The NYC Thorn is a weekly roundup of local political news compiled by members of NYC-DSA.
Monday, January 10
The Albany County District Attorney announced that he will not prosecute former Governor Andrew Cuomo regarding allegations that Cuomo groped a former aide in 2020. The DA said the woman's allegations were "credible" but did not reach the threshold for burden of proof.
A fire in the Bronx left at least 19 people dead. The building in which the fire took place is owned by a group of investors including Camber Property Group, which operates affordable housing properties across New York City. Camber’s co-founder, Rick Gropper, was named as a member of Mr. Adams’s transition team for housing.
Mayor Eric Adams has appointed his brother to be deputy police commissioner.
Governor Kathy Hochul gave her first State of the State address in which she announced her support for making to-go cocktails permanent. The popular program, which served as an invaluable source of income for restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic, ended last summer.
Eric Adams's newly appointed Department of Corrections Commissioner, Louis Molina, has pushed out Serena Townsend, who had been in charge of investigating over 8,800 use-of-force complaints against corrections staff. The Correction Officers Benevolent Association had called for Townsend's dismissal.
New York City must provide separate housing in city shelters for unhoused trans and gender non-confirming people following a settlement with Mariah Lopez, an activist with the Strategic Transgender Alliance for Radical Reform. The city has agreed to make at least 30 beds for trans people available across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Manhattan by December 2022, and will potentially add more beds as needed.
New York State will no longer arrest or prosecute children under the age of 12, following a bill signed by Governor Kathy Hochul. Previously, anyone aged 7 to 18 could be charged as a juvenile delinquent in the State.
Mayor Eric Adams signed an executive order reforming business regulations and fines with the goal that city agencies should issue fewer fines and penalties to small business owners.
A New York judge has ordered the State to reopen applications for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which stopped accepting new applications in mid-November due to a lack of funds. The Treasury Department announced that it would grant the State $27 million in additional funds for the program, or only three percent of what the State had requested. Despite the lack of funds for rental assistance, Governor Hochul plans to let the eviction moratorium expire later this month.
Mayor Adams and Governor Hochul have agreed on a plan to increase police presence on the subways.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg released a ten-page memo that instructed his prosecutors to avoid seeking prison sentences for a wide array of crimes. NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell sent an email to all 36,000 employees of the department expressing outrage at Bragg's memo.
Many New York City educators said working conditions at schools have been among the worst they have seen in the first week of 2022. A snowy commute Friday exacerbated staffing shortages and absenteeism as faculty, staff, and students returned from winter break. This capped off an extremely difficult few days that saw administrators scramble to cover classes while COVID-19 cases spiked among students and staff.
New York profiled the historic majority-woman New York City Council.
Adrienne Adams (District 28, Jamaica and Richmond Hill) was officially elected Speaker of the City Council.
Jonathan Soto, an aide to Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (District 14, Astoria, Elmhurst, and Pelham Bay) who helped launch her Homework Helpers tutoring program, is challenging Bronx Assembly Member Michael Benedetto (District 32, Throggs Neck and City Island) in this year's Democratic primary.
In her State of the State address, Governor Hochul proposed a limit of two four-year terms for New York's governor, lieutenant governor, the attorney general, comptroller, and other state-wide elected officials.
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