Tag: Adams

Adams taps political operative at influential hotel workers union to run mayoral campaign

Katie Moore is seen a provided headshot.

Katie Moore, political director of the city’s Hotel Trades Council, will manager Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams’ mayoral campaign. | Courtesy of Eric Adams mayoral campaign

A political operative at a prominent union diminished by the Covid-19 pandemic has been tapped to lead Eric Adams’ mayoral campaign.

Katie Moore, political director of the city’s Hotel Trades Council, will be campaign manager for the bid the Brooklyn borough president kicked off with a virtual announcement last week.

Adams has also hired Nathan Smith of Red Horse Strategies as his lead consultant and Evan Thies of Pythia Public Affairs to handle communications.

Moore’s move does not automatically signal the union’s plans for the Democratic primary next year, but sources familiar with its political process have said Adams is among the candidates in contention for the endorsement. Maya Wiley and Scott Stringer are also said to be on the organization’s short list.

“This is a critical moment for New York City, and Eric is the leader this city needs to recover from the pandemic, tackle inequality by making our government more efficient and effective and improve quality of life for everyday New Yorkers,” Moore said in a statement.

The hotel workers union has emerged in recent years as one of the most sought-after endorsers for city politicians, despite a small membership relative to other influential labor organizations like 1199SEIU, which represents health care workers. It was instrumental in Corey Johnson’s rise to the speakership in 2017 and Ritchie Torres’ winning congressional bid earlier this year. It also scored several legislative victories under Johnson’s leadership, most notably a bill designed to stymie the proliferation of Airbnb, which poses an existential threat to standard hotels.

The union also stood out as one of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s only supporters when he ran a long-shot bid for president last year. It has since been crippled by the pandemic’s slaughter on the city’s tourism industry, casting doubt on the power of its backing.

In 2013, the last time New Yorkers had an opportunity to elect a new mayor, HTC backed former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who lost the primary and is said by those close to her to be considering another run for the office next year.

Torres called Moore “one of the most talented and trusted people you could ever meet in politics.”

“Whether you’re running a political campaign or a labor union, Katie is exactly the kind of operative you want beside you in the trenches of New York City politics,” Torres said.

Moore got her start as an organizer at the now-defunct ACORN, a left-leaning group focused on political organizing. She worked on the 2004 presidential election through America Coming Together before taking a job with 1199, which is widely viewed as the most important labor endorsement in local elections. She was campaign manager for City Council Member Francisco Moya’s Assembly victory in 2010 and joined HTC four years ago.

Adams launched his mayoral campaign with more than $2.1 million in his account

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District grants disputed $46 million tax abatement to Adams Morgan hotel

The audit also concluded the developer did not meet a mandate to grant all its apprenticeships to District residents.

The Bowser administration approved the abatement “after a confidential mediation with the Office of the Attorney General, review of additional documentation submitted to the OAG and updated legal guidance,” a spokeswoman for the Department of Employment Services said in a statement Friday.

The granting of the tax subsidy was first announced by the Line, which has long contended that it met all requirements. Jake Lamstein, the managing partner of the Sydell Group, which developed the Line, said in a statement that the hotel had been “vindicated.”

“In a time of such uncertainty it is nice to see that facts and law still prevail over the self interest of a very few,” he said.

But council member Elissa Silverman (I-At Large), chair of the council’s Labor and Workforce Committee, said she wants to review the new information the hotel presented to the District.

“I’m surprised and angry the council was not alerted to this redetermination,” said Silverman, who had been unaware that the District had granted the subsidy. “We want to understand what changed to meet these milestones.”

The spokeswoman for the employment services agency did not respond to a request for additional detail on why it issued the subsidy.

Michael Robbins, a Line spokesman, said the hotel gave “the same” documentation it had previously submitted to the District. He said the employment services agency “failed to properly review” that documentation when it was turned over in 2019.

Unique Morris-Hughes, the agency’s director, wrote in an October letter to the District’s chief financial officer, that her office had “conducted a compliance review” and concluded that the Line had met its hiring requirement.

Morris-Hughes also wrote that her agency, guided by a “legal opinion” from the attorney general’s office, had concluded that the hotel had met the requirement of reserving all apprenticeships for D.C. residents “because no District resident who requested an apprenticeship was turned away.”

A spokesperson for the attorney general’s office declined to comment, citing attorney-client privilege.

Of the project’s 31 apprenticeships, 14 went to District residents, according to the March audit. That total fell far short of what community leaders were expecting, said Bryan Weaver, a former advisory neighborhood commissioner who helped conceive the tax abatement legislation.

“They didn’t try to get people in the neighborhood, which was the whole idea behind it,” he said. “Everything about this was, how are we going to get local people jobs?”

Weaver was the first to question whether the developer had met the requirements of the tax abatement legislation, which the council passed a decade ago.

In 2019, the employment services agency recommended that the Sydell Group pay a $600,000 fine instead of losing the abatement. But Attorney General Karl A. Racine (D) advised at the time that the legislation required strict adherence to the requirements.

At one point, the hotel created a website that included a list of what it said were

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