State Senator James Sanders had planned an event called "Attack on Black Leaders: Corruption or Conspiracy?" long before the names of seven more black and Latino elected officials, plus two operatives, surfaced in connection with a corruption case.(1)
Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to legalize up to seven full-fledged, Las Vegas-style casinos in New York State, and doesn't seem to think that local communities should have veto power over where those casinos are located.(3)
"While I am honored that so many people whom I respect and whose opinions I value would like me to run, I am confident that Frank Seddio, will work to establish an inclusive, unified and transparent Kings county political party," Assemblyman Karim Camara of Crown Heights wrote.
In 2010, when Vito Lopez was re-elected as chairman of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, he won with the kind of margin normally reserved for party elections in the old Eastern Bloc, with 47 votes in his favor and only 3 opposed.
A fight to replace Assemblyman Vito Lopez as chairman of the Brooklyn Democratic organization could affect a handful of local races. It also has implications for the contest to succeed Christine Quinn as City Council speaker, and for the near-term future of the entire Brooklyn Council delegation.
This morning, around the same time that Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a press conference in Harlem announcing the latest in his tech-campus initiatives, two black elected officials from Brooklyn held a separate press conference at the scene of a recent shooting, asking the mayor and governor for an emergency allocation of $50 million for anti-violence groups in violent neighborhoods.(2)
The New York Post said in an editorial this morning that "a gaggle of the usual suspects traveled to Washington yesterday … Like virtually all of stop-and-frisk’s critics, these opponents aren’t interested in tweaking the program to get rid of possible inequities, but instead want to end it entirely."
Every elected official I spoke with who attended the press conference said that that is false.
In Albany today, a handful of state legislators donned hooded sweatshirts in solidarity with Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Florida teenager killed last month by a self-appointed neighborhood watchman.
As the Martin case has gotten greater attention, critics of the NYPD's stop-and-frisk strategy, like Assemblyman Karim Camara, who participated in the press conference today, have used it to highlight what they see as fundamental problems with the city's policing tactics.(1)
ALBANY--If you ask Marcos Crespo, a young Assembly Democrat from the Bronx, having the courts draw legislative lines is a horrible idea.
"You see what they did to Congressman Rangel's seat," Crespo told me earlier today. "They pit minorities against minorities."
Yesterday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg summoned three sponsors of legislation that would make real his outer-borough-taxi plan to City Hall to discuss the prior week’s events.
In attendance were Assemblyman Carl Heastie of the Bronx, the primary sponsor of the bill, which would allow livery cars to legally pick up street hails in upper Manhattan and the outer boroughs, something livery cars have been doing illegally for years now. Two of Heastie's co-sponsors, Assemblymen Guillermo Linares and Karim Camara, representing Upper Manhattan and Crown Heights, also showed up.
The bill-signing event this afternoon at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn was really a tribute to Andrew Cuomo's leadership skills.
In speech after speech, Democratic officials talked about how the governor had gotten the New York legislature to act quickly and in bipartisan fashion on a big economic package that overhauled the state's tax code and included an economic stimulus program.
It may be illegal, but everyone does it: Hailing black livery cars on the street. Everyone, that is, who lives in a part of New York that is not Manhattan or one of the more gentrified precincts of Brooklyn.
While yellow cabs course through Manhattan streets and wait for passengers at airport terminals, the black cars predominate elsewhere, gliding slowly down outer-borough thoroughfares scouting for fares, honking hopefully at would-be passengers, and queuing at locations where they know there will be demand that isn't met by taxis.(3)