First Read September 10, 2019

September 10, 2019
Latest News
New York City Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr., a leading candidate for Congress who has been criticized for making homophobic remarks, is urging leniency for a gay high school student convicted of stabbing a classmate to death in 2017.
As a key vote approaches on a controversial $1.3 billion plan to flood-proof the east side of lower Manhattan, local officials have ordered up an independent review on the proposal.
Despite widespread condemnation, Rockland Republican Party Chairman Lawrence Garvey said he would repost a controversial video that warned of a "takeover" by the Hasidic Jewish community many deemed anti-Semitic.
Long Island police are investigating three threats made against Suffolk County schools in the space of just two days in the first week of the new academic year, two involving firearms and one involving a bomb.
New York City schools Deputy Chancellor Hydra Mendoza, a longtime colleague of Chancellor Richard Carranza, is stepping down to spend more time with her family in California.
The recently formed commission tasked with creating a public financing system for the state’s elections has been sued for records by the Government Justice Center, which is alleging that the group isn’t abiding with the state Freedom of Information Law.
De Blasio’s office had been warned that Man Up! Inc., an anti-violence group that the mayor’s office cited when he announced community support funding after a Brownsville mass shooting, had serious financial mismanagement issues.
Prosecutors urged state lawmakers to provide more funds to district attorneys' offices or delay the rollout of discovery reforms set to take effect Jan. 1, arguing they need additional staffers and upgraded technology to comply.
Advancing the Long Island Rail Road’s long-delayed East Side Access plan and making sure the LIRR gets an equitable share of funds are among Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top priorities for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s five-year capital program.
New York City will announce that it will no longer issue violations for sidewalk damage caused by city-owned trees after Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed that the city, not homeowners, will be responsible for fixing them.
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Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have opened an investigation into possible lending fraud in the New York City taxi industry, the most significant action so far in response to practices that trapped thousands of cab drivers under crushing debt.
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Onondaga County Comptroller Matthew Beadnell accused the county’s Democratic elections commissioner of occasionally working as a driver for Uber and Lyft during daytime business hours.
Rochester's police union is suing to block a referendum on the November ballot on a proposed review board that, if approved, would have the authority to discipline officers.
Former New York City convicts were saddled with a combined $20 million in court fees straight out of prison in 2017 – with some getting jailed again for failing to pay the fines, according to a report by city Comptroller Scott Stringer.
A crowd of angry parents opposing a new state ban on religious exemptions from schoolchildren's vaccinations protested at Monday’s Board of Regents meeting, causing the state Education Department’s entrances to be chained shut temporarily.
About 13,000 New York City middle school students – or 1 in 15 kids – admitted to smoking an e-cigarette last year, the city Department of Health of Mental Hygiene announced.
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The state Joint Commission on Public Ethics denied a request from the New York chapter of Smart Approaches to Marijuana to keep its donors private, but the anti-marijuana lobbying group is likely to appeal.
The NYPD will no longer automatically strip cops of their badges if they are dealing with mental illness – a step to help destigmatize officers asking for help after several NYPD cops committed suicide this year.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection announced a lawsuit against Chipotle, accusing the fast food chain of fair work week violations.
State Attorney General Letitia James announced her office had filed a motion to block a Trump administration rule change that would deny green cards and visas to immigrants who are seeking social services and other welfare programs.
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The judge in the insider trading case against Rep. Chris Collins has made his biggest decision in the case so far this year, and while the judge kept that decision a secret for now, the order he filed publicly appears to bode badly for Collins.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and 11 other Democratic governors sent a letter to President Donald Trump and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urging the Republican leaders to pursue stricter federal gun-control measures.
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Editorial Pages
Keith Wright serves as both chairman of the Manhattan Democrats and as a lobbyist, so when Wright comes a-knocking for a client, the carrot for Democratic lawmakers is donations – the stick is being punished by your own party leader.
New York this fall has the best chance in years to adopt a strong system of public financing, and done right, this new policy could increase competition and amplify the voices of small donors in elections – if career politicians don’t kill it first.
From City & State
National Politics
Trump has ordered White House officials to conduct a sweeping crackdown on homelessness in California and officials have discussed using the federal government to get homeless people into new government-backed facilities.
President Donald Trump announced that he had fired John Bolton, his third national security adviser, amid fundamental disagreements over how to handle major foreign policy challenges like Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan.
In Depth
New York City Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan gets his authority through an irregular – explicitly partisan – process in New York state, which allows his agency to avoid a high degree of public accountability.
For 25 years, the Child Welfare Organizing Project, a group of mostly low-income black and Hispanic mothers in New York City whose children had been taken away from them, managed to turn their pain into policy, but now it’s on the brink of collapse.