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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union
 

Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio

  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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,

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  • 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

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  • espinal and bdb by jeffrey wz reed

    Council Member Espinal and Mayor de Blasio (photo: Jeffry W Reed)


    About a year ago, the City Council approved a comprehensive rezoning plan for East New York, the first of a dozen neighborhoods that the city targeted for new land use rules in an effort to develop more housing, including affordable housing, and improve community amenities. As with any rezoning, the plan approved in April 2016 was many months in the making and negotiated in close consultation with the local City Council member, in this case Rafael

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  • bill de blasio

    Mayor de Blasio (Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Federal and state prosecutors, who had for the last year been investigating the fundraising activities of Mayor Bill de Blasio and his associates, announced on Thursday that they would not be bringing any criminal charges in the two parallel investigations.

    The mayor and his aides had been the subject of two probes -- a federal investigation into allegations of quid pro quo in their fundraising for his 2013 campaign and

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  • de blasio media

    Mayor de Blasio speaks to the media (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio regularly expresses frustration with the ways New York media covers him and his administration. He believes that his accomplishments are not given enough ink and airtime, and that journalists focus too much on any sign of mistake or conflict, trivial matters, and the “personalities” as he feuds with Governor Andrew Cuomo and Comptroller Scott Stringer.

    De Blasio believes that reporters and editors do not reflect in their coverage what New Yorkers really

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  • de blasio aides courtyard

    Mayor de Blasio & aides in a courtyard (photo: Mayor's Office on flickr)


    The investigations into Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration have cost the city $10.5 million in outside legal defense spending so far, and might cost millions more, said Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter at a City Council preliminary budget hearing on Monday.

    Carter, who heads the city’s Law Department, testified before the Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations that the state and federal investigations into the mayor

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  • cuomo flanagan heastie budget

    Heastie, Cuomo, Flanagan (photo: Governor's Office/Kevin P. Coughlin)


    With a new state budget due by the end of the month, the Senate and Assembly are finalizing their one-house budget resolutions. The one-house statements of priorities in the Democrat-controlled Assembly and Republican-controlled Senate will be passed this week, and their passage signals the official start to the negotiations that will yield a state spending plan for the new fiscal year, which begins April 1.

    The one-house budgets are shaped, in part, by a

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  • de blasio judges city hal

    Mayor de Blasio swears-in judges (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    In June 2016, the United States Supreme Court overturned the corruption conviction of former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell, ruling that his help to a constituent who gave him thousands of dollars in gifts did not break the law. The ruling, which examined the meaning of an “official act,” set a new precedent for corruption prosecutions

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  • de blasio town hall sunlight

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


    Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent meeting with federal prosecutors signalled that the investigation into his fundraising for his 2013 campaign and his now-defunct nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York, are winding down. There’s no indication yet whether the mayor or any of his associates will face charges, and the mayor’s office has stated that de Blasio himself is not the target of the probe. The administration is confident that “at all times the Mayor and his staff

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  • bdb trump tower

    Mayor de Blasio at Trump Tower (photo: Gotham Gazette)


    Perhaps so as not to pour salt in the wound, Mayor Bill de Blasio took a few days to give his assessment of what went wrong for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. But, since he started to explain his take on how the Democrats blew it and the country wound up with Donald Trump as President, de Blasio has laid out in sharp terms what he believes should have been done differently.

    “I think the campaign became about the wrong thing,” de Blasio said during a February 10 taping of Pod Save

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  • Paul Massey at City Hall mayoral candidate

    Paul Massey (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    Mayoral candidate Paul Massey, a real estate executive running for the Republican nomination, has promised to not accept financial campaign contributions from people who do business with the city. But, that pledge does not apply to his current campaign, which has already received about two dozen donations from people with city business.

    While Massey has made the promise on the trail, when presented with Gotham Gazette’s analysis

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  • dinapoli speaking podium

    State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli (photo: @NYSComptroller)


    As City Council hearings on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s preliminary budget plan began Thursday morning at City Hall, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a new report on the city’s finances. “External risks threaten NYC budget,” the report blares, raising additional red flags to those already in the air courtesy of de Blasio’s own budget office, city Comptroller Scott Stringer, and others.

    DiNapoli’s report, “Review of the Financial Plan of the City of New York,” is part of his job

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  • Ferreras-Copeland City Council budget hearing

    Council Finance Chair Ferreras-Copeland (two photos: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The City Council held its first hearing on Thursday to examine Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $84.7 billion preliminary budget for fiscal year 2018, starting the next phase in a months-long process to determine the city’s spending priorities amid broad uncertainty about its fiscal future.

    Roughly $7 billion in federal funding to the city is threatened by the proposed policies of the Trump administration and the Republican Congress in

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  • de blasio state of the city aerial

    Mayor de Blasio gives his State of the City speech (photo: The Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio met with federal prosecutors on Friday, the latest step in the ongoing investigations into the mayor and his associates. In the face of multiple probes, the mayor maintains that he and his government and campaign teams acted appropriately; that no government action was promised or given for donations; and that everything done was within the bounds of local, state, and federal laws.

    We’ll soon see if

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  • de Blasio

    Mayor de Blasio presents his budget (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The city’s annual budget season kicked off on January 25 with the release of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $84.7 billion preliminary budget for fiscal year 2018, which begins July 1. Starting Thursday, the City Council will hold weeks of hearings to examine the financial plan,

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  • de Blasio speech dining room gracie

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


    A report released by the city Independent Budget Office has raised questions about the potential effects of the so-called “mansion tax,” a proposed part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing strategy that would levy a 2.5 percent surcharge on the sale price over a threshold of $2 million for residential properties.

    De Blasio put forward a version of the mansion tax proposal, which requires approval by the State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo, in mid-2015. It failed

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  •  rory lancman presser city hall

    City Council Member Rory Lancman, the author (photo: @RoryLancman)


    We’re now more than 30 days into Donald Trump’s presidency, and it is already crystal clear that the hostile and offensive rhetoric he used toward immigrants on the campaign trail will be put into practice by his administration.

    It was just this week that Trump’s Department of Homeland Security issued ...