New Yorkers are experiencing some intense environmental vibes. Oppressive heat. Apocalyptic smoke. Flooding. Even Aphids! Meanwhile, geologists are on a group chat letting us know that we are sinking into the waters around us millimeter by millimeter. Fortunately our mayor in the state’s largest city has a great relationship with God, because she might be the only one who can help us at this point. This stuff is biblical!
Mike Gianaris -
In the latest development in the never-ending redistricting saga, New York Democrats scored a major victory when the state appellate court ordered the independent redistricting commission to redraw the state’s congressional maps. This news is also a considerable win for Deputy Senate Majority Leader Mike Gianaris – who beared much of the brunt for being behind the initial maps, which largely favored Democrats, that were initially thrown out in court. While Republicans have vowed to fight the case in the state’s highest court, it's still a good week for Gianaris and state Democrats.
James Dolan -
It was a great week for Madison Square Garden owner James Dolan, when the New York City Planning Commission voted 9-1 to grant Dolan another 10-year permit to operate the arena above Penn Station – despite an MTA report showing the two entities are incompatible. Under the latest renewal, Dolan will be required to make public improvements in the surrounding areas and need to demonstrate compatibility with the MTA’s plans to redevelop Penn Station. But hey … that’s an arguably small price to pay to continue to sitting pretty atop the busiest transit hub in the U.S.
Marianne Pizzitola -
What do you call an organized group of former city employees with plenty of time on their hands? Eric Adams’ worst nightmare. New York City retirees won an initial court victory on Friday when a judge temporarily blocked a long-planned switch to a privatized Medicare Advantage health care plan for city retirees. The NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees (led by Pizzitola), along with other plaintiffs, continues to fight the planned switch, which the city says is necessary to achieve promised health care cost savings.
We regret making New York City Mayor Eric Adams a loser last week – this week was so much worse for him. Let us count the ways. The City Council exercised its veto override powers, a rare occurrence despite the longtime Democratic supermajority, to enact a package of housing bills lawmakers recently passed. Adams and his administration got hammered by the Council for their response to the dangerous Canadian wildfire smoke. And, though he was not implicated, donors to his mayoral campaign got indicted over a straw donor scheme. Even Adams’ press secretary, the guy meant to help put out fires rather than start them, got in hot water this week over a questionable tweet.
Lisa Bova-Hiatt -
Running NYCHA is a tough job, but someone’s got to be responsible. And unfortunately for Lisa Bova-Hiatt, within a week of her position as interim CEO becoming permanent, the housing authority put out a staggering new price tag for repairs to the aging buildings. The estimate now stands at over $78 billion, a dramatic increase from the $45 billion estimated in 2017. There’s little NYCHA management can do on its own without new revenue streams to fund the massive repair costs, but the astronomical price tag is really just bad news for everyone involved.