Next Stop: Closing Rikers

Rivers Island is a depraved and dangerous place, a moral stain on New York City. The time has come to close it down. Starting March 11th, that will be the sole focus of my work, when I join JustLeadershipUSA as its new Director of Policy and Campaigns. JustLeadership’s founder and executive director, Glenn Martin, has…

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…

Fantasy Overdose

My life would be a lot more productive and a lot less interesting if I weren’t addicted to New York politics and fantasy basketball. Those two worlds collided last week when New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a cease & desist order against two Daily Fantasy Sports gambling sites, FanDuel and DraftKings. To make sense of…

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…