Gotham Gazette

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Citizens Union

Andrew Cuomo

Andrew Cuomo

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    Solar City

    ***The following is an investigative series by our partner City Limits News, with CUNY Graduate School of Journalism***

    In 2009, New York State officials said the Green Jobs/Green New York program would retrofit a million houses and create 14,000 jobs. The results fell well short. Are there lessons to be learned for Gov. Cuomo's new wave of energy innovation?


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    Council Member Dromm (middle), the author, at the Queens Library

    Governor Andrew Cuomo's recently proposed budget plan for education is a mixed bag, but represents a major shift from his attacks on public education in years past. Ultimately, however, his plan falls short by allocating less than $1 billion in new education money this year at a time when public schools are still owed more than $4.4 billion in Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) funding.

    The CFE was a lawsuit brought by parents against the State of New York over a decade ago. These

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    New York City Hall

    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Mayor Bill de Blasio is back in Albany this week - this time, he's not taking in Governor Cuomo's budget address, he's testifying about it. This will be on Tuesday as de Blasio and other city officials testify in front a joint legislative budget hearing,

    First, the week starts with a major City Council hearing Monday morning at 10 a.m., at which the new, eight-bill Criminal Justice Reform Act will be heard -

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    Gov. Cuomo delivers his State of the State

    In his recently-released policy agenda for 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo included a plan to reform the state's bail system. While it has not been fully fleshed out yet, Cuomo's proposal dictates that judges would use a scientific assessment tool to determine an individual's "risk to public safety" while setting bail, a proposal similar to one Mayor Bill de Blasio recently made, with both coming under fire from criminal justice reformers.

    De Blasio made ...

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

    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday January 22

    PHOTO OF THE WEEK: City Council Members and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, via @ydanis; City Council Member Donovan Richards, Gov. Cuomo, Bronx BP Diaz Jr., via ...

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    Scene at Gov. Cuomo's State of the State (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)

    On Tuesday in Albany, the heads of three major good government groups gave their evaluation of the ethics proposals Gov. Andrew Cuomo included in his State of the State address and budget presentation last week. Susan Lerner of Common Cause, Dick Dadey of Citizens Union and Blair Horner of the New York Public

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    Zephyr Teachout, in yellow, with "fractivists" (photo: @zephyrteachout)

    In her zeal to attach herself to Barack Obama at the recent Democratic debate in Charleston, Hillary Clinton at one point issued a somewhat unexpected line of attack. In advance of the 2012 campaign, Clinton charged, Bernie Sanders had "publicly sought someone to run in a primary against President Obama." 

    There's no disputing that Sanders did in fact express such a position, based on his concern that Obama was moving to the right during his first term. But during

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    Gov. Cuomo in May, 2015 (photo: Office of the Governor - Kevin P. Coughlin)

    The past several months have been one of the most tumultuous periods in New York State's educational history, culminating several years of false starts and disarray in education policy. It's not without precedent, though, and history has valuable lessons for New York today.

    Disillusionment and disavowal of recent educational practices
    In December, President

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    photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

    In his 2016 State of the State Address, Governor Andrew Cuomo promised to “invest $1 million to create an expert, non-partisan commission to develop a blueprint for a [constitutional] convention.” New Yorkers will vote on Nov. 7, 2017 on whether to call a state constitutional convention and the commission would educate the public on what a “yes” vote might entail.

    Traditionally, such commissions have taken the constitutional convention process

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    Governor Cuomo presents his 2014-2015 Executive Budget

    In 1975 New York City was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, having balanced its budget for years with massive borrowing and shady accounting tricks. Banks were at the point where they would lend no more. Mayor Abe Beame had written the announcement of the city's default. City lawyers were in State Supreme Court filing a petition for bankruptcy and police were prepared to serve

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    Cuomo and de Blasio in 2014, photo via Governor's Office

    When Mayor Bill de Blasio exploded in frustration with Governor Andrew Cuomo on June 30 of last year, there were three key issues that set him off. The mayor felt that in the final negotiations of the Albany legislative session that had just ended, Cuomo had not been an ally on rent regulations, mayoral control of city schools, and the 421-a tax break program meant to spur affordable housing development, each of which was extended in a way that the mayor and many other city officials saw as

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    New York City Hall

    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo released his Executive Budget for fiscal year 2017, which, for the state, begins April 1. It was not without controversy for the city, with Cuomo including significant cuts to state aid for city Medicaid and CUNY costs. Mayor Bill de Blasio and others from the city pushed back quickly and firmly,

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

    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday January 15

    PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Governor Cuomo gives his State of the State address, via the governor's office

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    Cuomo taking the podium for his State of the State

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo's sixth State of the State address was a dichotomy of the mundane and the moving, the political and the personal, striking contrasts whereby he celebrated infrastructure projects and lamented the status of the poor, homeless, and jobless.

    As much as Cuomo tried to steer the conversation toward past achievements and future successes he also decried the state's failures to boost the economy for all, house a growing homeless population, and provide low-income

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    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin, Governor's Office)

    Governor Cuomo is going big. Decrying a state that has lost its ambition for transformative projects like the Erie Canal, the governor has spent the past week traveling the state and announcing major infrastructure, transportation, and economic development plans. Cuomo has also revealed new pieces of his $15 minimum wage campaign and criminal justice reform policies, among others, as he sets his agenda for 2016 and frames budget negotiations in Albany.

    So far, Cuomo has outlined 14

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    (photo: nysenate.gov)

    In a landmark year for corruption in the state legislature, 2015 saw the arrest and conviction of two of the most powerful political leaders in New York. A crescendo of voices across the state -- from good government watchdogs to lawmakers -- expressed outrage and demanded stronger ethics laws and campaign finance reforms. In one sense, Albany now has the opportunity to put its money where its mouth is -- and all it needs is one signature.  

    New York is one signatory away from becoming the 17th state in the country to

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    Mayor de Blasio votes (photo via @BilldeBlasio) 

    As New Yorkers begin a year of many voting opportunities, there are important questions that elections will help answer - like who the next U.S. President will be and which party will control the state Senate - but also concern about voter fatigue and thus, turnout.

    There will be at least four chances for New Yorkers to cast votes in 2016, with three different primary election days leading up to November’s general election. There will be a presidential primary vote in April;

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    Gov. Cuomo & his infrastructure plans (photo via The Governor's Office on flickr)

    We don't research and write about New York's rich transportation history because we get excited about subway tokens or World's Fair era subway cars. Rather, we seek out information to help us learn from both our past mistakes and accomplishments. The most important lesson that we have learned is that we can't backtrack on investing in our existing infrastructure.

    It's easy to be seduced by projects that expand subway and rail lines, but they can't come at

  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall

    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Eyes are on Albany this week as we head toward Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State and budget address on Wednesday in the capital. The governor has spent the past week rolling out pieces of his agenda, including events and announcements over the weekend, largely focused on infrastructure, but also criminal justice reform, the minimum wage, economic development, and more.

    The two houses of the state

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

    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday January 8

    IMAGE OF THE WEEK: Penn Station rendering, via Governor Cuomo's office on flickr; Mayor de Blasio's signs paid parental leave personnel order for

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    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)

    The year 2016 could go down in history as the pivotal year in New York's fight against HIV/AIDS. Nearly 35 years after The New York Times reported the first cases of what would later be recognized as AIDS, New York State is poised to become the first jurisdiction in the world to end its HIV epidemic, even without a cure, by stopping new infections and ending AIDS deaths.

    Thanks to Governor Andrew Cuomo's leadership, New York State has developed a viable plan that, if fully funded

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    Cuomo with a new Penn Station plan (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin, Governor's Office)

    Governor Cuomo deserves credit for jumpstarting the Moynihan Station project this week, albeit under a different moniker. After decades of neglect, commuters and long-distance travelers deserve light, air, and dignity.

    But Cuomo's plan neglects the deeper problems that have long plagued Penn

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    Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)

    Lawmakers returning to Albany this week to kick off the 2016 legislative session are faced with a litany of unresolved issues from last year and the spectre of the recent convictions of two former legislative leaders.

    Add to that impending elections for all 213 legislative seats, some of which will be critical for the future of state Senate control and the prospect of future indictments hinted at by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and you have a recipe for potential

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    The pledge (photo via @CitizensUnionNY)

    Lawmakers returned to Albany for the first day of the 2016 legislative session in the wake of two seismic corruption convictions of their former house leaders. Waiting for them were representatives of three leading good government groups, asking New York state legislators to sign a pledge to fight for good government reform.

    On the first day of session since both former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos were convicted on multiple federal corruption charges, good government groups unveiled a

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    De Blasio and Cuomo, via the Governor's Office

    They are elected to lead millions of people, to handle billions of taxpayer dollars, and to develop effective public policy. To be as effective as possible, they must work together.

    Yet, they barely speak to each other and won't even say each other's name in public.

    There is simply no way that the ongoing feud between Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio isn't hurting New Yorkers. The behavior of the two men - New York City's top two elected leaders - is beneath the esteem