September 18th, 2016

Guests: Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Amalgamated Bank President & CEO Keith Mestrich 

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Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Full Interview

Brewer expresses her support both for a statewide Constitutional Convention and a Charter Revision Commission in New York City:

“I think the idea of a Convention is a good one, a People’s Convention. I know that it’s like anything else. You have to sometimes have some sense of what you are doing, what your outcome is going to be. You don’t want to open a car of worms. But we actually have been talking about it in [the Borough President’s] Office and we have some ideas about some things that could come up. We have two issues—I know you’re focused statewide, and so the Constitutional Convention would be on a statewide basis—but were also working on legislation to pass in the City Council because we believe we should have another, a real Charter discussion here in the City of New York.

There are so many issues, without enumerating them all, that the Charter needs to be updated on. And for the last, [25] years or so, since you [Bill Samuels] and certainly Fritz Schwartz and others, Eric Lane, put together a real Constitutional Charter discussion here in the City of New York in ’89 there hasn’t been a good discussion about our Charter. So, I think both have to be done, but particularly on the People’s Convention or Constitutional Convention statewide you have to have some idea what you want to get out of it.”

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Brewer enumerates some of the issues she thinks should be addressed by a Constitutional Convention:

“Local government home rule, as under Article 17 in addition … that mandates a safety net. We’re one of the few states where you can actually get public assistance and other kinds of benefits. But what about mandating affordable housing? So, that’s an issue that could come up. I think there are judicial reforms that certainly should be discussed. … You know the ethics issues as well, if not better, than I do. Those could be brought up. And all the electoral reforms that you know about—I’d love to see 16 and 17 years olds able to vote in city elections, it’s very controversial. So, I have a long list here of topics that could come up.”

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Brewer agrees with Bill Samuels that New York should pass a statewide Equal Rights Amendment:

“Yes, of course, New York should . … There’s no question, to the credit of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, she’s been talking about the E.R.A. and she says she’s managed to get a subway, and she’s managed to get universities started, but she can’t get E.R.A. passed.”

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Amalgamated Bank President & CEO Keith Mestrich

Full Interview

Mestrich explains the unique challenges for Amalgamated of being the bank for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign:

“There are operational challenges. … It is a high velocity kind of account. … So we have to be on our toes and we have to be really running a good banking operation. We’re very proud of it. … not just Hillary, but many other candidates. Bernie Sanders’ post-election campaign is all being banked with us. We’re very proud that people have chosen us. But it’s not just because of the values that we have. They also choose us because we’re pretty good at what we do and we’re equally proud of the fact that we can handle the high volume, high velocity nature of a presidential campaign.”

Link to audio

 “Effective Radio with Bill Samuels” is an hour-long radio show on AM970 in New York City and Nassau County every Sunday at 10 a.m. and WVOX 1460AM in Westchester every Monday at 10 a.m.

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