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The NY Public Library And The Homeless
March 19th, 2006

City Limits covers homeless advocates’ concerns with a new library policy that will truncate the only way to utilize the internet that the homeless have:

The New York Public Library now requires users to have a library card to log on to the internet, and an address is required to obtain the card. According to the city, about 4,400 homeless do not stay in the shelter system, where they could obtain an address. The National Coalition for the Homeless estimates that ten to twenty percent of the homeless regularly use libraries.

Homeless people depend on free access to internet in libraries to find out about job listings, keep themselves informed and email rsums to potential employers, said Rogers, who regularly searches craigslist.com for weekend jobs or part-time work. Rogers, a member of the advocacy group Picture the Homeless, has been homeless himself for three years.

But the blog Baby Boomer Librarian says City Limits is looking for sensationalism.They post what they claim is an email from Susan Kent, Director of Branch Libraries, which states that, “Anyone without a library card may ask for a ‘guest pass’ which will provide access to the Internet under the same terms as library card holders.”

By on March 19, 2006, 11:36 pm
In category: Civil Rights,Demographics,Social Services,Tech | 4 Comments »

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The State of City Development
March 12th, 2006

Jonathan Miller, accomplished residential real estate appraiser from the blog The Matrix, has a question and answer session with the folks at Gothamist about development in NYC. The piece focuses on a series of articles from the new edition of The Stamford Review, an annual publication dedicated to issues in real estate, land use, architecture, and urban affairs.

One of the more interesting and worrisome points Miller makes is that only seven percent of developable land in the city is vacant. And in seven to ten years, without significant redevelopment at high densities, he says, the city wont be able to sustain further population increases.

He also speaks about how even the moderately rich are being forced out of Manhattan due to gentrification, and how policy needs to be created that retains this important tax base.

By on March 12, 2006, 12:42 am
In category: Community Development,Demographics,Housing,Land Use | Comments Off

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Upstate Districts That Exist Because of NYC Prisoners
February 17th, 2006

Two state senate districts in upstate New York wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for their prisons full of inmates from New York City, Ezekiel Edwards points out on the DMI blog. The United States Census Bureau counts prisoners as residents of these districts, even though they are not allowed to vote. Without them, the districts would be short of the needed populations.

One of these senators, Republican Michael Nozzolio, is Chairman of the Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee. The other one, Republican Dale Volker, is also on that committee, and is Chairman of the Senate Codes Committee, which is influential in shaping the state’s criminal justice policy.

Edwards compares this situation to the one embedded in the Constitution, and lasting until the Civil War, that counted slaves as three-fifths of a person for the purposes of giving slave-holding states greater political representation.

Activists like Edwards, and groups like Demos, have been pushing to give felons the right to vote.

By on February 17, 2006, 1:00 am
In category: Crime & Safety,Demographics,Electoral Politics,Governing | 3 Comments »

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Gotham Gazette the Place for Politics and Policy

Gotham Gazette is published by Citizens Union Foundation and is made possible by support from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Altman Foundation,the Fund for the City of New York and donors to Citizens Union Foundation. Please consider supporting Citizens Union Foundation's public education programs. Critical early support to Gotham Gazette was provided by the Charles H. Revson Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

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