Andrew Cuomo Hub




Free, Limited Subway Service For NYC Today

SubwayIt may still be weeks before New York City's subway tunnels damaged by Hurricane Sandy are completely restored, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo today announced that select lines, all above 34th street, are back in operation and free for the next few days.

The MTA offers the details:

The free service began just after midnight Thursday and will last until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, and will allow for free rides on the NYC Subway and Bus network, Long Island Rail Road, and Metro-North Railroad.  Free travel will also be available on Access-a-Ride.
 
“The gridlock we experienced yesterday shows that the New York metropolitan region is in a transportation emergency,” Governor Cuomo said. “To get people out of their cars and onto mass transit, I immediately authorized the MTA to suspend transit fares through the end of the work week.”

The fare free days coincide with the restoration of limited subway service set for this morning along segments of roughly half of the system's 26 lines.  With no electricity to power the third rail or to operate signals south of 36th Street, there will be no service between 34th St in Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn. Service will operate from the Bronx, Queens and Upper Manhattan to Midtown and from Queens and parts of Brooklyn to Downtown Brooklyn. 

Shuttle Buses will operate from Jay St-MetroTech, Atlantic Ave-Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn and Hewes St in Williamsburg to 57th St & Lexington Ave via 3rd Ave.

Or there's always walking, which actually doesn't take that long and gives you a great view of the city.

[via Joe]


New York's Highest Court Rejects Evangelical Group's Challenge to State's Marriage Equality Law

The NY Daily News reports:

CuomoNew York's top court today refused to hear an appeal challenging the state's gay marriage law. Without explanation, the Court of Appeals denied a request to appeal by New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, an evangelical group.

....

The group argued that the Senate Republican majority violated the state open meetings law by meeting behind closed doors, including with Mayor Bloomberg, to discuss the issue.

A state appellate court in July unanimously reversed a lower court ruling and dismissed the case. Because the decision was unanimous, New Yorkers For Constitutional Freedoms needed permission from the state's top court to continue its appeal, a request that was denied today.

Governor Andrew Cuomo hailed the decision:

Today, the New York State Court of Appeals, the highest court in the State, denied leave to appeal the validity of the Marriage Equality Act, which affords same-sex couples in this State the right to marry. New York State has served as a beacon for progressive ideals and this statute is a clear reminder of what this State stands for: equality and justice for all. With the Court’s decision, same-sex couples no longer have to worry that their right to marry could be legally challenged in this State. The freedom to marry in this State is secure for generations to come.


Cuomo and Bloomberg Back Embattled Pro-Gay GOP Incumbents

CuomomarriageNew York State Senators Stephen M. Saland and Roy J. McDonald, two of the four Republicans to vote for marriage equality in the Empire State, are currently in political limbo.

After last week's primary vote, both men are awaiting recounts to see if they've actually survived conservative efforts to oust them for their pro-equality politics. And with the ballots being reexamined starting today, the men are getting some vocal support from two big NY names.

First, Gov. Andrew Cuomo this morning threw his weight behind the embattled senators.

Saying their votes for "an act of political courage" that bucked their party's dominant thinking, Cuomo pointed out that lawmakers are not always meant to agree with their constituents; they're meant to do what's right, a point that's so often lost in the political back-and-forth.

“I don’t believe we elect officials to always agree with us,” Cuomo remarked, according to the New York Times. “We elect officials to use their best judgment and to be people of character and integrity, and I think this vote, which was a difficult vote, showed character and integrity. I hope it works out for both gentlemen. They’re in the middle of recounts now, and I hope it works out — I hope they get re-elected."

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg also came out for Saland and McDonald. "No matter what happens in the election, they’re going to have the satisfaction of knowing for the rest of their life they stood up and voted their conscience, and they did it in a world where that’s harder to do today maybe than it’s been in a long time," said Bloomberg, who gave $10,300 of his billions to each of three pro-equality state senators who ran for reelection. Mark Grisanti won by a landslide and the fourth supportive senator, James Alesi, retired.


Four Arrested as LGBT Groups Protest Lack of Funding for LGBT Homeless Youth in NY Governor's Budget

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Four activists from the group Queer Rising — Natasha Dillon, Jake Goodman, Melissa Kleckner and Ted McGuire — were peacefully arrested yesterday afternoon following a protest by the group in front of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's Manhattan office. At the demonstration, group members stood beside cardboard boxes that featured the names, ages and hobbies of anonymous LGBTQ youth and chanted for action from Cuomo.

