Original Photo credit: Florian M under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license
On Feb. 8, several mayoral candidates signed onto a lawsuit against Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) and Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), calling on the courts to cancel the petitioning period because of the dangers posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Mayoral candidates Eric Adams, Maya Wiley, Carlos Menchaca, Art Chang, and Stephen Bishop-Seely are all plaintiffs.
Mayoral candidate Kathryn Garcia is not a part of the lawsuit but she pledged to not challenge any of her opponents petitions if petitioning remains a requirement for getting onto the ballot.
On Feb. 10, Scott Stringer unveiled his comprehensive transit infrastructure reform plan.
His plan, according to the press release, is a 17-point plan that will “revamp and redesign NYC’s transit and streets networks for pedestrians, bicycles, straphangers, and businesses alike.”
“The transit system is the lifeblood of our city, helping move millions of New Yorkers to where they need to go every day,” said Stringer. “After years of disinvestment and delays, my transportation plan will deliver the lasting change New Yorkers need and deserve. The strength of our economic recovery will depend on whether we invest in our transportation and infrastructure network to serve all New Yorkers’ needs – and my proposal does just that. My plan will redesign streets to ensure bus riders, pedestrians, cyclists, and small businesses can all share streetspace more efficiently, and double down on investing in our aging mass transit infrastructure to build back better as we work to climb out of the economic crisis.
“As mayor, I’m going to harness the power of our streets to revolutionize our transportation system for all New Yorkers. Call me the Streets Mayor.”
He has a double digit-lead over the next highest ranked candidate, Eric Adams, despite riding out the pandemic outside of the five boroughs. Yang’s strength seems to be his name recognition, the poll found. Eighty-four percent of those polled had heard of Yang, compared to 66 percent who had heard of Scott Stringer.
Four Freedoms Democratic Club Mayoral Endorsement Meeting: Thursday, Feb. 18, 6:45-8:45 p.m. (Registration link here)
Chelsea Reform Democratic Club Endorsement Meeting: Thursday, Feb. 18, 7-9 p.m. (RSVP link here)
On Feb. 6, David Weprin received an endorsement from the East River Democratic Club.
On Feb. 8, David Weprin announced that, if elected, he would open a Comptroller’s Office in each of the five boroughs. The purpose, he said, would be to extend greater opportunities to individuals and businesses in underserved communities.
“A major part of improving the City’s fiscal health is making sure economic opportunities are available to all New Yorkers, no matter their background,” said Weprin. “These borough offices will serve as community economic empowerment centers where working and middle-class New Yorkers can improve their financial literacy, gain access to financial institutions and increase their access to economic opportunity. This is particularly crucial in low-income and immigrant communities that have historically been financially underserved.”
Weprin released his official campaign video on Youtube (watch it here).
On Feb. 9, Brad Lander announced his plan to overhaul the city’s capital projects if elected as New York City Comptroller.
According to his website, his plan would “overhaul the City’s capital process to get projects built on-time and on-budget, save the City millions of dollars, focus better on the neighborhoods that need it most, support economic recovery, create high-quality jobs for New Yorkers, and prepare our city for a more sustainable and resilient future.”
On Feb. 11, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera released a statement calling for the lifting of the 10 p.m. curfew on New York City restaurants to midnight as soon as possible. In her statement, Caruso called it an essential next step as the city gears up for the resumption of indoor dining.
“Restaurants – and the hardworking men and women who work in them – are the lifeblood of New York City, and they have been pummeled by this pandemic and the economic fallout that has ensued. Governor Cuomo took an important first step in reopening indoor dining, and I hope he will continue to do right by them, and raise the curfew,” she said.
Manhattan District Attorney Race
Today, Manhattan DA candidate Eliza Orlins released her plan to bring transparency and accountability to the Manhattan DA’s office.
If elected, Orlins would, among other things:
Redirect funding from the prosecution of low-level misdemeanors into the data analytics and research team;
Create the position of Chief Policy Scientist to oversee data analysis, ensuring that all DA policy is fact-based;
And conduct regular internal policy reviews.
“Cy Vance’s tenure as District Attorney, like the tenure of every DA who came before him, has been marred by a lack of transparency and honesty,” said Orlins. “As a public defender — the only one in this race — and as a fierce advocate for reform of our criminal legal system, I know that effective and equitable public policy is impossible without informing the public at every step. In an era when data drives policymaking, data transparency must be a priority. The people of New York deserve better, and under my leadership, the District Attorney’s office will set the national standard for transparency. It’s long past time for honesty and integrity from our leaders.”
Phone Bank with Team Tali: Saturday, Feb. 13 from 2-4 p.m. (Registration link here)
Manhattan Borough President Race
On Feb. 5, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) – the largest telecom union in the United States – announced their endorsement of Ben Kallos.
“I’ve been standing with Verizon Communications Workers of America for their right to pay & good working conditions since I was elected,” Kallos said in a tweet. “I’m so proud to have earned their endorsement.”
On Feb. 8, Mark Levine received endorsements from three prominent unions: the Laundry, Distribution and Food Service Joint Board (LDFS), Workers United, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
“I am proud to have the support of LDFS, Workers United, [and] SEIU,” Levine said in a statement. “Their members have been on the frontlines throughout the pandemic, and as Manhattan Borough President, I’ll fight to ensure all essential workers get the wages, resources, and respect they deserve.”
