Amazon warehouse workers on Staten Island won a historic bid to form a labor union after federal officials tallied votes Friday.

The Amazon Labor Union won by more than 500 votes, with 2,654 workers voting in favor of a union versus 2,131 who voted against, according to the official count by the National Labor Relations Board.

Members of the new Amazon Labor Union are on course to become the the nation’s first unionized workers at the online retail behemoth, thanks to a grassroots independent organizing campaign.

NEW: Plaintiffs allege the state’s Medicaid program has caused young people with serious mental health conditions to suf...
03/31/2022
New York State Failed to Provide Legally Required Mental Health Care to Kids, Lawsuit Claims

NEW: Plaintiffs allege the state’s Medicaid program has caused young people with serious mental health conditions to suffer unnecessarily, ending up in hospitals and residential treatment programs because they can’t access vital services.

Plaintiffs allege the state’s Medicaid program has caused young people with serious mental health conditions to suffer unnecessarily, ending up in hospitals and residential treatment programs because they can’t access vital services.

In his first state budget go-round with state lawmakers, Mayor Eric Adams will likely be coming home empty-handed on two...
03/31/2022
Eric Adams Spurned on Key Asks in State Budget Talks

In his first state budget go-round with state lawmakers, Mayor Eric Adams will likely be coming home empty-handed on two top priorities, public schools and a housing tax break, that had been in Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposal for the state’s spending plan.

https://buff.ly/3tS0hKs

Mayoral control of public schools and a housing tax break are no longer on the table, sources tell THE CITY. Not helping: The mayor’s first and last appearance in Albany was in mid-February.

A lender holdout in the debt-relief deal for taxi medallion owners has called off its repo men after a caravan of cabbie...
03/31/2022
Taxi Medallion Owners Hail Win in Fight Against Holdout Loan Firm

A lender holdout in the debt-relief deal for taxi medallion owners has called off its repo men after a caravan of cabbies traveled to Minnesota to call on the firm to come to the table.

The deal came in the wake of pressure from NY Taxi Workers Alliance and Senator Chuck Schumer.

The new deal between the NY Taxi Workers Alliance and Minnesota’s O’Brien-Staley Partners/OSK came in the wake of pressure from cabbies and Senator Chuck Schumer — and after reporting by THE CITY.

NEW: As public bathrooms continue to be one of the rarest commodities in the city, the Adams administration has not prov...
03/29/2022
NYC’s Promised Public Bathrooms Still Doing the Waiting Dance

NEW: As public bathrooms continue to be one of the rarest commodities in the city, the Adams administration has not provided a timeline or any details for the installation of 15 automatic sidewalk toilets unused for more than a decade.

https://buff.ly/36WNPQA

A 15-year-old agreement to put 20 automatic sidewalk toilets around the city has been completely stalled for the last two years, with 15 restrooms still not in service.

After initially struggling with funding, Brooklyn’s PS9 Sarah Smith Garnet School celebrated its renaming with a new sig...
03/29/2022
Brooklyn School Unveils Sign Honoring Suffragist, Displacing Name Synonymous With Slavery

After initially struggling with funding, Brooklyn’s PS9 Sarah Smith Garnet School celebrated its renaming with a new sign three years after New York City Department of Education made the change official.

The school was rechristened in 2019 after Garnet, an educator and early suffragist.

P.S. 9 in Prospect Heights, now the Sarah Smith Garnet School, removes its last vestige of the Bergen name — though it remains on street signs and subway stations.

NY wants applicants for the first 100 cannabis dispensary licenses to have owned profitable businesses and have pot char...
03/29/2022
Catch-22 for Weed License Hopefuls Who Need Past Conviction — and Business Chops

NY wants applicants for the first 100 cannabis dispensary licenses to have owned profitable businesses and have pot charges in their pasts. Experts say that’s a tall order.

“In the Venn diagram, there is probably a very small percentage of people.”

https://buff.ly/3wH4Qt7

The state wants applicants for the first 100 cannabis dispensary licenses to have owned profitable businesses and have pot charges in their pasts. Experts say that’s a tall order.

In response to an investigation by @THECITYNY, Mayor Eric Adams pulled the plug on the unlicensed firm that’s been provi...
03/28/2022
After a CITY Exposé, Mayor Eric Adams Orders Comprehensive Review of Pandemic Emergency Contracts

In response to an investigation by @THECITYNY, Mayor Eric Adams pulled the plug on the unlicensed firm that’s been providing security at hotels where inmates released from Rikers have been placed as part of an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

https://buff.ly/3NEFthJ

Global Operations Security claimed it was licensed to provide security at an inmate-release hotel run by Exodus Transitional Community. Our investigation found it wasn’t.

New York cut nearly a third of state-run psychiatric hospital beds for children, pledging to reinvest the funds in outpa...
03/28/2022
Cuomo Set Out to ‘Transform’ Mental Health Care for Kids. Now They Can’t Get Treatment.

