This afternoon, the Women’s Issues Committee of the City Council held a hearing on a resolution proposed by Council members Brad Lander and Melissa Mark-Viverito that would call for Village Voice Media to shut down the “adult” section of its classified ad site Backpage.com. Village Voice Media, which publishes 13 alt-weeklies around the country including its the flagship Village Voice in New York, has faced mounting pressure over Backpage, which opponents claim encourages human trafficking. At today’s hearing, the company’s general counsel, Liz McDougall, spoke on behalf of Backpage and emotions ran high with tears, laughter and shouting all on display.
Albany Will Always Love You
Karim Camara wants his colleagues in the State Assembly to pass a resolution honoring the late singer Whitney Houston.
“I think, when we look at the life that she led, and particularly how she, in the aftermath of 9/11, she raised a tremendous amount of funds for disaster relief and for the firefighters, the first responders. I think that connects her to New York,” Mr. Camara told The Politicker. “She was able to unite people around ethnic lines, racial lines, gender, age, you name it.”
I Will Always Love You
Today the Daily News reported State Senate Republicans blocked Senator Eric Adams’ request for a resolution honoring Whitney Houston, however, according to Mr. Adams and Senate GOP spokesman Mark Hansen, the resolution may live on.
“From what I understand, the Senate Republicans may have realized this was a big mistake. I’m going to give them a fact sheet in case they’ve spent the last twenty years on another planet and they didn’t realize what Ms. Houston meant to people and we’re going to revisit this immediately after the break,” Mr. Adams told The Politicker.
Mr. Hansen said the Senate Republicans “never sought to block the resolution” and merely had issues with its timing.
“We didn’t do it today, we felt the timing was inappropriate because we just had legislation and a public hearing that dealt with overdoses of prescription drugs that included parents who lost their children to overdoses of prescription drugs,” Mr. Hansen said. “But we never sought to block the resolution and it’s something that we’ll take up when we return.”
Law & Order
The fate of Councilman Jumaane Williams’ resolution asking the City Council to condemn Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD rests with Committee on Public Safety. Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. is the committee’s chair and a staunch supporter of the NYPD. When we spoke to Councilman Vallone today, he said he would look at Councilman Williams’ resolution, but he certainly didn’t seem too inclined to look upon it favorably.
“Like hundreds of other bills it’s been referred to my committee. I have not reviewed it yet because the day it was introduced I was at Police Officer Figoski’s funeral,” Councilman Vallone said referring to the recent death of an NYPD officer killed on the job.
Councilman Jumaane Williams submitted a resolution today asking the City Council to condemn Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s handling of the raid on the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park. ”The decision by the Bloomberg Administration to undertake a police action in the early hours of the morning to forcibly remove residents of New York City, New York State and involved citizens who have traveled far and wide to join the OWS movement from Liberty Plaza since the occupation commenced was excessive and poses a threat to our civil liberties,” wrote Councilman Williams in the resolution. “Now, therefore, be it resolved, that the Council of the City of New York condemns the overly aggressive actions of the Bloomberg Administration that were used to evict the Occupy Wall Street protestors that occurred in the predawn hours of November 15, 2011.”
Full Court Press
Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez and his colleague, Jumaane Williams, are pushing their City Council colleagues to sign on to their resolution supporting the Occupy Wall Street protests. The Politicker discussed the resolution with both councilmen as they attended the Occupy Wall Street protests in Duarte Square this weekend.
“I already have 15 council members that have signed on to this resolution,” Councilman Rodriguez said. “I would like to see our speaker, Christine Quinn, helping us move forward on this resolution so that New York City can send an official statement of support as other cities have passed resolutions of support to the Occupy movement.”