–Dan Levitan, a campaign spokesperson for Mayor Bill De Blasio, to the Gotham Gazette
Kings County Politics
“Democratic City Council Candidate Henry Butler (41-Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, East Flatbush) this week released a detailed policy paper on how he would tackle affordable housing focussing on new development, existing NYCHA housing, home ownership and senior living…’I created this plan because it addresses the core issues happening in our district, and gives concrete ideas that will ensure that everyone in our community can afford a place to call home. Displacement has become a growing problem in the 41st District, and as a member of the City Council, I will not stand by and let this continue to happen,’ said Butler in the plan. The first part of Butler’s plan calls for any new private development on the 216 city-owned vacant lots has to partner with a nonprofit, a Community Land Trust (CLT) or union workers to ensure a community driven approach”. Our take: It’s clear Butler has been paying close attention to the ongoing discussion in the city about how to make ‘affordable housing’ truly affordable for low-income residents, including in the city’s housing plan for Brownsville. His explicit call for community land trusts is also a sign of that model’s growing eminence.
Malliotakis Received Max Contribution from Dan Loeb
“Daniel Loeb, the investor, political donor, and charter school network leader who has found himself embroiled in controversy after racially charged remarks about State Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, donated the maximum allowable contribution of $4,950 to the campaign of presumptive Republican mayoral nominee Nicole Malliotakis. The brash board chair of the Success Academy Charter Schools Network and CEO of the Third Point hedge fund said in a Thursday Facebook post that Stewart-Cousins, a Democrat from Westchester who is African-American, had done ‘more damage to people of color than anyone who has ever donned a hood,’ in apparent reference to her anti-charter school position on public school education and the KKK, and in response to a reported exchange between Stewart-Cousins and Governor Andrew Cuomo.” Our take: It seems unlikely that Malliotakis will give into calls to return Loeb’s donations, given what the campaign spokesperson says: that she agrees with Loeb’s stance on charter schools, though not his remark.
Ranking of All the 2017 New York City Councilmembers
City and State
“…Anyone who pays attention to local politics can tell you, some members of the City Council are better about carrying out their duties than others. So which New York City Council members are falling short? And who is truly getting the job done – self-congratulatory press releases notwithstanding? City & State set out to find the answer. What we ended up with is a comprehensive ranking of the best – and worst – members of the New York City Council. We identified seven criteria to assess each member: attendance record, the number of bills introduced and signed into law, responsiveness to questions from constituents and from the media, and public prominence, as measured by Google search results and number of Twitter followers.” Our take: For anyone looking to assess their local councilmember’s performance, this is one take that focuses on activeness in the job. Maybe another take would rank councilmembers by the donations they receive from various special interest groups.
Fund-Raising Push by Challenger Forces de Blasio Into Primary Debates
The New York Times
“Mayor Bill de Blasio will have to appear in two debates before the September primary now that his chief Democratic rival, Sal F. Albanese, has crossed the threshold of fund-raising and campaign spending needed to qualify. Mr. Albanese, according to his most recent campaign filing, which was disclosed Friday, has so far raised more than $191,000 and spent almost the same sum. The debates, which will take place on Aug. 23 and Sept. 6, are organized by the city’s Campaign Finance Board under its rules for disbursing matching funds…Mr. Albanese raised more money over the last filing period than Mr. de Blasio — $67,000 to $61,200 — a result, the mayor’s campaign said, of Mr. de Blasio focusing on organizing and rallying supporters through house parties.” Our take: Two debates, we at least hope, will allow an opportunity for a rich discussion about policy, so perhaps even De Blasio’s supporters have a reason to celebrate.
Quaglione Opponents React To His Proposal To End 5-Cent Container Deposits
Kings County Politics
“Republican City Council Candidate John Quaglione (43-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach) this week called for the repeal and replacement of the New York State Returnable Container Act, also known as the “Bottle Bill” and is vowing, if elected, to author a Home Rule Message to the New York State Legislature. ‘Every day of this campaign I have been talking to voters about my plan to improve the quality of life of this district. For many, that starts with the elimination of the 5 cent refund on bottles and cans. There is great frustration among residents that strangers are trespassing on their property and going through their garbage. This must end,’ said John Quaglione.” Our take: If these pols pushed the state to get rid of 5-cent bottle recycling or increased enforcement of trespassing laws, would they also discuss how to provide other work for anyone who might bottle-recycle as a livelihood?