Racial minorities in New York will officially be able to wear their hair however they want without fearing discrimination thanks to these two sponsors of a law signed this week by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The law hits close to home for Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright, who’s been au naturel for 17 years – and her legislation now ensures all people of color are protected from discrimination based on hairstyles or traits associated with race like braids, twists and dreadlocks.
This week’s biggest Winners & Losers
This week’s biggest Winners & Losers
Is President Donald Trump a loser for making racist tweets about four progressive, minority congresswomen? Was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the women Trump referred to, a winner or a loser for challenging her own party and claiming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is "singling out" young congresswomen of color?
Trump’s ICE raids also fizzled in his home city over the weekend and Ocasio-Cortez is being accused of stirring up a Democratic civil war. For a few slightly less controversial Winners & Losers, read on.
The governor got to indulge in some of his favorite perks of the job this week. A major electrical outage in Manhattan gave him a chance to play the role of the hands-on, take-charge executive, while he also had a chance to stick it to his best frenemy – Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was away from the city campaigning for president. What could be better than that? How about signing landmark legislation on MWBEs, climate change and farmworker rights? Adding his John Hancock to that last one even earned Cuomo praise from his ex-wife, Kerry Kennedy.
“It’s about damn time,” the Bronx borough president said at the news that Citi Bikes were officially coming to the Bronx. It’s been a long ride for the borough president, along with transit advocates who’ve pushed to expand Citi Bike to the Bronx for the six years its been stuck behind Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. Diaz took to the streets on Tuesday for a victory lap with members of the Department of Transportation. Once the docks are fully installed, the borough president and his fellow Bronxites will officially be able to take the bikes for a spin – between 2020 and 2023.
The New York City affordable housing lottery? More like the housing jack squattery, because that’s what most people get from it. Of course, you have a better chance of winning a spot if you already live in the neighborhood, a policy that Gurian, of the Anti-Discrimination Center, says only deepens racial segregation. He and others who sued the city got a win this week when the de Blasio administration was ordered to release a secret report bolstering Gurian’s argument. Must have felt like winning the legal lottery.
State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has had a blockbuster year, and it’s not just New Yorkers taking notice. Stewart-Cousins was elected chair of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, showing the name she’s made for herself in New York has national resonance. Plus, Senate Democrats blew Republicans out of the water in fundraising in the past six months. So what if that’s expected? ASC can still add it to her list of reasons to celebrate this week.
Hizzoner hit the national campaign trail, left a powerless city without a mayor and all he got was a lousy $1.1 million. The dismal fundraising total for Bill de Blasio’s presidential run was just one part of the New York City mayor’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. A 60-block blackout on Saturday only lasted several hours, but de Blasio is still paying for campaigning in Iowa, instead of being on the scene of Con Ed’s crisis. And even when he’s serving in his role as mayor, de Blasio can’t win, garnering harsh criticism for not calling for NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo’s firing.
Residents in Mount Vernon are seeing double. Two different people are claiming to the mayor and chaos now reigns in this New York City suburb. Harris, unfortunately, got arrested over the confusion. Purported acting Mayor Andre Wallace appointed Harris as police chief. Richard Thomas, who says he is still mayor after pleading guilty to charges involving misspent campaign funds, ousted Harris in March. When Harris showed up for his first day back, the police he was meant to lead did not recognize his legitimacy, charged him with criminal trespassing and arrested him. What a world.
This week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo returned to his habit of bashing two of his favorite targets: Bill de Blasio and Con Edison. When it comes to the major utility company, at least some of the criticism was warranted, as a large swath of Manhattan went dark without explanation this weekend, leading to stalled subway trains, shut-down shows and blackouts across dozens of city blocks. If there’s any silver lining for Con Ed chief John McAvoy, it’s that Cuomo’s threat to boot the company from New York is probably just a bluff.
The Kentucky libertarian drew bipartisan anger from New York politicians this week when he objected to the U.S. Senate’s renewal of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Paul cited not wanting to add to the national debt as the reason for his objection, which former Daily Show host Jon Stewart slammed as “fiscal responsibility virtue signaling.” Fellow Republicans have gone full New York on Paul, using colorful language to denounce him. Queens City Councilman Eric Ulrich summed it up like this: “Well once again @RandPaul proved himself to be a piece of shit. I say that as a lifelong New Yorker and Republican.”
The secret is out about the freshman GOP assemblyman, who pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct in May. Smullen had claimed last year that a political rival was behind the revelations that Smullen had falsely stated his primary residence in 2016 in order to secure a property tax exemption. The retired Marine colonel managed to avoid a felony charge in the end, but he will have to make sure that he sticks to regulations moving forward – or he will have to make another trip back to the brig.