This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

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This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?
April 22, 2021

We have winners and we have losers, sure, but we need to talk about the real winners this week: anyone who’ll be able to get the COVID-19 jab in the shadow of the Museum of Natural History’s famous and beloved model blue whale. Forget the Javits Center, which doesn’t have a single whale – not even a small one. If you’re going to get the vaccine, might as well do it in the company of the ocean’s superior blowhole mammal. Dolphins – the ocean’s bullies – are nearby too, but the whale’s still the star of this show.

Winners: 
Vicki Been

The New York City deputy mayor for housing and economic development is one step closer to transforming Gowanus into the Venice of Brooklyn now that a Kings County judge has ruled the city can move forward with a proposed rezoning process. That could mean a toxin-free canal and thousands of affordable housing units in the near future, but some longtime residents are gonna miss the sights – if not always the defining scents – of their longtime working class digs once the nabe gets flooded by the coming wave of Apple Card lovin’ yuppies.

Lee Zeldin

Rep. Lee Zeldin may face steep odds to replace Gov. Andrew Cuomo next year – we’re talking COVID mountain steep – but the Trump Republican’s longshot gubernatorial bid is off to a fast start. Zeldin reported this week that he raised $2.5 million in the first 10 days after announcing his run, and he’s already secured endorsements from eight GOP county committees, as of Wednesday. Zeldin should revel in these wins now; while he could very well wind up facing either an embattled Cuomo or another Democratic contender in 2022, his path to statewide victory against any Democrat would be narrow.

Michael Gianaris and Karines Reyes

The New York Health and Essential Rights Act, also known as the HERO Act, which was sponsored by Gianaris and Reyes, was passed by the Legislature this week, in response to the deadly COVID-19 outbreak. The new legislation stipulates that new workplace health and safety measures, such as providing COVID-19 testing and personal protective equipment, must be enacted otherwise businesses could face some serious fines. While the labor unions have been all for the bill it faced some pushback from the state’s business community which was concerned with the new bill opening up the possibility of new lawsuits being issued by employees. 

Losers: 
Chaim Deutsch

Aren’t Democrats supposed to love paying taxes? The City Council member from southern Brooklyn pleaded guilty Thursday to screwing the feds out of $82,076 in taxes on his real estate management business. He faces up to a year in prison, and eight more months on the Council with members and staffers who’d prefer he’d disappear. This was supposed to be the soon-to-be-unionized aides’ big day! And Deutsch didn’t even give anybody a warning the feds were on his case. 

Deputy Commissioner for Training and Development Patrick Dail

The New York City Department of Corrections finds itself in a shitstorm of its own making, with the agency’s own numbers showing about 94% of its correction officers failed to take mandatory suicide prevention retraining last year. Officers were also behind the curve when it came to mandatory classes like CPR and fire safety, but in the wake of two inmate deaths at Rikers Island last month, the suicide prevention numbers are particularly damning.

Gregory Cannata

This doesn’t seem strictly ethical. Gregory Cannata, a Mount Vernon attorney and chair of the city’s Board of Ethics, got arrested for allegedly threatening a sitting Council member. Cannata is running for an at-large position on the Mount Vernon City Council, and Council Member Janice Duarte’s brother was challenging some of his petition signatures. So what does Cannata do? He tells Duarte there would be “consequences” unless the challenges were not withdrawn. Hard to believe he’s the guy in charge of Mount Vernon’s government ethics. @NYCCOIB, any thoughts?

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