Lee Harris

Lee Harris co-founded New York Focus and currently works part-time on strategy and development as contributing editor. She is also a staff reporter at The American Prospect, where her reporting focuses on climate, finance, and labor, and her work has appeared in outlets like The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times. She was editor-in-chief of the independent student newspaper at the University of Chicago from 2019 to 2020.

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Hochul and Senate Clash on Public Power, With Utility Workers on Sidelines

The New York Power Authority manages resources built half a century ago. But a plan to make it the vanguard of clean energy could be hamstrung by labor-environmentalist divisions.

February 16, 2023
The Wall Street Bet Behind Ithaca’s Green New Deal

Big banks and venture capital firms have flirted with the residential energy market for years. Ithaca is giving these lenders a shot with theirs.

January 23, 2023
‘Voters Are Lethargic’: Poll Suggests A Missing Economic Message In Governor’s Race

A new poll suggests a missing economic message is contributing to an unexpectedly close governor’s race.

November 3, 2022
This Is Not The First Time Maloney Has Snubbed His Party, Local Democrats Recall

Maloney’s announcement that he will exit his old district for a slightly safer seat alarmed Democrats—and rang a familiar bell back home.

June 3, 2022
Hochul’s Chapter Amendments Could Undermine New Birth Center Law

A rift grew among birth advocates as progressive legislators asked them to compromise with the governor – or risk a veto.

January 20, 2022
New York Utilities Polarize Over Push to Ban Natural Gas

A proposed gas ban has pitted ConEd against big oil, real estate lobbyists, and other investor-owned utilities.

December 1, 2021
Lessons to be learned from New York’s climate policy laboratory

New York is seen as a model - but it also shows the challenges of green public-private partnerships

September 1, 2021
Cuomo Leaves, But a Corrupt Political Culture Remains in New York

The structure of state government, with its centralized power and few ethical checks, invites scandal after scandal.

August 11, 2021
New York Dairy Farms Skirt Clean Water Act Requirements

Farms in New York have used a form of legal arbitrage to shield their manure management practices from scrutiny.

August 11, 2021
Schumer Joins Fight Against Astoria Power Plant Proposal

DSA organized against a fracked-gas plant in Astoria. Now Schumer is getting involved.

July 12, 2021
The Council Implementing New York’s Climate Law Is Stacked With Industry Executives

A top energy executive, whose firm is designing pro-gas talking points, has a seat at the table charting the state’s path to decarbonization.

July 6, 2021
Inside the chemical lobby’s unusual campaign to protect the fire retardant business

Chemical industry lobbyists are aggressively fighting a bill that would ban the use of toxic flame retardants—including by placing stories in local news outlets with quotes from a tenant organizer who says she didn’t speak to them.

May 22, 2021
Two years after passing a landmark climate law, New York has no plan to fund it

Governor Cuomo just approved the largest budget in New York history — and it has virtually no new funding to help meet the goals in New York’s landmark climate law.

April 30, 2021
Gas plant in Newburgh tests limits of NY’s landmark climate law

Can New York meet its emissions goals if it green-lights more fossil fuel infrastructure? A proposal to rebuild a fracked-gas plant will set the precedent.

April 22, 2021
What Made It Into the Budget — And What Was Left Out

The major provisions of New York’s 2021 budget.

April 7, 2021
“A byzantine and high-bar system”: Governor pushes to saddle undocumented workers fund with documentation requirements

State lawmakers and workers’ rights advocates warned that burdensome proof-of-employment requirements may mean the funds go unspent.

April 2, 2021
Where are the Safe Injection Facilities Cuomo Promised for New York?

He committed three years ago to supporting safe injection sites for drug users — then reversed course, activists say. Now, they see a new chance to pressure the embattled governor.

March 30, 2021
As State Support Dwindles, New York’s Overdose Crisis is Only Getting Worse

State withholds have left harm reduction providers undersupplied, and informal overdose prevention networks are struggling to fill the gap.

February 16, 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
Methadone patients routinely denied take-home treatment throughout pandemic, despite health guidance

New York isn’t following through on guidance expanding take-home treatment to reduce Covid-19 spread, advocates say. Many patients must wait in line for treatment as many as six times a week.

November 29, 2020
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