The Washington Post — D.C. Council gives final approval to tight limits on Airbnb and other home-sharing companies
The D.C. Council voted unanimously Tuesday to impose some of the tightest limits in the nation on Airbnb and other short-term rental companies.read more
roward voters cast a decisive ballot for better roads, less congestion and more public transit options Tuesday, agreeing to increase the sales tax they pay to bankroll $15.6 billion in transportation improvements over the next 30 years.
The successful sales tax referendum comes after voters defeated previous attempts in 2016, 2006 and 1990.
The vote means the county’s sales tax will increase Jan. 1 from 6 cents to 7 cents for every dollar of taxable goods purchased. About a third of the money will be paid by tourists and other visitors to the county. The money will be used to build wider roads, improve traffic signal synchronization, add buses and bus routes, install light rail and undertake hundreds of other road projects.read more
For months, Democrats targeted New York’s 19th Congressional district as they campaigned to take control of the House. Late last night, they claimed victory as Democrat Antonio Delgado defeated freshman Republican John Faso. It was a hotly contested race in an 11-county swing district that had the nation’s attention.
Delgado delivered his victory speech at the Senate Garage in Kingston after Faso called to concede.
“This is a new day for New York 19,” said Delgado.read more
Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.), one of President Donald Trump’s top allies in the House, lost her re-election bid on Tuesday to Democrat Anthony Brindisi.
Tenney, a first-term congresswoman, made a name for herself by enthusiastically embracing the president and his controversial rhetoric about the media. Earlier this year, following the deadly Parkland, Florida, school shooting, she also claimed that people who commit mass shootings are often Democrats.
“It’s interesting that so many of these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats. But the media doesn’t talk about that either,” Tenney said during a radio interview.read more
USA Today – NJ elections: Democrat Tom Malinowski unseats Republican Leonard Lance in NJ’s 7th Congressional District
Despite rainy conditions Tuesday, Democrat Tom Malinowski, who prevailed in New Jersey’s 7th District House election, was confident his voters wouldn’t be deterred, citing their enthusiasm he feels carried him to victory.
“I think our supporters are incredibly and intensely enthusiastic,” Malinowski said Tuesday afternoon after casting his vote at Rocky Hill Borough Hall, a short walk from his residence.
Later, Malinowski unseated five-term incumbent Republican Leonard Lance in what was referred to as a “nail-biter” by many at Malinowski’s results party at the Embassy Suites in Berkeley Heights.read more
“Tish has the ability to leverage that office’s considerable tools and be a major league player from day one,” said Democratic operative Neal Kwatra. “The early choices she and her team make about what issues to focus on will matter a lot. Owning a few issues and really leaning into them has been the playbook for most of the recent successful occupants of that office.”read more
Ads released by the political arm of the Hotel Trades Council will begin airing today, amounting to a “closing argument” with less than two weeks to go before Election Day.read more
New radio advertisements attacking congressional Republican incumbents John Faso and Claudia Tenney will start airing on Tuesday. The advertisements from the New York Hotel Trades Council are part of its $2 million investment in independent expenditures aimed at flipping narrowly divided House seats in New York and New Jersey. The group is already running television spots against both freshman legislators, and is starting to unroll similar advertisements in the Syracuse area against Republican incumbent John Katko.read more
A union representing 40,000 hospitality workers in New Jersey and New York blasts Republican U.S. Rep. John Katko’s tax vote in a new television ad that will begin airing Tuesday. The New York Hotel Trades Council’s ads — the group is already airing a radio ad targeting Katko, R-Camillus, in the Syracuse area — are part of a $2 million independent expenditure targeting five congressional races in New York and New Jersey.read more
New York Daily News — Hotel union readies ads ripping 3 upstate GOP House members over potential Medicare and Social Security cuts
With just over two weeks until Election Day, the influential union representing New York hotel workers is hitting three upstate congressional Republicans over their leadership’s talk of cutting Medicare and Social Security.read more
A new ad buy from the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, which represents about 40,000 hospitality workers in the region, is targeting a handful of highly watched congressional races in New York and New Jersey.read more
As Airbnb attempts to fight off new regulations that will curb its business in one of the company's highest-activity cities, the home-sharing giant is still struggling to find allies in the New York City political sphere. A group of 20 elected officials and housing...read more
Short-term rentals available online became more popular in the District after 2009, when Airbnb launched here. Now, almost a decade later, D.C. lawmakers are poised to formally regulate the practice through legislation that would limit the number of units that can be...read more
