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21 Jul
0

Senate Democrats Want Quick Passage of Bills to Fulfill Reform Pledge

By Cara Matthews

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch and Senate Democrats, who most likely will be in the minority come January, are urging the Senate to pass reform bills at the start of the new session next month. Before the November election, 53 of 62 members of the incoming Senate signed a pledge proposed by Koch’s New York Uprising group to support non-partisan redistricting, stronger ethics and disclosure laws and taking the politics out of the state budget process.

(The Court of Appeals heard a case today in which Nassau County Sen. Craig Johnson, a Democrat, wants a hand recount of the ballots. He lost to his GOP opponent. If the loss stands, Republicans will have a 32-30 advantage. If not, there will be a 31-31 split.)

Senate Democrats unveiled a package of bills that would accomplish those things at a news conference on the steps of New York City Hall. Three are ethics bills, three are about the budget process and would set up a non-partisan Legislative Budget Office, and one is on redistricting, which occurs every 10 years based on new census numbers.

The legislation has to be passed in 2011, Koch said in a statement. “I will be working with the members of the legislature on a bipartisan basis to make that all come about,” he said.

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20 Jul
0

Liz Joins Other Female Leaders & Activists to Express Outrage at Carl Paladino’s Heartless Stance on Abortion

Senator Liz Krueger joined other leaders in condemning disparaging remarks made by Carl Paladino that indicate he would not support abortion even in instances of rape and incest.  As said in the letter, “Carl Paladino has taken a heartless stand against the health and well-being of the women of this state without care or compassion — even for those who have been victims of sexual assault.”

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18 Jul
0

Liz Hosts Part 1 of Senior Roundtable Series for Caregivers

Today, Senator Liz Krueger hosted the first portion of a five-part discussion for caregivers and the older people in their lives. During this first session, “Planning Ahead,” presenters addressed community services and how to determine if a Senior needs home care assistance.  The session  included a keynote address by Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, Commissioner of the New York City Department for the Aging and Caroline Rosenthal Gelman, Associate Professor at Hunter College School of Social Work.  View the presentation provided by Caroline Rosenthal Gelman here .

The second session, to be held on Thursday, December 16th, will address “Aging in Place: Is it Right for Everyone?”

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17 Jul
0

Liz Endorses Gustavo Rivera in Race Against Pedro Espada

Gustavo Rivera Picks Up Nine Progressive Electeds

By Reid Pillifant
August 17, 2010 | 5:23 p.m

A slew of progressive elected officials announced their support today for Gustavo Rivera, who is challenging Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. in the Bronx.

Least surprising might be Krueger, whose parents, husband, and campaign committee have been among Rivera’s biggest donors. “I would be proud to serve alongside Gustavo Rivera in the State Senate,” Krueger said in the statement. “Over the last decade I have seen Gustavo grow as a progressive leader in his community and I have no doubt that he will serve his constituents in the 33rd District with the strength and integrity that they deserve.”

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17 Jul
0

How Liz Krueger Helped Form Co-Op/Condo Alliance

Coming soon to a co-op/condo near you: Transparency and fair play?

Earlier this month, a fledgling organization of New York City apartment owners launched a modest website with an Olympic-sized ambition:

“The Alliance of Condo & Co-op Owners aims to help owners achieve fair play, transparency, and accountability in condo and co-op governance and operations.”

Intrigued, we caught up with the ACCO’s president–Larry Simms, a 59-year-old ex- condo board president who consults with co-ops and condos on fiscal planning, communications, governance and ‘problem avoidance’—to find out more about the grassroots movement and its tactics.

Q.  How did the ACCO get started?

A.  The steering committee, 10 of us, met through a couple of public forums for Manhattan co-op and condo owners organized earlier this year by State Senator Liz Krueger and later State Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh. They had been organized in response to a deluge of calls from owners asking questions–some simple, some not.

These were standing-room-only forums. The breadth and diversity of the audience was stunning, and there was a lot of pent-up curiosity and frustration.

Q. What were some of the problems people complained about?

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17 Jul
0

Why a Co-op Condo Ombudsman is Necessary

Co-op, condo owners have to back bill creating ombudsman agency

Having lived in a co-op for the past 15 years, I cannot speak out enough on supporting bill 7958-A, introduced by state Sens. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan), Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) and George Onorato (D-Astoria). This bill would create a government agency that would hear the cries of hundreds of thousands of residents who own shares in co-ops.

Presently, our only course of action in the event of a conflict between shareholders and the board or management is to hire an attorney and be at the mercy of a corporate checkbook and the numerous ways of abusing the judicial system to protect what may not be in the best interest of shareholders.