New York cut nearly a third of state-run psychiatric hospital beds for children, pledging to reinvest the funds in outpatient measures. There’s no evidence it worked.

Co-published with Propublica

New York cut nearly a third of state-run psychiatric hospital beds for children, pledging to reinvest the funds in outpatient measures. There’s no evidence it worked.

03/25/2022

Unemployment numbers for New Yorkers with a disability spiked during COVID.

Will promises by Mayor Eric Adams to boost hiring for the nearly 1 million people with a physical or intellectual disability come through?

https://buff.ly/3iRaDnT

NEW: It’s game on for unvaccinated athletes on New York City home teams – and the new carve-out could give unvaccinated ...
03/25/2022
Eric Adams’ ‘Kyrie Carve Out’ Has NYC Unions and Workers Fuming

NEW: It’s game on for unvaccinated athletes on New York City home teams – and the new carve-out could give unvaccinated employees a better chance to challenge the mandate in court, one lawyer says.

https://buff.ly/3Lj3oBj

Thousands of private and public sector employees can’t work because of a vaccine mandate, but for the city’s sports and nightlife celebs, it’s game on.

03/25/2022

Christian Smalls and Derrick Palmer were just two colleagues-turned-friends working the grind packing orders at an Amazon warehouse. Now they could be on the cusp of a breakthrough win for workers at the online retailing behemoth.

https://buff.ly/3JzKllA

NEW: Food pantries have seen their provisions of government-funded fruits and vegetables cut by as much as 80% under a c...
03/24/2022
Food Pantries Starved for Deliveries Following Sudden Supply Cuts in City Hall Program

NEW: Food pantries have seen their provisions of government-funded fruits and vegetables cut by as much as 80% under a city-run program that was supposed to last until July 1.

City social service agency imposes limits on orders of fruits and vegetables under federally funded P-FRED initiative. "We didn’t hear anything," says one volunteer.

The USPS quietly closed a large subterranean Post Office in Midtown last Friday and replaced it with a smaller location ...
03/24/2022
Rock Center Post Office Closes as USPS Looks for Financial Deliverance

The USPS quietly closed a large subterranean Post Office in Midtown last Friday and replaced it with a smaller location a block away.

The underground office, which was never easy to find in Rockefeller Center, has been replaced by a smaller one, but the letter-carrying agency is facing obstacles on all sides.

03/23/2022

Some health experts say the data is useful, but others argue that the money would be better spent on vaccination efforts and improved ventilation.

https://buff.ly/3IyoIkv

The city’s Department of Homeless Services is dropping plans for a 140-bed single men’s homeless shelter in Morris Park,...
03/23/2022
City Cancels Bronx Homeless Shelter Project that Faced Fierce Community Opposition

The city’s Department of Homeless Services is dropping plans for a 140-bed single men’s homeless shelter in Morris Park, officials informed Bronx neighbors last week — making a rare break from a landlord whose building conditions and business practices have attracted scrutiny.

The shelter on White Plains Road was to be run by Westhab, in a building owned by David Levitan, once identified by the city as one of its "worst landlords."

When COVID arrived, Lauryn Petrie’s dreams of touring the country doing stand-up were put on hold as venues closed and l...
03/22/2022
Queens Woman’s Pandemic Journey Laughing in the Face of Death

When COVID arrived, Lauryn Petrie’s dreams of touring the country doing stand-up were put on hold as venues closed and live shows stopped. She spent over a year working as a mortuary technician, from April 2020 to June 2021, despite having no previous experience in the field.

https://buff.ly/3Ivc6dy

Lauryn Petrie was just getting her life together after a history of abuse and drugs when the pandemic locked down her dreams of stand-up comedy fame. She took her sense of humor to the morgue instead.

Before he was Mayor Eric Adam's chief of staff, Frank Carone signed up to help a Gowanus condo developer resume construc...
03/21/2022
After Scaffold Tragedy, Top Adams Aide Enlisted Lobbyist to Fight Developer Penalties

Before he was Mayor Eric Adam's chief of staff, Frank Carone signed up to help a Gowanus condo developer resume construction following the grave injury of a young woman by a collapsed scaffold.

In 2019, now mayoral Chief of Staff Frank Carone stepped in as fixer for a project with a trail of shaky safety practices, after a 32-year-old woman suffered life-altering brain injuries.

With less than two weeks to go until the state needs to have a budget in place for the next fiscal year, Gov. Kathy Hoch...
03/21/2022
Coming State Budget Pits Progressive Programs Against Spending Caution

With less than two weeks to go until the state needs to have a budget in place for the next fiscal year, Gov. Kathy Hochul and Democrats in the legislature remain as much as $9 billion apart on how much Albany should spend.

Gov. Kathy Hochul seeks to spend an additional $10 billion to help pull New York out of its COVID crisis — sums topped by the legislative leaders she’s negotiating a final deal with. Business leaders warn New York can’t afford extensive new commitments.

