As if Governor Andrew Cuomo wasn’t already pushing up against his own guidelines after he made a trip to Georgia, a state experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases and one of the states on the New York’s list of required 14-day quarantine for visitors and returning residents, which Cuomo said he would no do because his work was “essential” to New Yorkers.
Now viral video shows a mask-less governor hugging Savannah mayor Van Johnson, breaking two of Cuomo’s strict guidelines for his own constituents: wear a mask when you are in public and maintain six feet of social distance.
These two didn’t even have six inches!
It’s a bad look for the governor, who continually touts the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic – it as the first state to require a mask in public - even as he comes under fire for the toll the outbreak took on nursing homes and his refusal to shut down the state sooner to contain the spread.
Johnson, who happens to be a Brooklyn native, admitted to reporters last week that he and Cuomo “messed up.”
“We’re human,” he was quoted as saying. “We made a mistake.”
A spokesperson for the governor shrugged off the video as the right trying to score a cheap political attack, but even if that is the case, it’s a bad look for the governor to be hugging people when he constantly chides New Yorker for gathering in large groups and failing to maintain a safe distance.
How long has he been mayor?
Mayor Bill de Blasio stopped by a city pool in Bed-Stuy on Monday and was greeted enthusiastically by supporters – they just weren’t his!
The mayor was wrapping up his 25-minute visit to Kosciuszko Pool when a swimmer shouted “We love you Cuomo! You’re doing a great job! Thank you, Cuomo!”
When the mayor responded that his name wasn’t Cuomo, the swimmer added insult to injury by asking, “Oh, what is it?”
If the mayor wasn’t already burning up from the hot summer weather, we’re sure he was fuming on the car ride back to City Hall.
There were a number of huge upsets in several local Assembly races this year, which have been dominating the headlines. Longtime incumbents in both Queens and Brooklyn were voted out of office by voters choosing candidates with fresh faces and more progressive ideas.
But one thing that has been overlooked is the growing emphasis on district leader positions. These are unpaid – but elected - positions within the Democratic Party that help influence the party’s political decisions, such as what candidates to support.
Each Assembly district has two female and two male district leaders. In the past, these were largely held by party loyalists who basically held the position for as long as they wanted because nobody cared to challenge them for the seat.
It was essentially a ceremonial post for people who have been solid party supporters to give them some sort of influence and prestige within the party.
But as more and more people see the real power of successful grassroots campaigns, these posts within the party are suddenly becoming more desirable. People now see them as a way to change the focus of the party from within the machine, rather than trying to challenge the machine.
This year saw a whole host of new candidates win district leader spots, but two in particular made history in Queens. Melissa Sklarz and Emilia Decaudin became the first openly trans people to be elected district leaders in New York City.
Sklarz won in a district that largely represents Sunnyside, while Decaudin’s district is centered in Woodside.
Sklarz is no stranger to politics. She ran against Assemblyman Brian Barnwell two years ago, but came up short.
And in 2008 at the age of 19, Decaudin was elected to the state Democratic Committee while living in Westchester, but was unable to run again for that seat after moving to Queens this year to attend college.