This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?
June 18, 2020

Primary elections are just a few days away, and while there may be an alternative explanation for the baffling uptick in fireworks going off around the city – quarantine-induced boredom, perhaps – we’re going to assume New Yorkers are just celebrating Election Day early. Some incumbent lawmakers facing a potential change in occupation – whether voluntarily, like state Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan, or via a possible primary upset, like Rep. Eliot Engel – might want to consider acquiring some fireworks of their own. Go out not with a whimper, but a bang, right?

Winners: 
Martín Batalla Vidal

The Mexican-American Queensite was one of the plaintiffs in the U.S. Supreme Court’s just-decided Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals case that will prevent President Donald Trump from terminating the program that protects many undocumented immigrant children from being deported. Batalla Vidal, a DACA enrollee, along with countless other undocumented immigrant children can now rest easy knowing that the federal program has been secured.

Simcha Eichenstein, Simcha Felder & Kalman Yeger

“Mr. de Blasio, tear down this gate!” Reagan’s plea to Gorbachev took two years to get action. These three southern Brooklyn politicians got what they wanted in a few days. The assemblyman, state senator and city councilman used heavy duty tools to break the locks on playgrounds shut down by the coronavirus pandemic – then rode the swings together unmasked. Soon, the mayor relented. Playgrounds will reopen Monday, phase two or no phase two.

Tina Luongo

Repealing 50-a was a major win for police reform activists seeking police transparency. But anyone who's familiar with New York's public records law knows that the process is filled with months of delays, disappearing documents and endless headaches. To allow people to bypass that byzantine process, Tina Luongo at The Legal Aid Society pushed New York City to just publish the police disciplinary records online. The organization is no stranger to the concept, having operated its own police misconduct database in recent years. Within days, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed off on such a plan. 

Losers: 
Ruben Diaz Sr

We’ve known for more than a year that the cowboy-hatted Bronx politician had a chance of capitalizing on a divide a crowded Democratic field to win the contest to represent the South Bronx in Washington. But as the June 23 primary approaches, the maverick candidate is facing multiple headwinds: Planned Parenthood and other groups are on the attack, a political action committee is alleging he took illegal corporate donations, and that police union endorsement may end up hurting more than it helps. That’s what you should know

Diana Richardson

When Rodneyse Bichotte was elevated to be the next Democratic boss in Brooklyn, she positioned herself as a uniter who could bring the borough’s fractured factions together. Yet ahead of this month’s primary elections, Bichotte made the unusual decision to omit one incumbent from her slate of endorsements: Assemblywoman Diana Richardson, who’s facing a challenge from ex-IDCer Jesse Hamilton. Who knows how much the snub might hurt Richardson, who’s already had a headline-grabbingtenure in the Assembly. 

Joe Strasburg

Wherever there are tenant advocates celebrating a victory, there are landlords – and their representatives like the Rent Stabilization Association’s Strasburg – mourning a loss. The latest development on this front is a rent freeze for rent-stabilized apartments in New York City in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout. The only concession the city’s supposedly apolitical Rent Guidelines Board gave landlords of rent-stabilized units was a 1% increase in the second year of a two-year lease. It’s a slightly better than the two-year freeze tenant advocates wanted, but still a cold comfort for the landlords hoping for a revenue bump.

City & State
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