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OpinionOpEd

What does it take to be transformative?

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Daily Point

Cuomo’s next stop: Transforming public transportation

After building bridges and opening new subway stations, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo now wants to transform the metropolitan area’s public transportation system — and perhaps even take over Penn Station.

Cuomo initially had been relatively quiet on the chronic commuting horrors at Penn Station and extensive delays in the subways. But more recently, he’s gotten louder, writing a letter to President Donald Trump, seeking federal involvement and funds.

In a public announcement Tuesday afternoon at CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan, he took that letter further. He spelled out his concerns about Amtrak’s ability to operate Penn and handle the track work planned for this summer. Cuomo outlined grandiose goals to modernize NYC’s subway system, and he reiterated his desire for federal infrastructure funds to connect the remaking of Farley Post Office with efforts to build the Gateway Tunnel planned to connect New York and New Jersey and to further renovate Penn.

“We need to have the best transit system on the globe,” Cuomo said.

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Randi F. Marshall

Talking Point

Taking aim at the IDC

When State Sen. Jose Peralta of Queens joined the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference this year, he immediately hit opposition at a raucous February town hall. The revelation that he is being questionably paid a stipend as a committee chairman drew criticism this month amid rising anti-IDC activism, including a Working Families Party “resistance agenda” announced Monday.

But Peralta’s IDC membership is also fueling a challenge from an unlikely source: Tahseen Chowdhury, a 16-year-old junior at Stuyvesant High School.

Chowdhury, the son of Bangladeshi immigrants and president of his school’s student union, filed paperwork last week to run against Peralta. His campaign says one of the candidate’s main goals is to highlight the IDC’s distinctions from mainline Democrats.

Peralta has been in the State Legislature since 2002 and is an established incumbent, but activists and Democrats alike are focusing on what they see as insufficiently progressive local politicians. Chowdhury seems eager to exploit that opening. His campaign says that college will work around a Senate position if he’s elected in 2018, and he will have turned 18 as required before taking office.

Mark Chiusano

Pencil Point

Cartoonists mourn Manchester victims

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Bonus Point

Say my name

The Social Security Administration is out with its 2016 baby names rankings, and it looks like prominence in presidential politics didn’t translate into increased popularity . . . for anyone.

The name Donald continued its decline, coming in at 488th in the listings, which have the top 1,000 names for each sex and their rankings back to 2000. Donald, the 217th most popular name in 2000, has declined in popularity every year since, with the exception of 2011, when it placed 377th, just as it had in 2010.

The name Hillary, though, no longer appears in the top 1,000, and hasn’t since 2008 — the year Hillary Clinton lost the Democratic presidential nomination to Barack Obama. In fact, 2008 represented a recent momentary high mark for the name Hillary, when it was 722nd, the best showing of the millennium. But it hasn’t been seen since.

Bernie has not been in the top 1,000 at any point since 2000, but then neither has Barack.

But former Vice President Joe Biden might want to find a way to point out that Joseph is rock steady as the 20th most popular boy name in the nation.

Lane Filler

Columns