THE MISSION
THE CITY is an independent, nonprofit news outlet dedicated to hard-hitting reporting that serves the people of New York.
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New Yorkers

ARTICLES BY: Josefa Velasquez

Josefa is the state Capitol reporter for THE CITY. She’s previously worked at The Associated Press, Politico New York and the New York Law Journal covering the governor and Legislature. Most recently she worked as a money-in-politics reporter for the startup Sludge.

  1. housing

    What Does N.Y.’s New Rent Law Mean for Tenants?

    A guide to the transformative legislation approved Friday in Albany.

    housing

  2. footing the bills

    Unfinished Business as Albany Session Clock Ticks Down

    There are six items high on the Legislature’s end-of-session to-do list. But even with control of both houses, Democrats may not get what they want.

    footing the bills

  3. albany

    Major Rent-Law Revamp Nears Finish Line in Albany

    Pendulum swings toward tenants as Democrat-dominated Legislature declares it’s “reached an agreement.” But tricky details still need resolving.

    albany

  4. key actions

    Prisoners Locked Out of State Criminal Justice Overhaul

    Bills calling for granting older inmates parole hearings and reining in solitary confinement languish late into the state Legislature’s session.

    key actions

  5. title bout

    Former Cuomo Official Slams Legislature Attempt to Gut Wine-and-Dine Ban

    Maria Vullo opposes bill, passed by the Assembly, to ease restrictions on title insurance agents notorious for wooing clients with strip club trips.

    title bout

  6. rent reform

    Cuomo and Lawmakers Signal Compromise on Rent Regulation Reforms

    With a June 15 deadline looming, it appears tenant advocates’ quest to eliminate charges for improvements to buildings and apartments is a no-go.

    rent reform

  7. cleaning up

    Car Wash Workers on Track to Get Long-Awaited Pay Raise

    A bill guaranteeing the auto cleaners minimum wage passed state Senate Wednesday, igniting new hopes for employees forced to rely on tips.

    cleaning up

  8. undocumented

    State Assembly Poised to Greenlight Licenses for Immigrant Drivers

    Gov. Cuomo supports the measure as pressure mounts on holdouts in the newly Democratic Senate with the legislative session nearing its end.

    undocumented

  9. albany

    What’s at Stake in New York’s Rent Wars

    How landlords raise rents on regulated apartments beyond annual Rent Guidelines Board hikes — but not if tenant advocates get their way in Albany.

    albany

  10. money in politics

    Queens District Attorney Hopeful Melinda Katz Rakes in Developer Dollars

    The Queens Borough President raised about $158,000 from the real estate industry in the seven-candidate race’s latest fundraising cycle.

    money in politics

  11. money in politics

    Queens DA Candidate Tiffany Cabán’s Most Zealous Donors: Her Staff

    Most of her campaign contributions are from outside Queens, finance filings show. Yet staffers’ small donations appear to bolster her grassroots cred.

    money in politics

  12. field notes

    Court OKs Farmworker Rights, Increasing Pressure on Albany to Act

    For two decades, a proposal to limit work hours and offer overtime to farmworkers has stalled. But a court decision could change that.

    field notes

  13. capitol bill

    Eyeing D.C. Job, de Blasio Avoids Albany as Rent Reform Fight Looms

    The mayor, who declared his presidential candidacy last week, already has spent far more days out of state this year than he has in the state capital.

    capitol bill

  14. change unfolding

    Push to Repeal Gravity Knife Ban Gains Momentum

    A court ruling, city prosecutors’ shifts and a new mood in Albany bolster effort to decriminalize blades commonly sold in stores and carried for work.

    change unfolding

  15. rent reform

    Landlords’ New Gambit: Teaming with Tenant Advocates on Rent Subsidies Push

    The real estate lobby backs new housing aid for the poor — seeking a bargaining chip as a firmly Democratic legislature tackles rent-law reforms.

    rent reform

  16. rocky road

    Public Defender’s Bumpy Insurgent Campaign to Become Queens’ Next DA

    After internal chaos, veteran advisors step in to reshape Tiffany Cabán’s bid to pull the seven-candidate Democratic primary race to the left.

    rocky road

  17. high hopes

    Albany Pols Firing Up Bill to Overhaul Medical Marijuana Program

    With hopes for recreational pot in New York in the weeds, the state legislature reignites a push for loosening medical marijuana regulations.

    high hopes

  18. commercial rent

    Landlords’ Ad Blitz Targets Tough Crowd: Tenants Rallying for Rent Law Reform

    As the newly Democratic-controlled state Legislature mobilizes to overhaul rent laws, the real estate industry is responding by spending big.

    commercial rent

  19. driving up costs

    Schools Bus Drivers Threaten Strike — and Management is on Their Side

    They hope a strike vote and lobbying will nudge Albany to approve a benefits boost on taxpayers’ dime. At stake: rides for 12,000 special-needs kids.

    driving up costs

  20. drug war

    No Problem Here: Pols Shun Drug Center in Bronx Opioid OD Hotspot

    Officials try to block planned upscale facility in Kingsbridge, despite local overdose fatality rate. Meanwhile, the operators won’t accept Medicaid.

    drug war

  21. census 2020

    Making it Count: Immigration Advocates Seek Census Outreach Funding Boost

    A pending U.S. Supreme Court decision and budget woes could stymie local efforts to get an accurate tally in next year’s count, some fear.

    census 2020

  22. albany

    Far-Reaching Rent Reforms Resist Albany Consensus

    The Assembly’s tenant-friendly gambit puts pressure on the newly Democratic Senate to up the ante. But sweeping change is far from a sure thing.

    albany

  23. nycha

    Cuomo Ready to Deliver on Long-Delayed NYCHA Aid, Says Monitor

    Repairs on public housing boilers and elevators in dozens of New York City Housing Authority buildings await $450M in pledged funds

    nycha

  24. undocumented

    Yellow Light for Immigrant Driver’s Licenses as State Bill Revs Up

    If bills from two Bronx Democrats pass, New York would join a dozen other states that issue licenses to the undocumented.

    undocumented

  25. albany

    Congestion Digestion: What You Need to Know About the MTA Budget Boosters

    Albany’s deal will wring funds from motorists, pricey properties and online transactions — but it’s still not enough to save ailing subways and buses.

    albany

  26. jails

    Sprint to Eliminate Cash Bail Raises Tough Choice: Whom to Jail?

    Lawmakers finalizing a bill to ban bail resist demands from DAs to jail defendants deemed dangerous

    jails

  27. amazon

    Interview with the Amazon Slayer: Queens Sen. Mike Gianaris

    The nomination of Queens State Sen. Mike Gianaris to a post with veto power doomed HQ2. His next target: New York’s vast corporate tax breaks.

    amazon