Quantcast

Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union
Loading

Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio

  • Sharpton Distances from De Blasio, Says Reelection Support Not a Given

    Sharpton De Blasio

    De Blasio and Sharpton (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Reverend Al Sharpton, the national civil rights leader, radio and television host, and founder and president of the National Action Network (NAN), is emphatically disinterested in the nitty-gritty of local politics and says that his support for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is not unconditional.

    Gotham Gazette sought comment from Sharpton on his relationship with de Blasio, a first-term Democrat who is running for reelection this year, and how he gauges the mayor’s leadership and

    ...
  • At First Executive Budget Hearing, Council Pushes Unfunded Priorities

    mmv budget

    Speaker Mark-Viverito (all photos: John McCarten/City Council)


    The City Council held its first hearing on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $84.86 billion executive budget for fiscal year 2018 on Thursday, and Council members gave the mayor a mixed review for his updated spending plan. They praised de Blasio for increasing funding for a number of recommendations made by the Council and for taking steps to control the capital budget. But, Council members expressed concern that crucial priorities remained unfunded, or underfunded, even as the latest budget plan increased projected

    ...
  • Federal Government Halts City’s Plan to Establish Private Sector Retirement Savings Program

    de Blasio retirement savings

    (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor’s Office)


    Through a recently-signed resolution, President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress have struck a death blow to New York City’s plan to become the first city in the country to establish a retirement savings program for private-sector employees.

    After advocates and elected officials identified a crisis in the limited amount most workers have saved for retirement and started calling for government action, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced during his February 2016 State of the

    ...
  • De Blasio and Homelessness: A New Progressive Mayor Wrestles with an Old Social Problem

    de Blasio Banks homelessness

    Mayor de Blasio & Commissioner Banks (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    This is part one of a three-part series.

    Part One: The Challenge of Homeless Policy
    During the course of his overwhelmingly successful campaign for mayor, Bill de Blasio made poverty and income inequality his main issues. As the liberal journalist and fervent de Blasio supporter Eric Alterman put the matter, “De Blasio made economic inequality the central issue in his campaign and attempted to tie nearly

    ...
  • De Blasio Wrestles with Homelessness -- Part Two: Setbacks and Responses

    de Blasio Banks McCray homeless shelter

    Mayor de Blasio & aides visit a shelter (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    This is part two of a three-part series, De Blasio and Homelessness: A New Progressive Mayor Wrestles with an Old Social Problem, by Peter Nasaw and Thomas J. Main. [Jump to Part One: The Challenge of Homeless Policy]

    Part Two: Setbacks and

    ...
  • De Blasio Wrestles with Homelessness -- Part Three: Can de Blasio Turn the Tide?

    de Blasio new homelessness plan

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    This is part three of a three-part series: De Blasio and Homelessness: A New Progressive Mayor Wrestles with an Old Social Problem, by Peter Nasaw and Thomas J. Main. [Jump to Part One: The Challenge of Homeless Policy or

    ...
  • De Blasio Increases Spending and Savings in $84.86 Billion Executive Budget

    de blasio budget

    The Mayor presents the budget (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayor's Office)


    Nearly $200 million more in spending and $587 million in savings were added to the budget for the 2018 fiscal year in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s latest iteration of the city’s spending plan released on Wednesday.

    The mayor presented an $84.86 billion executive budget, which increased proposed spending from the $84.67 billion proposed in the preliminary budget in January. The new spending is targeted at early childhood education, job creation, veterans services, anti-eviction

    ...
  • De Blasio Skeptical of Cuomo’s New Budget Powers

    Cuomo de Blasio

    De Blasio & Cuomo (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As part of the budget deal announced earlier this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo highlighted the inclusion of new power his administration now has to adjust the state spending plan mid-year given significant federal cuts to New York. While Cuomo said it is an important provision in the state budget given uncertainty and threats from Washington D.C., Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed skepticism.

