Fashion’s biggest night? Mayor Eric Adams skipped the Met Gala this year, preferring instead to go to other parties. State politics’ biggest night? Gov. Kathy Hochul skipped town while the state Legislature passed the budget, a month late, preferring to go to a state Dems fundraiser at a Yankees game instead. Who else did their own thing this week? And who stuck out in a bad way? Read on.
Bobby Carroll -
New York’s public power from the New York Power Authority will have to be 100% renewable by 2030, and the state will have to close publicly owned polluting fossil fuel plants five years earlier than expected. Assembly Member Bobby Carroll was the prime sponsor of the Build Public Renewables Act and one of its most passionate cheerleaders. The inclusion of the climate friendly law was a bit of a pleasant surprise in a notoriously opaque budget process.
Zohran Mamdani -
Assembly Member Zohran Mamdani has tons to celebrate. Not only did he score the cover of City & State – garnering cheers from fans and colleagues – the (long-awaited) state budget included funding for the financially strained MTA. This is huge since Mamdani has been on the front lines advocating for the “Fix the MTA” proposal. But in the end, the Queens Assembly member decided to vote no on the “Big Ugly” budget bill, which included the MTA funding, because of rollbacks to the state’s bail laws. Guess you can’t win 'em all.
With great power comes greatly disruptive protests. Nestor Davidson, who chairs the Rent Guidelines Board, was temporarily overpowered by progressive City Council members and tenant advocates who showed up in force at an initial vote of the board this week. The board was set to determine a potential range of allowable rent adjustments for rent-stabilized apartments, but protesters shouted over the meeting and took the stage to call for rent rollbacks or freezes, forcing Davidson to call a recess. Unfortunately for the protesters, great power also means that the board can go ahead and recommend raising rents anyway, which Davidson and the board eventually voted to do.
Curtis Sliwa -
This doesn’t sound like a Guardian Angel. Former Republican New York City mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa, who famously had 17 cats with his current wife, got sued by his ex wife for not paying more than half a million dollars in child support to just one son. Anybody else wonder how much he spends on cat food?
Henry Wojtaszek -
The state budget included some major wins for lawmakers and New Yorkers around the state – but Henry Wojtaszek isn’t one of them. The head of the beleaguered Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. finds himself in the crosshairs of the spending plan. It includes language that immediately unseats the entire 17-member board and restructures it after years of alleged corruption among its ranks. And while Wojtaszek still has a job, the GOP insider at the center of much of the criticism isn’t expected to keep it for long with the new changes.