The NYC Thorn is a weekly roundup of local political news compiled by members of NYC-DSA.
NO. 251 Monday, January 3, 2022
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The omicron wave has renewed calls to once again reduce the population of people held in Rikers, where Covid rates are higher than the City and vaccination rates are much lower. The city's jail population was dramatically reduced during the first wave of the pandemic, in spring of 2020, but has since risen back to pre-Covid levels.
New York City's public school system announced a new testing policy that allows students who are exposed to Covid but test negative and are asymptomatic to remain in school, phasing out the current policy of quarantining entire classrooms exposed to Covid. By doubling the system's number of random tests, officials hope to avoid school closures or online learning as Omicron sweeps the city.
As Covoid cases continue to rise amidst the omicron wave, several city-run hospitals may have to delay elective surgeries due to the rise in hospitalizations. The MTA is also reducing service as it faces a worker shortage as employees get sick, and the city's free isolation hotel rooms are facing a surge in demand.
Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law requiring the MTA to consider bicycle and pedestrian access in bridge, station, and capital plans.
The Westchester District Attorney will not pursue charges against ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo for forcibly kissing two women, although she said the allegations were credible.
Governor Kathy Hochul signed the Health Equity Assessment Act, which aims to abate the trend of hospital closures by forcing providers to report how such closures will impact nearby communities.
The state of New York will no longer prosecute children under the age of 12.
Mayor Eric Adams named Frank Carone as his Chief of Staff. Carone, former counsel for the Brooklyn Democratic Party, has close ties to former party boss Frank Seddio and once represented a pair of notorious landlords who sold 17 buildings to the city to be used as affordable housing.
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