Category Archives: Chuck Schumer

Photo Gallery: NYC Pride March



The sun was shining, the crowds were cheering and the politicians waving as New York City’s annual Pride March was held Sunday.  Once a small protest on the political fringe, the Pride March is now decidedly in the mainstream of New York politics.  This year’s edition featured many elected officials and candidates, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senator Chuck Schumer and mayoral candidates Paul Massey and Bo Dietl.

“Mama” Jean DeVente, organizer of the first gay pride parade in NYC and a leading activist since Stonewall, rides with the Stonewall Veterans.

It was a regular Cuomo/de Blasio affair, with the two leading Democrats arriving separately and taking pains to avoid each other.  Governor Cuomo delayed his arrival until the March began, rolling up 34th Street in his SUV to the parade route just as his marching contingent came down Fifth Avenue to 34th.  Cuomo then held a brief press Q&A as his contingent stood still, blocking the parade route for Mayor de Blasio and the rest of the March.

Continue reading Photo Gallery: NYC Pride March

Labor Day Parade 2015 (Updated)



The 2015 Labor Day Parade featured separate appearances from Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio.  Continuing their pattern of public cold shoulders Cuomo and de Blasio marched separately, although within sight of each other.  de Blasio joined a large contingent of labor leaders, including Mario Cilento, Gary Labarbara, Vinny Alvarez, George Gresham, George Miranda and Mike Mulgrew.  Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and, for part of the route Senator Chuck Schumer, also marched with de Blasio.  Cuomo was accompanied by a large contingent of elected officials, including NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Queens BP Melinda Katz, State Senator James Sanders, Assembly Members Richard Gottfried, Guillermo Linares, Nick Perry and Michael Blake, and Council Members Margaret Chin, Ben Kallos and Daneek Miller.

de Blasio and Cuomo bookended the parade with separate remarks, de Blasio at the start and Cuomo at the end.  Here are their comments:

de Blasio/Schumer:

Saying that it was “my honor … to declare today that New York City is a labor town”, de Blasio pledged to “keep it a union town” and to “make it more of a union town.”  As his brief remarks were coming to an end de Blasio noticed Senator Chuck Schumer waving his arms and calling out to him.  de Blasio asked his audience “Chuck Schumer wants to speak, what am I gonna do with that brothers and sisters?”  He yielded the mic.

Schumer made a brief statement with his New York accent in high gear, working the Supreme Cawt, the #1 ansa and New Yawk into less than a minute of comments on Laybah Day.

Cuomo:

Cuomo gave a barnburner in support of his new mission of raising the minimum hourly wage to $15.  Standing in his soundtruck on Fifth Avenue, Cuomo’s speech in support of the “Mario Cuomo economic justice campaign” echoed off of extraordinarily expensive apartment buildings on one of the wealthiest blocks in the country.  The renewed progressive declared that “this state has the mantle of being the progressive capital of the country” and emphasized the “dignity” of workers receiving an increased minimum wage.  Bellowing that if “you stand in the way of the working families, they’re gonna knock you down”, Cuomo ended by pledging that “we will not stop fighting until we have $15 an hour, so help me god.”

Additional Parade Coverage:

Cuomo’s press Q&A is here.

Our parade photo gallery is here.

de Blasio Press Q&A: The NYCHA Funding Edition



Mayor Bill de Blasio and Senator Chuck Schumer announced $3 billion in federal funding for Sandy-related repairs and resiliency improvements for the New York City Housing Authority.  Speaking at an afternoon press conference in Red Hook, de Blasio and Schumer celebrated the massive block of federal funding intended for 33 separate NYCHA developments.

de Blasio and Schumer were joined by Reps. Gregory Meeks, Nydia Velazquez and Hakeem Jeffries, Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and NYCHA CEO Shola Olatoye.

On Topic Q&A:

Here is the full on topic Q&A.

Off Topic Q&A:

Here is the full off topic Q&A.

Schumer Rejects Comparison of Indiana Law To His RFRA



Senator Chuck Schumer today rejected as “false and disingenuous” comparisons between a recently enacted Indiana religious freedom law and the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act which Schumer sponsored as a member of the House of Representatives.  Schumer spoke at a press conference in Red Hook announcing $3 billion of additional federal funding designated for NYCHA Sandy repairs.

NY Congressional Reps, de Blasio On Netanyahu Speech



Nine members of congress representing New York City discussed the upcoming speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Congress and whether they plan to attend.  Senator Chuck Schumer and Representatives Charles Rangel, Jerrold Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Joe Crowley, Hakeem Jeffries, Grace Meng, Nydia Velazquez and Yvette Clarke joined Mayor Bill de Blasio this morning for a press conference at Gracie Mansion intended to focus on the House Republicans’ inability to fund DHS for longer than this week.

Senator Schumer and six of the eight house members said that they plan to attend.  Charles Rangel does not plan to attend and Yvette Clarke said that she has not yet decided.  Many of the representatives had harsh words for House Speaker John Boehner, with Velazquez denouncing his actions as “shameful.”  Mayor de Blasio harshly criticized Speaker Boehner for his invitation to Netanyahu, but since he is not a member of congress de Blasio does not have the option to attend.

