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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 23

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Thanksgiving week will see just a few days of political activity, but the beginning of the week is looking busy. Highlights include closing arguments in Sheldon Silver's corruption trial; the continuation of Dean Skelos' corruption trial; the release of the Public Advocate's "worst landlord list"; several City Council hearings and a full-body "Stated Meeting"; two public meetings of the city's ...

  • Stringer Joins Calls to Shut Down Rikers

    rikers stringer new school

    Stringer at The New School (photo via @scottmstringer)


    Giving keynote remarks at an event focused on Rikers Island jails, city Comptroller Scott Stringer added his voice to calls for shutting down the troubled complex.

    “Right now, Rikers Island is a case study in poor outcomes,” Stringer said, presenting...

  • As Homelessness Crisis Continues, Shelter Siting Questions Intensify

    miller constituent

    Council Member Miller & a constituent (photo: @IDaneekMiller)


    When the city’s Department of Homeless Services was quickly and quietly moving homeless families into the former Pan American Hotel in Elmhurst, Queens last June, the response from locals was swift and sharp. A group of Chinese immigrants and a local Republican club organized a protest against the new facility, saying city officials had unfairly targeted the neighborhood. Things got ugly. Shouts of “Get a job!” by protesters were

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  • All Aboard the BRT Express?

    bus mta photo m86

    (photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit)


    Google Maps estimated an hour-and-a-half for a trip from near City Hall to a location in Southeast Queens, leaving at 5:30 p.m. on a recent Tuesday. On the E train to its final stop and a bus crawling along jam-packed Merrick Boulevard, the trip took about an hour longer, two-and-a-half hours from door to door.

    “Now you know what we go through every day,“ City Council Member I. Daneek Miller told Gotham Gazette following that night’s event, which he co-hosted with Council Member

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, November 9-13

    week in review bus readers

    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday November 13

    PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: NYPD Commissioner Bratton addresses the media after a shooting Monday morning near Penn Station, via @NYPD1Pct; City Council Members-elect Barry

    ...
  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 9

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Wednesday is Veterans Day, with parades, resource fairs, and events to honor and aid veterans taking place before, on, and after the day itself. Mayor Bill de Blasio will hold a breakfast reception to honor the military veterans Wednesday morning. On Thursday, the City Council will hold a hearing on veteran homelessness, which the mayor vowed to end by the end of this year as part of a national pledge.

    The

    ...
  • City Council Developing New Protections for Workers in ‘Gig’ Economy

    lander car wash workers

    Council Member Lander with carwash workers (photo: William Alatriste)


    There are more than 1.3 million freelancers working in New York City and with the help of the City Council, these workers may soon be afforded certain protections on par with full-time workers.

    Initially focused on wage protection and health benefits, Council members and advocates are also looking at legislation to expand

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  • 2015 General Election Results

    Cuomo voting Nov 2015

    Gov. Cuomo votes on Tuesday (via the Governor's Office on flickr)


    Although there weren't many high-profile races in ...

  • As New Yorkers Go to the Polls, Activists Launch 'Vote Better' Campaign

    voter registration via NYC Votes

    Voter registration efforts (photo: @NYCVotes)


    On Tuesday morning - Election Day - in Manhattan's Foley Square, a large group of New Yorkers will hold a rally, kicking off a campaign to address two of New York's enduring problems: voting access and voter turnout.

    While New York City voters go to the polls Tuesday to fill vacant City Council, District Attorney, and state legislative seats, as well as to vote for judges, a coalition of advocates and activists, including good government and community groups, ...

  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 2

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Tuesday is Election Day 2015! There aren't many high-profile races on the ballot, but we will soon have two new members of the City Council, two new District Attorneys (Staten Island and the Bronx), and a few new state legislators. There are also lots of judges on the ballot. Tuesday sets the stage for several

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  • Hearing Will Examine Pay for Workers Serving City’s Most Vulnerable

    rosenthal contracts alatriste

    Council Member Rosenthal (photo: William Alatriste)


    For six years, a particular group of workers employed through contracts with the city, and filling important roles, saw their wages stagnate. In May of this year, however, Mayor de Blasio announced that his Executive Budget for the 2016 fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2015, would provide a 2.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment increase and an $11.50 per hour

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  • Brooklyn Neighborhoods Look to Address School Overcrowding, Avoid Rezoning Issues Seen Elsewhere

    bk overcrowding forum

    The community school forum (photo: @JoAnneSimonBK52) 


    As rezoning problems plague some city school districts, leaders in one area of Brooklyn are looking to avoid similar pitfalls while reducing overcrowding.

    In Carroll Gardens last week, local officials and parents gathered in the PS 58 auditorium to discuss overcrowding issues facing three elementary schools. Like others across the city, District 15 - which includes the schools at

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, October 26

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week will be dominated by the World Series, we know that. The New York Mets begin their quest for the title against the Royals in Kansas City on Tuesday night, followed by another game in KC on Wednesday and then games in Queens on Friday, Saturday, and, if necessary, Sunday. If the series continues, games six and seven would be the following Tuesday and Wednesday (Nov. 3 and 4) back in Kansas City. On Sunday,

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  • Participatory Budgeting Grows in NYC - Why Isn’t Every Council Member Doing It?