“A decade in the political wilderness will mean that the newly empowered majority will want to have a strong voice in setting the state’s priorities,” said Neal Kwatra, a prominent Democratic operative. “While there is no shortage of issues to tackle, a focus on a robust voting reform agenda to empower the millions of citizens in New York who don’t vote every election cycle would be a powerful opening salvo. Automatic voter registration, no-fault absentee, vote-by-mail and early vote are arguably as core to the party’s priorities as ‘Medicare for All.'”read more
It was the compact but powerful Hotel Trades Council that bankrolled and ran the independent expenditure that boosted Liu over Avella.read more
“Progressives can have success in state legislative and congressional primaries—but winning statewide still requires a different kind of coalition,” said veteran Democratic operative Neal Kwatra. “They’re winning in districts that are manageable. You can change the electorate in state legislative and congressional districts in a way you can’t statewide as easily.”read more
“I think it’s going to be a political impossibility for cases like this not to get more resources and more scrutiny. This cultural moment around #MeToo — coupled with the clergy abuse scandal — elevates this to a different kind of political lane.”read more
The union representing hotel and motel workers is investing seven-figures in independent expenditures to back candidates this fall, including Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in his Democratic primary.read more
An influential New York hotel union has created a Super PAC that will support Gov. Cuomo and several congressional Democratic candidates in New York and New Jersey.
Called “Hotel Workers For Strong Communities,” the political action committee was created by the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council.read more
“They’re kinda exactly the trio you would expect at the New York politics version of the Star Wars bar,” said Neal Kwatra, a Democratic political consultant, referring to the Mos Eisley Cantina on the fictional planet of Tatooine. “Weird, wild and par for our current course.”read more
The air could soon be going out of Airbnb.
The home-sharing service and its competitors face severe downsizing under a bill signed Monday by Mayor de Blasio that requires the companies to turn over detailed data about their hosts.read more
New York Daily News — Mayor de Blasio signs bill to crack down on those who illegally list city residences with Airbnb
Mayor de Blasio signed Monday a bill that will crack down on Airbnb’s operations New York City.
The action came just days before the City Council is slated to vote on a measure that would limit the number of cars driving for Uber and similar companies.read more
Mayor Bill de Blasio dealt a blow to home-sharing giant Airbnb on Monday, signing a bill that requires substantial and routine reporting from the $31 billion enterprise.read more
Call it Steambnb.
Fresh off deflating Airbnb, the hotel industry and its labor allies are offering free shelter to those displaced last week when a subterranean steam pipe burst in the Flatiron District.read more
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign into law a bill that cracks down on home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and HomeAway. The bill, which passed a council vote unanimously on Wednesday, would force the platforms to disclose the addresses and hosts for each property listing on a monthly basis.read more
Airbnb seemed to be sucking wind after its political foes delivered it a gut punch Wednesday. The City Council voted 45-0 in favor of a bill backed by the hotel industry and its union allies, a measure that will require the company to disclose to law enforcement the names and addresses attached to every one of its listings in the five boroughs.read more
The New York City Council has voted in favor of a new law requiring Airbnb and similar home-share companies to share data on their users. The company has fought the law tooth and nail, but city authorities say it’s basically common sense for the local government to be informed of the number and nature of residents using the service.read more
The New York City Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to require Airbnb to disclose the names and addresses of its hosts to a city-run enforcement agency in an effort to crack down on illegal units. The move rankled the multibillion-dollar home-sharing company, which blasted the hotels union for the bill.read more
The City Council on Wednesday passed a controversial bill to crack down on Airbnb’s home rental business in the city.read more
Airbnb Inc. will need to share the names and addresses of hosts in New York City with officials thanks to a new law, the latest setback for the home-rental company in one of the world’s largest tourism destinations.read more
The New York City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to significantly restrict Airbnb and other online home rental services, joining a growing movement of cities around the globe in stepping up regulation of the so-called sharing economy.read more
The hotel industry and allied unions are winning handily as the clock runs out Airbnb’s effort to stop approval of their City Council bill, but both sides are playing like they’re behind.read more
New York Daily News —What, me worry? Cuomo says comparisons to his primary and Ocasio-Cortez’s upset over Crowley are ‘apples and oranges’
Democratic operative Neal Kwatra, who helped run Cuomo’s 2014 primary election, said there is a “danger in extrapolating too much from this win for Nixon.”
