Off Topic/On Politics

Off Topic/On Politics

What happens when three New York reporters sit in a (small) room and talk politics? Join host Zack Fink and the NY1 political team each week for a conversation where no topic is off-limits and everything is on the record.

Episodes

May 20, 2022 30 min
In the past few weeks, the city has seen a rise in positive COVID cases, raising the alert system to high, a designation that warns about the virus’ threat to New Yorkers. But there is no indication that the Adams administration will return to the use of any mandates. NY1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross and Juan Manuel Benítez discussed Mayor Adams’ messaging and hesitancy to renew masking requirements. And as a state court prepares to...
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Over the last year, the number of fatal traffic accidents in the city has gone up by almost 20%. This spike is pushing Mayor Adams to call for the expansion of the speed camera program across the five boroughs. As Ny1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross and Juan Manuel Benítez explain, he would need support from the state legislature to get it done. So why are some lawmakers opposing the idea?

They also weigh in on the unraveling crisis on...

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Following the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion that would put an end to abortion rights at the federal level, NY1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross and Juan Manuel Benítez discuss what such a reversal could mean for the political landscape in New York, with many anticipating a sudden influx of women from all over the country seeking abortion care.

They also get into the confusing process that culminated with Rep. Antonio Delgado as ...

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As legal sales of adult-use recreational marijuana get underway in New Jersey, NY1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross and Juan Manuel Benítez explain what this means for New York and comment on the steps the state is taking to launch its own legal cannabis industry.

They also discuss Mayor Eric Adams’ busy week. After ending COVID isolation, he’s been all over the city touting some of his accomplishments and launching new pilot programs. ...

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More than two dozen people were hurt following a mass shooting on a Brooklyn subway train, sending shock waves across the city and beyond. NY1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross and Juan Manuel Benítez discuss the aftermath of the attack and weigh in on Mayor Eric Adams’ response.

And in another huge news story, Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin resigned after being arrested on federal corruption charges. Zack, Juan and Courtney explain ...

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A week overdue, Gov. Kathy Hochul and Democrats in the state legislature finally reached a massive budget agreement. As NY1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross and Juan Manuel Benítez explain, the $220 billion deal includes changes to the controversial bail reform laws approved just a few years ago, as well as funding for a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills, which will be partially financed by taxpayers. But is this massive budget a victor...

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After intense negotiations this week, state lawmakers made the rare move of leaving the Capitol before reaching a budget agreement, even though the deadline was just hours away. NY1’s Zack Fink, Emily Ngo and Juan Manuel Benítez discuss some of the obstacles getting in the way of a budget deal and explain how the dysfunction might hurt Gov. Kathy Hochul’s election bid.

They also weigh in on Mayor Eric Adams’ strategy to curb homele...

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In a polarizing move, Mayor Eric Adams is lifting the vaccine mandate for professional athletes and entertainers. NY1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross and Juan Manuel Benítez weigh in on the controversy and explain why labor leaders are blasting the decision.

And just months away from the primary, Gov. Kathy Hochul is pushing the legislature to change the state’s bail laws. But, as Zack, Courtney and Juan discuss, Democrats fought hard ...

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Fulfilling a campaign promise, Mayor Eric Adams is deploying a revamped police unit that he says will help tackle gun violence in the city. But as NY1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross and Juan Manuel Benítez explain, the new unit is already causing controversy. Critics argue that the “Neighborhood Safety Teams,” as the NYPD is officially calling them, are too similar to the Street Crime Unit that was disbanded a couple of years ago, fol...

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Mayor Eric Adams is asking the State Legislature to let him maintain control of city schools for four more years. NY1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross and Juan Manuel Benítez explain why he wants an extension of what he’s calling “mayoral accountability” and whether or not this is likely to happen.

And as New Yorkers start feeling the ripple effect of the War in Ukraine, with soaring gas prices and skyrocketing inflation, Zack, Courtney...

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As this year’s election season gets underway, New York Republicans gather on Long Island to make their case to an electorate that is predominantly Democratic. NY1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross and Juan Manuel Benítez discuss some of the key takeaways from the state’s Republican Convention, where candidates pledged to tackle rising crime, lower taxes, push back against COVID-19 restrictions and reach out to minority communities.

Zack,...

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As the city bounces back from the pandemic and more straphangers go back to the subways, the mayor is implementing a new strategy focused on stopping homeless people from taking shelter on trains and platforms. NY1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross and Juan Manuel Benítez discuss the details of the plan and explain why some critics say that it doesn’t offer real solutions for New Yorkers experiencing homelessness.

They also weigh in on t...

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Just like at the national level, every four years New York Democrats gather for a convention where they choose the candidates they’ll support in the November elections. NY1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross and Emily Ngo comment on this year’s festivities, which were all but a political coronation ceremony for Gov. Kathy Hochul. In just a few months, she has gone from the little-known lieutenant governor to a widely popular and powerful ...

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February 11, 2022 30 min

The outdoor dining program that has kept many New York City restaurants alive during the pandemic could be made permanent. But not everybody is on board with the idea. NY1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross and Gloria Pazmino weigh in on the debate and discuss what’s likely to happen next.

They also comment on Mayor Adams’ testimony before the state legislature earlier this week. The mayor made his case for changes he wants to see in New ...

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In the wake of a series of high-profile crimes — including the fatal shooting of two police officers — Mayor Eric Adams is launching a new effort to confront gun violence in the city. NY1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross and Juan Manuel Benítez get into some of the details of the plan, including the mayor’s calls for Congress to take action to shut the pipeline of illegal guns coming into New York from other states. They also put the re...

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In his second visit to New York City since taking office, President Joe Biden met with Mayor Eric Adams, Gov. Kathy Hochul and other top officials to discuss joint efforts to combat rising gun violence, both in the five boroughs and beyond. NY1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross and Juan Manuel Benítez weigh in on his visit and discuss what this show of unity could mean for Democrats, as they gear up for the midterm elections.

They also t...

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Following the death of a woman who was pushed in front of a train in Times Square, NY1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross and Juan Manuel Benítez discuss what Mayor Adams and other elected leaders need to do to make sure New Yorkers and tourists feel safe on the subways.

They also explain why Governor Hochul’s record-setting $216 billion budget proposal puts her in a very favorable position ahead of the Democratic primary this June.

We wa...

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Following an apartment high-rise fire in the Bronx that killed 17 people and left dozens displaced, NY1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross and Juan Manuel Benítez discuss the city’s response and look at what might have led to one of the deadliest blazes in recent memory.

They also talk about the impending expiration of the state’s eviction moratorium. Governor Hochul has made it clear that there won’t be an extension, so housing advocates...

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In a State of the State address full of symbolism, Gov. Kathy Hochul made history and some big promises, trying to distance herself from her former running mate, Andrew Cuomo. NY1’s Zack Fink, Emily Ngo and Juan Manuel Benítez analyze Hochul’s tone and discuss some of her proposals, such as bringing back to-go drinks and creating a new rail service that would connect Brooklyn and Queens.

They also weigh in on the first week of the ...

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After eight years in office, Mayor de Blasio is getting ready to say goodbye to City Hall in just a few days. NY1’s Zack Fink, Gloria Pazmino and Juan Manuel Benítez spend some time evaluating the legacy of a man who was often much less popular than his policies. They also look ahead to the incoming Eric Adams administration. Before even taking office, the soon-to-be mayor is already clashing with many of the members of the City C...

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