Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who's up and who's down this week?

This week's biggest Winners & Losers.

This week's biggest Winners & Losers. City & State

Tradition has it that each week we identify a handful of political winners and losers, but this week we feel compelled to make an even bigger announcement. New York politics’ GREATEST OF ALL TIME  is… the Riverside Park goat herd! They were on hiatus due to the pandemic last year, but now they’re back to chomping on invasive plant species and being adored by their legions of fans. You can even support your favorite goat through ranked-choice voting.


Rich Maroko -

A lot of labor unions endorsed Eric Adams for mayor, but it was only Maroko’s Hotel Trades Council that Adams celebrated with this week and compared to the first girl he ever loved, Linda Perkins. But Maroko’s also got a friend in the current mayor, who’s still moving forward with the controversial Hotel Special Permit – and securing approval from community boards. No matter where you lay your head at night, don’t sleep on the political sway of HTC. 

Billy Jones & Joseph Griffo -

Visiting a barbershop on Sundays is technically no longer illegal thanks to Assemblyman Billy Jones and Senator Joseph Griffo, lawmakers who pushed a bill forward this year doing away with a century old blue law. The prohibition, though rarely enforced, technically barred barbershops from servicing customers on Sundays and may have originated as a way to crack down on bootleg barbers. Generally speaking though, blue laws are antiquated restrictions that barred businesses from operating on Sundays most often for religious reasons. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation last week so while the ban on barbershops has been rarely enforced over the years, New Yorkers will now be able to visit the barber free of the potential of experiencing a close shave with the law. 

Joshua Goldfein and Dawn Smalls -

New York City was forced to halt moving 8,000 homeless people from hotels back into congregate shelters, after being slapped with a lawsuit filed by the Legal Aid Society and law firm Jenner & Block last week. On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that the city was not taking the health of its homeless population into consideration and would not be able to move any person who has a disability back into a shelter until assessing whether or not their needs would be adequately met in doing so. This was a big win for Goldfein, as well as fellow Legal Aid Society lawyers Judith Goldiner Beth Hofmeister who also filed the suit, and Dawn Smalls, a former public advocate candidate, who spearheaded the effort to sue the city at Jenner & Block. 


Alessandra Biaggi -

Postponing an ethics hearing over ethics concerns is somewhat ironic, if at least promising that a committee is not breaking the rules it’s meant to uphold. But it’s not ideal, especially when you cancel it after the purported starting time. State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi was supposed to head up a highly anticipated hearing on government ethics. But only two committee members actually showed up in person, even though they were all reportedly supposed to be there. And because of the lifted pandemic state of emergency, it was believed the use of videoconferencing in this case would have violated the Open Meetings Law. So Biaggi announced she would hold off on the hearing to avoid violating state ethics laws because no one wanted to travel. Oof.

Andrew Cuomo -

You’d think after public outcry and multiple ongoing investigations, the Cuomo administration would learn to stop obfuscating data around COVID-19 deaths. Turns out New York state’s death count is 11,000 short of the federal government’s tally, a larger discrepancy than seen in any other state. The reason: New York officials excluded probable deaths and data from people who died at home, hospice, in state prisons or at state-run group homes for people with disabilities. The state Department of Health has said it’s not hiding data since it’s all visible through the federal government’s figures. But given the Cuomo’s administration’s lack of transparency around COVID-19 in nursing homes throughout the past year, it’s no surprise some people remain skeptical. And on top of all that, the governor even saw his proposed monument to essential workers get blocked this week.

Michael P. Hein -

New York’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program is not offering as much relief or operating with as much urgency as its name would suggest. The $2.4 billion program, administered by the state Office of Temporary Disability Assistance, has yet to release any funds to the roughly 120,000 households who have applied for relief. And that’s on top of the technical glitches that plagued applicants when the program opened in June. OTDA Commissioner Michael Hein is now facing complaints and calls for reforms from some of the same community organizations that have been tasked with helping New Yorkers apply for rent relief.