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  • Under-reported Abuse Given Higher Priority in New City Budget

    seniors rally

    Rally for senior funding (photo via Council Member Chin)


    After more than a decade of abuse, she finally called for help. Dialing 311, the 80-year-old widow - who had remained silent for years as the granddaughter she had raised yelled and cursed at her, slapped her, and stole from her - reached out for help after the younger woman threatened to seriously injure her.

    She was referred by 311 to JASA, a non-profit serving seniors

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, July 13

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Before you read our preview of this week, check out our 'Week in Review' of last week's political news - it's a good, quick read and includes top photos and stories of the week; key numbers to know from the week's news; and other interesting and fun features. We recently started

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  • Breaking Down the City Budget

    de blasio mark-viverito budget

    Mayor & Speaker at budget announcement (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    Wednesday, July 1, marked the beginning of the new fiscal year under a $78.6 billion budget agreed upon by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council.

    When he unveiled his preliminary budget outline in February, de Blasio ...

  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, June 29-July 2

    week in review bus readers

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


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Thursday July 2 - our usual Friday feature a day early this week due to the holiday, enjoy:

    PHOTO OF THE WEEK:Council Member Corey Johnson celebrates at the Pride Parade, via William

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  • Why Don’t We Ever Hear About Commercial Rent Policy?

    levine small biz

    Council Member Levine & co outside an evicted business (photo: @MarkLevineNYC) 


    Mid-June, it was a block in Washington Heights that was poised to be the next to close up shop. The landlord, Coltown Properties, looked to evict the mostly Latino-owned stores on the street, which included a barbershop, restaurant, and income tax service. The store proprietors faced the same issue as many other small business owners in New York — there was nothing they could do.

    “Collectively, the businesses on

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 29

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week must be much quieter than last - the city budget is passed; the legislative session in Albany is over; the two escaped upstate prisoners were found (one killed; one shot and captured); and the United States Supreme Court has wrapped up its spring. It's also a holiday

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  • School Meals in the Budget: Applause for Breakfast, Groans for Lunch

    Lunch 4 Learning

    Lunch 4 Learning at City Hall (photo: Zehra Rehman)


    Supporters of expanding free school meals in New York City are expressing mixed reactions to the city budget agreement announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito on Monday night.

    The fiscal year 2016 budget, at $78.5 billion of spending soon to be officially approved,

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, June 22-26

    week in review bus readers

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


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday June 26

    PHOTOS OF THE WEEK:Gov. Cuomo shakes hands with Sen. Flanagan at their Thursday 'big ugly' announcement (top; via The Governor's Office on flickr); Mayor

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  • Mayor & Council Announce $78.5B Fiscal 2016 Budget Deal

    MMV BdB budget deal

    Mayor & Speaker announce budget (photo: William Alatriste)


    A little after 10 p.m. Monday night and more than a week before deadline, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced that they had reached a deal on a balanced fiscal year 2016 city budget. The $78.5 billion budget is for the fiscal year beginning July 1 and includes additional spending from the mayor's Executive Budget, released in May, for several Council priorities - including the hiring of 1,297 new NYPD officers.

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  • 7 Points of Contention as City Budget Deal Finalized

    BdB MMV RI

    Mayor de Blasio & Speaker Mark-Viverito talk (photo: William Alatriste)


    “This year we're fighting for much-needed funds that will get #NYC 6-day library service citywide, more police, better parks & much more,” tweeted City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer on Monday morning.

    Van Bramer, who chairs the Council’s cultural affairs committee, where the debate over library funding has largely been heard, reminded

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  • What Meals Should City Schools Provide, and When?

    lunch for learning electeds

    CMs Dromm, Kallos, & King, Public Advocate James, & advocates (photo: @Lunch4Learning)


    “All I know is that when I would tell him that I’m hungry, he would say that he doesn’t have money to buy me something to eat,” says 17-year-old Althea of growing up with her father. She describes getting food at her house as a “gamble,” adding, “Sometimes the school lunch was the only meal I would eat for the entire day.”

    For many young people in New York City, like Althea, the

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 22

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    ALBANY, ALBANY: Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, and Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie agreed on a short, retroactive extension of rent regulations through Tuesday. As negotiations continue on the rent regulations and other top of the agenda priority issues like mayoral control of city schools, legislators are due back in Albany on Tuesday. By

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 8

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    EYES ON ALBANY: It's crunch time in Albany - and one big sign of how important a week it is: the state Legislature is in session FOUR days this week, as opposed to the three that has most often been the case in the post-budget legislative session that began in early April and is due to end on June 17 (a week from Wednesday). There are seven days of session left on the calendar between this week and

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  • How We Got Here: New Law Aims to Increase Transparency and Diversity at the FDNY

    fdny medal day

    2015 FDNY Medal Day at City Hall (photo: @FDNY)


    "Diversity is strength – and the world's greatest fire department will grow even stronger when it more closely resembles the city it serves." -Mayor Bill de Blasio, June 2, 2015

    On June 2, 2015 Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law Intro. 0579-A, allowing for greater transparency into the New York City Fire Department application and hiring processes by requiring that an annual report be made with regard to the racial and gender makeup of applicants. The bill,

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 1

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Welcome to June! A city budget is due by the end of the month. The state legislative session is due to end mid-month. And, it's both Gun Violence Awareness Month in New York City (legislation in 2013 declared it the first city in the United States to have a month dedicated to the cause) and LGBT Pride Month. Look for events and legislation related to each this week and as the month continues.

