This week in the ShakingNewsletter, we’re looking at some of the nuts and bolts of politics: how activists are trying to pressure Cuomo to take action on homelessness and how candidates get on the ballot.

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Quote of the Week: “F–k you,” what some IDC supporters claimed to hear in an automated poll by the Working Families Party. The WFP claimed those listeners misheard and the recording said “thank you.”

Housing Activists Camp Out for Action from Cuomo

A coalition of housing groups is planning to camp out to pressure Gov. Andrew Cuomo to stop the growing problem of homelessness and take action to protect renters.

The groups involved include some of the most active in New York City: Alliance for Tenant Power (an umbrella organization of eight other groups including New York Communities for Change, Make the Road NY, and others), Community Voices Heard, Vocal-NY, Citizen Action of New York and Manufactured Housing Action. They’re going to erect what they’ve called “Cuomoville” outside Gov. Cuomo’s office to demand action.

What’s the strategy?

  • Get media attention.
  • Scare politicians into taking action.
  • Force Cuomo to accommodate them before he runs for President.
  • Demonstrate to their donors and volunteers that they are taking action.

Read more, including the Cuomo administration’s response.

It’s time for petitioning!

As New Yorkers, we’re used to people approaching us on the street asking for something. But if you’ve been confronted recently by clipboard-carriers asking you to sign a petition to get someone on the ballot, that’s because it’s petition time, the semi-official beginning of campaign season in New York.

In order to run in a New York election, candidates need to collect signatures from people who can vote in that election. That means if someone is running as a Democrat for Mayor of New York City, they need to collect signatures from Democrats in New York City. If a candidate is running as an independent, they can collect signatures from anyone who is registered to vote in the general election.

Learn more.

Stories We’re Following

• Opioids Create a Strange Alignment: Cuomo Agreeing with Democrats

In the closing days of the legislative session, the opioid crisis is turning into the latest flashpoint. State Senate Republicans passed a bill to make it easier for law enforcement to arrest drug dealers and impose longer sentences. Meanwhile, Gov. Cuomo has lined up with the Assembly Democrats in advocating for more treatment, including more insurance coverage for substance abuse counseling and rehabilitation.

The state legislative session ends next week, meaning that the “three men in a room” will need to agree to something over the next week in order to enact it into law.

• Mayor de Blasio Far Ahead

The New York Times reports on what they describe as “unfamiliar territory” for Mayor Bill de Blasio–in the lead. He came from behind to win both his races for Public Advocate in 2009 and then for Mayor in 2013. This time, however, he has few serious opponents in the Democratic primary. The Republican challengers, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and real estate executive Paul Massey, don’t seem to be attracting much of a following.

• Bad News for LIRR and Subway Riders

With Amtrak working on the tunnels under Penn Station over the summer, the MTA released their plans for the LIRR. While they plan to have the same capacity, it’ll be earlier and later and on buses and ferries. That’s going to mean longer commutes.

Meanwhile, here’s the Village Voice headline on Gov. Cuomo’s response: “Cuomo to NYC’s Suffering Subway Commuters: Drive a Car.”

• Crowley’s Treasurer Under Investigation

One of Queens Democratic Leader Rep. Joe Crowley’s closest allies, his campaign treasurer Scott Kaufman, is under investigation by the state Office of Court Administration. He may have violated the rules by receiving court appointments that allowed him to earn over the limit, taking home over $550,000 in court contracts over the last decade.

Kaufman received all these contracts from a judge whose sister works for Crowley, who also appoints judges. He told the Post that he had complied with all rules.

This is just the latest allegation involving people closely connected to Joe Crowley.

Statistic of the Week: $94 million in settlements. New York City will hand out $75 million to settle a class action lawsuit over dismissed summons that were meant to help NYPD officers fill quotas. They are also paying $19 million to two men over a wrongful conviction from the 1990s. This is just one in a string of similar lawsuits from people who were framed by Brooklyn cops and prosecutors.

Michael Spitzer-Rubenstein

Posted by Michael Spitzer-Rubenstein

Michael Spitzer-Rubenstein is the founder of ShakingNews.

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