    When he announced a deal with the state Legislature on April 7, Cuomo outlined the major

    ...
  • De Blasio Defends Limited Media Access

    de blasio reporters

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Joanna Graham/Mayor's Office)


    "It’s scintillating,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said wryly when a reporter asked if he enjoys taking questions from the press. The mayor left it at that and called on another questioner, toward the end of an open question-and-answer session that followed de Blasio’s announcement of new anti-smoking measures at a news conference last week.

    Over the course of about 30 minutes of Q-and-A on any topics reporters wanted to ask the mayor about, de Blasio on Wednesday fielded an unusual number of

    ...
  • 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

    ...
  • De Blasio Holds Town Hall as Week on Staten Island Nears Conclusion

    de blasio oddo staten island

    De Blasio & Oddo on Staten Island (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As Mayor Bill de Blasio’s week on Staten Island neared a close Thursday evening, City Council Member Debi Rose told a north shore town hall audience that “Staten Island can no longer use the moniker that we are ‘The Forgotten Borough.’” In opening remarks before introducing de Blasio at I.S. 27, Rose said that the mayor’s attention to the borough had negated that longtime, self-given nickname of neglect.

    From Monday through Friday, de Blasio and his

    ...
  • 10 Key Takeaways for New York City from the New State Budget

    Cuomo de Blasio


    A new $153 billion New York state budget was passed through the Legislature Sunday evening, nine days into the new fiscal year, following a particularly lengthy and tumultuous negotiation period.

    After Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a budget deal Friday night, the Assembly approved the budget Saturday, while State senators -- called back to Albany from their districts -- moved through the final budget bills the following day.

    Within the spending plan are items that have serious ramifications for New York

    ...
  • Investigations Into De Blasio Spurred City Reform, Renewed Calls for State Changes

    de blasio spotlight town hall

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayor's Office)


    Although it was recently announced that Mayor Bill de Blasio and his aides would not be charged in two separate investigations related to their fundraising activities, both cases prompted widespread calls for reform of campaign finance laws and closure of holes that allow, even encourage, a pay-to-play political culture.

    The two parallel investigations, at the state and federal levels, exposed vulnerabilities in the law that allowed the

    ...
  • De Blasio Goes Local with ‘City Hall in Your Borough’ Series

    de Blasio Staten Island Oddo

    De Blasio at a Staten Island town hall (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio will be on Staten Island this week in the first of five “City Hall in Your Borough” sojourns wherein the mayor, who is up for reelection this fall, is bringing city government local. De Blasio, many of his commissioners, top aides, and City Hall staff will work out of borough hall, hold constituent office hours and a variety of events on the island, and attempt to immerse themselves in borough issues for the week.

    The mayor chose

    ...
  • Deal or No Deal? State Budget Negotiations Drag & New York City Waits

    Cuomo desk

    Cuomo (photo: The Governor's Office)


    Though Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders indicated for more than a week they were "very close" to a budget deal, negotiations appeared to collapse on Wednesday, and senators were sent back to their districts for their regularly scheduled Passover and Easter break. Cuomo held a press conference at the state Capitol outlining areas of agreement and major sticking points, but he indicated negotiations would continue - at some point.

    Now, seven days into the new fiscal year, it appears that a new compromise

    ...
  • De Blasio’s 'Piecemeal' Transportation Agenda

    de blasio subway

    Mayor de Blasio on the subway (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor’s Office)


    Announcing the next steps of his citywide ferry service initiative at a recent press conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he is pleased with what his administration has done to improve transit options for New Yorkers, but admitted that he hasn’t put forth a coherent, comprehensive transportation agenda.

