Manhattan COVID-19 News Roundup, May 11, 2020

COVID-19 molecule
COVID-19 (Credit: CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS)

Insiders: Johnson Using Pandemic to Develop Campaign Slogan

Council Member Corey Johnson
Council Member Corey Johnson (Credit: Jeff Reed)

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Midtown West, Chelsea, West Village) seems to be using the phrase “We Are One New York” as a possible slogan for his widely-expected 2021 mayoral bid, the New York Post reported Saturday. 

Since the pandemic started, Johnson has used the phrase in various televised appearances and as a social media hashtag.

“I have heard a lot of rumblings about it … It kind of became evident that they were probably testing it out as a slogan. I’ve had five or six conversations with people who work in the City Council about it,” an unnamed City Council staffer told the Post. 

Still, Johnson’s spokespeople deny it, saying that he “isn’t focused on politics at all right now.”

Glick Blasts Cuomo’s Billionaire Recruitment to Reimagine New York

Assembly Member Deborah Glick
Assembly Member Deborah Glick

Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) announced a panel last week to “re-imagine” and redevelop New York’s economy and infrastructure to prevent the problems the coronavirus pandemic created from occurring again. 

Newsday reported Monday that Assemblymember Deborah Glick (D-TriBeCa, SoHo, Greenwich Village) criticized the abundance of billionaires in the re-imagining panel, including Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt, and Michael Dowling.

“Successful businessmen — their goals are antithetical to governing and to turn it over to unelected individuals is not good for government and not good for democracy,” said Glick.

Powers Reflects on Budget Cuts to Rikers Closing

Council Member Keith Powers
Council Member Keith Powers

Coronavirus-related budget cuts have challenged the City Council’s plan to close Rikers Island and replace it with four newer borough jails, the Daily News reported Wednesday. 

Criminal Justice Committee Chair Keith Powers (D-Midtown East, Murray Hill, Upper East Side) expressed regret that the Council had to put the plan on hold, but accepted the reality of the situation.

“I recognize that these are difficult and challenging financial times that require us to make adjustments to how we move forward with a number of priorities in the city,” said Powers. “Many of us who support the plan will still be here [after 2026] and the City Council will continue to push the city forward, including our commitment to making borough-based jails.”

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