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AIDS Policy Shows Where de Blasio’s New York is Succeeding

BY NATHAN RILEY | I could plant a big wet kiss on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s cheek for putting Dr. Demetre Daskalakis in charge of AIDS policy. Daskalakis is a persuader, an exciting man who understands his subject. Before he became a deputy commissioner in the city health department, he led a team that visited […]

De Blasio’s Pot Reform Good Step in Long Catch-Up Game

BY NATHAN RILEY |  The city’s new marijuana policy is a good thing, but it is probably best thought of as just a chapter in a book not yet completed. Donna Lieberman cut to the nub. “New Yorkers need to know if the NYPD is finally ending its marijuana crusade” or simply “shifting tactics,” the […]

Cuomo, Teachout, and Missed Opportunities

BY NATHAN RILEY | Governor Andrew Cuomo won the hearts of the LGBT community when he marshaled the powers of his office to give New Yorkers marriage equality in the first six months of his term. Not incidentally, he won the affection and respect of many other voters. The positive reaction from queers is hardly […]

Canadian Conservatives’ Predictable Stumble on Prostitution

BY NATHAN RILEY | Once the Canadian Supreme Court overturned criminal laws surrounding prostitution last December, it was a foregone conclusion that the Parliament controlled by the Conservative Party would recriminalize it. The party has now made its proposal, which is being widely criticized for enshrining the harms the high court identified in making its historic […]

On Marijuana Busts, Still a Tale of Two Cities

BY NATHAN RILEY | New York City is still arresting black and brown youth for marijuana and leaving white youth alone. The change of mayors and a new police commissioner, William Bratton, have yielded more of the same. The number of arrests in the first three months of this year is basically the same as […]

What to Make of Heroin Deaths

BY NATHAN RILEY | Philip Seymour Hoffman’s end was no anomaly. Overdose deaths have risen dramatically in New York City and the nation. He is one among thousands. The fact that he was the object of critical accolades was also not unusual. Hoffman was a high-performing heroin user — Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, John Belushi, and […]

A Canadian Breakthrough on Sex Work Sanctions and Safety

BY NATHAN RILEY | In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court of Canada has decriminalized prostitution, making that nation the second to go this route. The court’s December 20 decision relied heavily on social science data introduced into evidence that found the safety of sex workers is best protected by allowing them to conduct business in […]

From Bratton, A New Direction Needed

BY NATHAN RILEY | For Bill de Blasio and William Bratton’s NYPD to make a clean break with the troubled recent past, there must be a fundamental redefinition of the crime problem in New York City. No doubt due in large measure to the massive focus on the abuses of stop and frisk, Commissioner Ray Kelly, […]

De Blasio’s Progressive Values Showing Teflon Strength

BY NATHAN RILEY | Bill de Blasio is showing a remarkable immunity to charges he is too far to the left. In part, his success can be traced to Occupy Wall Street, which put income redistribution and the progressive economics the Democratic mayoral nominee emphasizes on the political map. Also, Joe Lhota, the Republican candidate, is […]

A New Script for Law and Order?

BY NATHAN RILEY | Anyone following the stop and frisk story knew that Judge Shira Scheindlin would curb the practice, but the reaction among Republican mayoral hopefuls and their supporters was noteworthy. Glee is too strong a word for it, but GOP boosters clearly believe the Democrats have walked into a trap with their frequent criticism […]

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