For example, I question whether or not an area which is subsidized by shareholders is considered a common area that should be accessible by the people paying the cost. I have seen over the years what were expected to be common areas when I moved in being turned over to a country club or private vendors doing business on the property.

Is this a diminishing of service under my proprietary lease? Should I be paying less because I do not have the advantage of the use?

Questions like this cannot be brought to the same boards that created the situations and the cost of bringing them under business corporate law is a financial burden to the average shareholder.

Creating an ombudsman agency would be the perfect solution in handling problems such as these. The monies saved by not using our overly burdened court systems would more than cover the cost of this agency, which could work with an already-existing governor and attorney general.

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17 Jul
0

Liz Breaks Ground on PS 59!

After a long fight and a lot of hard work Liz joined other State and City officials to celebrate a victory for the East Side of Manhattan: the groundbreaking of a brand new mixed-use development which will house two public schools.  Located at 250 East 57th Street, the $500 million development will house new, modern facilities for P.S. 59 and the High School of Art and Design, which will open to students in September of 2012.  Construction of the schools will be paid for by private developers as part of a partnership with the Department of Education’s Educational Construction Fund (ECF), which develops mixed-use real estate projects featuring new school facilities.  The 57th Street complex is the largest ECF project to date.

In a double-win for the area, the location will not only provide state of the art facilities for our  schools but it will also house a Whole Foods.

Read more about the P.S. 59 groundbreaking.

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17 Jul
0

Liz Takes on the Governor on Tenants’ Rights

As she’s always done in the past, Liz continues to fight for tenants’ rights.  While some leaders, including Governor Paterson and Senator Pedro Espada have proposed changes to legislation that they gift-wrap in tenant-friendly packaging, the reality is that these bills will actually hurt rent regulation laws. Tenants’ rights will always be at the forefront of Liz’s agenda.

Read more about the Governor’s proposed changes and Liz Krueger’s reaction.

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16 Jul
0

The Importance of Paper Ballots & Recounts in Elections

The following article was written by Bo Lipari, founder of New Yorkers for Verified Voting (NYVV), a grassroots citizens group working for secure, reliable, accessible, and verifiable standards for voting systems and elections.

PULLING THE LEVER FOR PAPER

The 2010 elections quietly marked a milestone in election technology history. For the first time in over a hundred years, this was the first national election in which mechanical lever machines were not used. Lever machines were at one time so ubiquitous in US culture that the phrase “pull the lever” is still the go-to phrase we use to mean “cast the vote”. Most states made the transition from levers years ago, beginning in the 1980s when the first optical scanners were employed. But in New York State, this election was the first one without levers in a very long time. Fortunately, the new technology the State chose to use is paper ballots and optical scanners,  not paperless electronic voting. And those paper ballots are proving their worth already in several disputed elections around the state.

Media reports of “problems with the new voting systems” really have it the wrong way around. Perhaps it’s because New York isn’t yet used to having an actual paper record of votes, so we don’t yet understand the value of a recount. When outcomes are uncertain or disputed, recounting paper ballots is the best way there is to find out who really won an election. New York’s new ability to count the paper is not a problem, it’s the solution.

Lever machines, and their electronic descendants, paperless touch-screen voting machines, don’t allow recounts. At the end of the day, all you have is a single number for each candidate representing their vote total. On a lever machine, that number is stored on a mechanical counter; on an electronic touch-screen machine, it’s usually stored on a memory card, with a print out of the totals made after poll closing. When levers or touch-screens fail to accurately record votes, and both types of machine do, the reported totals are suspect. However, there is no way to reconstruct the actual votes after the fact. The totals you have are all you’ll ever have, even if they appear almost certainly incorrect. On lever machines, mechanical counters would stick and fail to turn over, a problem which happened much more frequently than most New York voters realized. But when elections held on lever machines were disputed, there was nothing to count but absentee ballots. The totals reported on the lever machine counters were what they were, even when suspect.

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16 Jul
0

State Senate to Hold Subway Hearing

The State Senate will hold a hearing on Second Avenue Subway construction Nov. 30.

Bill Perkins, a Harlem state senator and chair of the committee with jurisdiction over the MTA, wants a forum for affected business owners and residents to voice their concerns about the construction.

“We don’t want to turn a blind eye to one of the most significant developments taking place in Manhattan,” Perkins said. “We just want due diligence in keeping it on track.”

State Sen. Liz Krueger said the “fact-finding” hearing will help prevent future problems as construction continues in the rest of the East Side.

“There are all kinds of things we’re going to be learning from the process in the northern end that hopefully we can come up with mitigation and solutions before we get further south,” Krueger said.

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