In order to pull off a similar upset, Kwatra said, Nixon would have to double the New York City performance of Teachout, Cuomo’s 2014 primary challenger, in majority minority districts and make huge inroads in the suburbs and western New York.
Neal Kwatra, head of Metropolitan Public Strategies and a prominent Democratic consultant in New York politics, said the fight was “less about ideology and more about a willingness to fight.”read more
Airbnb, a $31 billion home-sharing company that has transformed how tourists vacation around the globe, is facing strict regulations in one of its most profitable markets as lawmakers further a bill to rein in what they say is an unregulated industry.read more
New York Daily News — Housing advocates, lawmakers show support toward proposed bill requiring Airbnb turn over host data
Hundreds of tenants and housing advocates swarmed City Hall on Tuesday to support a proposed bill that would require Airbnb to turn over user data, including host addresses.
Activists like Christopher Lebron blamed Airbnb and other short-term apartment rental sites for ruining the fabric of many neighborhoods.
In an unusually crowded City Council hearing on Tuesday, lawmakers took on Airbnb as they discussed a bill aimed at cracking down on illegal online home-sharing listings that have turned residential apartments into year-round hotels for tourists.read more
“What cannot be allowed, what I do not support, and what we have increasingly seen, are commercial operators who make an end-run around our laws, displacing actual tenants for their own profit by illegally warehousing dozens of housing units that could be available for long-term rental.”read more
The endorsement is another labor nod for Rhodes, who has previously been given the backing of the Communication Workers of America as well as the Teamsters Local 445 and 456. Rhodes over the weekend was endorsed by the editorial board of The New York Times.read more
61% of respondents said they supported a City Council bill requiring Airbnb to provide the names and addresses on all its listings in the city to the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement…read more
Even before it is introduced Thursday, a bill to rein in Airbnb in New York City already had enough sponsors in the City Council to ensure its passage.read more
Michigan gubernatorial candidate Shri Thanedar announced his “One Michigan” agenda Tuesday to help women re-enter the workforce. According to Thanedar, more than 300,000 Michigan women have left the workforce in the last 15 years.read more
Crain’s Detroit – Thanedar economic plan: hike taxes to fund child care to fix Michigan’s workforce gap
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Shri Thanedar released an ambitious plan Tuesday for addressing Michigan’s workforce gaps by funding universal child care and preschool programs through big tax hikes on corporations and individuals earning more than $200,000 a year.read more
Neal Kwatra’s Metropolitan Public Strategies firm is a go-to consultancy for influential Democrats. Most recently, he guided Corey Johnson into the New York City Council speaker’s office. Kwatra has key allies in Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de...read more
Owners who list their apartments for short-term stays essentially are removing those units from the rental market, reducing the supply of housing and pushing up the cost of what remains, according to the report.read more
Airbnb’s growing influence caused rents to increase significantly in tourist areas and gentrifying neighborhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn, where the majority of the company’s rentals are concentrated…read more
NY Daily News – N.Y. medical marijuana grower rolls out water-soluble pot that can be added to liquids like chocolate syrup, coffee
Some medical marijuana with your coffee? Etain Inc., one of New York’s licensed medical marijuana growers, announced Friday that it’s now offering a water-soluble version of the drug that can be mixed into most liquids, including tea, coffee, soup, smoothies and even chocolate syrup.read more
Democratic congressional candidate Gareth Rhdoes is getting up on the airwaves in the hotly competitive 19th district Democratic primary.read more
“I have a strong sense of obligation and responsibility to do everything I can to protect our environment and ensure that we’re living the values we’re talking to voters about every day,” said Rhodes in a statement. “Campaigns are more than shoe leather, especially in a district this large.”read more
