Erin Durkin and Anna Gronewold's must-read briefing informing the daily conversation among knowledgeable New Yorkers
Erin Durkin and Anna Gronewold's must-read briefing informing the daily conversation among knowledgeable New Yorkers
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By ERIN DURKIN and ANNA GRONEWOLD
Legal weed is coming, and now we know who’s going to be selling it. The state on Monday approved the first batch of licenses to sell recreational marijuana, aiming to have legal sales kick off by the end of the year.
The Cannabis Control Board voted to approve 36 marijuana vendors — mostly people who have previously been convicted of pot-related crimes, or their family members, in line with New York’s effort to allow those most harmed by the drug war to reap the benefits of the new legal cannabis industry. Eight of the licenses are going to nonprofits, meaning organizations like Housing Works and the Doe Fund will soon have a side hustle as marijuana merchants.
“It shouldn’t be lost on anyone that this is really the first of its kind anywhere,” Jen Metzger, a Cannabis Control Board member, said at the group’s meeting. “We’re truly leading with equity here.”
The state Legislaturevoted to legalize recreational marijuana in the spring of 2021, and possession and smoking pot have been legal since April of that year. Getting legal dispensaries up and running, though, has been a more drawn out process. The licenses just awarded are among 175 the state plans to send out. Officials announced Monday that they will allow new businesses to start with delivery services.
But wait, aren’t there already spots openly selling weed on what seems like every corner? Indeed, the black market has flourished since the state voted to legalize, with little enforcement, and some in the industry fear that will make it hard for the new legal operators to compete.
There’s another hitch, caused by a lawsuit brought by a Michigan company challenging New York’s eligibility requirements. A federal judge temporarily blocked licenses from being issued in five regions. So while the first batch of licenses include 13 dispensaries in the city, representing four boroughs, Brooklyn will have to do without for now.
IT’S TUESDAY. Got tips, suggestions or thoughts? Let us know … By email: [email protected] and [email protected], or on Twitter: @erinmdurkin and @annagronewold
WHERE’S KATHY? Making a hate crimes announcement and packaging food at a food bank.
WHERE’S ERIC? Signing domestic violence legislation, honoring FDNY members, speaking at a Building Trades Employers Association award ceremony, meeting virtually with mayors from Nepal, and speaking at the Queens County Women’s Bar Association.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: We’ll be off for Thanksgiving this Thursday and Friday but back to our normal schedule on Monday, Nov. 28.
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Adams announces another round of budget cuts, by POLITICO’s Joe Anuta: Mayor Eric Adams ordered city agencies to undergo another round of spending reductions Monday, marking the administration’s third attempt to rein in the budget. Jacques Jiha, director of the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget, told agency heads in a Monday letter that they will be required to permanently wipe half of all vacant positions off their budgets. In addition, they will need to self-fund any new initiatives going forward rather than asking for more cash, according to a copy of the missive obtained by POLITICO. To justify the new savings measures, Jiha laid out a number of ominous developments that could drain the city’s coffers at a time when out-year budget gaps are already projected to be as high as $6 billion by 2026.
“High-Paid NYPD Official Had Deep Ties to Eric Adams — Including Shared Residence,” by The City’s Yoav Gonen: “A career 911 dispatcher and longtime friend of Mayor Eric Adams who rented a room to Adams in her Crown Heights apartment for four years now has one of the highest-paid jobs in city government, records show. In May, the NYPD appointed Lisa White as its deputy commissioner for employee relations, at a salary of more than $241,000 a year — a nearly fivefold boost over her prior salary there and almost as much as the police commissioner makes..”
City Council, unions dispute health care policy as they await judge’s ruling, by POLITICO’s Sally Goldenberg and Madina Touré: When Adrienne Adams was locked in a fierce battle last year for the coveted job of leading the City Council, a prominent public-sector union came to her aid. District Council 37, which represents nearly 240,000 active and retired city workers, provided crucial support for Adams as she successfully toppled incoming Mayor Eric Adams’ pick for Council speaker. Now Adams finds herself caught between dueling interests: On one side is DC37, desperate for Council intervention to rein in health care costs and pushing a plan that would result in a monthly charge for many retirees. On the other are lawmakers afraid that acceding to the union’s wish would anger those politically-active retirees just months before the officials are up for reelection.
Adams warns social media plays role in spreading hate following threat to Jewish community, by POLITICO’s Danielle Muoio Dunn: Mayor Eric Adams on Monday raised alarm about the role that social media has played in spreading extremist views after police arrested two men who allegedly planned to attack an unidentified New York City synagogue. Officers arrested the two suspects on Saturday at New York Penn Station after one made antisemitic and threatening posts online, including references to perpetuate an armed attack on a synagogue, Adams said. Police officers recovered an illegal Glock firearm, a 30-round magazine and a Nazi armband.
“Is NYC running out of children’s hospital beds? State officials won’t say,” by WNYC’s Nsikan Akpan: “Last week, a viral tweet gave off the impression that New York City hospitals had run out of beds for children. After parents flagged the social media post, Gothamist dug into whether it had any merit, given a surge of three respiratory diseases — respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the flu and COVID-19 — is driving public concern this autumn. However, health officials say that there’s no clear way for New Yorkers to quickly know if their neighborhood hospital has room for their sick child. When asked, the New York City health department deferred any questions to the state, given it has broader leeway to monitor individual hospitals. And while the New York State Department of Health collects data on pediatric bed capacity from individual hospitals, it told Gothamist that it doesn’t release this specific information to the public.”
“To Meet Climate Mandate, New York Needs to Learn How to Build Clean Energy Again,” by New York Focus’ Colin Kinniburgh: “Last year, Texas built dozens of wind and solar farms — enough to power the states of Delaware and Hawaiʻi combined. California built enough to power every home in San Francisco, twice over. Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Kansas each built enough to power hundreds of thousands of homes. New York built three wind and solar farms, about enough to power one small city. In 2019 and 2020, it built none. Yet it has committed to a faster green transition than almost any other state, pledging to get 70 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2030, more than double their current share.”
“With Adult Survivors Act window opening, survivors launch campaign to highlight law in New York,” by Spectrum’s Nick Reisman: “The campaign will feature survivors of sexual abuse and is meant to inform fellow adult survivors of their options about the year-long window that is about to open this week even if the statute of limitations has expired. The window for filing lawsuits under the Adult Survivors Act will open on Thursday, Nov. 24. It will close in 12 months by Nov. 23 of next year.”
“Hochul raised record-breaking $60M to win term as governor — spending roughly $20 per vote,” by New York Post’s Carl Campanile
HOT JOB ALERT: “Six years after Buffalo Billion scandal, SUNY Poly still looking for leader,” by Times Union’s Kathleen Moore: “SUNY Polytechnic Institute is saying goodbye to the third person tapped to temporarily lead the college after its founding president resigned and was convicted on federal charges…Since his resignation, acting presidents have taken over for about two years each. There has been no public update on the search for a new permanent leader, and each acting president has left when they got a job elsewhere.”
“Residency questions could cost GOP Brooklyn Assembly seat despite big election win,” by New York Post’s Zach Williams, Rich Calder and Carl Campanile: “Democrats say they might block Republican Lester Chang from taking office next January, unless he can prove that he met residency requirements ahead of his shocking win earlier this month over longtime Assemblyman Peter Abbate, Jr. (D-Dyker Heights). ‘The state Constitution requires that candidates reside in the county where they seek office for one year prior to the election. We are looking into the matter,’ Michael Whyland, a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, told The Post.”
— “Richard Gottfried closes the book on more than half a century in office,” by City & State’s Rebecca C. Lewis
— “A look at Cathy Nolan’s trailblazing legacy,” by City & State’s Sahalie Donaldson
— “The last IDCer: An exit interview with Diane Savino,” by City & State’s Jeff Coltin
— “Yuh-Line Niou helped to usher in a new era in the New York Legislature,” by City & State’s Annie McDonough
#UpstateAmerica: Bidding on St. Patrick’s church in Troy — “a 14,416-square-foot building with 13 historic bells, soaring twin bell towers and 56-foot-high ceilings” — will start at $1 in December.
GO INSIDE THE MILKEN INSTITUTE FUTURE OF HEALTH SUMMIT: POLITICO is featuring a special edition of our “Future Pulse” newsletter at the 2022 Milken Institute Future of Health Summit from Dec. 6 to 8. The newsletter takes readers inside one of the most influential gatherings of health industry leaders and innovators solving the biggest global health issues to ensure a healthier, more resilient future for all. SUBSCRIBE TODAY TO RECEIVE EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE.
“Manhattan Prosecutors Again Consider a Path Toward Charging Trump,” by The New York Times’ Jonah E. Bromwich, Ben Protess and William K. Rashbaum: “The Manhattan district attorney’s office has moved to jump-start its criminal investigation into Donald J. Trump, according to people with knowledge of the matter, seeking to breathe new life into an inquiry that once seemed to have reached a dead end. Under the new district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, the prosecutors have returned to the long-running investigation’s original focus: a hush-money payment to a porn star who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump.”
“Prosecution rests in Trump Organization’s tax fraud case,” by The Associated Press’s Michael R. Sisak: “Prosecutors in the Trump Organization’s criminal tax fraud trial rested their case Monday earlier than expected, pinning hopes for convicting Donald Trump’s company largely on the word of two top executives who cut deals before testifying they schemed to avoid taxes on company-paid perks. Allen Weisselberg, the company’s longtime finance chief, and Jeffrey McConney, a senior vice president and controller, testified for the bulk of the prosecution’s eight-day case, bringing the drama of their own admitted wrongdoing to a trial heavy on numbers, spreadsheets, tax returns and payroll records.”
“Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney faces ethics inquiry after wrangling a Met Gala ticket: ‘It is the one thing she cares about,’” by Business Insider’s Madison Hall and Walt Hickey: “A federal office recommended a House Ethics Committee investigation into Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York after records revealed she improperly pushed for a ticket to the Met Gala. Maloney, who represents New York’s 12th Congressional District in Congress, is no stranger to the Met Gala, where celebrities and bigwigs dress up in elaborate gowns and costumes to raise money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. The congresswoman has attended the gala several years over the last decade, and as recently as 2021. It’s not a violation of House rules to attend such an event — Maloney has been invited and attended several times without issue. But members of the House are not allowed to request free admission to events.”
— President Joe Biden declared a federal state of emergency for areas of western New York that were hit with nearly 7 feet of snow.
— The city is auctioning off gifts given to Mayors Ed Koch, David Dinkins, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg.
— Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation to allow student athletes to profit off their names and images.
— A report tracking violence at Rikers Island will be kept secret from the public.
— City charter schoolshave been gaining students as public school enrollment falls.
— A report found that most companies are complying with a new law requiring salaries to be listed on job postings.
— The Department of Sanitation would have to spend $75 million on new trucks to expand composting citywide.
— Many delivery workers are cheering a proposal for a $23.82 minimum wage, but some say it underestimates their operating expenses.
— Buses and trailers used in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade were destroyed in a fire in New Jersey.
— The Buffalo AKG Art Museum will reopen in May after receiving $20 million in state funding.
— The Department of Educationsaid it is trying to improve school bus service amid rampant delays.
— Part-time faculty at the New School remain on strike as contract negotiations appear to have stalled.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield (7-0) … NBC’s Scott Wong … Brunswick Group’s Robert Christie … CBS’s Matthew Mosk … THE CITY NY’s Harry Siegel … Donny Deutsch … CNN’s Cassie Spodak … Sammy Jordan … TheSkimm’s Jessica Turtletaub … TJ Cholnoky … former Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.)
MEDIAWATCH — Cayla Bamberger is now an education reporter at the New York Daily News. She was formerly at the New York Post.
MAKING MOVES —Howard Slatkin will be the new executive director of the Citizens Housing & Planning Council. He has been deputy director for strategic planning at the Department of City Planning. … Kevin Hansen is now the head of government affairs and policy in New York state for clean energy Ørsted. He most recently was SVP and head of public policy for Empire State Development. …
… Stephonn Alcorn is joining the board of directors of Urban Pathways, a New York based supportive housing provider. He is the VP of housing policy and operations at Blackstone and is a Biden White House alum… Samantha Tweedy will be CEO of the Black Economic Alliance. She is currently president of the Black Economic Alliance Foundation and previously chief partnerships and impact officer at the Robin Hood Foundation.
“Won Greenlights 3,200-Unit Astoria Development, Paving Way for Council Approval,” by City Limits’ David Brand: “The City Council is poised to approve development of a $2 billion, 3,190-unit complex in an active industrial swath of southern Astoria, after the local councilmember green-lit a new version of the project with hundreds of additional income-restricted apartments than previously proposed. Councilmember Julie Won announced that she will vote in favor of an application to upzone the manufacturing district ahead of a land use committee vote Monday, paving the way for the massive 12-building project known as Innovation Qns with 1,436 apartments priced for low- and middle-income New Yorkers—up from 711 in the original project proposal. The full City Council will vote next on the project, and councilmembers typically defer to the local lawmakers on land use applications in their district.”
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