This week we’re covering and explaining some New York political funny business.
Thanks for reading,
– Michael Spitzer-Rubenstein
Stat of the Week: 17,143 hours of work missed by New York City employees due to transportation issues. Another big reason the MTA needs to fix the subways.
One of the most interesting features of this year’s campaign against a Constitutional Convention is the broad coalition assembled against it. New Yorkers Against Corruption, the organization encouraging voters to vote No in November, encompasses groups like the Working Families and Conservative Parties that would normally never see eye-to-eye. And that leads to some interesting, contradictory rhetoric.
For instance, both New York State Right to Life and Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts have websites encouraging voters to reject the Constitutional Convention for seemingly opposite reasons. And when you look into the money, it gets more interesting.
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But, as the Daily News reports, the Department of Education launched an investigation two years ago and there’s no end in sight.
Political power, pure and simple.
The Haredi Jewish community is powerful and has long-standing ties to Mayor Bill de Blasio (when he was a Councilman, he represented part of the heavily Jewish neighborhood of Borough Park). He doesn’t want to upset a powerful constituency, especially right before an election. Whether or not someone has explicitly tried to slow the investigation down, nothing is improving for the students at those yeshivas.
The Department of Education might seem powerful but it’s no match for New York City politics.
• Harvey Reminder: New York Still Not Ready for Hurricane
As Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey batters Houston, the flooded and crippled city brings to mind just a piece of what Superstorm Sandy inflicted on New York City five years ago.
And while the MTA has committed to rebuilding from Sandy, a recent Gizmodo feature demonstrates that they still have a ways to go. While the MTA has repaired and strengthened three of the East River subway tunnels and is working on another four, two are still awaiting repairs. The L train tunnel (between Williamsburg and the East Village) and F train tunnel (Dumbo and Chinatown Manhattan) have not been repaired. Those repairs, along with the year-long shutdown of the L train, won’t begin for another year and a half.
The subway is already crumbling and money is tight even for the improvements necessary for regular operations. If a hurricane hits New York soon, the prognosis would be grim.
Quote of the Week: “They should come together and stop playing silly games.” – State Senator on Carl Marcellino (R-Long Island) opposing both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plans to fund subway improvements. Apparently, he thinks the MTA can fix the subway without any money.