“I’m the sort of person who will never get ulcers,” the mayor — eyebrows devilishly up, grinning wickedly at his own wit — enlightened the reporters at his $475 rent-controlled apartment in Greenwich Village on Inauguration Day in 1978. “Why? Because I say exactly what I think. I’m the sort of person who might give other people ulcers.” (New York Times 2/1/13)
In the Koch era, ulcers really were the ailment of the times. It seemed like ulcers were ubiquitous, both in real life and in pop culture. The 1970s version of food allergies: widespread, often very serious, but newly focused on and receiving outsized social attention.
Notwithstanding significant medical advances, the fading attention given to ulcers as the Koch era faded suggests a clear conclusion: maybe Ed Koch really did cause all the ulcers.
The Republican mayoral race has burst into public view, with at least seven candidates and hope-to-be candidates. My prediction? It’s Catsimatidis and Lhota, with the wildcard of A.R. Bernard. Here’s a quick rundown on the Republican primary field:
1. John Catsimatidis: Which recent Republican nominee will he most resemble? A schlubby version of Michael Bloomberg, a self-made, self-financing successful businessman and effective CEO focused on serious campaign issues and governing, albeit with a thick New York accent, $100 suits and a messy haircut? Or the New York City version of the Carl Paladino Clown Show?
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.
On January 24th, the New York Daily News and Metro IAF hosted a mayoral candidate forum, with Errol Louis moderating the six-candidate discussion. We conducted our own Mayoral Mashup with audience members after the forum, in which we asked one simple question: What do you see as the most important issue that our next mayor will face upon taking office? Watch to find out what they had to say.
Let us shed the term “outer boroughs” and enable the MajorBoroughs 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 MajorBoroughs.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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”.
Insight, analysis and reporting on New York and national politics