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Morning Spew

The Mayor and City Council Are Finally at War

And some veto-proof links for your Friday.

9:00 AM EDT on July 14, 2023

A group of people do yoga in a park.

(Hell Gate)

Remember the bruising battles between the mayor and City Council during the Bloomberg years? At times, especially during Bloomberg's third term, it appeared that the council was at war with the mayor, overriding his vetoes on a whole bunch of bills, including legislation on police accountability and oversight and paid sick leave. Bloomberg and the City Council even butted heads over a bill banning cell phone use at performance spaces

And while the de Blasio era was a time of relative harmony with the City Council (if only because he never used his veto power), we appear to be back to fight, fight, fight. On Thursday, as expected, the overwhelmingly Democratic City Council overrode Mayor Eric Adams's veto of a package of bills expanding access to the City's housing voucher program, known as CityFHEPS. 

"New York City is in the midst of an intense eviction crisis that risks pushing more people into homelessness," said Council Speaker Adrienne Adams in a statement after the vote. "These bills are aimed at removing barriers faced by the lowest income New Yorkers to accessing vouchers that can help them avoid losing their homes and becoming unhoused. During a time of record homelessness, it is critical that we respond with the urgency and strength needed to address the scale of this crisis." 

Queens Councilmember Tiffany Cabán had harsher words for Mayor Adams. "The Mayor's veto is no surprise, given the rest of his disastrous approach to housing," Cabán said. "The Mayor's so-called 'City of Yes,' appears to be a Yes to big real estate and a big, fat No to working class and low-income New Yorkers. Well, Mr. Mayor: Not this time. Today, the Members of the people's elected Council are putting our foot down."

The only people to side with Mayor Adams and not vote to make it easier for more people to leave the shelter system and access permanent housing? The eight most conservative members of the council, and all of its Republicans. 

In the lead-up to Thursday's vote, things got a little testy between the mayor and City Council. After Mayor Adams wrote an op-ed in the Daily News in which he called the package of bills an "ill-advised and unfunded expansion" that would cost the City $17 billion over a five-year period, moaned that the council had refused to work with him and his administration, and all but threatened that he would sue the council if they went against his wishes. The council snippily shot back with an annotated version of his op-ed that noted, among other fact-checks, that ​some analyses of the plan would result in savings, or the City spending less money. (The conservative Citizens Budget Commission has called the council's plan "unaffordable.") 

After the vote, Mayor Adams issued a statement in which he once again hinted he was ready to take this battle to the courts. "We are reviewing our options and next steps," he wrote. 

And some veto-proof links for your Friday:

  • Man, SummerStage really fucked this one up.
  • After an investigation by the CITY revealed that a nonprofit shelter operator had turned one shelter into a "fear-laden fiefdom where he regularly threatened to kick out residents or fire employees in heated outbursts" and that an employee allegedly sexually harassed residents, the Adams administration has canceled an upcoming contract with the nonprofit.
  • Good news for Democrats: "A New York appeals court on Thursday ordered the state’s congressional map to be redrawn, siding with Democrats in a case that could give the party a fresh chance to tilt one of the nation’s most contested House battlegrounds leftward."
  • We'll (maybe) finally know how much Eric Adams owns in crypto.
  • But will we ever learn who's behind this conspiracy? (Btw, you can watch the full interview, in which the mayor continued to insist he was correct in comparing the long-time housing advocate Jeanie Dubnau to a plantation owner, here.)
  • Some news from Long Island:
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