New York's hotel industry has ramped up its war with Airbnb, barraging the home-rental firm with more than $1 million in mailers and TV ads. The industry-backed ShareBetter Education Fund has circulated two mailers of which Crain's obtained copies. Both cite...read more
New York hotel interests who oppose Airbnb are launching an ad campaign against the short-term rental platform in an effort to push for more regulation of the company.read more
New York Daily News – Cuomo to unleash ad attack against 7 NRA-backed N.Y. pols while touting state’s tough gun laws
Nearly a month after the Parkland, Fla., school mass shooting, Gov. Cuomo is set to kick off a gun-control campaign touting his work on the issue and targeting seven New York congressional Republicans. The six-figure campaign, which kicks off this week, will include a mix of television and digital ads and an online petition effort organizers say is meant to galvanize grassroots support.read more
Neal Kwatra, CEO, Metropolitan Public Strategies … Most New Yorkers haven’t heard of Neal Kwatra, but he has cultivated relationships with New York’s biggest power players. The Metropolitan Public Strategies founder has strong ties to the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, and helped the union in backing Corey Johnson’s successful bid for speaker. Also among his allies are Mayor Bill de Blasio, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, making his communications and strategic consulting firm a force to be reckoned with….read more
A former Gov. Cuomo staffer seeking to run for a key congressional seat has hired a powerhouse consulting firm with ties to the governor and Mayor de Blasio. Gareth Rhodes, a Democrat looking to take on first-term incumbent Republican John Faso in the Hudson Valley, has hired Metropolitan Public Strategies, which is headed by Neal Kwatra…read more
The analysis published Monday comes from a researcher at McGill University in Montreal and was commissioned by the Hotel Trades Council, a hotel worker union. Several local neighborhood organizations were co-sponsors.read more
One Airbnb host renting out four residences and three private homes in Manhattan’s West Village took in $700,000 last year, while the median annual income for an Airbnb host was $5,200 — a glaring example of the disparate earnings among the short-term rental operators in New York City, according to a new study.read more
Johnson’s hired help in the speaker’s race included Metropolitan Public Strategies, a consulting and lobbying firm closely tied to the Cuomo administration.read more
Johnson’s win was also one for the Hotel Trades Council, which was heavily involved in his campaign. He name checked that union’s president, Peter Ward, in his remarks.read more
The ShareBetter coalition that has pushed back against online rental company Airbnb released a web video Tuesday that ties the firm to the tax overhaul legislation in Congress.read more
As covered on December 14, 2017 by: Metropolitan Public Strategies, la empresa de consultoría política fundada por Neal Kwatra, exdirector político del Hotel Trades Council, se expande al Estado del Sol y contrata a uno de los principales líderes sindicales del estado...read more
As covered on December 14, 2017 by: By Laura Nahmias Metropolitan Public Strategies, the political consulting firm founded by former Hotel Trades Council political director Neal Kwatra, is expanding to the Sunshine State and hiring one of the state's prominent labor...read more
When it comes to campaign fundraising and spending, Johnson remains at the top of the list.read more
“While touting transparency and spending millions to promote its website – which attracts many unscrupulous commercial operators – Airbnb steadfastly refuses to cooperate with city agencies to stop illegal activity on its site allowing thousands of transient tourists to gain access to residential buildings, creating a danger to our communities.”read more
Airbnb’s business is hitting a wall as travelers grow more skittish over whether the home-sharing service is safe, according to a new study. A spate of high-profile incidents, in which Airbnb hosts or guests were the victims of crimes, as well as growing concerns about privacy, have recently gotten in the way of growth, according to Morgan Stanley’s third annual study of the hotel and leisure industry.read more
