GUEST COMMENTARY: On the Ballot for Nov. 2, 2021: the Constitutional Amendment on Redistricting

The Redistricting Schedule

On November 2, 2021, New York State voters will be asked to approve a constitutional amendment revising the redistricting process to be based on the 2020 census. If the constitutional amendment is approved, the changes will take effect on January 1, 2022. This amendment is necessary to address delays in the census created by the pandemic and to accommodate New York State’s change from a September primary to an earlier June primary … <Read More>

GUEST COMMENTARY: Hudson Yards – Setting the Record Straight (or Don’t Doubt its Success)

I was motivated to respond to an article by Robert Kuttner on The American Prospect website that in general argued that a tax-subsidized project was facing impending collapse which could provide an opportunity for affordable housing. I have no problem with the author disliking Hudson Yards and he wouldn’t be the first or only one to do so. I believe, however, that the American Prospect piece contains misinformation on the Hudson Yards project. This article … <Read More>

Commentary: Remote Hearings are Over – What Happens Now?

On June 23, 2021 Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state’s COVID-19 emergency orders, which are set to expire today will not be renewed. One of the provisions within the emergency order adjusted the requirements of the Open Meetings Law to allow public hearings to be held remotely via telephone or video conference or other similar service. As of Friday, June 25th, the Open Meetings Law will again require all meetings to be held in-person.

COMMENTARY: Joan Davidson and the J.M. Kaplan Foundation

If all the charitable foundations everywhere in the United States were lined up according to impact, the J.M. Kaplan Fund would be in the top ten. The J.M. Kaplan Fund was established in 1945 by Jacob M. Kaplan and was led for thirty years by J.M.’s daughter, Joan K. Davidson. Joan was a fixture in New York City’s political, charitable, and civic world, and she used her ideas and enthusiasms to make New York City … <Read More>

Commentary: City Club of New York Opposes LPC Approval of New South Street Seaport Tower

On Tuesday, May 4, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) approved by a 6-2 vote an application for a new residential tower at 250 Water Street in the South Street Seaport Historic District. This was the third time the Howard Hughes Corporation had presented the project, and this time, after the architects at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill made a few tweaks to the design, the LPC determined that the building was appropriate.