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For a recent article on growing interest in major reform of New York's election laws, Gotham Gazette spoke at length with Kavanagh, noting that he "has been a staunch proponent of election reform, sponsoring many of the relevant bills that have passed his chamber." Kavanagh emphasized that the reforms, which the Republican leadership of the State Senate has been reluctant to take up, are designed to benefit all voters and not to benefit one party or the other. "This is not Democratic election reform... This is common sense voting reform that will benefit everybody... Republicans and Democrats should be able to agree on these.”
Tuesday, November 15, 2016 5:18 PM
Today, State Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh and State Senator Daniel Squadron released the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s decision that changes to the Section 8 Small Area Fair Market Rent (SAFMR) policy -- which could have had severe unintended consequences for NYC Section 8 tenants -- will not apply to cities with low vacancy rates, like NYC.
Sunday, November 6, 2016 2:30 PM
Kavanagh Teams with Manhattan Electeds and Clinton Volunteers for GOTV Phoning and Texting Event
Monday, October 31, 2016 2:55 PM
On October 25, Kavanagh appeared at a candidate forum, hosted by the Community Council of the Police Department's 17th Precinct, to talk about his record and address questions from local residents, along with Republican Frank Scala, who is challenging Kavanagh in the November 8th general election. Town & Village's Maria Rocha-Buschel covered the event, which also included Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and her Republican challenger Robert Ardini.
Friday, October 28, 2016 6:00 PM
T&V Reports on ST-PCV Tenants Meeting: Kavanagh Speaks on Strengthening Rent Laws, Prep for L Train Shutdown
Kavanagh appeared at the Stuyvesant Town - Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association meeting, focusing his remarks on legislation to repeal loopholes in the rent laws, like his bills, passed in the Assembly, to reform the system of major capital improvement (MCI) charges that are added to rent bills and to eliminate "vacancy bonuses" landlords get when tenants leave their apartments. Also speaking were TA President Susan Steinberg, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Brad Hoylman, Councilmember Dan Garodnick, and property manager Rick Hayduk (as well as City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Borough President Gale Brewer, not pictured).
Thursday, October 27, 2016 12:00 AM
Veteran reporter Joe Mahoney reported on efforts to enact early voting, "no-excuse" absentee voting, pre-registration for teenagers, and other measures championed by Kavanagh that have gained support in the Assembly but have not been acted upon by the Republican-controlled State Senate. Mahoney discussed these bills with Kavanagh and Senator Mike Gianaris, who co-sponsors the Voter Empower Act with Kavanagh.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016 11:02 PM
Kavanagh appeared on NY1 The Call to discuss a groundbreaking report released earlier in the day by State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The Attorney General's report traced guns used in crimes throughout the state over a six year period, and demonstrated that the great majority came from outside New York, mostly from states like Florida and Virginia with much weaker gun laws.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016 2:53 PM
The Times Union reported on Attorney General Schneiderman's new report tracing guns used in crimes in New York to their source. Kavanagh, who was present for the announcement, is quoted:
“I applaud Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and his office for the tremendous, groundbreaking work that went into this report and the online tools that come with it,” said Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, who chairs American State Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention, a 50-state coalition, and co-chairs its New York affiliate. “The gun industry and its allies often attempt to block research and data-gathering on gun violence, but analysis like this can both demonstrate the life-saving effectiveness of sensible gun laws, and also help us prevent gun crimes and solve them when they occur. I believe that New York’s approach can serve as a model for federal and state action that should be emulated across the country.”
Monday, October 24, 2016 4:49 PM
Kavanagh joined City Councilmember Rory Lancman, Congressmember Hakeem Jeffries, Jarret Berg of the New York Democratic Lawyers Council, and other public officials and organizations concerned about voting rights, to call upon New Yorkers, especially attorneys, to help ensure that all eligible voters can cast their ballots without the kind of intimidation and voter suppression activities that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been inciting in recent days. Madina Toure covered the event for the New York Observer.
Monday, October 17, 2016 8:09 PM
NY1 State House Reporter Zack Fink interviewed Kavanagh about the prospects of enacting his legislation to allow early voting in New York and other reforms that passed the Assembly this year but not the Senate.
