When Letitia James took the oath as New York City's fourth public advocate last week, the former City Council member became the first African-American to hold the citywide office. Hers is an extraordinary achievement.
Created in 1993, the public advocate operates as a voice for the city's residents and as a watchdog over scores of city agencies.
James, a lawyer who lives in Brooklyn,...Read more »
One week into the reign of Mayor Bill de Blasio, the City Council will meet to choose a new speaker -- New York's second most powerful official.
Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito of East Harlem is the strong favorite to win today. But our choice would be for Councilman Daniel Garodnick of Manhattan's East Side to prevail in the backroom swap-meet that passes for the council's selection process.
Mark-Viverito...Read more »
When you're riding the subway to work, which words do you find most ominous? "Slight delay?" "Sick passenger?"
How about "It's showtime?"
I recently encountered a dance group on a downtown A train. Five wiry teens proclaimed, "It's showtime, ladies and gentlemen!" Then music was cranked up and the passengers in the way cleared out. When a man refused to vacate his seat, one of the crew...Read more »
Whose side are you on, New Yorkers?
Do you want to raise New York City income taxes on rich people to start full-day prekindergarten classes for every 4-year-old in the five boroughs?
Or would you rather see Albany whack taxes and at the same time use existing money in the budget to launch pre-K classes everywhere in the state -- from Staten Island to Niagara Falls?
We strongly...Read more »
Amid a flourish of drums and bagpipes at 1 Police Plaza Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio swore in Bill Bratton as the 42nd commissioner of the NYPD and along the way gave the city a reassuring glimpse of his management style.
In sharp contrast with Wednesday's inaugural speech, the mayor sounded pragmatic and conciliatory during his first hands-on day as maximum leader of the NYPD and a total...Read more »
New Year. New mayor. New police commissioner. Same stop-and-frisk.
Oops, I'm sorry. It's the new, improved stop-and-frisk. Since Mayor Bill de Blasio demonized the term in last year's election, he's had some explaining to do after selecting Bill "Mr. Stop and Frisk" Bratton as police commissioner.
"Stop-and-frisk is a basic tool of policing," Bratton recently told The New Yorker. "If...Read more »
Bill de Blasio became the 109th mayor of New York City yesterday with an oddly mixed message before an eclectic crowd of political royalty -- including former President Bill Clinton -- and everyday supporters.
The new mayor began by saying all New Yorkers are bound together with a common understanding that big dreams are not a luxury for the few but the animating force behind every community...Read more »
There is a good deal of excitement about NYC having a first lady again after more than a decade without one. Chirlane McCray also will be the second African-American first lady in city history.
Many feminists and progressives hope she doesn't follow in the footsteps of first lady Michelle Obama -- not that they dislike her but are disappointed in her. Many expected she would make the Clintons'...Read more »
Every Christmas retailers wait with bated breath to see how sales officially panned out for the holidays and ultimately for the year.
In 2013, an early Hanukkah/Thanksgiving combo threatened to usher in a sluggish season. Add to that a still-recovering economy and the erratic weather, and it seemed like people were disinclined to really splurge this year.
Or were they?
My mailbox...Read more »
The New York City Board of Health has voted unanimously to require all city children in licensed preschools or day-care centers to get the flu vaccine.
The regulation becomes effective next month and will be required for some 150,000 kids. The measure applies to children ages 6 months to almost 5 years, and mandates that kids receive flu shots by Dec. 31 of any year.
To be clear, I am...Read more »