Akash Mehta

Akash Mehta co-founded New York Focus and is the organization’s editor-in-chief. He grew up in New York City, and in another life he was a member of his local community board and a policy fellow at the City Council.

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Read the Senate’s Draft Compromise on Bail Reform

New York Focus obtained and analyzed a proposal presented by Senate leadership to the chamber’s Democratic caucus.

March 30, 2022
Charges Filed Against Andrew Cuomo for Forcible Touching

The Albany Criminal Court issued a criminal summons charging Cuomo with a Class A misdemeanor.

October 28, 2021
Death at Rikers: How NYC Judges Fueled the Swelling Jail Population

An analysis by New York Focus and Gothamist/WNYC reveals the judges who set bail most frequently, driving up the jail population as it entered crisis.

September 27, 2021
How Progressives Could Lose New York’s Mayor’s Race—But Win the City

“The whole city is up for grabs”: from office of the comptroller to the city council, progressives could pull off a wave of critical victories.

June 21, 2021
How New York State Let Covid-19 Run Rampant in Prisons

First, the state failed to protect people in prison from the virus. Then, it obscured the full scope of the crisis, advocates charge.

May 26, 2021
What Made It Into the Budget — And What Was Left Out

The major provisions of New York’s 2021 budget.

April 7, 2021
Homelessness Priorities Won’t Make the State Budget, Lawmakers and Advocates Say

“A year from now, this money will still be in the hands of Governor Cuomo, unused - and that’s exactly what he wants.”

April 3, 2021
Will New York’s Rent Relief Program Address The Problems that Hobbled The Last One?

Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing to impose stringent requirements, according to lawmakers and tenant advocates, that could delay and decrease aid.

April 2, 2021
Legislative Leadership to Propose $7 Billion in New Taxes, Sources Say

Tax-the-rich advocates critiqued the figure as too low, and also said the Assembly is significantly behind the Senate on key progressive spending priorities.

March 11, 2021
“We Need to Hold Him Accountable”: After Sexual Harassment Allegations, Legislators Search for Ways to Respond

With the state ethics commission widely seen as controlled by the governor, legislators are looking for other ways to investigate the allegations.

February 25, 2021
Cuomo’s Tax Hike Friendlier to the Rich Than Advertised, Budget Experts and Legislators Say

“The governor’s twisting himself in knots to not offend rich people,” the number two Democrat in the state Senate said.

January 21, 2021
Progressives Slam State Senate Finance Secretary Pick

Democratic leadership appointed David Friedfel, the top state policy analyst at the Citizens Budget Commission, to a key staff position in budget negotiations.

January 12, 2021
Senate Proposes $4 Billion December Revenue Package, but Assembly Won’t Go That High, Sources Say

The Senate has proposed raising $4 billion in revenue before the end of the year, but the Assembly is unwilling go much higher than $2 billion, sources say.

December 17, 2020
Republicans Routed from Legislature, but Keep One Last Stronghold: Governor Cuomo’s Office

“Are you going to hire every single able-bodied Republican political operative?” Cuomo’s senior staff filled with top Republicans, to Democrats’ frustration

November 25, 2020
Incarcerated People Have One Week to Get Stimulus Checks. Prisons Stand in the Way, Many Say

Incarcerated people have one week left to claim their stimulus checks. But many say their prisons aren’t providing the paperwork.

October 28, 2020
A Broken Bond: How New York Judges are Getting Around Bail Reform

Defendants awaiting trial were supposed to be offered a more affordable form of bail. But some judges have set the price sky-high on bonds, leaving many behind bars.

October 12, 2020