Nicole Malliotakis Takes a Longshot

A young, female, Republican from Staten Island. Nicole Malliotakis has a lot of demographic challenges to make up in her run for mayor of New York City. But the four-term assemblywoman is already making a splash as arguably the most prominent challenger to Bill de Blasio’s re-election. Malliotakis joins us today to talk about why she would be a better advocate for New York City’s interests in Albany, how she’d change the city’s immigration policies.

Arzt History 101

He’s been sued by Donald Trump, insulted by Mario Cuomo and hired by Ed Koch. George Arzt has been around city politics for decades, and now runs a communications firm. Like any PR pro, he’s a master of the one-liner. He joins us to talk about all the mayors he covered and why de Blasio is the most political of them all. We also ask George how interacting with the media has changed since his days flacking for Ed Koch.

Cuomo’s Quandaries

The new secretary to the governor, Melissa DeRosa, could be the second-most powerful person in the state, but her father is also a powerful Albany lobbyist. NY1 statehouse reporter Zack Fink’s job is to ask our state leaders uncomfortable questions, but when Fink asked Gov. Cuomo about DeRosa’s perceived conflicts of interest, the governor didn’t take too kindly to it. Zack joins the podcast from Albany to talk about that testy exchange, plus the most contentious budget process of Cuomo’s tenure and the governor’s national ambitions.

Radicalized on Rikers

The drumbeat to close Rikers Island jail has reached a deafening pitch, and for the first time, New York City has a plan in place to do it. The lead author of the report detailing Rikers Island’s closure, former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman is with us today, along with Greg Berman, director of the Center for Court Innovation, who also worked on the report. They tell us about becoming radicalized on shutting down Rikers Island and their relentless push in support of a plan that’s already facing tough opposition from NIMBYers, corrections officials and politicians.

The Better Late Then Never Budget

It’s easy to paint Albany with the broad brush of dysfunctional government, but what do you make of a state budget that misses the deadline, but hits on a lot of key issues? Few people know state politics like Bruce Gyory, so he’s with us today to sort through the sausage-making in the budget process and the highlights of the final $153 billion document. A senior advisor at Manatt Phelps and Phillips, Gyory advised three governors and is also an adjunct professor at UAlbany, plus a frequent Slant contributor.

A Fighting Chance for Fair Fares

Sometimes an issue is so big, so obvious, so logical, that we as New Yorkers just can’t stay quiet. For us, that issue is Fair Fares. Two of the leaders of the movement to give half-price Metrocards to low income New Yorkers are here with us: Nancy Rankin of the Community Service Society and Rebecca Bailin of the Riders alliance. We look at the issue of mass transit affordability from all angles – political, socio-economic, criminal justice and more.

Running Against Himself

We all remember Dante’s afro from 2013, but what an we expect from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s reelection campaign? De Blasio’s former press secretary Phil Walzak is now a senior adviser on the campaign. He’s with us today to talk about running as an incumbent, what De Blasio has to gain from fighting Trump, and how to counter the narrative that the mayor isn’t a hard worker.

Unfinished Business

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s final term is winding down, but she is not backing away from an ambitious agenda in 2017. From criminal justice reform to being part of the “resistance” against the Trump presidency, the speaker has a lot on her plate. But how likely are the items on her agenda to come to fruition, and how will she ensure she doesn’t leave office with unfinished business? We ask the speaker these questions and grill her on her future plans as well.

NYC’s Homeless Policy Pivot

Christine Quinn may not be gearing up for a political resurrection just yet, but the former City Council speaker has carved out a vital role as one of New York City’s leading homeless advocates. Quinn, now the CEO of WIN, a nonprofit serving thousands of homeless families across the city, joins this week’s Slant Podcast to explain her endorsement of Bill de Blasio’s new homeless plan and tells us how she would have approached the homeless crisis differently if she was in city hall.

Organizing the Resistance

How does a Facebook post turn into a nationwide protest in just seven weeks? Linda Sarsour, the co-chair of the women’s march on Washington joins us to talk about her rise from Bay Ridge activist leading the Arab American Association of New York to helping organize the largest protest in US history. Sarsour is one of the most prominent Muslim-American activists on the national stage fighting against what she’s calls Donald Trump’s fascist regime.