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News from BALCONY


January 23rd, 2015
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A BALCONY Press Release: Friday, January 23, 2015

(New York, New York) Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled his plan to raise the minimum wage in New York, calling for an increase at the State level from $8.75/hour to $10.50/hour, and to $11.50/hour in New York City, by the end of 2016. BALCONY, the Business and Labor Coalition of New York, supports the Governor’s plan in principle, however we believe it is not aggressive enough in tackling this critical issue.

In State of the State address, Cuomo misrepresents reality of public education in New York state

January 23rd, 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. Jan. 21, 2015 - New York State United Teachers today released a statement in reaction to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address and budget presentation

Affordable Housing Opportunity Must Be Embraced

January 21st, 2015

(New York, New York, January 20, 2015) Last May, Mayor Bill de Blasio released an ambitious $41 billion ten-year affordable housing plan for New York City. The Mayor’s plan to build 200,000 units includes the construction of 80,000 new apartments and the restoration of 120,000 more. If the Mayor’s plan is implemented it will provide half a million New Yorkers with the opportunity to live in affordable housing. In addition, the program would create an estimated 194,000 construction jobs and 7,100 permanent positions. The proposed plan was received with enthusiasm by housing advocates, the real estate and construction industries, and the media.

New Year's Video from NYSUT

January 20th, 2015

Cuomo to Propose 2 New Minimum Wages, for New York City and State

January 19th, 2015

by Jesse McKinley

Flanked by a collection of liberal groups and labor leaders (including Stuart Appelbaum), Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Sunday announced a raft of proposals on social issues, among them a plan that would raise the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour in New York City and $10.50 an hour in the rest of the state.

By Highlighting Gains in Affordable Housing, de Blasio Raises a Counting Question

January 16th, 2015

by Mireya Navarro

Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday that his administration had financed more than 17,300 affordable homes in its first year in office, a figure that he said put New York City on track to fulfill his pledge to preserve or create 200,000 affordable units over 10 years.

NYC Housing Commissioner Been & NYS Housing Commissioner Towns Highlight BALCONY Forum Feb 4

January 13th, 2015
NYC Housing Commissioner Been & NYS Housing Commissioner Towns Highlight BALCONY Forum Feb 4

Keynote: Commissioner Vicki Been, NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

With presentations from:

Letitia James, NYC Public Advocate


Darryl Towns, Commissioner, NYS Homes and Community Renewal

As well as two panels.

For tickets, sponsorship and other details, click here: HOUSING

New York City Taxes Ripe for Reform

January 13th, 2015

January 13, 2015. The City of New York taxes its wealthiest residents much less than middle- and low-income residents, and state and local officials should fix three major City tax breaks that expire this year, according to a new report from the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI). In a sweeping report that reviews decades of tax changes and trends, FPI pinpoints inequities, tallies the cost of broken tax breaks, and urges tax reforms that reflect today’s economy and current challenges.
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Preliminary Analysis: Budget Takes One Step Forward and Two Steps Back - Fiscal Policy Institute Response to Executive Budget Proposal

January 23rd, 2015

Ron Deutsch, Executive Director “The Governor’s proposal takes some positive steps forward to deliver targeted property tax relief and address poverty in the state. However, for every step forward we take two steps back if we don’t dramatically increase aid to our fiscally stressed schools and local governments and commit substantial resources to ending child poverty in our state.”

EffectiveNY - A plan to dramatically lower county property taxes

January 23rd, 2015

Please follow the link below to view a slideshow outlining EffectiveNY's plan to address New York's property tax cap crisis

Cuomo pushes corporate ed plan that blames teachers

January 23rd, 2015
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In his Jan. 21 State of the State address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo embraced the corporate reform agenda for education with a vengeance. He called for raising the cap on charter schools, extending tenure from three to five years, putting struggling schools into "receivership" and basing half a teacher's evaluation on student test scores.

Testimony: New York Health Legislation

January 13th, 2015

Author: Andy Pallotta, Executive Vice President Source: NYSUT Legislative Department

Testimony of Andrew Pallotta, Executive Vice President, New York State United Teachers, to the Assembly Committee on Health, Richard N. Gottfried, Chair, on New York Health Legislation. January 13, 2015.


January 13th, 2015

CSEA activists and education, labor, faith and community allies joined in an spirited rally at the state Capitol Monday to support education equality. The event was highlighted by an inspiring address by The Rev. William Barber II, founder of the Moral Mondays movement and president of the North Carolina NAACP.
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Cuomo announces $486M affordable housing investment - But tenant advocates slam his failure to talk up rent-stabilization laws

January 23rd, 2015

By: Hiten Samtani

Governor Andrew Cuomo said in his State of the State speech today that New York will invest $486 million to help build and preserve low-cost housing in the state.

Cuomo proposes bold education deal in state budget

January 23rd, 2015

Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a $141.6 billion budget Wednesday that includes controversial education reforms but aims to mollify opponents with a substantial increase in school funding.

Ethics probe targets City Council speaker, consultant

January 23rd, 2015

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and one of her former political consultants are subjects of a city ethics probe, Crain's has learned.

Cuomo’s Education Agenda Sets Battle Lines With Teachers’ Unions

January 23rd, 2015
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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York has been laying the groundwork for an aggressive education agenda as he begins his second term, signaling that he will seek several major changes that, atypically for a Democrat, will put him in direct conflict with teachers’ unions.

Gonzalez: Andrew Cuomo’s minimum wage hike is an insult to low-pay workers

January 21st, 2015

By Juan Gonzalez

The governor’s proposal would leave low-wage workers, especially those in New York City, far behind the minimum rates already approved in places like Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Cuomo has even reneged on a campaign promises he made last May to allow high-cost localities to establish a minimum wage up to 30% higher than the state’s.
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