Women's World Cup
Gun violence prevention, elections, gambling rings, and more.
Good morning from Melbourne, Australia with Team USA, where a couple of millimeters and VAR conspired to break our hearts early yesterday morning and sent USWNT to their earliest World Cup exit ever.
In New York, the State’s top Democrats are against violence and they want you to know it. Last week, Governor Kathy Hochul was joined by State Attorney General Letitia James and New York City Mayor Eric Adams to announce an initiative aimed at gun violence prevention. The trio provided a united front, pushing back on Republican attacks that New York City is not taking concerns about violent crime seriously. At the news conference, Governor Hochul offered, “You can’t say you’re serious about fighting crime if you’re not serious about getting illegal guns off our streets.” The plan commits $485 million to early intervention and police resources, prioritizing the NYPD precincts with the highest level of gun violence. Mayor Adams, a former NYPD captain, highlighted a 27 percent drop in shootings within NYC compared to the same time last year as proof that his administration is making good on his campaign promise to protect public safety saying, “It clearly shows that when people are saying, ‘Democrats are soft on crime,’ that’s just not the reality.”
While New York’s top elected officials are making progress on gun violence, they will need to do more to meet the State’s ambitious climate goals, according to a report released by NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. The report found that in order to reach the climate standards outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), namely 70% renewable energy consumption by 2030, New York will need a 200% increase in renewable energy generation. Comptroller DiNapoli offered, “New York’s energy goals are attainable, but require careful attention and management to address challenges, meet ambitious deadlines and avoid future pitfalls.” The report also warned of the State’s transmission ability, particularly in Upstate regions and other areas non-proximate to renewable energy facilities. Despite the future challenges, the report showed that New York currently ranks 6th in the nation in renewable energy generation and 3rd in hydroelectric power.
At a marathon meeting last week, the New York State Board of Elections voted to approve the purchase of new, touchscreen voting machines. The new machines will contain the entire ballot on a screen and the voters’ choices will be printed onto a paper ballot. Not everyone is happy with the changes, including Susan Lerner, the Executive Director of the good-government watchdog group Common Cause who said, “Number one, (ExpressVote XL) is very expensive. It’s going to cause a real increase in the lines and the time that people would have to take to vote. It’s insecure. The voter can’t really check and control their own vote. You’re at the mercy of the machine.” The BOE pushed back on those concerns, pointing to a number of redundancies to ensure the integrity of the vote as well as an amendment to the resolution that requires any and all audits to be conducted by a hand count.
The BOE also approved the wording of two proposed constitutional amendments that will be voted on via ballot measure. The first measure extends the authority of municipalities to exceed their debt limit in order to build sewage facilities while the other removes the debt limit on small city school districts so “they will have parity with all other school districts.”
Mayor Eric Adams has found himself in the middle of an investigation into an underground gambling ring after allegedly tipping off his former Buildings Commissioner, Eric Ulrich, that he was a subject of the investigation. At a NYC Department of Buildings Construction Safety Week event in early May 2022, Adams reportedly told Ulrich “watch your back and watch your phones.” Adams has denied any wrongdoing and a spokesman for his office said, “The mayor has not received any requests from the Manhattan DA surrounding this matter and has never spoken to Mr. Ulrich about this investigation, either before or after the matter became public.” Despite the ongoing episodes coming out of City Hall, Mayor Adams remains broadly popular and even his progressive detractors are acknowledging he will not be easy to beat in a potential 2024 Democratic primary. So far, no high-profile Progressives have indicated they are running against him and Adams’ $4.6 million war chest would make any challenge a costly endeavor.
In other political news, Florida Governor and 2024 Republican Presidential candidate Ron DeSantis has seemingly agreed to debate California Governor Gavin Newsom. Fox Host Sean Hannity brokered the deal and will host the debate, though the date and location have yet to be announced.
In Washington, D.C., Congress is on August recess. The Senate is scheduled to return on September 5th and the House will return on September 15th. While the majority of the House of Representative hearings this year have resorted to political theatre, the newly created “tough on China” select committee has remained above the fray. The select committee was established to examine and suggest countermeasures to Chinese aggression in areas ranging from Tik-Tok to a military confrontation over Taiwan. Their field hearings have included meeting with farmers in Iowa over agricultural technology theft, automakers in Detroit over global competitiveness, and Silicon Valley leaders on data security.
“There’s a big foundation of bipartisan agreement, I think, on the military side, this U.S.-China competition, it’s the single most important thing we’re dealing with and we’ll be dealing with for a long period of time.”
The select committee Chairman, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), believes the issue is too important to be hampered by partisan politics saying, “There’s a big foundation of bipartisan agreement, I think, on the military side, this U.S.-China competition, it’s the single most important thing we’re dealing with and we’ll be dealing with for a long period of time.” Gallagher has also lauded Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for his focus on the issue and feels confident the two chambers will be able to enact meaningful legislation.
President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were spotted enjoying a beach day last weekend in Delaware. The press pool was escorted away after getting a few pictures of Biden setting up his umbrella and chair, but a reporter who happened to be at the beach with his family was able to get a picture of the President showing some skin.
In Belfast, Ireland, the City Council unveiled the new statue honoring American abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Ireland was the first nation outside of the U.S. to publish his famous ‘Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass an American Slave’ and he traveled the country extensively, professing during one visit, “Wherever else I feel myself to be a stranger, I will remember I have a home in Belfast.”
Finally, hitting an elected official in the back of the head with a water balloon would usually land you in trouble. However, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman was so impressed with the young girl’s arm… he took her to a Yankees game.
Reminder: Monday Morning Memo goes on hiatus the last two weeks of August, but returns on September 4th!
🎧 NEW PODCAST EPISODE! 🎧
He’s the son of Colombian immigrants whose educational journey took him all over the world.
Now, he’s back in his hometown of Newburgh with a seat on the Orange County Legislature.
Grab your 🎧, as Kevindaryán Luján joins our Alec Lewis on ‘From the Lobby with Jack O’Donnell’ to talk about his diverse background, running a successful campaign and reaching across the political aisle to improve the lives of Orange County residents.
OD&A In The News
New To The NYS Legislature
Senator Patricia Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick was elected in November of 2022 to represent the constituents of Senate District 9, the Valley Stream area of Nassau County. An accomplished attorney, small business owner, and mother, Senator Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick began her tenure in public service as a Trustee in the Village of Malverne in Nassau County. She went on to become Malverne’s Police Commissioner and Fire Commissioner and also served as Malverne’s Deputy Mayor and Budget Director.
After raising her four children as a single mother, Senator Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick was elected to the State Senate to address crime and fight for legislation to ensure that law enforcement has the proper resources necessary to keep her constituents safe.
Senator Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick earned a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University College of Business Administration in 1987 and a J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 1994. Senator Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick is a lifelong resident of Malverne, where she lives with her husband Kevin and her four children.
Client News: Zoo Board Appoints Lisa Smith New President/CEO
The Board of Directors of the Zoological Society of Buffalo Inc. announced the appointment of interim CEO Lisa Smith as the Buffalo Zoo’s new President/CEO. Looking ahead, the board charged Smith with maintaining the Zoo’s exceptional animal care. Also, implementing the Zoo’s new strategic and master plans, and raising money to see them through. [Read more.]