Image Credit: VillageVoice.com
Wayne Barrett, who passed away on January 19, 2017, was in fact a “fierce muckraker” as described in the New York Times’ laudatory obituary published the day of Barrett’s death. Barrett’s unparalleled research scared the political people he wrote about, and his long articles in the Village Voice based on those facts frightened them even more.
Wayne Barrett had no peer when it came to ferreting out the full story of politicians’ tricks, compromises and corruption. He read the transcripts, attended the trials, found the documents, got the witnesses to talk and drew the inferences. There is no better description of the hidden political dealings of mid-twentieth century New York City than can be found in Barrett’s books on the rise of Donald Trump and on the scandals that emerged in the third term of the Koch Administration in the 1980s. (read more…)
Lisa F. Grumet, Adjunct Professor of Law, Associate Director of the Impact Center for Public Interest Law, and Director of the Impact Center’s Diane Abbey Law Institute for Children and Families.
Following the Presidential election and reports of increased discriminatory harassment, many Americans have expressed concerns that the federal government may weaken its enforcement of civil rights laws. For those of us who live, work or attend school in New York, it is important to know and to enforce the strong civil rights protections that exist under New York City and New York State law.
Both New York State and New York City have enacted Human Rights Laws. These laws generally prohibit discrimination in public accommodations, employment, and housing based on race, color, sex, national origin, disability, religion/creed, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and citizenship status (City law only), as well as other categories. Concerning students, the City Human Rights Law’s protections generally apply to “educational institutions.” The State Human Rights Law currently prohibits discrimination in private, non-sectarian educational institutions. (read more…)
The stunning 79-page federal complaint and arrest of Joseph Percoco and seven others by United States Attorney Preet Bharara focused on bribery and extortion, but the complaint also revealed a callous disregard of State conflicts of interest and procurement rules. These allegations were as serious as the federal criminal charges. (read more…)
This issue of CityLaw contains an assessment of the 2015 Nunez consent decree aimed at curing excessive use of force at the City prisons. The City deserves credit for developing appropriate plans, rather than defending indefensible conditions in the jails. Yet the method adopted by the City – consenting to supervision by judges, outside experts and attorneys – harbors dangers: rigidity and loss of managerial flexibility that can interfere with achievement of the decree’s salutary objectives and undermine local democracy.
Almost 55 percent of all renter households in New York City now pay more than 30 percent of their income towards housing costs, an increase of 11 percent since 2000. As a consequence, the City Planning Commission found that “many of the city’s neighborhoods are becoming less economically diverse, which poses a threat to the city’s economic competitiveness as well as to the opportunities available to lower-income New Yorkers.”
Mandatory Inclusionary Housing is one of the city’s responses to the housing shortage. Released as a study in 2015 and adopted as a zoning text amendment in 2016, Mandatory Inclusionary Housing requires that a percentage of the total number of dwelling units in a new building or conversion be set aside, or new or rehabilitated affordable units be provided off-site, whenever there is an associated zoning change or special permit that increases the underlying residential development potential. (read more…)