Friday, September 27, 2019


Statement from Mayor Bill de Blasio:
“Thanks to this latest court ruling, the new 14th Street busway has gotten the green light and starting next week, bus riders will finally get moving. This is a smart project that speeds up buses and leaves room for the drop-offs and deliveries the neighborhood needs. These are the changes we have to make as a city to fight congestion and give people transit options they can rely on.”

Statement from DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg:

“We are grateful to the judges of the Appellate Division, First Department for their decision today to allow DOT and New York City Transit to move forward with our 18-month Transit and Truck Priority Pilot Project on 14th Street. With over 27,000 trips taken on the M14 Select Bus Service each day, the new busway will help create more reliable commutes with shorter travel times. 

“We expect the pilot to take effect next Thursday morning, October 3rd. DOT and New York City Transit will continue to work with the NYPD, elected officials, local merchants, neighborhood residents, drivers and bus riders along 14th Street to monitor and evaluate the new service and make adjustments as needed.”

See details on the 14th Street Truck and Transit plan here:


  Today, Rep. Eliot L. Engel, the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rep. Adam Schiff, the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent a letter to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo for documents, including many he has refused to produce for weeks.

The Committees are investigating the extent to which President Trump jeopardized national security by pressing Ukraine to interfere with our 2020 election and by withholding security assistance provided by Congress to help Ukraine counter Russian aggression.

“Pursuant to the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry, we are hereby transmitting a subpoena that compels you to produce the documents set forth in the accompanying schedule by October 4, 2019,” the Chairmen wrote. 

To date, Pompeo has refused to produce these documents, which were first requested more than two weeks ago.  The Chairmen sent a follow-up letter warning Pompeo that they would consider compulsory measures if he continued to refuse to comply.

“This subpoena is being issued by the Committee on Foreign Affairs after consultation with the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on Oversight and Reform.  The subpoenaed documents shall be part of the impeachment inquiry and shared among the Committees.  Your failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry,” the Chairmen wrote.  

The Chairmen also sent a separate letter today notifying Pompeo that the Committees have scheduled depositions for five State Department officials over the next two weeks:

  • October 2, 2019:  Ambassador Marie “Masha” Yovanovitch
  • October 3, 2019:  Ambassador Kurt Volker
  • October 7, 2019:  Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent
  • October 8, 2019:  Counselor T. Ulrich Brechbuhl
  • October 10, 2019:  Ambassador Gordon Sondland

“The Committees are conducting this investigation in an expeditious, coordinated manner.  The Inspector General of the Intelligence Community has determined that the whistleblower complaint raises a matter of ‘urgent concern,’ is ‘credible,’ and ‘relates to one of the most significant and important of the DNI’s responsibilities to the American people’: our free and fair elections,” the Chairmen wrote.

Click here to read the subpoena letter.

Click here to read the deposition letter.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Will Ritchie Torres be Dropping Out of the 15th Congressional Race?

This came in from Ritchie Torres for Congress

Hey team,
I’ll be honest: I’m a little worried about our fundraising numbers this month. If I’m being completely honest, more than a little worried. Let me briefly explain why.
Our monthly fundraising goals are extremely important to everything we do. From buying supplies and post-canvassing grub for volunteers, to our crucial voter outreach operation, your contributions truly power this campaign. But after a brief update from my staff, I’m sorry to report that we're on track to fall short of our September goal.

The timing couldn’t be worse. It’s end-of-quarter, the time of year when campaigns have to get all of our financial ducks in a row. Failing now would raise a lot of questions among election observers about just how serious we are. I know we’re in this to win, and so do you -- let’s not let the political pundits write our story for us!

Editors Note:

We saw this from the Presidential Campaign of Bill de Blasio, before he dropped out of that race.

We also exclusively broke the Ritchie Torres/Michael Blake deal to have only one Bronx elected official run for Public Advocate in the February Special Election. Torres would not run and support Blake, while Blake would support Torres for the 15th Congressional District. Michael Blake said only two people knew about that deal, and wanted to know how I found out about it. Ritchie Torres would not comment on the record, but we had a long conversation off the record about the deal.

Could it be that Ritchie Torres has reached the end of his campaign for the 15th Congressional race? 

Will Ritchie Torres once again be supporting Michael Blake, this time for the 15th Congressional District?

Monday, September 23, 2019

DE BLASIO ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES KICKOFF OF NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAY A week of action to get New Yorkers registered before the October 11th deadline

 The de Blasio Administration and DemocracyNYC today announced the kickoff of a series of citywide events this week to celebrate National Voter Registration Day, a national day of action tomorrow, Tuesday, September 24th.

The City’s week of action will start this evening with a voter registration drive at the New York Mets stadium in Queens where DemocracyNYC and the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit will be registering New Yorkers at the Met-Willets Point subway station before tonight’s game, and inside Citi Field during the game. 