    PB NYC East Harlem

    PB voting in East Harlem, photo via PB NYC


    In four years participatory budgeting has exploded from four to 27 New York City Council districts. With over 51,000 voters casting ballots last cycle to allocate a total of $32 million dollars to projects across the city, New York‘s experiment in direct democracy has quickly become the largest of its kind in North America.

    "This is the biggest year of participatory budgeting yet, with 27 Council members asking their constituents to

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, October 19

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Mayor Bill de Blasio was in Israel over the weekend, where he spoke at the Annual Conference of Mayors, met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, visited recent terror attack victims, and made several other stops, including at the Western Wall and at a school educating a diverse student population. De Blasio spoke against a new wave of anti-Semitism and ...

  • City Council Takes Aggressive Role in Workplace Issues

    Miller UFCW

    Council Member Miller & union workers (photo: @IDaneekMiller)


    A slate of recent bills introduced in the New York City Council have a lofty objective indicative of the progressive streak running through city government and raising eyebrows in the business community. Through legislation, the Council is addressing the city's widespread economic disparities by incrementally tackling workforce issues such as wages, workers rights, and access to employment.

    Since Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito both came to power, there has been one big picture

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, October 5

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week will include a focus on what the city can do to stop gas-related explosions after another such explosion occurred this weekend, this time in Borough Park; education politics and policy, as the pro-charter, anti-de Blasio group Families for Excellent Schools will hold a large rally; a continuation of negotiation and criticism between city and state entities over MTA funding; and more.

    Oh, and it's the

    ...
  • Do New York Elected Officials Deserve A Raise?

    BdB parade august

    Mayor de Blasio along the parade route (photo: @BilldeBlasio)


    What should the mayor of New York City be paid each year? How much should City Council members be paid? Do elected officials deserve incremental raises each year?

    Or, maybe elected officials are overpaid as it is?

    Some, like New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, think higher government salaries would entice “better” people into public service, meaning smarter and more honest officials.

    A host of questions have

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, September 28

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    In its post-Pope Francis world, will New York politics take heed of the pontiff's words and be a place of more cooperation, compassion, and grace?

    The best place to look, of course, will be the relationship between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo. The two powerful New York Democrats embraced and chatted face-to-face while awaiting Pope Francis on Thursday of last week. Perhaps being in the pope's

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  • City Council Considers Regulation of Grocery Personnel Decisions

    daneek miller presser

    Council Member Miller (photo by John McCarten)


    The City Council Committee on Civil Service and Labor saw heated debate at a Friday hearing on a proposed law to protect grocery and retail store workers from job volatility. The bill, known as the Grocery Worker Retention Act, aims to regulate personnel decision-making during store ownership transitions.

    Introduced by Council Member I. Daneek Miller, chair of the labor committee, the act (...

  • Combatting New York's Enduring Quality-of-Life Problem: Litter

    garcia sanitation

    DSNY Commissioner Garcia (photo: @NYCSanitation)


    New York is safer and more prosperous than it's been in years, but the city still can't figure out how to stop people from trashing streets with litter.

    Despite a focus on quality of life issues, City Hall has made limited progress in dealing with a problem that has plagued mayors since the days when animals roamed Broadway. Even a small army of workers from the Department of Sanitation (DSNY), business improvement districts, and the Doe Fund still can't fully police 6,000 miles of city streets and more than 27,000

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, September 21-25

    week in review bus readers

    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday September 25

    PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: Mayor de Blasio greets Pope Francis, via @BilldeBlasio; Pope Francis at the 9/11 memorial, ...

  • Inmate Bill of Rights Among New Wave of Rikers Reforms

    bdb rikers video

    Mayor de Blasio at Rikers Island (photo: Mayor's Office)


    The New York City Council passed eight bills last week in an effort to mandate greater transparency into and oversight of the Department of Correction and to reduce violence within the city's jails. All are expected to soon be signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio, with the package part of ongoing reforms aimed at changing the culture at Rikers Island and other jail facilities run by the city.

    One of the bills (...

  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, September 21

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    THE POPE IS COMING: Pope Francis is coming to New York City at the end of the week, with public events on Thursday and Friday. The Pope's visit to the city will coincide with the UN General Assembly, at which he will speak, and will include mass at Madison Square Garden on Friday after a procession through Central Park, a visit to a school in East Harlem, and a ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

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  • Did Bill De Blasio's Tirade Help Andrew Cuomo Get His Groove Back?

    Cuomo labor day parade

    Gov. Cuomo at the Labor Day parade (photo: The Governor's Office via flickr)


    On Thursday Governor Andrew Cuomo, joined by Vice President Joe Biden, held a rally to announce a campaign to make New York the first state in the nation with a $15-per-hour minimum wage.

    "So Mr. Vice President, today I announce that I will propose to the New York state legislature not just $15 for fast-food workers, because a fast-food worker deserves $15

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