All posts by John Kenny

Photo Gallery: Nixon Pledges Increased School Aid



Gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon pledged to increase state aid to schools, promising that as governor she will increase such aid in accordance with the long ignored provisions of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit settlement.  Advocates assert that the City is owed more than $2 billion under the terms of the CFE lawsuit settlement.  Speaking at a press conference in Corona Tuesday Nixon reiterated her support for such additional aid, casting it as driven by racial animus with “white, wealthy children … prepared for college, and low-income, children of color … put into the school to prison pipeline.”

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Nixon On Criminal Justice Changes



Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon declared that as governor she will end solitary confinement in state prisons and that she favors a more robust version of “raise the age.”  “Raise the age,” increasing the age for criminal culpability to 18, has been implemented in New York but Nixon criticized the current structure as flawed and incomplete as some 16 and 17 year old defendants are still put into the adult criminal justice system.  Nixon spoke at a Harlem press conference Friday, joined by former city council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Mark-Viverito’s co-district leader John Ruiz.

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Photo Gallery: Bronx Dem Dinner



The Bronx County Democrats drew a large field of elected officials and candidates to their annual dinner Wednesday, though Governor Andrew Cuomo and several notable candidates did not attend.  Statewide and citywide electeds present included Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Letitia James and Comptroller Scott Stringer.  Hochul and DiNapoli, along with Cuomo, are running for reelection and James, reelected in November as public advocate, is running for attorney general.

Notable non-attendees included Cynthia Nixon and Jumaane Williams, Democrats running for governor and lieutenant governor, and Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Ocasio-Cortez defeated Rep. Joe Crowley in the June 26th primary for the 14th Congressional District, which is roughly 1/3 in the Bronx and 2/3 in Queens.  James was the only one of four Democratic candidates for attorney general attending, with Zephyr Teachout, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and Leecia Eve not spotted.  State senate candidate Alessandra Biaggi, challenging Jeff Klein also (as far as I could determine) did not attend.

Other electeds attending included Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Bronx Democratic Chairman and Assembly Member Marcos Crespo, NYS Senate Democratic leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, NYS State Senators Jeff Klein and Jamaal Bailey, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Council Members Andrew Cohen, Fernando Cabrera, Andy King, Karen Koslowitz, Daniel Dromm and Francisco Moya.

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Our full photo gallery is available here.

Molinaro At City Hall



Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro came to New York City’s City Hall Monday, joined by running mate Julie Killian and Council Member Joe Borelli for a press conference focused on opposing Governor Andrew Cuomo’s effort at eliminating the tip credit.  (The tip credit allows paying tipped service workers, such as waiters/waitresses and bartenders, less than minimum wage due to their receiving significant tip income.  Eliminating it would raise wages but, in the view of many in the hospitality industry, lead to many establishments eliminating tipping completely and consequently reducing tipped workers income.)  Other topics included Molinaro’s ability to reach City voters, whether he has a preference in the Democratic gubernatorial primary and his reaction to the Trump/Putin Helsinki press conference.

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Ocasio-Cortez Endorses Teachout



Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Zephyr Teachout yesterday, giving a progressive boost to Teachout in the Democratic primary for New York State attorney general.  They appeared together for a press conference at the “Charging Bull” statue in Lower Manhattan, surrounded by a large press contingent and approximately 100 supporters

Ocasio-Cortez’s surprise defeat of Rep. Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary in late June has transformed her into a political star with national reach.  Teachout was one of the few political figures to support Ocasio-Cortez in her race, endorsing her before Teachout was an attorney general candidate.  This return endorsement may help Teachout both by drawing financial contributions from Ocasio-Cortez’s national audience and highlighting Teachout’s progressive credentials in the expected four-candidate Democratic primary.

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Simotas Endorses Ramos



New York State senate candidate Jessica Ramos added another elected official endorsement today, as Assembly Member Aravella Simotas expressed her support at a press conference in Astoria.  Ramos is running in the Democratic primary against incumbent Senator Jose Peralta.  Peralta had been a part of the IDC, the breakaway state senate Democrats who cooperated with Republicans and handed the Republicans control despite being in the minority.  Although the IDC and mainline Democrats reconciled in April in an arrangement brokered by Governor Cuomo, Ramos has continued her candidacy and efforts to oust fellow Democrat Peralta.