    Though transit experts have praised some of de Blasio’s moves to expand the city’s transportation network, many have also criticized

    ...
  • De Blasio Could Still Face Penalties in State Senate Fundraising Investigation

    de blasio crane shadow

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance recently concluded his investigation into the effort by Mayor Bill de Blasio and his aides to funnel campaign funds to Democratic state Senate candidates in 2014. Vance did not bring any charges in the case, writing in a ten-page letter to the state Board of Elections enforcement counsel Risa Sugarman, who had referred the case for prosecution, that “the parties involved cannot be appropriately prosecuted, given their reliance on

    ...
  • In a Bind, De Blasio May Explore Legal Defense Fund Legislation

    de Blasio city hall rotunda

    Mayor de Blasio at City Hall (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    When the Conflicts of Interest Board issued an advisory opinion last week limiting donations to legal defense funds set up by public officials, Mayor Bill de Blasio pointed out that the opinion posed a “potential solution” in the form of new legislation and that similar defense funds have long existed in

    ...
  • De Blasio Pulled to Rikers Closure by Mark-Viverito, Activists

    de Blasio Rikers

    De Blasio at Rikers (photo: Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday that he is putting into motion a planning process to close the jails on Rikers Island. The mayor, a first-term Democrat up for re-election this fall, was pulled somewhat begrudgingly to the politically- and fiscally-tenuous position by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who called for Rikers to be closed in her 2016 State of the City speech and formed a commission to create a plan to do so. That commission, led by former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, is set to

    ...
  • Despite Record Low Crime, Massey Attempts to Make Public Safety a Campaign Issue

    Massey City Hall presser

    Paul Massey (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    Real estate executive Paul Massey, a leading Republican mayoral contender, held a week-long campaign launch earlier this month, concluding with a focus on community policing. Having visited each borough with a daily theme, Massey said in an email blast on March 17, “I’ve heard many concerns in my discussions with city residents this week and one that stands out is that our city feels less safe.”

    It wasn’t the first time Massey made the claim, and it wasn’t

    ...
  • Conflicts of Interest Board Opinion Could Limit Mayor's Legal Defense Fund

    de Blasio justice legal defense

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


    Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to create a legal defense fund to pay fees incurred from the recently concluded state and federal investigations into his fundraising activities may face significant hurdles after the Conflicts of Interest Board issued an advisory on Wednesday establishing clear contribution limits for such defense funds.

    The mayor and his administration were the subject of two separate corruption investigations -- a federal probe into whether

    ...
  • De Blasio’s ‘Fearless’ Moment

    de Blasio fearless girl statue

    De Blasio & "Fearless Girl" (photos: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio walked swiftly down Broadway Monday afternoon with a big smile on his face. The mayor approached the entrance to a barricaded area in which he was about to address gathered members of the media and was stopped for a photo by a group of Girl Scouts. He gladly obliged, then proceeded, approaching the Wall Street Bull, but stopping a few yards short at his destination, the “Fearless Girl” statue.

    De Blasio knelt beside the small statue

    ...
  • 15 Questions for the Final Week of State Budget Negotiations

    Cuomo de Blasio press conference 2014

    De Blasio & Cuomo in 2014 (photo: The Governor's Office)


    The New York State budget, which is expected to be delivered on time, is due April 1, but as state government leaders enter the final week of negotiations there are many questions left open for New York City.

    These include the fate of more than $100 millions in state-to-city funding cuts proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo; whether more than $1 billion in affordable housing funding will be released; final budgetary allocations toward

    ...
  • Budget Watchdogs Question De Blasio’s 'Mansion Tax'

    de blasio mansion tax

    De Blasio pitches his mansion tax (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Budget watchdogs have expressed concern that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “mansion tax” proposal, which would impose levies on real estate transactions above $2 million, may be misguided or even unnecessary.

    De Blasio made a last-minute trip to Albany on Wednesday to rally with Democratic lawmakers and progressive advocates in favor of a number of proposals currently being considered in state budget negotiations. The mayor’s chief concern,

    ...
  • In Albany, De Blasio and Democrats Push ‘Mansion Tax’

    bdb albany mansion tax rally rachel 

    De Blasio in Albany (photo: Rachel Silberstein/Gotham Gazette)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio journeyed to Albany Wednesday to rally with Democratic legislators and activists for the extension of the “millionaires’ tax,” set to expire this year, as well as the “mansion tax,” a proposal the mayor has been pushing since 2015. De Blasio and his allies called for both to be part of the new state budget due by April 1.

    Citing the threats of deep federal budget cuts from President Donald Trump’s administration and a

    ...