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New York politics – from City Hall to Albany

Going Local: Cuomo’s Play for Consolidation

Sarah Laskow | June 8, 2011

When Andrew Cuomo advocates for smaller government, he does not mean, as conservatives often do, that the government should do less. He means that the government should be smaller — fewer agencies, fewer employees, fewer entities whose jurisdictions and purposes overlap. As governor, Cuomo has talked most about streamlining the state government, but he’s also…

Deal Reached on Ethics Reform

Sarah Laskow | June 6, 2011

On Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Majority Leader Dean Skelos, and Speaker Sheldon Silver announced a deal on ethics reforms, yet another of Cuomo’s legislative priorities. The third stab at ethics reform during the tenure of as many governors, this one has more to like in it than its immediate predecessors. The deal that Albany’s leaders…

Weiner’s Dilemma: The Litany of Sexual Impropriety

Sarah Laskow | June 1, 2011

Mark Foley was guilty. So were Larry Craig and Eliot Spitzer. John Edwards was not only having an affair with Rielle Hunter, but he was the father of her child. And, yes, that was Christopher Lee who sent a picture of his bare-chested self to a stranger on Craigslist. We didn’t even think to ask…

Albany in Brief: Three Issues to Shape End of Session

Sarah Laskow | May 23, 2011

Up in Albany, the end of the session is looming: Just four weeks remain before legislators leave for their summer break. Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders have been hashing over the state’s next big step, now that the budget has passed. Three issues in particular have been getting attention: same-sex marriage, a property-tax cap, and…

Grimm Reality: No Relief for School Overcrowding in Budget

Sarah Laskow | May 18, 2011

The New York City Department of Education once had “aspirations” to improve the city’s schools in all manner of ways, according to Kathleen Grimm, who testified yesterday at a City Council budget hearing. But as Grimm, a DOE deputy chancellor who oversees operations, reminded the council more than once, “the city’s fiscal condition has changed.”…

Budget Cuts Draw Ire, Protests at City Hall

Sarah Laskow | May 13, 2011

Yesterday, in Downtown New York, inside and outside of City Hall, advocates for struggling New Yorkers, strapped by budget cuts, pushed to change those realities. Inside City Hall, the council held a hearing on the bill that would require developers who receive city grants worth more than $100,000 to pay employees a minimum of $10…

An Ex-Extremist Speaks at the 9/11 Memorial

staff | May 11, 2011

On April 28, three days before Osama bin Laden was killed by Navy SEAL forces in Abbotabad, Pakistan, Maajid Nawaz stood in front of a small audience at the National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center and talked about being an Islamic extremist. “How does someone like me end up in a dungeon alongside…

Festival of Ideas: Talking New York at the ‘World Cafe’

Sarah Laskow | May 10, 2011

On Saturday morning, more than 40 New Yorkers managed to sit down for an hour and have conversations about some of the most contentious issues facing Downtown New York, including bar noise, bike lanes, gentrification.  The event, called a “World Café”  by organizers, was part of the Festival of Ideas for a New City, which…

Rent Guidelines and the Myth of Fairness

Sarah Laskow | May 3, 2011

For the past month, the city’s Rent Guidelines Board has been meeting in a dingy room on the ninth floor of the Manhattan Municipal Building. The room is usually used by the Landmarks Preservation Commission as a conference room, and it features benches of blue seats, which look as if they have been lifted out…

The Fate of Rent Regulation

Sarah Laskow | April 25, 2011

They’re out there. You’ll hear about them occasionally. You might even know one. They might be subletting from a sublettor, but they pay $1,000 for a one-bedroom on the Lower East Side. Or they’ve been in the place forever, a five-bedroom spread on the Upper West Side, and the rent is under $2,000. These are…