The frustrated plot to seize political power is a
staple of both history and fiction. From Guy Fawkes's gunpowder plot in London
in 1605 through the party switches and seizure of power in the New York State
Senate in 2009, politicians have sought to improve the outcomes of elections
through various means.
Continue reading "The Audacity of Dopes; Six Sought GOP Ballot Line By Bribes to County Leaders By HENRY J. STERN " »
"You pass the test, you get the highest score, you get into the school."
With those words, New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg stood by the State admissions policies that apply to several elite high schools, Specialized High Schools, here in New York City. These admissions policies result in de facto segregation in these public schools.
Continue reading "NEW YORK CIVIC: Testing Standards Reduce Diversity in Elite Schools By HENRY J. STERN " »
NY – September 18, 2012 -- One of the perennial questions citizens ask about
government is: why is it so corrupt? People who read newspapers, listen to the
radio or watch television encounter a steady flow of stories recounting misconduct
by public officials or reporting the details of their arrests, trials and, in
many cases, convictions. The crimes of Shirley Huntley, Carl Kruger, Vito
Lopez, Naomi Rivera and Larry Seabrook have been reported in great detail.
Continue reading "NEW YORK CIVIC: Why Many Politicians Disappoint The Public By HENRY J. STERN " »
Tries To Protect His Members
But They Keep Getting Into Trouble
observation of the ethical practices of the New York State Legislature, we
notice that challenges seem to arise in bunches. The situation will be relatively
quiescent for a while, then something will happen: an accusation, the release
of reports, the discovery of data previously concealed or later redacted, a
confrontation between powerful figures - an unexpected event that will expose
cracks and seams in the existing political structure and may set off a string
of seemingly unrelated, but inherently similar, events on other levels of
Continue reading "NEW YORK CIVIC: Speaker Shields Sinners By HENRY J. STERN " »
NEW YORK, NY -- July 9,2012 -- Mayor Bloomberg has now completed seven-eighths of the twelve years he will presumably serve as mayor. In 541 days New York City's next mayor, the 109th, will be inaugurated. During the next 18 months there will likely be a trickle of departures as commissioners and senior managers seek employment which will last beyond December 31, 2013. It is a weakness in our political system that when there is a change of mayors practically all commissioners and senior officials currently serving are expected to leave regardless of how well they have performed their jobs. Imagine a corporation which, every four years, routinely discharged its principal officers. This practice did not start with Mayor Bloomberg. It was the rule in the Koch, Dinkins and Giuliani administrations as well.
Continue reading "NEW YORK CIVIC: Mid-Term Review By HENRY J. STERN " »
Budget Disputes Vary in Intensity Depending on Funds Available and Ambitions of Lawmakers
Like nature itself, city government deals with different matters in different seasons of the year. First is the season of the budget, which begins with requests for funds by agencies and advocates, most of which are politely ignored because there are insufficient resources to fund them. The word most heard at budget time is no.
Continue reading "New York Civic – The Budget: Is It a Piñata? By HENRY J. STERN" »
How Does Government Pay for Services People Want?
One recurring problem in government is the shortage of funds needed to meet reasonable demands for services by the public.
This situation occurs for a number of reasons. One, when payment is made by a third party demand for services increases substantially; the more that is provided, the greater the level of expectation for additional services. These demands, although costly are not inherently unreasonable. But the question is where to draw the line?
Continue reading "New York Civic - Longevity: Blessing or Curse? By HENRY J. STERN " »
Truth is the First Casualty In Redistricting, as in War
political issue of the year in New York State is redistricting following the 2010 census. New lines for legislative and Congressional districts must be drawn in time for the 2012 elections. New York is on the path to being one of the slowest states to adopt new lines.
Continue reading "New York Civic: Liar's Poker By HENRY J. STERN" »
Henry J. Stern is pictured.
NEW YORK, NY -- Morgan Pehme, executive director of New York Civic is pleased to announce that the first five episodes of our new, free informational Web series "Candidate College" are now online on their YouTube channel.
Produced in partnership with Common Cause NY, the Women's City Club of New York, Touro College, and New Roosevelt, Candidate College is designed to teach civic-minded individuals of all ages and party affiliations how to run for office.
Click here to watch a 3-minute trailer for Candidate College, featuring 5 great tips for any would-be candidate.
Continue reading "Henry J. Stern's New York Civic Launches Candidate College Web Series" »
Cuomo the Conqueror;
Where Will He Take Us?
The agreement reached by Governor Cuomo and the legislative leaders of both houses on taxation is an achievement of sorts, in that it shows that somewhere, in some circumstances, and in some fashion, state government is capable of making decisions.
This puts Albany far ahead of Washington, where partisan gridlock has so far prevented action on numerous issues, particularly the Federal government’s lack of financial responsibility, which has led to mounting deficits. The United States would be bankrupt today if it did not have the authority to print money.
This week’s tax package is essentially a victory for the supporters of more spending by state government, rather than sharp reductions in the budget.
It is better for the public-employee unions than tighter control of expenditures would be, which would result in reductions in personnel, by far the largest expense item.
Continue reading "New York Civic: Defining Democracy Down By HENRY J. STERN" »