Supertall 5G-transmitting “smart poles” are expected to roll out later this spring, but one of the 32-foot-tall towers a...
03/21/2022
Failing Up: First Link5G ‘Smart Pole’ Stands Quietly in Queens

Supertall 5G-transmitting “smart poles” are expected to roll out later this spring, but one of the 32-foot-tall towers already stands on a quiet street in Queens. The Link5G structure offers a glimpse of what may soon be ubiquitous.

Tech consortium CityBridge is poised to install ultrafast internet-transmitting structures to bridge the digital divide. But its earlier LinkNYC program was a debacle, ending in debt and unfulfilled promises.

A bill to ban the use of solitary confinement remains in draft form despite vows from new lawmakers to end the punishmen...
03/17/2022
City Lawmakers Drag Feet on Solitary Confinement Ban After Campaign Promises

A bill to ban the use of solitary confinement remains in draft form despite vows from new lawmakers to end the punishment. Meanwhile, the latest federal monitor’s report says the dept. “is trapped in a state of persistent dysfunctionality.”

https://buff.ly/3IjZTbR

The City Council has still not introduced any measure to end solitary confinement in city jails despite a majority of members publicly opposing the practice. The public advocate’s office meanwhile has taken up the mantle and says a bill will be introduced in weeks.

When it comes to the expiration of the biggest tax break for real estate developers and landlords, the Citizens Budget C...
03/17/2022
Can NYC Live Without Its $1.7-Billion-a-Year Developer Tax Break? Dueling Claims Define Budget Talks

When it comes to the expiration of the biggest tax break for real estate developers and landlords, the Citizens Budget Commission says NYC can’t afford to lose it while city Comptroller Brad Lander says we can’t afford not to let it lapse. Who’s right?

https://buff.ly/3MXTNkU

Budget watchdog warns letting the 421-a program lapse will doom needed new housing development, while city comptroller urges cancellation along with a property tax overhaul.

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Great piece from Josefa Velasquez and Rachel Holliday Smith of THE CITY NY! “The specifics of the law are hard to parse, especially amid emotionally-charged debate from all parts of the political spectrum. Combined with the fact that much of the rollout of the law happened during the pandemic’s early days, you’re forgiven if the issue has flown over your head. Let’s break it down.” #GeorgeArzt #georgearztcommunications #bailreform
Mayor Eric Adams Spurned on Key Asks in #StateBudget Talks, THE CITY NY Reports.
On March 21, THE CITY NY hosted its latest Open Newsroom session about New Yorkers’ difficulties affording rent, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and local resources available to them. Lakisha Morris, director of operations at Catholic Charities, joined the panel discussion. https://bit.ly/3NuD5Kl
#Brooklyn School Unveils Sign Honoring Suffragist, Displacing Name Synonymous With Slavery, THE CITY NY Reports.
Check out our new Executive Director, Kelly Davis, talking about birth inequity and the importance of doulas for Black mothers and families in THE CITY NY “Voice and choice are the only ways to really support better birth outcomes for Black people."
Check out our new Executive Director, Kelly Davis, talking about birth inequity and the importance of doulas for Black mothers and families in THE CITY NY “Voice and choice are the only ways to really support better birth outcomes for Black people."
Check out our new Executive Director, Kelly Davis, talking about birth inequity and the importance of doulas for Black mothers and families in THE CITY NY “Voice and choice are the only ways to really support better birth outcomes for Black people."
Kimberly Peeler-Allen of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, Rafael Mangual of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Alyssa Katz of THE CITY NY & Jenna Flanagan discuss the latest on the NYS budget, ending NYC's vaccine mandate & is"Broken Windows" policing returning?
P.S. 9 in Prospect Heights, now the Sarah Smith Garnet School, removes its last vestige of the Bergen name — though it remains on street signs and subway stations. (Via THE CITY NY)
Safe and affordable housing is a fundamental human right that many of our clients do not have access to. When New York State’s eviction moratorium law expired on January 15th, many residents of our community depended on their rights to a free attorney, funded by the government. Read more from THE CITY NY, including the experiences of Carmen, a community member who depended on free legal help from NMIC to get the five-year eviction case against her family resolved. https://www.thecity.nyc/housing/2022/1/5/22869441/end-to-eviction-moratorium-will-stress-test-tenants-right-to-a-lawyer?emci=07579469-4579-ec11-94f6-c896650d4442&emdi=ea000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001&ceid=
The uptick comes as a new variant, B.A.2, spreads in New York, and mask mandates in schools have been lifted for most students. (via THE CITY NY)
"After the Great Recession, some homeowners in these areas benefited from an Obama-era program that encouraged loan modifications, but most did not receive large-scale principal reductions and remained in precarious positions, noted Shabnam Faruki, director of the Neighborhood Economic Justice Project at Brooklyn Legal Services." Read more via THE CITY NY: