Quantcast

Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union
Loading

Brad Lander

Brad Lander

  • City Council Members Opt Out of Campaign Finance Program

    Lander Council members

    City Council members, with Brad Lander center (photo: William Alatriste)


    A first-time entrant into the New York City electoral system stands almost as much a chance of running a solid campaign as long-time political insiders and incumbents. That’s because the New York City campaign finance system includes a public matching funds program, which helps levels the playing field by incentivizing local small-dollar contributions, matching them at a 6-to-1 ratio. In doing so, it also reduces the influence of special interests in elections and helps

    ...
  • 10 Key Data Points from Social Services Budget Hearing

    Corey Johnson hearing

    City Council Member Corey Johnson (photo: William Alatriste)


    The City Council General Welfare Committee conducted a budget hearing Monday to evaluate the programs, expenditures, and needs of the Human Resource Administration (HRA) and Department of Homeless Services (DHS). Steven Banks, Commissioner of the Department of Social Services (DSS), which oversees both HRA and DHS, provided testimony for the two agencies before taking questions from concerned Council members.

    Though HRA provides a wide variety of services -- including job training

    ...
  • Early in Albany Session, Plastic Bag Fee Sparks Home Rule Debate

    felder bag fee city hall via scott reif

    Senator Felder & opponents of the bag fee (photo: Scott Reif)


    An attempt by lawmakers in Albany to prevent the New York City Council from imposing a fee on plastic and paper bags at retail stores has reignited a debate over home rule and the state government’s interference in the work of a democratically elected local legislative body.  

    The New York State Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that prohibits “the

    ...
  • Bill de Blasio’s Police Accountability Problem

    de blasio nypd headquarters

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign account recently posted a Twitter message touting the NYPD’s neighborhood policing initiative. “New York City is proving to the rest of the country that respectful, compassionate neighborhood policing drives down crime & makes us safer,” the tweet from @BilldeBlasio read.

    In a response symbolic of a problem de Blasio is facing as he heads into his re-election year, Lumumba

    ...
  • 22 Campaign Finance Bills to Move Through City Council 'Soon,' Speaker Says

    mmv nypl

    Speaker Mark-Viverito (photo: @NYCCouncil)


    Within the next two months, the City Council is expected to vote on a large legislative package that would alter the city’s campaign finance system in a variety of ways and regulate donations to political nonprofits, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said this week. Some of the proposals and the timing of their likely passage have raised concerns, though, that the Council is weakening the city’s model campaign finance system, pushing some reforms through after too long a wait and rushing other, newer bills through just in time for the next

    ...
  • City Council Hears Legislative Package on Conflicts of Interest and Campaign Finance

    berger council

    Henry Berger testifying (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The City Council heard testimony Monday on a broad package of bills that would prevent conflicts of interest between elected officials and political nonprofits, limit the electoral influence of those who do business with the city, and make it easier for first-time candidates to navigate the city’s campaign finance system.

    The Council’s Committee on Standards and Ethics heard 14 bills on Monday in what was the current Council’s first hearing of the committee focused on legislation. Of the 14, the headlining bill,

    ...
  • Fair Share: Design Flaws, Flashpoints & Possible Updates

    garbage trucks

    Trucks (photo: Sofie Hecht/Gotham Gazette)


    This is part two of a two-part series on the city’s Fair Share rules. Read part one: City May Soon Have More Formal ‘Fair Share’ Discussion

    Fair Share Flawed from the Beginning, Some Say
    Ronald Shiffman, now professor emeritus at the Pratt Institute and co-founder of Pratt’s Center for Community Development, was appointed to the newly-expanded City Planning Commission in

    ...
  • Bill de Blasio Versus NIMBYism

    BdB town hall queens miller

    Mayor de Blasio at a town hall (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    In recent weeks, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s policies have run up against an age-old forces of inertia and resistance in the city, especially one that springs forth in policy debates on everything from housing to bike lanes to school desegregation and even closing down Rikers Island jails. That force -- NIMBY or Not In My Back Yard-ism -- has taken distinct forms on different issues, but has been causing the de Blasio administration trouble and frustrating the mayor. At

    ...
  • Nearly Six Years After Landmark Street Harassment Hearing, No Measurable Progress

    street harassment mural1

    Anti-street harassment mural in Bed-Stuy, led by Groundswell


    Street harassment is a pervasive and public form of sexual harassment that most women face at some point in their lives. Overwhelmingly, it is experienced for the first time ...