Imagine: you’ve experienced a trauma so severe that days, months, and years pass by before you feel like yourself. You have repeated flashbacks and nightmares so vivid they disrupt your day-to-day life and ability to get a good night’s sleep; you’ve lost interest in things you used to enjoy, find yourself avoiding family and friends, are easily startled, have random outbursts of anger, and constantly feel on edge.read more
More than two dozen city and state lawmakers are using the recent indictment of President Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort to pressure Airbnb into scrubbing illegal listings from its site. In a letter to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, the group, which includes city Controller Scott Stringer, Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) and state Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan), also called on the home-sharing company to share address data with New York regulators.read more
NYS Democrats roll out ad linking Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino to Trump, billionaire Mercer family
With just five days to go before the election, the state Democratic Party is unveiling a hard-hitting digital ad seeking to tie Westchester County Repubilcan Executive Rob Astorino to President Trump and top conservative donor Robert Mercer.read more
“The emerging details are another example of how commercial operators like Manafort use Airbnb to remove homes from the market in order to profit from illegal short-term rentals,” said Austin Shafran, a spokesman for Share Better, a trade group backed by hotel unions, city officials and corporate opponents of the home-rental company.read more
The anti-Airbnb coalition Share Better, which advocates for stricter enforcement of illegal hotels, saw a clear opening to broadcast its message. Since the Manafort revelations went live, Share Better has flooded its social streams with posts about Manafort.read more
A Crain’s analysis of Campaign Finance Board records from late 2013 to mid-September 2017 found the Hotel Trades Council donated the most money directly to campaigns and also ran the largest independent expenditure operation.read more
The group’s leaders say shrinking the company’s footprint in New York, its largest U.S. market, could serve as a guide for battles elsewhere and damage Airbnb’s image among public investors it may need to court someday. “We’re fighting a bit of a guerrilla campaign,”...read more
Neal Kwatra's firm Metropolitan Public Strategies is staffing up as it prepares for the "NY Fights Back" campaign, the New York State Democratic Party backed effort to help Democrats retake the Majority in the House of Representatives in 2018. The firm has hired James...read more
VIDEO: Errol Louis analyzed Mayor de Blasio’s fight to hold onto control of the school system with the Monday Consultants Corner: Democrats Neal Kwatra and Lis Smith and Republicans Tom Doherty and John Burnett.read more
...The “Fight Back” effort will be run out of the state Democratic Party, which Cuomo controls. The governor — who recently has ripped congressional Republicans as right-wing zealots — turned to veteran operative Neal Kwatra to oversee the effort....read more
...Neal Kwatra, who served as Mr. Schneiderman’s chief of staff and now runs a political consulting firm, called Ms. DeRosa a “quadruple threat.” “Most people have their lanes, but she does policy, strategy, messaging and organizing,” he said. “You don’t work as hard...read more
Organized labor, which traditionally leans left and can pump tons of cash and volunteers into campaigns, applauded the union-dues tax deduction. “Hard to overstate what a big deal this is symbolically and practically for labor. While [Republicans] are moving...read more
For our strategic development, creation and production of the TV ad “My Story” the American Association of Political Consultants recognized the outstanding achievement of Metropolitan Public Strategies with a 2017 Pollie Gold Award for best National Public Affairs...read more
Neal Kwatra has friends in high places, but operates behind the scenes. Before launching Metropolitan Public Strategies, Kwatra worked for the New York Hotel Trades Council and for state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Since opening his communications and...read more
“The battle for the New York State budget is on, and the choices have never been clearer,” the ad, created by Cuomo consultant Neal Kwatra's Metropolitan Public Strategies, says.read more
“In this moment, it’s kind of tough to do a speech that doesn’t have national implications with what Democrats see as a threat to all their core values,” said Neal Kwatra, a Democratic operative with ties to Cuomo...read more