Citizens Union: Engaging New Yorkers to Reform Government
TODAY IN GOTHAM GAZETTE

Citizens Union Foundation's watchdog publication Gotham Gazette, provides New Yorkers with illuminating analyses on policy, long-form interviews with thought leaders, and underreported stories about the actions of government and government officialsRead Gotham Gazette's latest stories.


CUOMO NEEDS TO EXPLAIN

After the New York Time's bombshell article on the Moreland Commission, Governor Cuomo has some explaining to do. Citizens Union in a statement urged the governor, who came into office promising to “restore the public trust and clean up Albany”, to hold a press conference and describe his administration’s interactions with the Moreland Commission. CU further commented how unfortunate it is that the reform measures enacted by the governor have been stepped on by these revelations and his own administration’s actions. 7/23/14


FRAUD CHARGES ABOUND

Given Assemblywoman Rosa's recent charges on fraud, the tally of NYS legislators that have left office due to ethical or criminal issues is now up to 26 since 1999. After the recent charges against Senator Libous, Citizens Union highlighted in a statement, this could soon climb to 30! 6 legislators from 2013 to 2014 have left office due to criminal charges and ethical issues, with 3 pending, the highest in a two year period since 1999. Citizens Union's groundbreaking reports on turnover illustrates that legislators are more likely to leave office due to ethical or criminal issues than to die in office or be redistricted out of their seats. 7/01/14


PROMISE UPHELD; COUNCIL MEMBER ITEMS MORE EQUAL

Nearly three quarters of council districts are receiving more expense funding this year, fulfilling the promise the Council made to distribute funds on a more equal basis. Citizens Union commends the City Council for this equalization and Citizens Union's analysis of the data can be downloaded in excel format. 6/25/14


LOW TURNOUT SHOWS THAT STATE AND FEDERAL PRIMARIES SHOULD BE ON SAME DATE

When state and federal primary elections are not held on the same date, voter turnout drops 31 percent when compared to years where both primaries were held on the same day, Citizens Union found. Additionally, consolidating the primaries to both be in June will save the state $50 million every two years, supported by Citizens Union in a press release. 6/24/14


PORT AUTHORITY REFORM WIN!

The New York State Legislature passed S.7721/A.3944-C (Lanza/Brennan), and S.6718-C/A.8785-C (Ranzenhofer/Paulin), both of which bring a new level of accountability and transparency to the Port Authority. CU worked closely with these legislators to shepherd passage of the bills and with their leadership, both are now before Governor Cuomo. CU urges Governor Cuomo to sign both bill into law. 6/18/14


PORT AUTHORITY FIX ON DECK IN NYS SENATE

There is an historic opportunity to reform the Port Authority before the end of the legislative session this week. The Bill, S.7721/A.3944-C (Lanza/Brennan), which has passed both the NYS Assembly and has identical legislation in New Jersey, would ensure that  the Port Authority has sound governance policies. In a statement, Citizens Union, along with AAA New York State urged the Senate to take action and pass this much needed reform. 6/17/14


TECHNOLOGY IN GOVERNMENT IMPROVES ACCESSIBILITY

The City Council Government Operations Committee is considering three bills that would continue to build open and transparent government while improving accessibility for the public. The three bills include the online publication of City laws, Open FOIL and publication of an online city record in a more searchable format. Citizens Union testified in support of the bills with recommendations on further improving accessibility. 6/9/14


NEW RULES AND NEW SPIRIT AT CITY COUNCIL
 
The New York City Council ushers in new rules today which will bring a new spirit to the Council. These new rules will provide a more meaningful role for rank-and-file members and make discretionary funding more equitable among other changes. Citizens Union issued a statement commending the Council  for the steps taken to improve the rules. 5/14/2014
 

CORRUPTION DOESN'T PAY AND SHOULDN'T CONTINUE PAYING
 
Councilman Wills, who has been stripped of his chairmanship after corruption charges, should also be denied his stipend to show that corruption will not be tolerated by the City Council, as outlined in a statement by Citizens Union today. 5/7/2014

PROPOSED CHANGES TO NYC COUNCIL RULES COMMENDED BUT ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT EXISTS
 
Notable improvements have been proposed to reform City Council rules, and while those improvements should be commended, there is still room for improvement, as Citizens Union testified today. Areas that could be improved include increased transparency of expense and capital discretionary funding and greater transparency of the legislative drafting tracking database. Eight recommendations in total were made to strengthen the rules even further and a synopsis of the issue was also provided for background. 5/7/2014
 
Alex Camarda, Director of Public Policy delivers testimony to the City Council.



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CU In the News

Rebecca Seawright Calls for Cero Tolerance With Sexual Harassment | New York Observer - Read Full Article

Before pact, teachers gave to mayor's group | Crain's New York Business - Read Full Article

Communications Workers of America District 1 backs Jeff Klein for NY Senate - NY Daily News - Read Full Article

A state assembly candidate’s ‘ragged’ efforts for ‘hope and change’ | New York Post - Read Full Article

Time Warner Cable News - Ethical Watchdog Groups Decry Corruption in Albany, 7/16/14 - Read Full Article

Business Insider - Here's Why NYC's Lyft Crackdown Probably Isn't Linked to Uber, 7/11/14 - Read Full Article

New York Daily News - Wake-Up Call: New York, home of political corruption, not students?, 7/2/14 - Read Full Article

New York Daily News - Big City Unions Are Bankrolling Mayor de Blasio's Lobbying Arm With $1.7 Million, 7/16/14 - Read Full Article

New York Post - Unions Raised $1.7 million for Mayoral Non-profit Group, 7/16/14 - Read Full Article

Capital New York - Councilwoman Funds Expansion of Museum She Founded, 7/16/14 - Read Full Article