Monday, October 17, 2016 4:32 PM
NY Observer Covers Our Event with Gabby Giffords, a Stop on Her Vocal Majority Tour to Stop Gun Violence!
On October 17, Kavanagh hosted an event that brought former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly to New York, for a stop on their Vocal Majority to Stop Gun Violence bus tour. Giffords is one of America's most prominent and effective advocates for responsible laws to stop gun violence. As the article notes, "Kavanagh, chairman of American State Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention, argued the message is growing in intensity and that the 'breadth of support' is growing due to the work of Giffords and Kelly. He praised Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for pushing stricter and more stringent regulations on guns, and lavished praise on Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy for his filibuster in the Senate in the aftermath of Orlando, and on members of the House who subsequently staged a sit-in on the body’s floor demanding a vote on an assault weapons ban."
Friday, October 14, 2016 3:27 PM
(Photo: Moskova St Julien)
Kavanagh joined Mayor Bill de Blasio and many of New York's leading good government advocates to call for a wide range of reforms to make state laws more voter-friendly. The Mayor's legislative package included many of the bills that Kavanagh has championed in Albany and passed the Assembly earlier this year.
Kavanagh said in a statement: “I am proud to join the Mayor in calling for the robust, thoughtful package of voting reforms he has identified. For the sake of our democracy, we have an obligation to ensure that all eligible voters can freely and fairly participate in elections. The Assembly, under Speaker Heastie's leadership, passed many long overdue legislative changes in June. I hope our colleagues in the Senate will join us in getting them enacted.”
The Mayor's reform package included proposed legislation to allow same-day voter registration, pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-olds, and early voting, and to require ballots to be designed in a more voter-friendly way. Kavanagh is the prime sponsor of each of these bills. In addition, the Mayor called for legislation to permit "no-excuse" absentee voting and the use of electronic poll books, and to consolidate federal and state primaries on the same day; Kavanagh co-sponsors each of these bills.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 1:24 PM
RELEASE: Local, State Electeds & Section 8 Residents Call on HUD to Exclude NYC from Proposed Rule that Could Increase Rents
Kavanagh, Councilmember Ritchie Torres, State Senator Daniel Squadron, other State and City officials, tenants who receive subsidies under the federal Section 8 program, and a broad range of advocates for affordable housing called upon the US Department of Housing and Urban Development not to impose a well-intentioned but misguided new policy on New York City.
Wednesday, September 7, 2016 10:28 PM
Jesse McKinley, reporting for the New York Times, covered a joint hearing held by the Assembly and the Senate exploring toxic contamination of drinking water in Hoosick Falls and other localities, and the response of local, state, and federal government agencies to the crises. The hearing also covered other water contamination issues around the state.
The article includes an exchange between Kavanagh and the State Health Commissioner regarding Kavanagh's concerns that the public was not properly notified of the health risks associated with highly toxic chemicals once they were discovered in drinking water.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016 11:43 PM
As reported by the New York Post's Yoav Gonen, Kavanagh joined Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett for a press briefing on the City's proactive response to the threat of the Zika virus, and the need for Congress to fund a robust, decisive effort by the federal government--in New York and especially in warmer places where mosquitoes known to transmit the virus are prevalent--to avert a health crisis in the United States.
Friday, July 29, 2016 6:08 AM
New York Times Editorial Calls for Senate to Return to Albany to Pass Assembly's Election Reform Bills: 'Why Make It So Hard to Vote, New York?'
Voters in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Credit Michael Nagle for The New York Times
The New York Times editorial board came out in strong support of a package of bills passed by the Assembly last month to reform the way New York holds elections. The Times called for the Senate to return to Albany and pass Kavanagh's early voting and voter-friendly ballot design bills, as well as bills allowing for "no-excuse" absentee voting and online voter registration, sponsored respectively by Assemblymembers Jim Brennan and Michael Cusick.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016 6:12 PM
Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie and Election Law Committee Chair Michael J. Cusick announced the Assembly's end-of-session passage of reform legislation to overhaul the state's election process in order to increase voter participation, ensure greater access to the polls, protect voting rights, and promote efficient, voter-friendly registration and elections.
