De Blasio on closing Rikers: It will take 10 years

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed a desire to close Rikers Island. A new city report said it’ll take a decade. A 51-page report titled “Smaller Safer Fairer: A Roadmap to Closing Rikers Island,” indicates that closing the jail would take 10 years, a decline in the facility’s populations, political advocacy, an increase in capital funds and a continued decrease in crime.

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Camping for Cause

Starting on June 14, about three dozen tenants, homeless individuals and housing advocates slept outside Cuomo’s Third Avenue headquarters for three nights, forming a makeshift encampment. Dubbed “Cuomoville” by organizers, the camp was meant to invoke Depression-era shanty villages. Activists criticized the Governor for not doing enough to address housing issues in the city and state.

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Housing Activists Camp Out for Action from Cuomo

A coalition of housing groups is planning to camp out to pressure Gov. Andrew Cuomo to stop the growing problem of homelessness and take action to protect renters. The groups involved include some of the most active in New York City: Alliance for Tenant Power (an umbrella organization of eight other groups including New York Communities for Change, Make the Road NY, and others), Community Voices Heard, Vocal-NY, Citizen Action of New York and Manufactured Housing Action. They’re going to erect what they’ve called “Cuomoville” outside Gov. Cuomo’s office to demand action.

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Activists Talk Fare Evasion Arrests

Last week, elected officials and activists directed New Yorkers’ attention to the increase in fare evasion arrests on New York City subways. With the implementation of yet another fare hike, many low-income and rent-burdened city dwellers have taken to jumping the turnstile or somehow finding their way onto the train without paying because they can’t afford the fare.

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Time for Resistance to Jeff Sessions’ Drug War

It’s a question of will; you want to solve the drug problem, give them the max, says Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, the man Donald Trump chose to be his attorney general. In line with that thinking, Sessions is torpedoing a three-year experiment that encourages leniency before its impact could be examined.

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De Blasio defends NYPD funds to fight opioid-overdose deaths

The city’s decision to dedicate a large portion of new funds for reducing opioid-overdose deaths to an NYPD initiative to arrest more drug dealers is justified because of the potency of the drug fentanyl, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in response to questions Monday evening. But those who want the city to move away from the war on drugs and toward a public-health approach to drug use aren’t convinced.

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