Muhammad Ali and the Law

The internet is replete with powerful tributes to Muhammad Ali, but I’ll humbly add the story of his legal travails. This is excerpted from a Federal Bar Council piece I co-authored with Steve Edwards on boxing law. Re-reading this five years later, I am struck by the final quote, in which Ali forgives an institution…

A Thanksgiving Poem

This was scrawled on the Temple wall at Burning Man, and it really resonated: It’s all so terrifyingly simple We’ve overcomplicated it There is a deliberate continuum being maintained throughout all the detailed narrative No matter what your crazy theory is no matter what mouth noises or squiggly lines you make to point towards something…

Your Ticket To An Incredible 2016

Could Mayor de Blasio’s municipal ID program be the sleeper program to rejuvenate New York City? We all know this city is full of cultural gems, but now we no longer have an excuse to ignore them, just because we already experienced them once on a high school field trip or a first date. The Muni…

How Bossy Was He?

These are grim times for New York political bosses. Former Speaker Sheldon Silver’s corruption trial ends on Monday. Former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos’ corruption trial has just begun. Former Kings County Democratic Chairman Vito Lopez is dead. Today is an for anniversary celebrating a rare win for New York reformers: on November 19, 1871, William…

The Way We Remember

The pews of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompei were packed, with more standing in the back. The choir’s lead sang a gorgeous “Ave Maria.” Misty eyes listened to the recollections of friends and family. I was at the funeral for Vito Lopez, for many years one of New York’s most powerful politicians. Lopez…

New Yorkers at War – Bronx Parks Edition

My first internship was spent at the New York City Parks Department in the Historical Signs Division. It was the summer of 2001, and Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Parks Commissioner Henry Stern came up with the brilliant idea of erecting 2001 signs to commemorate New York’s (approximately) 2001 parks, each sign affixing their names to the bottom. This task required…

Farewell, For Now

In July of 1993, after decades of activism, New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board opened its doors. For the first time, New Yorkers alleging misconduct by the police could seek redress at an independent civilian agency. Twenty-two years later, I am thrilled to announce that I am joining the CCRB as its Legal & Policy…