Ida really hit the New York City area hard, killing 41, many of whom drowned in their basement apartments. Here’s a good explainer — one major factor in the catastrophic flooding was that the New York City sewer system wasn’t designed to handle this kind of deluge, and billions of dollars will have to be spent to enhance it. I sure hope Joe Manchin takes his finger off of the pause button long enough to pass the infrastructure bill that will pay for it.
Kathy Hochul has been all over the downstate area, lauding heroes, pledging to spend what it takes to make New York City safer, and generally being a strong presence. This is after she called the legislature back in a special session to pass an eviction moratorium extension she’s already signed, to make open meetings “safer and more accessible” (I think that’s to allow more Zoom meetings) and to confirm nominees to the State Cannabis Board so we can finally get legalized weed retail moving.
AOC has also been busy in her district, which was hard-hit by Ida. Of note is a group of volunteers made about 100,000 check-in calls to residents in her district, in addition to raising $185K to fight the Texas abortion law. I’ve never heard of a Member of Congress organizing what’s essentially a phone tree in their district.
In the mid-80’s Tom Daschle won his first election to Congress by a couple hundred votes. He started the first 1-800 line to Congress for constituent services. It seems commonplace and unremarkable now, but then it was a fairly big deal. A lot of the work on that 1-800 line was simply explaining government to people. If you’ve ever attended a district meeting by a Member of Congress, a lot of their work involves explaining which part of government can solve their problem, and some of it involves solving their problems. The 1-800 line was a simple, easy and free way for someone to interact with their Congressman’s office. I see the work that AOC is doing in her district as another step towards closer engagement between her and her constituents. I wonder if other Members of Congress are doing the same — I’m not seeing it in my district.
Anyway, the chuckle of the day is that Bill de Blasio’s got a piece in Politico yesterday saying that he’s considering a run for governor. The reason that’s funny is that Kathy Hochul is going to be basically living in NYC for the next few days, then she’s going to return to Albany to get a firehose of money pointed at NYC for infrastructure expansion. She’ll have as much or more free, positive media exposure in the NYC market as de Blasio. My prediction is she’ll whup his ass in the primary if he’s dumb enough to run.