ABOUT NEW YORK FOCUS

New York Focus is an independent newsroom covering state and local politics in the Empire State.

Launched in October of 2020, New York Focus aims to help make state politics more democratic by publishing adversarial, in-depth reporting that cuts through the noise to explain how the Empire State really works.

New York State’s legislative process is notoriously conducted by ‘three men in a room,’ opaque to outsiders and murky even to its own rank-and-file legislators. New York consistently scores at or near the top of state corruption rankings. The current governor has earned a reputation for avoiding serious scrutiny, even as he takes strides to raise his national profile. On many issues, New Yorkers lack the information and resources to hold their representatives accountable.

We publish stories that shed light on New York’s political process, broadly understood: from political fixers and lobbyists, to the inherited wisdom of legislative aides in Albany, to the institutional knowledge of advocates and the organizing strategies of popular movements.

We are guided by the belief that politics is not a sport. Decisions made in New York’s executive mansions, legislative chambers, state administrative offices, courts, nonprofits, union halls, and campaign headquarters don’t stay there. They determine how many New Yorkers sleep on the street each night; how large public college classes are; how many hospital beds are available during a pandemic.

We are particularly interested in pitches related to housing and homelessness, energy and climate, criminal justice and health, tax and budget, and the administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

To pitch New York Focus, send a story tip, or get in touch, please see editors’ contact information on our masthead. Editorial leadership can also be reached at editor@nysfocus.com.

We invite New Yorkers with original views on state politics—especially with insights underrepresented in legacy media—to contribute to our Perspectives section. Please send submissions to editor@nysfocus.com.

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Ethics & Funders

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Will New York Decriminalize Syringe Possession in 2021?
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Amid dramatic spikes in drug overdoses and HIV cases, legislators and public health professionals push for New York to decriminalize sterile syringes. ...

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"The governor’s twisting himself in knots to not offend rich people,” the number two Democrat in the state Senate said....

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NYC Plans to Import Canadian Hydropower. Who Really Benefits?
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Progressives Slam State Senate Finance Secretary Pick
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Democratic leadership appointed David Friedfel, the top state policy analyst at the Citizens Budget Commission, to a key staff position in budget negotiations....

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The Next Mayor Must Launch a Green New Deal for NYC
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Queens Public Defenders Push to Unionize. Management Calls Them a ‘Mob.’
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A wave of legal aid attorneys are joining the labor movement. But bosses say it’s bad for business and the unions just want to collect their dues....

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Tenants Can’t Pay Rent. Landlords Won’t Pay Bills. What Happens Next?
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New York’s looming foreclosure crisis could lead to massive corporate windfalls - or to large-scale social housing conversions. The choice is ours....

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New York Must Stop All Evictions. It’s a Matter of Life and Death.
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New York must immediately reinstate a complete eviction moratorium, incoming DSA legislators argue, because you can’t stay at home if you’re forced out of it....

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