The Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City drew scores of candidates to its endorsement meeting last Wednesday as the first and best known LGBT Democratic club in New York City made its choices in many strongly contested primaries.
Governor Andrew Cuomo returned today to Hostos Community College, a favored Bronx press conference site for Cuomo, to announce $30 million in additional funding for the “Urban Youth Jobs Program.” That program provides tax credits of up to $5,000 to employers for each qualified newly-hired employee ages 16-24. Governor Cuomo was joined by numerous Bronx elected officials, including Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., State Senators Jose Serrano and Gustavo Rivera, Assembly Members Jose Rivera, Carmen Arroyo, Marcos Crespo, Michael Blake, Victor Pichardo, and Michael Bennedetto and Council Members Jimmy Vacca and Rafael Salamanca.
Topics in a post-announcement press Q&A included whether Cuomo will support Bronx Borough President, and Cuomo ally, Ruben Diaz Jr. in a 2017 mayoral run against Bill de Blasio, details on a state program to fund the green card application fees of 2,000 applicants, delays in the Cuomo administration response to the still unfolding Hoosick Falls drinking water catastrophe, whether Cuomo will work to turn control of the state senate to the Democrats, whether Cuomo will sign recently- passed AirBnB legislation, the State’s response to increasingly severe occurrences of K2/spice overdoses and whether he will support 2014 gubernatorial opponent Zephyr Teachout in her congressional campaign. As Cuomo departed he also briefly responded to a question on whether Heastie and Diaz will join the governor’s “Adirondack Challenge” this weekend.
Here’s the full Q&A:
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Timothy Cardinal Dolan came together yet again on Wednesday, this time holding a Bronx press conference to announce a program establishing a new program providing beds for homeless people linked with the providing of social services. The Archdiocese of New York, headed by Cardinal Dolan, has committed to providing 150 of the contemplated 500 beds in the program. de Blasio and Dolan spoke at a South Bronx shelter for homeless men operated by the Franciscan Friars.
The Mayor and Cardinal answered “on topic” questions, with topics including the geographic spread of the 500 contemplated beds and size of the expected facilities, the timeline for implementation, the availability of federal funding, security at the facilities, an existing Staten Island drop-in shelter and its spillover effects on the surrounding neighborhood, the process to assist people once they are in this program, the prospects of fulfilling the 500 bed goal and whether the impending visit of Pope Francis will boost the Mayor’s agenda on addressing homelessness. Here’s the full Q&A:
Bronx Democratic elected officials today endorsed New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli for reelection. More than a dozen elected officials participated, including County Chair and Assembly Member Carl Heastie, Rep. Eliot Engel, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr, State Senators Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Gustavo Rivera and Jose Serrano, Assembly members Marcos Crespo, Carmen Arroyo, Victor Pichardo, Jeffrey Dinowitz, Mike Benedetto and Jose Rivera and Council Members Andy Cohen and Vanessa Gibson.
DiNapoli’s race against Republican candidate Bob Antonacci does not appear to be competitive, with DiNapoli favored by a 56% to 28% margin in a Quinnipiac University poll released today. In 2010, however, DiNapoli’s race was by far the closest statewide race, with 115,000 of his 200,000 vote margin coming from the Bronx.
I asked DiNapoli about his own plans for campaigning for Democratic state senate candidates and whether he thinks Governor Cuomo’s actions, or lack thereof, in campaigning for Democratic state senate candidates are sufficient.
There are three ballot propositions on the November ballot: 1) Creation of a redistricting commission to draw the new state legislative and House of Representatives’ district lines every 10 years, with the commission members appointed by the state legislative leaders, 2) amend the current constitutional requirement of distributing paper versions of proposed bills to state legislators to allow for electronic distribution and 3) authorize New York State to borrow up to $2 billion for school funding, with a stated purpose of “improving learning and opportunity for public and nonpublic school students”, including the purchase of equipment, expanding school broadband access, building classrooms for pre-K and replacing trailers and installing “high-tech security features.”
We asked DiNapoli for his position on each of the three propositions: