Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Does Carolyn Ryan At The NYTimes Protect Christine Quinn From Critical Journalism ?

Carolyn-Ryan-Metro-Editor-The-New-York-Times-Inside-City-Hall, Carolyn-Ryan-Metro-Editor-The-New-York-Times-Inside-City-Hall

Does Carolyn Ryan, an editor at The New York Times, prevent any journalism that is critical of New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn from being published by the newspaper ?

Instead, we get fluff pieces, like the one that the bloggers Gary Tilzer and Suzannah B. Troy refer to as the "Betty Crocker story," the main point of which was to show that Speaker Quinn knew how to bake pies.

Meanwhile, nobody knows exactly how much taxpayer money Speaker Quinn has given to Brooklyn political boss, Vito Lopez.

For more information, please visit the blog : Christine Quinn Sold Out.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Who Can Ban The Horse-Drawn Carriage Industry In New York City ?

WHO can end the carriage trade in New York City and why are they not doing anything about it considering that every online poll since 2006 has shown between 75 and 80 percent of respondents want this business to be shut down?

Animal rights activists are escalating the pressure on elected officials to ban the horse-drawn carriage industry in New York City over renewed safety and public health concerns for passengers, drivers, and the horses, themselves. Here is an excerpt from a blog post, written by Elizabeth Forel, and posted to Facebook earlier today :

  • Mayor Michael Bloomberg can use his influence to get such bills passed. But he supports this business. Why? The real truth is anyone’s guess because it simply does not make sense. His daughter is a world-class equestrian, known to oppose this trade – surely she knows that New York City is a very bad environment for horses and I am sure she would never subject her horses to these conditions.
  • The Speaker of the City Council, Christine Quinn, can do the same. She, too, is a big supporter of the carriage trade. Why? It is clearer here because of her allegiance to the Queens Democratic Party, which put her in power. It is all politics. But then, Quinn has killed every meaningful animal issues bill that has been in the Council since she became Speaker – so she obviously does not care.
  • The City Council - The Council is not a democratic body. For the most part, which means almost always, Council Members vote the way the Speaker tells them. If not, they risk losing their committee chairs and lucrative stipends that the Speaker doles out. Unfortunately, there are virtually no City Council Members with a backbone to stand up to Quinn and say – “Enough is Enough! Let’s get those horses off the street before someone is killed.”
  • The State Legislature – there is a real chance here with the bill sponsored by Senator Tony Avella and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal. The bill is essentially the same as the historic one Senator Avella introduced in the City Council in 2007 when he was a Council Member. One big problem with this bill is that it needs a Home Rule approval memo from the City Council, which is unlikely to happen. However, the bill will be reintroduced in January when the State Legislature reconvenes and it will address these issues. Stay tuned.
  • A new humane mayor. Ah there is the rub. Who will it be?

Read more : STOP THE INSANITY! Carriage Horses - NYC : Commenting on and exposing the inhumane carriage horse industry in NYC.

$600M NYC Budget Deficit From Failed Taxi Plan

What are New York City Council Christine Quinn's ties to the taxi industry lobbyist, Emily Giske ?

When it was announced in June, the Bloomberg-Quinn budget plan to balance the New York City budget relied on $635 million in revenue from the expected sale of new yellow taxi medallions, The New York Daily News reported.

But now comes Dana Rubinstein from Capital New York, with a shocking inside story about the $600 million budget meltdown over the failed taxi plan : /p>

On August 22, 2012, Speaker Christine Quinn "dodged a barrage of questions about the mayor's stalled outer-borough taxi plan, what role she has played in its failure, and what role she plans to play in repairing the subsequent budgetary damage."

By all accounts, the [state] legislature told the mayor's office that no home rule request was necessary. Nevertheless his staff and the speaker negotiated for months to reach some sort of agreement. It remains unclear why they were unable to, and Quinn told me in an interview that she couldn't say why the administration chose to go around the Council, in effect, by going straight to Albany."

Ms. Rubinstein goes on to point out that :

Quinn has never publicly expressed support for the mayor's plan. Nor has she publicly derided it.

The speaker, who's running for mayor next year, has a habit of avoiding politically touchy subjects, though she did recently express some muted displeasure with the judge's decision, since, among other things, it leaves a gap of more than $600 million in this year's budget.

Speaker Quinn has close ties with the powerful lobbyist Emily Giske, whose firm inteferes with government policy on behalf of special interest groups, such as the taxi industry.

Related : Quinn's Friendship With Taxi Lobbyist May Pose Test in Mayor Bid (NYT)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Are Campaign Endorsement Promises Being Made In Exchange For Council Redistricting Favours ?

Are Quinn and Bloomberg Engaged In An "Endorse-to-Play" Quid Pro Quo Over The City Council Redistricting ?

Council Redistricting Corruption Silence

From True News From Change NYC, written by Gary Tilzer :

Many of his fellow reformers felt that Citizens Union puppet general Dick Dadey sold out last year when he supported Albany's compromise to put off independent redistrict for 10 years. But nothing can compare to Dadey and the rest of the goo-goos, editorial boards', and reformers' silence on the corruption going on with the City Council redistricting operation. For starters, the appointed council redistricting commission is controlled by two people supporting Quinn for mayor in 2013 : the council speaker herself and her puppet master the mayor. Although the redistricting commission work has just begun, there are already reports that county bosses Crowley and Lopez, ethic and minority leaders are already dealing with Quinn operatives to cut districts favorable to them or those they support in exchange for their endorsement for Quinn's 2013 mayoral bid.

Family and Friends Hold City Hall Vigil For Man Who Died Without Paid Sick Leave

Felix Trinidad died of stomach cancer, did not have paid sick leave., Felix Trinidad died of stomach cancer, did not have paid sick leave. Photo by The New York Daily News.

Supporters of sick-leave bill say Council Speaker Christine Quinn is partially to blame for death of Brooklyn grocery store worker

Supporters of a paid sick-leave bill suggested Wednesday that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is partially to blame for the tragic death last month of Felix Trinidad, a Brooklyn grocery worker.

Healthcare and other activists organised a memorial vigil in tribute to Mr. Trinidad, 34, who died of stomach cancer after "putting in 12-hour days, six days a week, at the Golden Farm supermarket in Kensington, which does not offer sick days," reported The New York Daily News. The vigil was organised outside City Hall. “He would have been better if the bill had been passed because he wouldn’t have had to worry so much about having to miss work,” his widow, Anastacia Gonzalez, 31, told The New York Daily News.

Christine Quinn opposes giving paid sick leave to sick and dying New Yorkers., Activists say Christine Quinn may be to blame for Felix Trinidad dying of stomach cancer, because he did not have paid sick leave. Photo by The New York Daily News.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to that entire family,” Speaker Quinn said. “That said, my position on paid sick leave legislation has not changed.”

Speaker Quinn has repeatedly said that she does not support giving paid sick leave days for people, who are sick and may be dying.

According to The New York Daily News report, Speaker Quinn has "refused to allow a Council vote on a bill requiring most employers to offer at least five paid sick days a year[,] and advocates of the bill have been pressuring her to change her mind as she prepares to run for mayor next year."

David Seifman Examines Christine Quinn's Campaign

Political journalist and author, Dominic Carter, talks with The New York Post City Hall Bureau Chief, David Seifman, in this interview on Richard French Live.

Mr. Seifman spoke to Christine Quinn's campaign to be mayor, Bill Thompson's candidacy, the possibility of a run-off, and investigation of John Liu's campaign, and other political issues.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Paid Sick Leave, Death, And Taxes

Christine Quinn and Mayor Bloomberg blockading vote on NYC’s paid sick days bill

From Death And Taxes :

New York City’s paid sick days bill would provide those individuals and families who risk their health to attend work, lest they be fired, to have the health and financial security they need. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, however, are blockading the measure. Apparently Bloomberg is more interested in battling 32-ounce Big Gulps than insuring the health and financial wellbeing of his city’s poor and disadvantaged. ...

Growing NYCHA Scandal

The Board of NYCHA sits on perhaps $1 billion dollars, while tenants live in moldy, rodent-infested flop houses. Let them eat cake !

Thanks to an investigative series by a Daily News team that exposed nearly $1 billion in funds going unused while tenants lived plagued by mold, rats and more, NYCHA is slated to undergo serious reforms. (DailyNews DailyPolitics)


Too bad there are no housing activists, amongst the mayoral candidates, other than Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

“We commend City Council Committee Chairperson Rosie Mendez for convening today’s hearing on the lack of security cameras at NYCHA housing developments, which is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the agency’s failures. Today’s hearing should be the first of many to get an understanding of why NYCHA’s buildings are deteriorating and its housing developments are overrun by rodents, all while NYCHA sits on a pile of unspent money. We have serious questions about NYCHA’s operations [which] demand comprehensive answers,” said Controller John Liu.

Under pressure to overhaul the New York City Housing Authority, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has decided to remove two highly paid appointees from the agency’s board and replace them with volunteers, including one who lives in public housing, city officials said on Thursday. (NYTimes)

Borough President Stringer has claimed victory over Thursday's announcement that two board members of the New York City Housing Authority would step down after a scandal broke over the flop houses that NYCHA operated (Politicker).

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Austerity Strikes Hospitals In Spain ; We Know What This Is Like Here In NYC

Translated into English from Spanish ; original news article available on elplural.com.

Fernando Mora, Socialist deputy in the Courts of Castile-La Mancha, told the Cadena Ser that a judge had ordered on Wednesday the opening of a plant in Toledo, "l'Hospital Virgen de la Salud," which had been closed by the savage cuts applied by Maria Dolores Cospedal, to care for patients who saturated the emergency department. The congressman has posted on his Facebook account dramatic photographs that reflect the unhealthy overcrowding of patients.

This paper has not been able to contrast the Socialist deputy complaint. Nobody in the Health Service of Castilla-La Mancha, or in the Virgen de la Salud hospital confirm or deny the statements of Fernando Mora, quoting sources in the same hospital, said late on Thursday in the Cadena Ser that "a judge had to order the opening of the 4th floor of the hospital to accommodate patients who were in the hallways of emergency at the request of the doctors in this service, unable to serve them properly," declarations ratified by telephone by the parliamentary ELPLURAL.COM.

Thirty people in the hallways

Mora figure in thirty patients who were "parked" in the corridors of the emergency, "while in the hospital has ordered Mrs. Cospedal close to one hundred beds and multi-storey wings," says a ELPLURAL.COM The spokesman also Health of the Socialist Group in the Castile-La Mancha.

Hospital-Virgen-de-la-Salud-Toledo-Castilla-La-Mancha-Spain-Austerity-hospital-closings, Hospital-Virgen-de-la-Salud-Toledo-Castilla-La-Mancha-Spain-Austerity-hospital-closings

Medical Records in the sight of all

And the pictures speak for themselves. Fernando Mora has also hung posted several pictures on his Facebook account. As you can see, each one of the beds has a yellow leaf in sight of all who passed through the halls where, according to eyewitnesses, were listed the names and conditions of each patient, with no respect for privacy -- privacy and data protection to which every patient has the right, protected by the law.

And wedges without any privacy

So much so that the same sources state that the sick, unable to leave their beds to use the nearby bathrooms, had to defecate and urinate in their cots without any screen or curtains to safeguard patient privacy.

Letter reminding responsibilities

The deterioration of health services in Castilla-La Mancha has reached the end, with plant closures, privatization of hospitals, laying off hundreds of doctors and health personnel, closure of the points of call, the emergency removal of a hundred people ... so great is the concern of industry professionals, for example, the coordinator of the Basic Health Zone of Santa Cruz de Mudela (Ciudad Real) has sent a letter (see document) to the mayor of Viso del Marques, which ELPLURAL.COM was able to access, reminding the mayor that ... "all this will be within the limits of the criminal irresponsibility by the person who made this decision, as it would be impossible to meet emergency response times, let alone emergencies," says in her letter denouncing the situation that will be dooming the health district.

2012-06-29 CARTA-De-UN-MEDICO Coordinadora ZBS STA Cruz de Mudela Lourdes Garcia Del Valle Spain Austerity ...

Working While Sick - NYT Editorial

From The New York Times : Working While Sick

More than 40 million American workers get no paid sick leave. They have to work when ill or take unpaid sick days, which can lead to financial hardship, or, worse, dismissal. The best way to address this workplace and public health problem is with a national law requiring businesses to provide paid sick leave — a normal benefit for workers in at least 145 countries.

But since there is little hope for such progress anytime soon in Washington, New York City Council members are taking up the cause. At least 36 of 50 council members support a proposed city law that would require sick leave for more than 1.2 million workers. Christine Quinn, the City Council speaker, has refused to bring a bill to the floor, however.

She argues that the timing is bad given the weak economy and that the benefit could increase compensation costs for businesses by an average of 1.5 percent, which in her view would hurt smaller companies to the point of driving them out of business or out of the city. Some business leaders say that companies will cut jobs if even a few days of sick leave are required.

Little evidence to support such fears has been seen in San Francisco, the District of Columbia and the state of Connecticut, which require many businesses to provide the benefit. There are also economic benefits — lower turnover, higher productivity and morale, and reduced job loss for workers. But Ms. Quinn, who says she supports paid sick days in principle, does not want to consider a citywide sick-leave law until the economy is stronger.

The current council proposal would require firms with 5 to 19 employees to provide workers five paid sick days a year, which could also be used to care for sick family members. Businesses with 20 or more employees would have to provide nine days a year of any type of paid leave. The proposal would not cover independent contractors, interns or most union workers. There would be a one-year grace period for new businesses with fewer than 20 employees.

Ms. Quinn and Councilwoman Gale Brewer, who is the lead sponsor of the bill, should be able to find a workable compromise. The requirement could be phased in slowly, especially for new companies and the smallest businesses. If done wisely, New York City’s version could be the sensible model for federal legislation.

Ms. Brewer, Ms. Quinn and other New York City political leaders should also put more pressure on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature to pass a state measure on paid sick leave.

Connecticut’s law, enacted last year, requires sick leave for most businesses with 50 or more employees. That still leaves far too many employees without paid sick days, but it is a start. Gov. Dannel Malloy said recently that the law had not led to more small business failures and that the state had gained jobs since it took effect.

This benefit is also good for public health. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that workers who could take sick leave instead of working while unwell were less likely to be hurt on the job.

American workers should have paid sick leave, and New York City could set a standard for the rest of the nation. Workers in the city deserve a sensible and humane sick-leave benefit now.

Related : Gloria Steinem Presses Quinn to Back Sick-Leave Bill (July 18, 2012)

#myopinioncounts and @informedvoting to support community organising in New York City

#myopinioncounts is a new hashtag and @informedvoting is a new Twitter account launched to support community organising in New York City leading up to the 2013 mayoral election.

To support community organisers across the five boroughs of New York City, the blogger and activist Louis Flores has launched a new Twitter account, @informed voting. He has also launched a related hashtag, #myopinioncounts, to support reforms to improve the democratic participation of citizens in our own governance.

This Twitter account will follow the activists and citizens in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. This Twitter account will highlight areas, were we can find common ground and link up together, to bring about reforms in our government. For example, how did "stop and frisk" become the only acceptable answer to crime prevention, when the solution all along is passing stricter gun control laws ? The same thing goes for hospital closings : why are so many major hospitals closing, when Congress just expanded healthcare to tens of millions of Americans ? Cutting costs to healthcare are unacceptable, and yet where do politicians find the legitimacy to close down hospitals across all five boroughs ?

"If we are going to change the system, we need to organise. This means taking action together. With this new Twitter account and the related hashtag, I will support the work that others do," said Louis Flores.

Time is also running out to reach our goal for the Kickstarter project to support the publication of Roots of Betrayal : The Ethics of Christine Quinn, a work-in-progress survey of the political ethics of the New York City Council Speaker. Funding ends on August 16, and for this book to inform voters, the community must come together to support this project. Please make a pledge and help spread the word. Thank you for everything that you do.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Campaign Poster Fines Strategy ?

Is Mayor Bloomberg deliberately trying to drain the campaign funds of the competitors that are challenging Christine Quinn for the 2013 mayoral Democratic primary ?

Mayor Michael Bloomberg seems to be engaged in a public relations campaign to turn public opinion against, and to drain the campaign funds (aka clear the primaries) of, the leading primary challengers that are competing with New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to be the Democratic Party's candidate in next year's mayoral election. * "Mayor Bloomberg Friday blasted mayoral candidate John Liu as a hypocrite for grumbling about companies that owe the city money — while failing to pay his own city debts." (NY Daily News) * Now that he has finally collected $444,000 in public matching funds from his 2009 campaign, Bill Thompson should return the money to the city to help cover the fines he owes for illegal posters, Mayor Bloomberg suggested yesterday. (NYPost)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Paid Sick Leave Controversy

Why would candidates oppose the Paid Sick Leave Bill ?

Feminist Gloria Steineim has been pressuring New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to allow a vote on the Paid Sick Leave bill.

For an employee to have paid sick leave is only a humane policy. Candidates for mayor, who oppose Paid Sick Leave bill, risk being identified as the heartless 1% bringing back unsafe and unjust labour practices from an era, which we thought had put passed us.

"If you have paid sick days it's easy enough to take them for granted. If you or your child gets sick, you stay home to recover or go to the doctor. You are not punished financially for taking care of your health or your children. It's time to ensure all working women—and men—have the same economic security," wrote Ms. Steinem.

It's difficult to believe that there are candidates, who would stall, squash, or oppose the Paid Sick Leave bill.