Two Floridians made an appearance in New York City this week, and one fared a lot better than the other. Gov. Ron DeSantis held a rally to support law enforcement on Staten Island. Meanwhile, an American alligator by the name of Godzilla held an impromptu press conference from Duck Island. Godzilla and Ron both belong down south, but both were drawn to New York City’s frigid shores by strange national forces: presidential ambitions, the illicit exotic pet trade. One of them ended up with a bathtub stopper stuck in their stomach, the other got into a Twitter fight with New York City Mayor Eric Adams. In this whacky year in this whacky world, it truly is a toss-up.
Anthony Palumbo -
Republican state Sen. Anthony Palumbo has a lot to celebrate this week after Suffolk County Judge Thomas Whelan ruled in his favor. Palumbo sued Senate Democrats for initially not allowing Gov. Kathy Hochul’s controversial chief judge nominee, Hector LaSalle, a full Senate vote. While the Democratic conference’s did grant LaSalle a floor vote before the ruling – which many suspected to be a last ditch effort to render the lawsuit moot – Palumbo still won big in the end.
Henry Garrido -
Executive Director Henry Garrido is celebrating a long-awaited contract agreement for District Council 37, New York’s largest public employee union covering almost 90,000 municipal employees. After dealing with negotiations over the span of two mayoral administrations, DC 37 and Eric Adams came to an agreement announcing a five-year contract; the tentative agreement includes a 3% annual raise, investments in a Child Care Trust Fund and New Committee to Explore Flexible Work Options.
Jessica Ramos -
In a town like Albany, nothing is official until it’s official. So now that the Department of Labor has crossed its t’s and dotted its i’s, a new, lower threshold for farm workers to start getting paid overtime can finally begin its rollout. State Sen. Jessica Ramos has been a champion not only for the Farm Workers Bill of Rights that set overtime requirements to begin with, but has lobbied hard to see the threshold lower from 60 hours a week to 40. With the final approval from labor officials, Ramos will see the fruits of her hard work next year, when the threshold will go down to 56 hours per week, the first in the multi-year process to bring it down to 40.
Elizabeth McCarthy -
Late contract payments and lofty funding cuts – that’s been the taxing story of many New York City nonprofits over the years. Those issues along with low program enrollment are what doomed Sheltering Arms, a 200-year-old nonprofit that has served more than 17,000 children and families, according to CEO Elizabeth McCarthy. The sweeping organization will end its services this spring. While other nonprofits will apparently take over some of its programs and free up positions for Sheltering Arms staff, the shutdown of an organization that’s survived two centuries doesn’t bode well for the sector as a whole.
Andrew Olson -
Captain of the Titanic. CEO of Twitter. Producer of Spider-Man on Broadway. All of these are better jobs than what Olson just took on: campaign treasurer for Rep. George Santos. Of course, it isn’t entirely clear who Olson is, or if he is a real person at all, but that’s the name Santos gave on new FEC paperwork so he can start fundraising again. The captain goes down with the ship. Will the treasurer, too?
Dawn Pinnock -
The City dropped a report this week finding that New York City has gotten back less than a penny on the dollar for more than $200 million worth of COVID-19 personal protective equipment and medical supplies bought at the height of the pandemic and recently auctioned off by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services. The Adams administration disputed the reported original costs of the auctioned items – putting it at closer to $42 million – two days after the story was published. But DCAS is still stuck trying to scrape back pennies for massive COVID-era emergency spending.