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Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio

  • Board of Elections to Face City Council Questioning

    bill de blasio voting april 2016

    Voting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    When the presidential primaries hit New York last month, they landed with a frenzy and, in New York City, something of a thud. Not only did the Democratic and Republican contests include candidate competition around the city and state, but the city Board of Elections added an entirely other bit of far less welcome drama.

    Over 100,000 missing Brooklyn Democratic voters from the rolls and widespread complaints of mismanagement - ...

  • NYCHA's 'Core Challenge'

    torres twin parks west nycha

    Council Member Torres & "VP Nelson" at Twin Parks West (photo via NYCHA on flickr)


    In a special edition of "Max & Murphy on Housing," our weekly discussion of New York housing politics, City Council Member Ritchie Torres joined Jarrett Murphy and me to discuss the New York City Housing Authority, or NYCHA, which Torres has oversight of as chair of the Council's public housing committee. Torres also grew up in NYCHA housing in the Bronx. The Democratic

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  • Pre-K Offers Parents Opportunity at Economic Gain

    families queens library mayor's visit

    Scene at the Queens Library (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Three years after Bill de Blasio promised universal pre-kindergarten in his mayoral campaign, New York City alone has more enrolled preschoolers than any other state except for Georgia. The city’s free Pre-K For All program received interest from 6,500 families on its first day of accepting applications in 2014. Now more than 68,000

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  • A Closer Look at BQX Funding Plans

    bqx presser bdb

    photo via nyc.gov


    In his State of the City address on February 4, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a major new transportation project: a “state-of-the-art” streetcar that will run the waterfront on a 16-mile route between Sunset Park in Brooklyn and Astoria in Queens. This Brooklyn-Queens Connector, or the BQX, has drawn a somewhat mixed response. The de Blasio administration quickly publicized support from a variety of business and civic leaders, elected officials, and several transportation advocates. Some transportation experts and residents of the

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  • 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

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  • First Executive Budget Hearing Sets Stage for Final Negotiations

    jfc budget hearing exec one

    Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland (both photos: William Alatriste)


    Following Mayor Bill de Blasio’s April 27 release of his $82.2 billion Executive Budget for fiscal year 2017, the City Council on Friday held the first of many hearings to look at the latest iteration of the city’s spending plan for the year beginning July 1. As

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 9

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    As the week begins we’re looking for more news around the plethora of ongoing investigations into the activities of Mayor Bill de Blasio, his administration, and his allies and those into Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration and allies.

    So far for this week, we know that de Blasio is due to hold an event Monday with Arianna Huffington; hold a Bronx town hall Tuesday evening; speak at a housing conference

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  • In Albany, De Blasio Argues for Mayoral Control Extension

    de blasio testimony senate

    De Blasio testifies in Albany (photo via @KellyCummings)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio received a generally friendly welcome from Senate Republicans throughout several hours of testimony in Albany on Wednesday during a hearing on mayoral control of city schools. De Blasio was peppered with questions regarding issues such as special education, charter school co-locations, mental health services, and school space, but the issue of mayoral control as a governance structure was addressed head on only in limited doses.

    For his part, de Blasio touted gains in

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 2

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week starts amid a swirl of controversy - there are several ongoing investigations into Mayor Bill de Blasio, his administration, his allies, and their fundraising practices; and, news broke Friday of ongoing investigations into associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, including his former top aide

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  • Vance Has Ties to Several in De Blasio Probe

    vance de blasio bratton presser

    Cy Vance (front) and Bill de Blasio (photo via The Mayor's Office on flickr)


    Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance finds himself in a unique situation as he takes on the investigation of efforts led by Mayor Bill de Blasio to win control of the state Senate for Democrats in 2014.

    Vance has a longstanding political relationship with de Blasio and both share a number of donors. Like de Blasio, Vance is an elected Democrat. They’ve stood together for several policy announcements over the past two-plus years since de Blasio took office as

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  • Homeowners Stand to Gain in Areas to be Rezoned, If They Can Keep Their Homes

    de blasio homeowners sign sandy

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Rob Bennett, Mayor's Office)


    As plans to spur new development in areas around New York City proceed, mostly silence surrounds the experience of homeowners who are being pressured by investors to sell. Prior to the City Council’s approval of rezoning East New York, Brooklyn last week, there had been little public discussion of how or whether to ameliorate real estate speculation on small homes. At least in East New York, some homeowner protections have been introduced to the plan, but investor-backed

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  • Conflict of Interest, Leaked Memo Cloud De Blasio Accusations

    de blasio podium

    De Blasio (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The revelation that it was Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s chosen enforcement counsel at the Board of Elections who sparked an investigation into Mayor BIll de Blasio’s fundraising activities, in the mayor’s 2014 effort to flip control of the state Senate, has raised a number of questions about motivation and independence.

