Public Advocate Hopefuls Debate; Vance on the Defensive: Campaign Headlines for Oct. 17

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“If you vote yes, you’re taking a leap of faith, because we do not know who the delegates are going to be.”

-Susan Welber, staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society, on the prospect of a constitutional convention

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James and Polanoco Square Off in Friendly yet Feisty Debate

Gotham Gazette

“Public Advocate Letitia James, a Democrat running for reelection, squared off against her Republican opponent, J.C. Polanco, in a friendly yet competitive debate on Monday that highlighted substantive differences, and some shared opinions, between the two candidates on a range of policy issues. Given the race features an incumbent, the debate centered in large part on James’ record as public advocate over the last four years, especially her performance in holding the mayoral administration accountable.”

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Push Against For-Profit Developers in City Housing Plan


“City officials say nonprofit developers are getting about a third of the deals to build affordable apartments under Mayor de Blasio’s housing plan. But a new report from the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, which represents nonprofits and community development groups, argues they should be getting more. The report says nonprofits build more housing that’s affordable to the poorest New Yorkers. It also says those apartments are likely to stay affordable for longer because nonprofits don’t have as much incentive to sell their buildings when their city contracts end.”

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Vance on the Defensive Over Campaign Money

Spectrum News/NY1

“The district attorney is bringing in a third party to review all campaign contributions he receives to set a new policies going forward. He has stopped taking donations from defense attorneys in the interim. Vance is running for re-election unopposed next month. ‘I did not anticipate those events to become the major news items that they were,’ Vance said. ‘And the timing of them was just the way the world works.'”

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Cuomo’s Infrastructure Plan Faces Questions

City & State

“The opening of the new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge was a victory for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in part because he succeeded in pushing a last-minute bill through the state Legislature to have the bridge named for his father. The first span of the bridge, developed by a consortium called Tappan Zee Constructors, opened ‘on time and on budget,’ according to Cuomo. However, there are concerns about how the state will pay for the bridge. The solution may involve raising tolls, an unpopular option, and the Toll Advisory Task Force created in 2015 has never met and is more than a year overdue in providing its recommendations.”

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Brooklyn Club Debates Pros and Cons of the ConCon

Kings County Politics

“A huge question mark in the debate is the fact that much depends on the particular delegates elected to propose changes in Albany. Not only do delegates choose potential changes, they decide how to present those changes—either grouping them all together to be voted on as a package deal, or clustering them in ways that might complicate voting. ‘If you vote yes, you’re taking a leap of faith, because we do not know who the delegates are going to be,’ said Susan Welber, staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society. ‘And you can make predictions, you can make projections, but in the end we simply don’t know.'”

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