Hochul Failing on Housing + Strategic Response Group Reckoning
No. 312 | Monday March 6, 2023
The NYC Thorn is a weekly roundup of local political news compiled by members of NYC-DSA.
The New York Police Department’s director of legislative affairs was absent for a New York City Council Public Safety Committee oversight hearing regarding the NYPD's Strategic Response Group (SRG). The NYPD falsely blamed a gag order for their failure to attend. The SRG was central to a multimillion-dollar settlement with peaceful protesters who were violently attacked during a demonstration in response to Minneapolis law enforcement’s murder of George Floyd in 2020.
A panel of judges on New York State's Third Department struck down the city of Albany's "Good Cause" eviction law, first passed in 2021, claiming that only the State has the power to pass such a law. Governor Kathy Hochul still refuses to comment on whether she supports the popular statewide Good Cause eviction bill. Meanwhile, tenants facing eviction are struggling to attain their guaranteed legal representation in housing court.
Between 2019 and 2021, the number of housing units in Ridgewood, Queens, registered as regulated dropped over 65 percent even though the 2019 rent laws made it nearly impossible to deregulate housing.
Mayor Eric Adams's decision to allow some remote work for municipal office workers represented by the union District Council 37 may create tension as he negotiates with other labor unions that represent workers who cannot do their jobs from home.
Governor Hochul has proposed an increase of nearly $50 million for prosecutors’ offices in her state budget proposal, but no increase in funding for criminal defense.
A "Worst of the Worst" list put out by the Adams administration to suggest that the State's bail reforms were driving an increase in crime was based on sealed arrest records that were illegally accessed by the NYPD.
A construction company operator was convicted March 2 in connection with the death of laborer Luis Sánchez Almonte, who was fatally crushed by 15,000 pounds of debris on a job site in 2018 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
A five-alarm fire that occurred at a supermarket on Grand Concourse and 181st Street was caused by a scooter’s lithium-ion battery.
A proposed state law would make some Metropolitan Transit Authority buses free to ride in the coming years. The provision is part of a larger $3.2 billion bill that would freeze the current $2.75 transit fare and provide funding for six-minute subway service.
The city is responding to advocates and organizers who have proved that harm-reduction techniques are the best approach to address increasing drug-overdose deaths. Two overdose prevention centers have saved hundreds of lives since opening in late 2021. However, Mayor Adams has also embraced forced hospitalization for people struggling with mental illness.
Tenants displaced by Hurricane Ida were violently removed by NYPD officers in tactical gear from a downtown Manhattan hotel they have called home for months.
New York Focus ranked state lawmakers by who has the highest outside income.
Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark, first elected in 2015, will face a primary challenge this year from Tess Cohen, who currently works as a civil-rights attorney. Although she served on the New York City Bar Association's Mass Incarceration Task Force, and has critiqued Clark for being "overly carceral," Cohen is herself a former prosecutor.
The Fair Elections Coalition, which includes labor and good-government groups, is pressuring the State Legislature not to delay the implementation of the State's new public campaign financing system.
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