On Feb. 10, the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club announced their endorsements for candidates in three different Borough President races, one of whom was Brad Hoylman.
“Our members unanimously endorsed Senator Hoylman, who would be the first openly gay President of any New York City borough,” said Club President Allen Roskoff. “It would be a source of great pride for us to help elect an openly gay man to preside over the borough where gays made history by standing up to oppression at Stonewall.”
City Council Races
On Feb. 10, the Village Reform Democratic Club (VRDC) endorsed Erik Bottcher for City Council.
“I’m honored by the endorsement of VRDC,” Bottcher said in a tweet. “Residents across Council District 3 and beyond are coming together to fight for the future of our beloved NYC. The road ahead is long & difficult, but with smart & bold leadership, I know we will usher in one of best eras in NYC’s history.”
On Feb. 8, Churches United for Fair Housing, Inc. (CUFFH) endorsed Rebecca Lamorte for City Council. CUFFH is an organization dedicated to promoting housing equity and justice among marginalized communities.
“Rebecca is committed to fighting for working class New Yorkers and is closely aligned with our mission to build grassroots political power that will promote housing equity and racial justice,” the organization said in a tweet.
On Feb. 9, Chris Sosa sent out a release announcing a slew of new endorsements from prominent progressive figures. Among his endorsers were Councilmember Carlos Menchaca (D-Brooklyn), City Council candidates Anthony Beckford, and former congressional candidate Lauren Ashcraft.
“I am honored by the outpouring support for our progressive campaign,” said Sosa. “We’re working to ensure that every family in District 5 and New York City has the opportunity to thrive. I’m proud to be running a campaign that is inclusive toward all of our neighbors. I deeply appreciate every volunteer and team member participating in this democratic process with me.”
On Feb. 10, Run For Something, an organization dedicated to supporting young progressive candidates, endorsed Tricia Shimamura.
“I’m honored to have the support of Run For Something, and to join their national network of groundbreaking first-time candidates,” she said. “As we face the many challenges ahead of us, we need a City Council that truly represents the vibrant and diverse communities it serves. As a young mom and a proud woman of color, I’m ready to fight from day one for universal childcare, paid leave and worker protections, and a recovery that prioritizes the needs of our working families.”
On Feb. 8, the West Harlem Progressive Democrats endorsed Dan Cohen for City Council. This is the second endorsement Cohen has received from a major Democratic club this year, the first being the Three Parks Independent Democrats.
“As we continue to build momentum in this race, we need your help to make sure we’re getting our message about Dan’s plans for the future of our communities out to voters in all corners of the district,” Cohen’s team said in an email release.
On Feb. 8, State Senator Jessica Ramos (D-Queens) announced her endorsement of Carmen De La Rosa for City Council.
“Carmen is a tireless advocate for working families, devoting her life to supporting and defending New York’s most vulnerable communities,” said Ramos. “From sponsoring the DREAM Act and uplifting immigrant youth to sponsoring the Billionaires Tax to hold the wealthy accountable in paying their fair share, Carmen has been an invaluable voice and incredible ally in the Assembly. And, I am proud to endorse her labor-championed movement in City Council District 10 for the communities of Washington Heights, Inwood and Marble Hill.”
On Feb. 6, the candidates for City Council District 5 signed a pledge not to challenge the validity of each others’ petition signatures.
The collective statement asserts that the candidates trust each other to collect their signatures legitimately, given the limitations imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. The signatories were Billy Freeland, Rebecca Lamorte, Julie Menin, Kim Moscaritolo, Tricia Shimamura and Chris Sosa.
On Feb. 9, Tricia Shimamura announced that she will be self-quarantining for two weeks, after her husband and son both tested positive for COVID-19.
“I have tested negative for COVID-19, but will be quarantining at home with my husband and son Teddy as they rest and recover,” she said in a statement. “While this is not news any family wants to receive, we have been lucky to have access to fast and reliable testing and to be able to isolate at home until our family recovers from this. While my focus will be on supporting my family in this time, I will continue our campaign’s work of connecting with people across our community virtually as we’re able.”
Phone Bank for Kim Moscaritolo: Sunday, Feb. 14, 4-6 p.m. (RSVP link here)
New York Power & Politics: Get to Know Keith Powers for CD4: Wednesday, Feb. 7, 9 a.m. (Meeting can only be accessed via the Clubhouse app. To download the app, click here)
MANHATTAN AND CITYWIDE
On Feb. 7, the Hell’s Kitchen Democrats announced a slate of endorsements for both citywide and Manhattan races. The club endorsed Scott Stringer for Mayor, Jumaane Williams for Public Advocate, Brad Lander for Comptroller, Alvin Bragg for Manhattan District Attorney, Brad Hoylman for Manhattan Borough President, Erik Bottcher for City Council District 3, and Paul Devlin for Male District Leader.
Two days later, the Grand Street Democrats released their own slate of endorsements. They, too, endorsed Scott Stringer, Jumaane Williams, Brad Lander and Alvin Bragg in their respective races. Their other endorsements were Lindsey Boylan for Manhattan Borough President, Christopher Marte for City Council District 1, and Caroline Laskow and Lee Berman for Female and Male District Leader, respectively.