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Photo Gallery: Nixon & Ramos Cross Endorse



Democratic candidates Cynthia Nixon and Jessica Ramos exchanged endorsements today, adding to the developing organization of candidates opposed to Andrew Cuomo and the State Democratic Party.  Nixon, running for governor against Cuomo, and Ramos, running for state senate against incumbent Senator Jose Peralta, spoke at a press conference in Jackson Heights.  Peralta is a former member of the IDC, a group of Democratic state senators who aligned with the Republican members for the past seven years.  In April Governor Cuomo engineered a public display of unity between the leader of the IDC and the mainline Senate Democrats but many of those former IDC members, including Peralta, face primary opponents driven by anger at the IDC’s enabling of Republican control of the state senate.

Nixon previously exchanged endorsements with Julia Salazar, running against incumbent Senator Martin Dilan, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who defeated incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley two weeks ago.

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Nixon On NYCHA Lead & Monitors



Gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon does not see a need for state action to address the 800+ children living in NYCHA housing recently revealed by the Daily News to have lead levels in amounts considered of concern by the federal government.  That federal lead level is below that of the level the City uses to trigger investigations and action.  Although the City Health Department knew of those elevated levels it did not notify the City’s Housing Authority and therefor NYCHA did not act to investigate and possibly eliminate or reduce the sources of lead in those cases.

Asked at a Harlem press conference Sunday, where she was endorsed by Melissa Mark-Viverito, whether she sees any state action as necessary and, if so, what action, Nixon replied with a bromide that the city, state and federal governments “have been letting the people of NYCHA down for a long time … in terms of funding” and the hope that increased funding and the recently announced federal monitor will result in “holding those entities accountable.”  Nixon expressed optimism that increased funding will produce positive effects.  Nixon expressed support for having the federal monitor and said that she does not believe a state monitor (announced and then cancelled by Andrew Cuomo) is necessary.

Mark-Viverito Endorses Nixon



Former New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito endorsed Cynthia Nixon for governor Sunday, adding some progressive political credibility to Nixon’s underdog campaign.  The two spoke at a press conference at 116th Street and Park Avenue, in the heart of Mark-Viverito’s former council district, with members of Make The Road New York Communities For Change joining them on a sweltering afternoon.  After the press conference Mark-Viverito and Nixon down Park Avenue several blocks to an outdoor music festival.

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Ocasio-Cortez & The County Orgs



Joe Crowley, the member of Congress defeated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a Democratic primary surprise, is also the chairman of the Queens County Democratic Organization.  Crowley was gracious in his comments on primary night as his defeat became apparent, but it was reported that he and Ocasio-Cortez did not speak that evening.   It’s unclear if he and Ocasio-Cortez have spoken since.

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Jackson Heights Rally



Approximately 1,000 people rallied in Jackson Heights Saturday in support of immigrants and asylum seekers detained by the Trump administration and in opposition to the Trump administration’s policy separating children from their parents.  Organized by state senate candidate Jessica Ramos, the rally and march was one of hundreds of similar events held throughout the country, including a larger rally  in Lower Manhattan with a march across the Brooklyn Bridge.  The Jackson Heights rally was held in front the Post Office on 37th Avenue, with a march along 37th Avenue to the Park of the Americas in Corona.

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Donovan Primary Night



Republican Congressman Dan Donovan defeated predecessor and challenger Michael Grimm in a bitter GOP primary, trumping Grimm’s professed allegiance to Donald Trump and Trump-like personality with an endorsement from Trump.  Donovan was first elected in a special election in 2015 prompted by Grimm’s resignation after pleading guilty to federal tax fraud charges and being sentenced to federal prison.  Grimm returned seeking his old seat this year, in a Trump era battle in which the candidates sought to most closely align themselves with the president.

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Photo Gallery: Nixon & Ocasio-Cortez Cross Endorse



Gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon and congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez exchanged endorsements this evening, holding a joint press conference in a Jackson Heights playground and taking a short walk along Junction Boulevard.  The cross-endorsements were particularly timed to Ocasio-Cortez’s race, as she faces Rep. Joe Crowley in a Congressional District 14 Democratic primary tomorrow.  Nixon is currently petitioning to make a September primary against Governor Andrew Cuomo.

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