  • Protecting the Soul of Flushing, and Beyond

    soul flushing 

    132-40 Sanford Ave in Flushing, a Treetop Development-owned rent-stabilized building

    ...
  • Budget Allocations Measure Mayor’s Commitment to Ethics Agencies

    bdb town hall mic crowd

    Mayor de Blasio at a town hall (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    Over the last few weeks, facing the spectre of multiple investigations, Mayor Bill de Blasio has repeatedly stressed that he, his administration, and his allies operate ethically. “We hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity,” the mayor has said repeatedly as reporters have questioned him about allegations of impropriety in his fundraising operations.

    In support, the mayor has regularly referred to the city’s internal mechanisms for ensuring

    ...
  • Tunnel Controversy Prompts Closer Look at Water Infrastructure

    waterfall via nystateparks

    (photo via @nystateparks)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio recently faced an embarrassing situation and had to act quickly to remedy it. Seemingly out of nowhere, there was a lack of clarity around the city’s investment, or apparent lack thereof, in water infrastructure - namely the long-under-construction third water tunnel. The tunnel, along with other elements of the city’s water system are nearer the top of the Spring political agenda. City Council members want answers about what the city is doing to protect and ensure its clean water supply, and will

    ...
  • Supporters Launch Renewed Push to Pass Plastic Bag Bill by Earth Day

    lander plastic bags

    Council Member Lander & young people against plastic bags (photo: William Alatriste)


    “Last year, we said bag fees by Earth Day,” Council Member Brad Lander told Gotham Gazette, shortly before an unrelated committee hearing at City Hall. “I’m saying it again. Bag fees by Earth Day.”

    Even a year later, Lander is confident that the bill he is co-sponsoring with Council Member Margaret Chin to impose fees on single-use plastic and paper bags at grocery stores and bodegas will pass

    ...
  • Protecting Freelancers: Policy Innovation at Work

    Freelancers Rally

    Freelancers Union rally 


    In 2012 when I started bringing cases under the New York Labor Law and the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act the hot area was "independent contractor misclassification." Employers in the "on-demand" economy were (mis)classifying their employees as independent contractors to avoid paying overtime or, in some cases, the minimum wage. Employers did not have to buy unemployment insurance, workers compensation, or pay the employer portion of payroll tax (FICA). Over the next few years, almost every player in the on-demand economy would

    ...
  • 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

    ...
  • 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

    ...
  • 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

    ...
  • 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

    ...
  • Amid Federal Brinksmanship, New York City Officials Redouble Support for Planned Parenthood

    Chirlane PP

    NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray at a Planned Parenthood rally (photo: @Chirlane) 


    In the face of federal debate and brinksmanship over funding for Planned Parenthood, many in New York City have doubled down on support for the women's health care organization.

    In the past month, the city has seen the...

  • Led by New Office, De Blasio Forms His Brand of Public-Private Partnerships

    Bdb Warby Parker

    Mayor de Blasio & the founders of Warby Parker (photo: @BilldeBlasio)


    The de Blasio administration is attempting a new approach to a familiar game in municipal politics. Public-private partnerships, also known as P3s, are a popular tool throughout local, state, and federal government. They are often sought after as a way to formalize coalitions around an issue and take advantage of the flexibility and resources of the private sector to accomplish goals of government.

    Run a search in any given political press

    ...
  • Map Launched to Bring Greater Accountability to Capital Spending

    Lander map

    A screenshot of the new map launched by Council Member Brad Lander


    They are notoriously over-budget and late. Capital projects - infrastructure investments in things like transportation, parks, libraries, and schools - regularly leave members of the public wondering if their elected officials are competent or honest.

    On a large-scale, think 2nd Avenue Subway, 7-line extension, and East Side Access. But, there are also many, many smaller capital projects all over the city.

    As participatory budgeting

    ...
  • 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

    ...
  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, April 27

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    • Ongoing legislative session in Albany - legislators will be in Albany Monday through Wednesday this week for session
      • major issues at play include mayoral control of schools, rent regulations, the charter school cap, the minimum wage,
    ...
  • City Council Unveils 'Council 2.0' Digital Engagement Plan

    council tech plan alatriste

    Council members unveil Council 2.0 (photo: William Alatriste)


    NEW YORK - City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and several council colleagues released today a civic technology plan aimed at making the legislative body more transparent while facilitating direct engagement with constituents.

    The "public technology plan," dubbed Council 2.0, is being touted as a new "roadmap to digital inclusion and open

    ...
  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 16

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week will again be dominated by budget negotiations - especially in Albany, where a budget is due by the end of the month, which is rapidly approaching. In New York City, City Council hearings will continue on Mayor Bill de Blasio's preliminary fiscal year 2016 budget - once those hearings wrap up at the end of the month, the Council will craft its response to de Blasio, negotiations will continue, and the mayor

    ...