Writes the group in a release to Towleroad:

In October 2011, approximately 80 LGBT organizations and community leaders endorsed the Campaign for Youth Shelter and sent Governor Cuomo a letter calling for "an additional $3-million per year in funding for the creation of 100 youth shelter beds per year."  Cuomo never publicly acknowledged the letter.

Hours after New York State Governor Cuomo released his 2012 budget proposal — which neglected to add a single penny of additional funding to provide adequate shelter for runaway and homeless youth — outraged members of the LGBT community gathered to protest outside his Manhattan office.  Activist group, Queer Rising, organized the demonstration.  Approximately two-dozen activists participated in the protest resulting in four arrests.

Every night in New York City, approximately 3,800 youth are without stable shelter, but the state and city only provide funding for fewer than 200 beds for these youth.  Up to 40% of the homeless youth identify as being LGBT. Last year, Governor Cuomo slashed this budget by 50%.

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SicilianoIn related news, Carl Siciliano, Executive Director of the Ali Forney Center, the largest LGBT homeless shelter and resource center in New York, released the following statement regarding Cuomo's budget:

"Governor Cuomo's budget proposal is bad news for the 1600 homeless LGBT youth stranded on the streets of New York each night without access to a shelter bed. These youth, who suffer horribly and whose lives are in danger, deserve the attention and concern of their governor no less than the other members of our community.  With marriage equality expected to bring in over 100 million dollars in additional economic activity and tax revenue for the state, the LGBT community has a moral obligation to demand that our tax dollars protect the most vulnerable and desperate members of our community."

The Ali Forney Center was not involved in Queer Rising's action at the governor's office.


Queer Rising to Protest Cuomo, Demand More Beds for LGBTQ Homeless Youth

Activist Group Queer Rising will stage a demonstration today in front of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's office, demanding more beds and shelter for homeless LGBTQ and other youth:

HomelessJoin the Coalition behind the CAMPAIGN FOR HOMELESS YOUTH and QUEER RISING on January 17, 2012 at 4:30pm in-front of NY Gov.Cuomo's Office in Midtown to DEMAND an increase in funding for Homeless Shelter Services and Beds!

40% of homeless youth in New York identify as being LGBTQ. Since 2008, Mayor Bloomberg has cut the budget to Homeless Youth Services (HYS) by at least 50%. Last year, Governor Cuomo also cut the HYS budget by 50%.

We are demanding that an additional $3 million be added to the budget, which will provide an additional 100 beds, every year until all our youth have adequate shelter. Governor Cuomo will release his 2012 budget proposal by January 20th, at the latest.

As a second “A Box Is Not A Home” action, Queer Rising will hold this action in front of Governor Cuomo's office demanding that the $3 million be included in the 2012 budget. We will continue to advocate for our youth, we will not go away, Marriage Equality is not the only issue we care about.


Challenging Marriage Equality: The Case of Conservatives v. Albany

BY ARI EZRA WALDMAN

In the many glorious days since the passage of the Marriage Equality Act in New York, there have been more than a few marriages, even more engagements, and the world kept ticking. Conservatives, of course, dislike this. But, there is precious little they can do. Same-sex marriage polls overwhelmingly well among New Yorkers, the state's Democratic majority is firmly behind marriage equality, and they are supported by quite a few wealthy, influential Republicans (read: Bloomberg, Grisanti, Alesi, Saland, and McDonald). Any fight against the substance of the Marriage Equality Act risks marginalizing an already weak Republican Party from voters in deep blue New York.

NycfBut, let no one say that our anti-gay forces are not resourceful. Faced with a citizenry that supports same-sex marriage, conservatives instead turned to New Yorkers' greatest bogeyman: Albany. This week, a New York State judge ruled that a state legal challenge to the Marriage Equality Act -- based on the supposedly Machiavellian procedure by which it was enacted -- can proceed to the next stage. That is not to say that this challenge will be successful; in fact, the judge was pretty sanguine pessimistic about the suit's prospects for success. However, it is worth discussing what this case is about, why it lacks merit, and how it shows the utter desperation of the anti-gay right.

CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Challenging Marriage Equality: The Case of Conservatives v. Albany" »


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