“Voting is the great equalizer – giving each one of us a voice and a chance to create the change we want to see," said Mayor de Blasio. "I encourage all New Yorkers to participate this week in National Voter Registration Day. Together we can build a stronger democracy.”

“Our future depends on engaging as many people as possible in the democratic process,” said J. Phillip Thompson, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives. “National Voter Registration Day is an important opportunity to engage those who have yet to participate in our democracy, and ensure they have the tools and resources they need to make their voices heard.”
“Registering to vote is one of the first steps you can take to make your voice heard in our democracy, and NVRD is a great opportunity to do just that,” said Chief Democracy Officer Rini Fonseca-Sabune, “Whether at the Mets game, on campus or at a government office, take a moment to register, update your registration or help your friends and family take this important step. For the first time in New York’s history, early voting will begin on October 26 and be available for nine days before Election Day. Register today and vote early!” said Rini Fonseca-Sabune, Chief Democracy Officer, DemocracyNYC.

Over 12 city agencies will be hosting voter registration drives this week at different locations citywide, available here. Tomorrow, over 24 Human Resources Administration (HRA) Job and SNAP Centers will be running voter registration drives in the five boroughs, available here.

All IDNYC Centers citywide will be providing voter registration materials for those signing up for or renewing their IDNYC, beginning Thursday, September 26.

The City University of New York is joining the voting registration drive this week at 20 of their CUNY campuses in the five boroughs. The efforts on CUNY campuses will include a Wheel of Fortune-style game show on “Why you should vote,” “Why I Vote” campaigns, and other various efforts to engage students to register to vote.

“All New Yorkers play a critical role in our City’s future,” said Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “I am thrilled that IDNYC centers across the City will provide voter registration information, and I thank DemocracyNYC and other partners for working to ensure that all New Yorkers are able to participate in our civic life.”

Police Surveillance at Evander Campus

We found this School Safety vehicle right out of the movie 'Stripes' across the street from the Evander Childs Campus. In the movie a similar vehicle attacked an enemy prison where a troop of soldiers were being kept prisoner. In freeing the troop the similar vehicle in the movie also took down a tank.

So just what is the purpose of this war like vehicle that was parked in front of a fire hydrant?

Senator Jamaal Bailey Celebrates Unions and Caribbean Culture

      It was a parade down White Plains Road to PS 41

  Saturday Senator Jamaal Bailey hosted his 2nd annual Unions and Caribbean celebration parade. The parade started on Nereid Ave. / 238th Street and went down along White Plains Rd. to PS 41. The event featured the vibrant colors and culture found in the Caribbean, as well as labor leaders and union members. Following the parade, there were a series of performances and presentations at PS 41. 

Senator Bailey said "The 36th District is filled with so much diversity in culture and in labor. I am thrilled to be out here celebrating that energy and hard work that is instilled in my constituents. I am so proud to be from a community like the one found here in the district,"        

This year's honoree's were PO Michael Chin from the 47th Precinct, Michelle Sajous from Riverbay Corporation, Community Activist Patricia Williams, and David Caraballoso from CCA Metro. 

The awards and dances were done on stage in the auditorium, information tables and a bouncy house were set up in the gym, and delicious Caribbean food was available in the cafeteria.

Above - The parade nears Gun Hill Road.
Below - One of the dance groups that performed. 

Above - A chance to get your picture with three lovely parade marchers.
Below - Honoree Patrica Williams with Senator Bailey.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez to Announce Candidacy in 15th Congressional District

 In a press release sent out Sunday night Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez is to announce his candidacy in the 15th Congressional race Monday Afternoon.

Councilman Rodriguez said that he received the majority of the vote in the 15th Congressional District in the February Special Election for Public Advocate. Of the candidates currently in the 15th Congressional race. Assemblyman Blake and former City Council Speaker Mark-Viverito also ran in the special election. 

As was the case in the special election where Rodriguez ran under the Unite Immigrants name, he says that he is the candidate of immigrants who will stand up to President Trump's anti immigration policies.

The 15th Congressional District is 66 percent Hispanic, 28 percent Black, 3 percent White, and 3 percent others.

Other candidates include Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr., Councilman Ritchie Torres, Assemblyman Michael Blake, former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, BOEDC President Marlene Cintron, Johnathan Ortiz, Thomas Ramos, Chinvona Newsome, and the probability of more candidates such as Samelys Lopez and Julio Pabon who have mentioned a possible candidacy.

State Senator Gustavo Rivera dropped out shortly after announcing, deciding to stay in the State Senate. Former Assemblyman Eric Stevenson also dropped out at the end of  August telling us that he was going to run for his old assembly seat.