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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nobody’s ever accused Charles Barron of speaking like a cautious politician. The former city councilman turned assemblyman has represented Brooklyn in the halls of power for years. Barron joins us today to peel back the curtain regarding the racial power dynamics in city Hall and at the capitol and talk leverage politics versus power politics.
Midnight immigration raids, travel bans, and rumors of fake ICE agents harassing subway riders. We know who to blame now – but these enforcement actions were a part of the immigration system long before Donald Trump took office, and Democrats share some of the blame. Two guests from the Immigrant Defense Project, Marie Mark and Michael Velarde, join us to give some clarity on the consequences and roots of President Trump’s immigration policies.