Congressional Views:

Here’s what Senator Schumer and the House members had to say:

Mayor de Blasio:

Here’s what Mayor de Blasio had to say:

Rebuild By Design (Updated x 2)



Today Mayor Bill de Blasio, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Chuck Schumer and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced four winning designs in the “Rebuild by Design” program administered by HUD and the federal Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task force.  Three of the selections are for projects in New York City, with the fourth a project in Nassau County.  The New York City projects are (1) “The Big U”, a series of berms and bridges around lower Manhattan, (2) “Living Breakwaters”, a series of breakwaters off the south shore of Staten Island, and (3) “Lifelines”, to provide flood protection systems for Hunts Point, the site of a major food market that functions as a hub of the region’s food supply chain.

Their press conference included remarks by each of the four government officials as well as an on topic Q&A.

Off-Topic Q&A:

Afterwards, Mayor de Blasio separately answered off topic questions.  He began with a statement concerning the stabbing of two young children in Brooklyn and then answers questions concerning that incident, the proposed state law to allow municipalities to further raise the minimum wage and whether he would pursue a $13 minimum wage for New York City, how that proposed law fits into the political deal that gave Governor Cuomo the Work Families Party ballot line, a young boy hit and killed today by a car and how Vision Zero addresses that location and the large number of shootings in the City this past weekend.  Here is the Mayor’s full off topic Q&A, which began with some press dissatisfaction:

Update – Opening Yucks:

The three elected officials began with a couple of yucks:

Update #2 – On Topic Q&A:

The Mayor, Governor, Senator and Secretary answered several on topic questions, including why the approved projects do not include any in Brooklyn and Queens and whether actions taken by “other jurisdictions” are sufficient, when will the resiliency efforts be complete and when will the majority of Build It Back homes be completed, what complexities Secretary Donovan saw when his Department approved the Build It Back program and why is New York City slower than Nassau and Suffolk Counties to deliver post-Sandy assistance to homeowners.  Here is their full on topic Q&A:

Sympathy, Schumer Style



Today, Senator Chuck Schumer shared his thoughts on football, the Giants, the Jets, the Patriots and New Jersey.  He spoke while visiting Super Bowl Boulevard, the stretch of Broadway converted into an open-air NFL festival, and in the company of Giants co-owner Jonathan Tisch and Jets owner Woody Johnson.

Our look at Mayor Bill de Blasio’s visit to Super Bowl Boulevard is here.

West Indian American Day Parade



Monday’s West Indian American Day Parade included appearances by many elected officials and candidates.  Here are some brief moments with a few of those attending.

Weiner’s Parade Performance

Anthony Weiner loves a parade.  Every parade.  Especially those with loud dance music.  (Here’s a past parade worth watching.)

And for those of you who just want to see Anthony Weiner dance, well, you’re welcome.

Will Schumer Endorse?

We asked Senator Chuck Schumer whether he plans to endorse any candidate in next week’s Democratic mayoral primary.

Spitzer on Polls

We asked comptroller candidate Eliot Spitzer what he thinks about the recent wide swings in public polls on the race.

Schumer & Donovan Discuss Flood Insurance and Biggert-Waters



Today I had the opportunity to talk with Senator Chuck Schumer and Shaun Donovan, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, about the outlook for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and particularly whether they foresee any changes or modifications to the program as currently in effect under the Biggert-Waters Act.  (The primary purpose of their press conference, which also included Rep. Carolyn Maloney,  was to announce additional mortgage forbearance and modification programs for homeowners affected by Sandy.)

The NFIP has been underpriced for many years and, after the large covered losses caused by Hurricane Katrina, it had a program deficit of more than $17 billion in early 2011.  The deficit was addressed in the Biggert-Waters Act, which significantly modified the program.  As The Wave newspaper of Rockaway has been extensively examining (see here and here), those changes in the NFIP, in combination with soon-to-be adopted new FEMA flood maps, will produce dramatically higher flood insurance rates and require many homeowners to purchase flood insurance for the first time.  Such increased insurance rates and coverage requirements will likely have a deep long-term impact on Sandy-damaged areas such as Rockaway.

Senator Schumer accurately pointed out that the increases are to be phased-in over several years.  That’s helpful to homeowners, of course, but it only delays the underlying long term economics; previously underpriced insurance is being brought to actuarial rates and large subsidies are being reduced or eliminated.  Secretary Donovan said that it is the Obama administration’s position that Congress needs to act to “add … a long-term affordability provision” for “lower income and more vulnerable homeowners” to the NFIP.  Any such provisions have yet to be detailed and are, at best, uncertain to occur.  Secretary Donovan also spoke about the importance accurately and promptly preparing the new flood maps.  Senator Schumer added that “we are going to have to examine” affordability.

Here’s the full clip of Senator Schumer and Secretary Donovan discussing the NFIP and Biggert-Waters.  Watch what they had to say.