The New York City schools chancellor must be doing something right. The city just announced the highest-ever graduation rate in its public schools. In 2018, nearly 76 percent of seniors graduated, with the rate of dropouts hitting record lows as well. But that doesn’t mean Carranza can sit back and relax – black and Hispanic students still face a serious achievement gap. And all those pesky charter schools? Carranza has plenty of work still ahead.
Child Victims Act sponsors top weekly winner vote
Child Victims Act sponsors top weekly winner vote
Update: The biggest winners last week were linked to the long-delayed passage of the Child Victims Act, with bill sponsors state Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal garnering 53 percent of the vote and a colleague – Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou – coming in second after sharing a personal story about her experience with sexual abuse.
The losers got a little more complicated: 32BJ’s Hector Figueroa got 60 percent of the votes, but a number of them came from a single IP address a block north of City Hall, suggesting a campaign on his behalf. Discounting those votes, the biggest loser was actually the indicted Trump ally Roger Stone. (Interestingly, one write-in vote was cast for Stone as the biggest winner.)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo claims he doesn’t control the MTA, but his heroic efforts during this week’s snowstorm left no doubt that he has complete and total control over … the Buffalo Skyway. You can’t blame the Guv – he’s just trying to keep up with the state Legislature, which just finished another uncharacteristically productive week. Read on to see who’s staying warm, and who’s left out cold.
The victor of the federal government shutdown fight is House Majority Leader Nancy “Winning is Good” Pelosi, while the biggest loser in the debacle is President Donald Trump (although it didn’t make Wilbur Ross look good, either). But closer to home, other government figures are breathing a sigh of relief, at least for now. One of them is certainly Rick Cotton, who runs the Port Authority, which oversees the LaGuardia and Newark airports that were facing partial shutdowns of their own as more and more workers stopped showing up.
After more than a decade-long fight, victims of childhood sexual assault will have increased protections in New York, including an extended statute of limitations. It’s a major victory for countless survivors, of course, while politically it’s a victory for the sponsors of the Child Victims Act, state Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal. Though to hear Hoylman tell it, the win doesn’t solely belong to lawmakers: “We would not be here today without the fierce advocacy of survivors across New York State,” Hoylman said.
Speaking out in support of the Child Victims Act on the Assembly floor, the Manhattan lawmaker made an emotionally-charged speech recounting the sexual abuse she suffered as a youth – and received a standing ovation. She was joined by state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte and Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz, who also shared personal stories of suffering through similar experiences. The hugs and tears that followed Niou’s speech demonstrated the toll that abuse takes on survivors – and how legislation can help prevent such suffering in the future.
“Don’t help elect Trump, you egotistical, billionaire asshole!” Andy Ratto yelled at former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz during his Union Square Barnes and Noble book event. The coffee tycoon, who is loudly considering a presidential bid, has been slammed by New Yorkers this week from the left, right and center, taking heat from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, President Donald Trump, and former New York Mayor and fellow gazillionaire Michael Bloomberg – but that Ratto’s rallying cry made the news is a breakthrough for the apparently prodigious New York heckler.
The Nassau County exec just can’t win. After weeks of controversy surrounding Immigration and Customs Enforcement, she’s back at square one. First, she told ICE that they needed to vacate a trailer at Nassau County’s jail. That got her blowback from police unions. Then Curran decided the agents could relocate to office space at a nearby medical center. She got flak from immigrant advocates for that. Now, Curran’s decided ICE can stay at the jail – and she’s being accused of flip flopping, leaving no one happy.
Mayor Bill de Blasio? More like Mayor Bill de Blah-sio, according to some fellow Democrats who don’t think he’s even part of the 2020 presidential rumor mill. Maybe if he focused a bit more on the mundane tasks of governing – like fixing the city’s deteriorating public housing, or paying contracts on time, or making sure a serial sexual harasser doesn’t keep getting new jobs – instead of jetting of to places like LA, he might gain more traction locally that could help him out nationally.
At a New York City Council hearing this week, Amazon said that it would refuse to support workers’ efforts to unionize in New York City, marking a major loss (though maybe not a surprise) for the labor leaders rallying against the arrival of Amazon’s new headquarters in Long Island City. But it’s a particularly embarrassing development for Héctor Figueroa, the president of 32BJ SEIU, which struck an early deal to handle security and maintenance at the new HQ2. It’s not a good look for a union that has built up a progressive record to be cozying up to a decidedly anti-union tech giant.
The head of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association could not stop Democratic lawmakers from passing New York’s first big package of gun restrictions since the controversial SAFE Act in 2013. A gun buyback program and a bump stock ban are not so bad as far as gun owners are concerned, but teachers now cannot pack heat in the classroom and prospective gun purchasers have to wait up to 30 days before they can bring home their new firearms. At the very least, King has some liberal lawmakers to complain about in his re-election campaign for the NRA board of directors.
Self-described “dirty trickster” Roger Stone was indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller a week ago on allegations that he lied about conspiring with WikiLeaks to publish the private emails of then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, encouraged false testimony from a witness, and obstructed justice. The Richard Nixon acolyte, who pleaded not guilty, posted a $250,000 bond after a raid and arrest at his Florida residence, throwing up his political idol’s infamous victory pose as he left the federal courthouse. However, any links were quickly shot down by the Nixon Foundation, who rushed to protect the reputation of the disgraced ex-president, calling references to Stone’s time on the 1972 Nixon campaign a “gross misstatement.” Ouch.