This Week's Headline

Rezonings, Omicron and Adams Admin picks

Rounding up the week’s political news.

Winter is upon us, and with it has come a brand new surge of COVID-19 cases.

Winter is upon us, and with it has come a brand new surge of COVID-19 cases. WoodysPhotos/Shutterstock

The saga that is former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s book deal continues with not one but two twists in the twisting tale. First, the state’s ethics watchdog decided to make the ex-governor repay the $5.1 million he got in his deal to publish a memoir about the coronavirus pandemic. But enforcement needed to come from the attorney general’s office. And it looks like that won’t happen. A lawyer with the attorney general’s office said the repayment order was illegal. So the story of Cuomo continues. Keep reading for the rest of this week’s news.

An eventful end to the City Council year

In the final stated meeting of the year, the New York City Council approved a number of big-ticket items, including the SoHo/NoHo rezoning in a last-minute victory for de Blasio before he leaves office. The controversial plan had been met with opposition by members of the wealthy community, but supported by advocates of affordable housing, The rezoning is expected to produce 900 affordable units. Lawmakers also approved a landmark gas ban that would outlaw new gas hookups in buildings in favor of electric stoves and water heaters. And they joined the statewide march towards good cause eviction by passing a resolution in support of the proposal and calling on the state Legislature to pass it. Although a number of upstate cities passed their own local versions of the renter protections, New York City doesn’t have the authority to approve housing laws within its borders, so the resolution was the next best thing.

Adams makes administration picks

After what some considered a slow start to staffing up his administration, New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams made two important appointments. The first was his new police commissioner, picking the New York City Police Department’s first female leader in Keechant Sewell. An unexpected choice, Sewell comes from Long Island, where she spent about two decades in the suburban police force, rising through the ranks before getting the attention of Adams. Although she doesn’t have deep ties to the NYPD or extensive experience managing a force the size of New York’s, her appointment was met with praise by policing experts and reformers alike. Adams also tapped Louis Molina as the commissioner of the Department of Correction, who will take over the troubled system after a year marked by numerous deaths of those in custody. Molina will be the first Latino in charge of the city’s jail system. And when he announced the appointment, Adams also said that he would begin using solitary confinement again, a decision lauded by jail workers but decried by criminal justice reformers.

State’s longest-serving state legislator retires

After over half a century in the state Legislature, Assembly Member Richard Gottfried announced that he would retire at the end of 2022 and would not seek reelection. Elected when he was just 23, Gottfried spent the last 50 years as a progressive leader in Albany and spearheaded the push for single-payer health care in New York. Fellow progressive lawmakers and advocates for single-payer are now hoping that the Legislature can approve the New York Health Act before he’s gone. Gottfried’s retirement also quickly led to a crowded field of potential and announced candidates who want to win a seat that hasn’t been open for decades.

Winter COVID surge comes to NY

Winter is upon us, and with it has come a brand new surge of COVID-19 cases. The state, as well as New York City, are experiencing the highest rates of infection since the beginning of the year. Statewide, the number of cases has increased nearly 60% since Thanksgiving. In the city, the number of cases doubled in the course of a few days. And the new, highly virulent omicron variant is quickly spreading both among the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. Statewide, Gov. Hochul’s mask or vaccine mandate for businesses went into effect, though not without pushback. A handful of county executives around the state said they would not enforce the mandate. Meanwhile, in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio expanded the vaccine mandate for employers and said that he would open more testing sites, extend hours and send 500,000 home testing kits to residents across the city. The announcement came after the city had shuttered a number of testing sites and as lines to get a COVID-19 test began to once again wrap around blocks as they once did in the early days of the pandemic. Hochul also said the state would begin prioritizing getting home testing kits to the unvaccinated

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.