The Never-ending Saga: Ben Kabak Talks Transit

Ben Kabak is the author of the 2nd Ave. Sagas blog, which chronicles the daily developments and drama of New York City’s transportation system and the MTA. He dropped by the Slant podcast, co-hosted by City & State editor-at-large Gerson Borrero and guest host Jon Lentz, City & State editor-in-chief, to talk about the city’s transit woes. Kabak discussed the appointment of the new president of New York City Transit, Andy Byford, and the likelihood of a congestion pricing plan passing the state legislature.

Kabak also discussed possible activism that could engage politicians, and how Gov. Andrew Cuomo could face some political threats in 2018 based on his handling of the transit crisis.

Finksgiving Part 2: De Blasio’s Second Term Preview and Surveying the 2018 Landscape

In part two of our discussion with NY1 reporter Zack Fink, we look into what the next four years will look like for Mayor Bill de Blasio, who declared a mandate for his agenda after his re-election victory. Zack also surveys the 2018 landscape for competitive House races throughout the state and whether Gov. Cuomo will face a competitive primary.

Farewell, Nick Powell!

Our intrepid podcast host and opinion and features editor Nick Powell is leaving City & State for Galveston, Texas where he’ll report for the Houston Chronicle. As host, Nick has been instrumental in growing the Slant podcast to what it is now, and we will all surely miss him. In this extra episode, Gerson and Nick reminisce about building the podcast, discuss the state of the media industry, and Nick tells us some of his favorite and not-so-favorite guests. City & State editor-in-chief Jon Lentz also joins the conversation to discuss the future of the podcast.

Producer’s note: The second part of Nick and Gerson’s interview with NY1’s Zack Fink will be posted at the usual time next week and appear in First Read on Tuesday, November 21.

Finksgiving Part I: What do 2017 elections say about 2018 in New York?

Zack Fink believes the Democratic victories in the election on Nov. 7 could be a sign of things to come. The Albany reporter for NY1 and frequent podcast guest returned to talk about the election results in the city and state, and what it means for the future of the Democratic Party. Zack also previewed the 2018 statewide races and what the 2017 results could mean for potential primary and Republican challengers to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Economic Anxiety Takes Hold from Puerto Rico to New York, with NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli

As Puerto Rico continues to recover from the damage inflicted by Hurricane Maria, New York lawmakers met for a modified version of the 2017 Somos conference — which was held in Queens this year instead of San Juan.

As part of our coverage of Somos, we sat down with state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli to discuss just how difficult a recovery process this will be economically for Puerto Rico. We also talked about what inaction on the federal level means for New York’s budget.

Gov. Cuomo Talks Puerto Rico and Lower Manhattan Terror Attack

While this year’s normal SOMOS conference was cancelled due to the devastation from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, elected officials instead gathered in Queens to discuss the recovery and the path forward for the island.

Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke at the conference, committing New York’s resources to helping Puerto Rico and criticizing the federal response. Cuomo joins us for this podcast to discuss these issues as well as the recent terror attack in lower Manhattan.

J.C. Polanco Advocates for Himself

J.C. Polanco wants to redefine what it means to be a Republican in New York City. The long-shot candidate for public advocate dropped by the Slant podcast to talk about how he thinks Republican ideas can improve the community, from using charter schools as a tool for desegregation to his voter reform plan. The son of Dominican immigrants, Polanco discussed his complicated relationship with the state party, and how he hopes to inspire greater diversity in the New York GOP.

Gale Brewer’s No-Nonsense Solutions for Manhattan

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer tells it like it is. Whether she’s advocating for more women in government, working with residents on rezoning, or acting as Mayor Bill de Blasio’s conscience, Brewer is one of the rare politicians who governs practically, not politically. Brewer stopped by the Slant podcast to talk about her reaction to de Blasio’s new plan for reducing congestion, the negative side effects of term limits in the City Council, and the importance of borough presidents. Brewer also explained why she – probably – won’t run for mayor in 2021.

Repowering Puerto Rico

Nearly a month after Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico, it’s difficult to get a clear picture of the storm’s devastation to the island’s power grid. Gil Quiniones, the president of the New York Power Authority, was among a delegation of New York officials that visited the island and has deployed a team of volunteers to help Puerto Rico get back its electricity. Quiniones joins us this week to paint a vivid picture of the damage to Puerto Rico’s power grid. He lays out the island’s difficult task of modernizing and hardening its electrical grid to account for future storms, and details what the federal government is doing to help Puerto Rico get back on its feet.

The Doctoroff Is In

Hillary Clinton isn’t the only ex-New York politician on the book circuit. Dan Doctoroff, the former deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, joined The Slant podcast to discuss his new book, Greater than Ever: New York’s Big Comeback – a manifesto/memoir of the city’s journey to economic revitalization following the devastating September 11 terrorist attacks. Doctoroff explains why the timing was right for a Bloomberg-era retrospective, his previous interactions with Donald Trump, and how the Bloomberg administration set the stage for Bill de Blasio’s progressive achievements.