All posts by John Kenny

“Outer” Boroughs No More: May the Major Boroughs Prevail



 

Let us shed the term “outer boroughs” and enable the Major Boroughs to proclaim their rightful dominance in city politics.

“Outer Boroughs” has long been used as a shorthand reference to everything non-Manhattan.  Implicit in the moniker is their lesser status, away from the true center of all things worthy, and dependent on the “inner” borough for support.  Like workers in the field, they are expected to wait for beneficence to be sent out from inside the castle wall.

The four “outer” Boroughs are, however, anything but.  They are the majority in number, the majority in population, the majority in land area, the majority in the number of elected representatives, the majority in, well, just about everything.  In short, as the majority in everything except media company headquarters and hot air, they are truly the Major Boroughs.

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Hurricane Sandy: Report from Rockaway #4



In this Report from Rockaway, we visit Belle Harbor, Rockaway Park and Arverne and talk with Congressman Gregory Meeks, New York State Assembly member Phillip Goldfeder and New York City Council member Jimmy Van Bramer.

In our conversations, we discuss a still-unfolding potential hospital crisis, recovery efforts by the Queens Library for it’s heavily damaged Rockaway branches and one elected official’s personal experience as the water rose on the night Sandy hit.

This is our 4th Report from Rockaway.  You can view our earlier reports here, here and here.

Mayoral Mashup with Richard Ravitch



In our Mayoral Mashup, we talk with political and policy leaders about what they see as the most important issue facing New York City’s next mayor.

For this Mayoral Mashup, Richard Ravitch shares his view of the most important issue awaiting the next mayor.  (Hint:  Listen for “multi-billion dollar deficits”.)

Be sure to also watch our 5 Minutes with … Richard Ravitch discussing the State Budget Crisis Task Force and it’s Report on New York’s fiscal challenges.  You can watch it here.

5 Minutes With … Richard Ravitch



In our “5 Minutes With …” feature we spend 5 interesting minutes with leading elected officials and policy leaders.  In this “5 Minutes With …” segment we spoke with Richard Ravitch about the State Budget Crisis Task Force and New York State’s fiscal challenges.

Richard Ravitch has been a leader in state and city government finance for decades.  He was a pivotal figure in rescuing New York City during the fiscal crisis of the 1970s and has filled an extraordinary number of vital roles since then.  In 2011, Richard Ravitch and Paul Volcker organized, and co-chaired, the State Budget Crisis Task Force, with the goal of conducting an in-depth analysis of the financial condition of six large states.   (More background can be found here.)

The Task Force has now issued its report analyzing New York State’s daunting fiscal challenges. The State Budget Crisis Task Force, the New York Report and New York State’s fiscal challenges are the subject of our 5 Minutes With … Richard Ravitch.

5 Minutes With … Kathryn Wylde



In our “5 Minutes With …” feature we spend 5 interesting minutes with leading elected officials and policy leaders.  In this “5 Minutes With …” segment we spoke with Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City.

Kathryn Wylde’s career, in which she has risen to lead one of the preeminent business/civic organizations in the country, spans a period of remarkable changes in professional opportunities for women.  (Her bio is here.)  As the President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, she has a unique view into the most senior levels of American business today.

In our “5 Minutes With … Kathryn Wylde“, she describes conditions at the beginning of her career, when the senior ranks of business and government were largely closed to women, how far we’ve progressed and what remains to be accomplished in reaching full parity for women in the professional world.

Hurricane Sandy: Report from Rockaway #3



Here is my latest Report from Rockaway.  This video report, my third from Rockaway, provides an update on some of the ongoing relief efforts and gives a glimpse of how residents are working their way back one month after Sandy.

Here are two notable quotes.

From a relief worker describing how donors can provide useful donations: if you’re “walking down the grocery aisle, imagine coming home and everything’s gone … replenishing that stuff” is what’s needed.

From an optimistic resident who says that they are doing well: “the only thing most people are missing is the heat.”

5 Minutes With … Gina Raimondo



In our “5 Minutes With …” feature we spend 5 interesting minutes with leading elected officials and policy leaders.  In this “5 Minutes With …” segment we spoke with Gina Raimondo, Rhode Island State Treasurer, on the topic of pension reform.

When Gina Raimondo took office in 2011, Rhode Island had one of the weakest state pension systems in the country.  Gina Raimondo’s approach in seeking major changes was markedly different from that of many other elected officials around the country, as illustrated by her comment that “we took a tone of no finger pointing, no blame, no nasty divisive rhetoric … [and] my mantra was ‘this is math, not politics.'”

How she moved her state from inertia to action to dramatically change the Rhode Island state pension system is the focus of our “5 Minutes With … Gina Raimondo”.

Romney Strategy



Today’s Politico story clearly captures Mitt Romney’s basic campaign strategy:

Romney’s repeated promise to “repeal Obamacare” is sure to be curtailed, even with a Republican Senate, his advisers admit. One official said that under a Democratic Senate, “we would just have to try to grind out changes by starving Obamacare through regulations.”

……

Already, Romney aides know they have promised more than they can pull off. Talk of immigration reform in the first year — a Romney promise from the second presidential debate — caused aides to roll their eyes.”

 Strategy summary:  Say anything.

˜  John Kenny

 

 

Christine Quinn’s Biggest Opponent?



David Dinkins, or at least his political ghost.  As Christine Quinn attempts to become the first Democratic mayor in 20 years, the political shadow of the last Democratic mayor lurks as a danger zone.

In broad stroke, David Dinkins and Christine Quinn have some meaningful similarities:  adept career politicians, successful one step below the mayor’s office, from Manhattan and powerful symbols of the political progress of their respective communities.  Dinkins, a smart, steady politician and decent person, was ultimately overwhelmed by the City’s challenges and perpetually played political defense.  “Dave, Do Something” still echoes hauntingly.

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