Kavanagh is a strong proponent of every bill in the legislative package, which included several laws he introduced and debated on the Assembly floor.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016 2:30 PM
STATEMENT: NY Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention Co-Chairs on SCOTUS NY SAFE Act Decision and US Senate Votes
Schimel & Kavanagh of NY Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention On US Supreme Court Rejecting Challenge to NY SAFE Act And US Senate Blocking Background Checks
On the Same Day, a Victory for Common Sense and a Victory for Violence
NEW YORK – State Assemblymembers Michelle Schimel and Brian Kavanagh, co-chairs of New York Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention, released the following statement.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 5:07 PM
With the MTA planning to shutdown the L subway in Manhattan and under the East River for 18 months, starting in a couple of years, Kavanagh is committed to ensuring that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the City Department of Transportation (DOT), and other government agencies do what is necessary to minimize disruption and create alternative ways for people to get around, many of which may become permanent parts of our transportation system.
One idea that transportation advocates have proposed is designating all or part of the affected areas of East and West 14th Streets as car-free or limited-car-access spaces, redesigning the streetscape to better accommodate bus passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Kavanagh joined Senator Brad Hoylman in formally asking the MTA and DOT to study the feasibility of this. Gotham Gazette covered the issue and the elected officials' letter.
Monday, May 16, 2016 9:49 PM
New York Times Covers Kavanagh's Legislation to Repeal 'Vacancy Bonus' Landlords Receive When Tenants Leave
The New York Times covered the push by Kavanagh, Assembly Housing Chair Keith Wright, many of their Democratic colleagues in the Assembly and the Senate, and tenant advocates to strengthen the rent laws. The reform effort is focusing on two key priorities: Enacting Kavanagh's bill to repealing the "vacancy bonus" landlords receive in increased rents when tenants leave, and reforming the so-called "preferential rent" (AKA "bait-and-switch") provisions that allow landlords to raise rents dramatically after tenants are occupying an apartment.
Monday, May 16, 2016 12:01 AM
T&V Reports on City Inspecting for Lead in Toledano Buildings in Response to Letter by Kavanagh, Colleagues
As previously posted, Kavanagh joined colleagues in the State Senate and Assembly and the City Council to write to landlord Raphael Toledano and to the New York City Health Commissioner regarding complaints of tenant harassment and poor health conditions in many buildings Toledano owns on the Lower East Side. Maria Rocha-Buschel reported on the story for Town & Village newspaper.
Monday, May 9, 2016 9:14 AM
Kavanagh joined Senator Daniel Squadron, as well as many of their Assembly and Senate colleagues and New York's major good government advocates, to urge the Senate Republican Majority to bring Kavanagh's and Squadron's bill closing the LLC Loophole in the state's campaign finance laws. Kavanagh has previously passed the bill in the Assembly and Governor Andrew Cuomo has indicated he will sign it into law.
Monday, May 9, 2016 6:39 AM
On May 3, 2016, Kavanagh and many of his legislative colleagues joined New Yorkers Against Gun Violence and 170 New York City high school students--many of whom have experienced gun violence in their own lives--to call for passage of laws intended to prevent gun violence. The Albany Times Union reported on the event.
Saturday, May 7, 2016 1:00 PM
Kavanagh joined colleagues in the State Senate and Assembly and the City Council to write to landlord Raphael Toledano and to the New York City Health Commissioner regarding complaints of tenant harassment and poor health conditions in many buildings Toledano owns on the Lower East Side.