  • Education Upheaval in Albany is Backdrop to DOE Budget Hearing

    farina via levine

    Chancellor Carmen Farina testifying Thursday (photo: @MarkLevineNYC)


    With an eye on Albany, it was time Thursday morning for New York City schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to again testify in front of the City Council about her agency's proposed fiscal year 2016 budget and key education issues facing the city. The heightened level of concern with events in the capital comes amid shakeups in state leadership, important legislation on the negotiating table with deadlines looming, and recently passed controversial state teacher evaluation laws.

  • Cuomo Seizes on Wage Issue as Legislature Sits Paralyzed by Scandal, Partisanship

    Cuomo

    Gov. Cuomo at a minimum wage rally (Office of the Governor - Kevin P. Coughlin)


    "Do we have any members of labor in the house today? I can't hear you!" Gov. Andrew Cuomo shouted to a crowd of union members holding signs touting the "Fight for $15." Cuomo held a large rally in Manhattan's Union Square earlier this month as he announced he had instructed his labor commissioner to empanel a wage board to consider upping the minimum wage for fast food workers.

  • Through Committee, Bill to Create Office of Civil Justice Heads Toward Law

    MMV Levine and co

    Mark-Viverito, front, & Levine, behind her, are the lead sponsors (photo: William Alatriste)


    New York City is one step closer to having a new Office of Civil Justice. On Tuesday, the City Council's Committee on Courts and Legal Services unanimously passed a bill that would create the office, to be tasked with assessing, coordinating, and helping reform the civil legal services available to low-income New Yorkers. Among the most pressing concerns are ensuring legal representation for immigrants facing deportation

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  • Now Law, New York to Create City Cultural Plan

    BdB Van Bramer Levin

    Mayor de Blasio signs the cultural plan bill into law (photo: @JimmyVanBramer) 


    New York may be the considered the country's cultural capital, but the city has never had a comprehensive plan to outline its immense cultural assets, identify areas of need, and chart a path forward. A new law, passed by the City Council and signed on Monday by Mayor Bill de Blasio, will change that.

  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 18

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    EMAIL SUMMIT ANYONE? The much-anticipated, long-awaited e-mail deletion policy summit organized by the Cuomo administration is set for Friday in Albany - will it happen? Will anyone go?

    WAGE BOARD: Happening on a much faster timeline is

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  • Next Steps for Two Soon-To-Be-Vacant City Council Seats

    weprin ignizio

    CMs Weprin, left, & Ignizio, right, are both leaving the Council (photo: William Alatriste)


    City Council member Mark Weprin, a Democrat who represents part of Queens, announced on Monday that he will step down from his seat to join Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration as Deputy Secretary of Legislative Affairs, making him ...

  • At Chaotic Time, Cuomo Hires Weprin to Assist in Deal-making

    mark weprin via alatriste

    CM Weprin, right, has accepted a position in the Cuomo Administration (William Alatriste)


    A legislature plagued by scandal; two new, inexperienced house leaders; a governor facing the lowest approval ratings of his tenure; and only a few weeks to get anything done. This is the setting for Mark Weprin's return to Albany, where he'll be tasked with fostering dialogue, brokering deals, and making progress in a new role.

  • Resolution Calls for Constitutional Amendment Negating Citizens United

    kallos

    Council Member Ben Kallos (photo: William Alatriste)


    City Council Member Ben Kallos, chair of the governmental operations committee, will introduce a resolution at Thursday’s full-body Stated Meeting calling on members of the United States Congress to commit to a constitutional amendment that would limit independent expenditures in election campaigns. It is a move aimed at reducing the “dark money” spent during political campaigns and to counteract the Supreme Court’s infamous Citizens United ruling.

  • Progressive Caucus Responds to De Blasio's Executive Budget

    rosenthal and co 

    CM Helen Rosenthal is a vice chair of the Progressive Caucus (@TenantPowerNY)


    In response to his recently unveiled fiscal year 2016 Executive Budget, the City Council’s 18-member progressive caucus sent a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio Tuesday outlining an eleven-point “advancement framework.” In the letter, which alternately praises the mayor and requests additional funding for specific priorities, the council members outline “legislative, fiscal and advocacy goals” for a “more equal and more just New

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  • The Flanagan Effect: What the New Senate Leader Means for the De Blasio Agenda

    Flanagan oath Facebook

    New Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (photo via Facebook)


    ALBANY - Republican John Flanagan assumed the mantle of Senate Majority Leader on Monday during an unprecedented time of upheaval in Albany, brought on by the arrests of both former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on multiple federal corruption charges. Scandal unearthed by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has exposed the backroom dealings of the state's largest political donor and the men who control the flow of legislation. As he

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