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John Petro

Entries by John Petro

On Campaign Finance Reform, Senate Republicans Stand in Gov. Cuomo's Way

(6) Comments | Posted January 29, 2013 | 12:10 PM

Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos repeated his opposition to Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposals for campaign finance reform last week, setting up another battle between the Governor and state Republicans.

In his State of the State address earlier this month, Governor Cuomo laid out his agenda...

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Why We Can't Afford to Give New York's Richest a Tax Break

(2) Comments | Posted March 23, 2011 | 2:50 PM

As protesters demanding the extension of the millionaire's tax descend on Albany, Governor Cuomo and the state Senate Republican leadership have held firm on their desire to cut taxes for the state's wealthiest. They claim that extending the taxes would force wealthy households to move out of the state...

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Bloomberg and Cuomo: Two of a Kind?

(3) Comments | Posted February 9, 2011 | 3:00 PM

Though they may be sparring in the press, when it comes to deciding how to deal with their respective budget messes, Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo are two of a kind. By marking essential services for cuts, both men have threatened to balance the budget on the backs

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State of the City: Bloomberg Failing Ordinary New Yorkers, More Families in Poverty, in Shelters, and on Food Stamps

(4) Comments | Posted January 19, 2011 | 1:30 PM

Mayor Bloomberg's third term began badly for middle class New Yorkers. Twelve thousand families fell into poverty over the past year, a four percent increase. The number of food stamp recipients in the city is up by 15 percent, and the number of families staying in homeless shelters is up...

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A New Year and a New Fare, But MTA Budget the Same Old Mess

(1) Comments | Posted January 6, 2011 | 12:19 PM

The 30-day Metrocard went up by $15 on January 1st, and transit riders are wondering why, after last year's elimination of two subway lines and dozens of bus lines, they are being asked to pay more for less service.

On top of $104 Metrocards, there's even more bad news...

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Economic Might Makes Right? NY City Council's Moral Choice

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2010 | 12:33 PM

When explaining her reasons for killing paid sick leave legislation earlier this year, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said that the economic costs associated with the bill would be too great. The bill's opponents--including Mayor Bloomberg--agreed that guaranteeing every worker the right to earn paid sick...

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Tell Me What I Want to Hear: Bloomberg's Living Wage Study

(3) Comments | Posted November 9, 2010 | 1:36 PM

Three top city officials, each rumored to have their eye on a mayoral run in 2013, directly challenged Mayor Bloomberg on Monday over a living wage bill in the City Council. The mayor has made it clear that he opposes the bill, which would guarantee workers at city-led...

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After National Losses, Progressives Should Focus on the City

(1) Comments | Posted November 4, 2010 | 6:00 PM

I wasn't surprised by the Republican takeover of the House. Unemployment, foreclosure, and economic stagnation--it was written on the wall. I was surprised, however, by how willingly Democrats allowed the GOP to shape media coverage of the victory as an American repudiation of the progressive agenda.

Republicans used their mid-term...

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Off the Rails: NY's Gubernatorial Candidates Lack Plans on Transit

(2) Comments | Posted October 27, 2010 | 10:40 AM

Even after last year's service cuts and a 17 percent fare increase on 30-day MetroCards, the nation's largest mass transit system is still imperiled by chronic budget problems. A $500 million deficit is project for next year and in four years deficits will grow to $1.5 billion.

It's every-day New...

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Albany Fails to Prevent Fare Hike, Riders Stuck Wtih the Bill

(5) Comments | Posted October 7, 2010 | 2:45 PM

Today the MTA board voted to increase the transit fares and the 30-day unlimited MetroCard will rise above $100 for the first time beginning in January. When New York City straphangers pay their fare, they are likely to think that their money is going towards running the buses and trains....

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Who's Afraid of Paid Sick Leave?

(6) Comments | Posted September 28, 2010 | 2:32 PM

Seventy-five percent of all New Yorkers agree that employers should be required by law to allow workers to earn paid sick leave. After all, everyone gets sick, everyone needs time to recover from illness, and many New Yorkers can't afford to take an unpaid sick day. But a...

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Mapping Race in New York City

(3) Comments | Posted September 24, 2010 | 11:21 AM

A map of New York City by race and ethnicity suggests that perhaps the place isn't quite the melting pot that it is claimed to be. It shows clear geographical divisions between blacks, whites, Hispanics, and Asians. Manhattan below 96th Street jumps out at the viewer in bright red, the...

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No Reason to Wait on Paid Sick Leave

(0) Comments | Posted August 25, 2010 | 4:37 PM

Despite having a veto-proof number of supporters in the City Council, a bill that would guarantee workers the right to earn paid sick leave is being stalled by the business community. This is not particularly surprising, given that businesses have generally fought against raising workplace standards throughout our history.

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Low Wages and the Metropolitan Middle Class

(9) Comments | Posted August 20, 2010 | 3:02 PM

The country's stubbornly high unemployment rate is stalling economic recovery. The news emerged on Thursday that jobless claims increased unexpectedly this month, sending the markets nervously downward. Thus, lawmakers at every level of government, from City Hall to the White House, are faced with the enormous challenge of fostering the...

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Will Florida Imperil the Future of High-Speed Rail?

(4) Comments | Posted August 10, 2010 | 4:50 PM

With the full backing of President Obama and $8 billion in federal grants awarded last year, it seems that the dream of high-speed rail in the U.S. will be a reality by mid-decade. The first HSR line, connecting Tampa and Orlando, will be open for business by 2015. With the...

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Correcting the Counts, NY State to Count Prisoners in Home Disrticts

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2010 | 4:30 PM

The New York State Senate passed legislation on Tuesday that would correct a long-standing distortion of democracy: the inclusion of prisoners in the population counts of state and local districts. The bill awaits Governor Paterson's signature, and he should quickly sign it.

The current way of counting prison populations has...

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No More Promises

(0) Comments | Posted July 27, 2010 | 5:35 PM

Eager to gain the support of the local community and under pressure from local elected officials, the developer of the massive New Domino development on the Williamsburg waterfront agreed to a number of provisions, including the construction of 660 below market-rate apartments and a shuttle bus to nearby...

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The Bike Lane Wars, Part Two

(7) Comments | Posted July 20, 2010 | 4:31 PM

New York City has witnessed a historic rise in the number of bicycle commuters in recent years. Due in part to new street designs that enhance safety, bicycle commuting has more than doubled since 2000, taking cars off the road and easing crowding on subway trains.

But on Monday...

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The Tremendous Potential (and Ultimate Limitations) of Buses

(1) Comments | Posted July 7, 2010 | 5:35 PM

In this week's New York Magazine, Robert Sullivan looks at the unique potential that revamping the city's bus system has for increasing mobility and access along the city's most heavily-traveled corridors. Specifically, Sullivan describes the introduction of "Select Bus Service" on Fordham Road in the Bronx...

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Living Wage Law Would Create Benefits for Business, City's Economy

(0) Comments | Posted June 28, 2010 | 3:03 PM

This weekend, in response to the hottest legislative issue in City Hall right now, the Daily News ran two opinion pieces on a bill that would guarantee living wages to all workers at city-subsidized development projects. This would mean that if a developer receives city tax breaks or...

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