As reported by Gothamist, the Department of Health announced it plans to inspect and test for lead contamination.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 8:14 PM
On Time Warner's public affairs news show, Capital Tonight, Liz Benjamin interviewed Kavanagh, along with Art Chang of NYC Votes and Eddie Cuesta of Dominicanos USA, to discuss efforts to reform and modernize the election system in New York to make it more voter-friendly.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 11:20 AM
The Vote Better NY coalition traveled to Albany to urge the legislature to "put voters first" and enact major reforms in New York's election laws. The coalition focused its three priority bills: early voting, the Voter Empowerment Act, and the Voter Friendly Ballot Act. Kavanagh is the prime sponsor of all of them. The press release has more information.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 12:35 AM
Gotham Gazette Reports on City Council Resolutions in Support of 'No-Excuse' Absentee Voting and Kavanagh's Voter Empowerment Act
Kavanagh appeared at a hearing of the City Council's Government Operations Committee, which considered resolutions in support of two proposed State laws. The first would enable voters to receive absentee ballots without asserting they'll be out of town on election day or that they have an illness or disability. The second is the Voter Empowerment Act, a broad reform of every aspect of the voter registration system, sponsored by Kavanagh and Senator Mike Gianaris. The Gotham Gazette reported on Kavanagh's remarks, excerpted here, as part of a longer article that also covered other aspects of the hearing.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016 12:00 AM
In response to a request from Suffolk County, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issues an important legal opinion that will permit a limited form of online voter registration. Meg O'Connor reported for Gotham Gazette on the decision, and cites Kavanagh's ongoing push for legislation that would require the Board of Elections to offer online registration to all voters.
Monday, April 25, 2016 8:00 PM
Gotham Gazette reported on issues that arose in the April 19th presidential primary elections, and the responses of various elected officials, including City Councilmember Ben Kallos' plans to hold a hearing examining what went wrong. Kavanagh discussed the need for a broad range of solutions that includes enacting reforms in the State Election Law--including his Voter Empowerment Act, co-sponsored in the Senate by Mike Gianaris--and improving administrative practices at the New York City Board of Elections.
Monday, April 25, 2016 4:25 PM
"This session is perhaps most notable for the fact that, so far, it seems the Republican Senate majority will once again block any substantive effort to regain the public trust that has been so thoroughly tarnished.
"At the center of the corruption trials of both former leaders loomed the LLC loophole."
Monday, April 25, 2016 3:05 PM
Jillian Jorgensen reported for the New York Observer on frustrations with the New York City Board of Elections' perfirmance in administering the presidential primary elections and other recent problems. Kavanagh discussed the need for systemic change.
Friday, April 22, 2016 5:03 PM
Gotham Gazette Offers Rundown of Proposed Voting Reforms, Including Many of Kavanagh's Priority Bills
Meg O'Connor, of Gotham Gazette, published by Citizens Union of the City of New York, wrote an overview of many reforms that have been proposed in New York with the intention of making New York's elections fairer and more voter-friendly, including many bills Kavanagh has been advocating for. Kavanagh is quoted extensively in the article.
Thursday, April 21, 2016 3:14 PM
In the wake of problems experienced by voters who wished to participate in New York's presidential primaries, Matthew Hamilton, reporting for the Albany Times Union, discussed legislative changes that would improve voter access to the polls, including reform bills sponsored by Kavanagh.
Thursday, March 17, 2016 6:00 PM
RELEASE: Assembly to Implement Workgroup Recommendations to Strengthen Operations and Promote Transparency
Assembly to Implement Workgroup Recommendations to Strengthen Operations and Promote Transparency
Speaker Carl Heastie announced today the Assembly will take immediate action to implement recommendations from the Workgroup on Legislative Process, Operations, and Public Participation to promote transparency and increase member effectiveness. This will be accomplished through the adoption of new rules, administrative changes in procedures and upgrades in technology, ultimately resulting in a more efficient and accessible legislative process.
These changes, which will be phased in, are the result of the recommendations made by the Assembly workgroup appointed last year and charged with the examination of existing processes and ongoing efforts to improve and strengthen the Assembly rules, operations and legislative processes. Assemblymembers J. Gary Pretlow and Brian Kavanagh led the workgroup.
Monday, January 11, 2016 2:06 PM
On Monday, January 11, 2016, Kavanagh and Senator Daniel Squadron, joined by 42 other legislators and the State’s major good government advocates, released a letter the legislators sent late last week calling on Governor Cuomo to include closing the LLC Loophole in his Executive Budget proposal, and to ensure that it is closed in the final enacted budget.
Monday, January 11, 2016 7:00 AM
Ken Lovett, the Albany Bureau Chief for the New York Daily News, covered the broad effort led by Kavanagh and State Senator Daniel Squadron to persuade Governor Andrew Cuomo to include in the State budget provisions that would close the notorious LLC Loophole in New York's campaign finance laws.