    De Blasio has asserted his innocence, saying that he and his associates followed the letter of the law. He and his lawyer have used Risa Sugarman, the BOE enforcement counsel who used

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  • Despite Concerns, BOE Commissioners Call De Blasio Referral Valid

    de blasio testifying

    De Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio and his allies are under investigation for using a common fundraising tactic employed in legislative races across the state. Risa Sugarman, the state Board of Elections enforcement counsel hand-picked by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, kick-started the investigation with a criminal referral to Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance. Now, as controversy swirls around the mayor, the degree to which he and his team exploited state election law could be what the case hinges on, experts

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  • De Blasio Releases New $82B Budget with 'Targeted Investments,' Additional Savings

    de blasio budget presentation fy 17

    photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office


    Mayor Bill de Blasio released his $82.2 billion Executive Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 on Tuesday, increasing spending by about $100 million from his proposed preliminary budget while expressing concern about a possible economic slowdown and the effects of consistent underinvestment by the state and federal governments.

    The executive budget “continues a trajectory of progressive, responsible and honest budgeting,” the mayor said at the release at City Hall. “We believe that disciplined

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  • As Problems Persist, City Council to Examine Board of Elections

    bdb voting

    Mayor de Blasio voting (via The Mayor's Office @BilldeBlasio)


    On Tuesday, April 19, thousands of New Yorkers cried foul about how the city was running the state’s most consequential presidential primary elections in decades. Polling sites opened late. Ballot scanners failed. About 125,000 Democratic voters were purged from the Brooklyn rolls while others found their party affiliation had inexplicably changed. While many pointed to what is seen as typical city Board of Elections dysfunction, complaints from across the city prompted a strong official response.

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  • Earth Day Expectations for Mayor De Blasio

    de blasio queens silver presser

    photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office


    The foundation of our city is strong neighborhoods. We’re unified by common values and impacted by similar trends, from the affordability crisis to a changing climate. But each part of the city is its own living, breathing organism with a unique history, and its own set of needs.

    Mayor de Blasio has visionary goals to create a stronger, more just city neighborhood by neighborhood, but he also knows these goals won’t come easy or cheap. As the mayor gears up to release his first progress report on his ambitious

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  • 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

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, April 18

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week will be a fun one as New York votes in consequential presidential primaries on Tuesday. Expect a whole lot of last-minute campaigning and getting out the vote. All five major party presidential candidates are focused on New York, with Tuesday's results sure to have a significant impact on the races thereafter. Also Tuesday, several special elections for vacant seats in the state Legislature. Most importantly,

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  • The Mayor’s Nonprofit Experiment and His Reelection Bid

    BdB speech arm reaching

    De Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    News recently broke of a long-running federal corruption investigation involving two businesspeople with ties to Mayor Bill de Blasio, including to a much-criticized nonprofit group established to push the mayor’s agenda. The wide-ranging investigation, which also involves high-ranking NYPD officials, has again placed a spotlight on the mayor’s fund-raising and his relationships with donors, especially those with business before the city, as allegations of a pay-to-play culture

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  • Mapping New York’s Presidential Primary

    Gotham Gazette:  GOP NYS by County 2016


    A look at voting trends in New York as voters head to the polls in the 2016 presidential primaries - scroll through the presentation below created by Steven Romalewski, director of the CUNY Graduate Center's Mapping Service:

     

  • Cuomo’s 2016 Wins Shaped by Progressive Forces, Electoral Lessons

    cuomo clinton et al celebrate

    Gov. Cuomo celebrates new progressie policies (photo: Don Pollard, Governor's Office)


    Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched himself onto the national political stage this month by orchestrating a budget deal that made New York the first state to pass a $15 minimum wage and a paid family leave program. With Vice President Joe Biden at his side the governor pushed family leave; weeks later, Cuomo signed the package of “economic justice” legislation at a celebratory rally with Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary

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  • New York City’s Evolving Approach to Open Data

    crowd phones

    (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayoral Photography Office)


    During the first weekend of March, the New York City School of Data - a network of advocates, activists, and professionals for an open data ecosystem - hosted a day of panels and workshop sessions in recognition of the international day celebrating open data and the fourth anniversary of the city passing its first open data law. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who have each promoted open data initiatives, delivered keynote remarks at the event.

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  • Council Passes Bill to Improve Diversity at Upper Levels of City-Contracted Businesses

    crowley johnson lean in

    Council Member Elizabeth Crowley and colleagues (photo: William Alatriste) 


    On Thursday, the City Council approved a bill requiring the Department of Small Business Services to survey and study the gender, ethnic, and racial makeup of executive-level staff and board members of companies that contract with the city. The bill, co-sponsored by Council Members Elizabeth

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  • Major City Issues at Play in Politically Charged, Post-Budget Legislative Session

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    Gov. Cuomo announces the budget deal (photo via The Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo dismissed the idea of extending state government's legislative session this year to tackle ethics reform during an appearance in Binghamton on Wednesday. "We have a relatively light agenda because we did so much work in the budget," the governor said. "We passed the minimum wage increase, we passed paid family leave, we passed a great package for the middle class, we passed a great package for upstate New York, more education

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  • City Council Budget Response Seeks New Spending, More Savings

    bdb budget briefing w CMs

    Mayor de Blasio briefs Council members on his budget (photo: William Alatriste) 


    The City Council on Monday issued its formal response to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $82 billion preliminary budget for fiscal year 2017, capping a month of budget hearings that were fraught with ...