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Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio

  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 14

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Mayor Bill de Blasio has reason to smile as this week begins. Through negotiations with the City Council and outside critics, de Blasio appears to have gotten just about everyone on board with his citywide zoning changes and they are all-but-certain to be passed through the City Council over the next two weeks - first through committee this week, then the full Council on March 22. The City Planning Commission has to

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  • The Right Model to Follow for Diversity at Specialized High Schools

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    Student debaters (photo: @NYCschools)

     


     

    Last week, 5,000 eighth graders got the exciting news that they were offered admission to one of the city's eight test-in Specialized High Schools, which offer a quality public school education unmatched in the country. But while the vast majority come from poor, working class and immigrant families, as has always been the case, once again far too few come from the black and Latino communities.

    Black and Latino students comprise a large majority in the city's public school system and should

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  • Addressing NYC's School Overcrowding Crisis

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    Protesting school overcrowding in Queens


    All parents in New York City deserve the peace of mind that their children will be able to attend a school where they can thrive and grow. Unfortunately, following years of neglect from the Bloomberg administration, our city's school system is plagued by school overcrowding and excessive class sizes, where hundreds of thousands of our children simply don't have adequate space to learn.

    With education a top priority for the city, it's critical that our leaders take strong action to address the chronic underfunding of our city's school

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 7

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Budget season heats up this week: the state budget is due by the end of the month, the legislature's one-house budgets are expected this week, as are further negotiations among Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and Senate President John Flanagan, and New York City budget hearings continue. After holding its ...

  • Key to Vision of Closing Rikers, City Council Bail Fund Moves Through State Process

    MMV SOTC bail fund story

    Mark-Viverito delivers her State of the City (photo: William Alatriste)


    Last year, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled her plan for a fund that would cover bail for poor individuals charged with low-level criminal offenses who would otherwise be forced to wait in a city jail for their court date. The Council dedicated $1.4 million of budget funds to back the project, which is nearing

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, Feb. 29-March 4

    week in review bus readers

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


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday March 4, 2016

    PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Mayor de Blasio and City Council Member Robert Cornegy Jr. visit Bed-Stuy businesses, via William Alatriste;

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  • Will the Democrats' Fresh Entitlements Lift Poor Families?

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    De Blasio on a school visit (photo: Ed Reed, Mayoral Photography Office)


    Circle time at preschool teaches much about civility and unity, how best to contribute to a pint-size society.

    So when little Lela whispered from the corner, "I'm ready to come back," teacher Katie Wassel in Washington Heights figured lesson learned, the 4-year-old rejoined a tight crescent of fidgeting peers seated on a colorful rug. You can't elbow your neighbor at circle time.

    Hillary Clinton draws a wide and inclusive circle all her own, pitching fresh entitlements

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  • Several Significant Questions About The Governor's Budget

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    Gov. Cuomo at his State of the State (via The Governor's Office)


    Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2016-2017 budget proposal has legislators and budget experts scratching their heads as to how major capital projects will be paid for, how the state plans to make good on a promise to fund the MTA, and how certain measures might affect funding for New York City. Many are wondering if the governor will keep his pledge that his plan to shift millions in costs for CUNY and Medicaid "won't cost New York City a penny."

    These questions linger almost two months

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  • City Council to Begin Public Examination of Mayor's Budget

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    Mayor de Blasio briefs Council members on his FY17 budget (William Alatriste)


    On Tuesday, the City Council will hold the first of many preliminary budget hearings on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s initial fiscal year 2017 spending plan, part of a months-long negotiation process that will end in June when the City Council and the Mayor must agree upon a budget for fiscal year 2017.

    First in general terms, then agency by agency, the Council will ask de Blasio

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  • A Closer Look at De Blasio's Neighborhood Rezoning Plans

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    (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office)


    See interactive map below

    Mayor de Blasio's housing plan is moving forward on a few levels. There are the citywide zoning proposals (Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability) being considered by the City Council in February and March. If passed, these will change the zoning rules for the entire city, including a first-time requirement that whenever a developer receives an upzoning for a

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  • Shut Down the Criminal Court

    courtroom


    City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito should be commended for using her State of the City address, titled "More Justice," to call for criminal justice reform. She rightly observes that "we need more justice in the justice system" and ticked off some specific goals, including reducing the population at Rikers Island, creating civil procedures for minor violations, and improving the warrant process. However, the speaker

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  • Private Sector Retirement Security Plans Become Next Progressive Cause

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    De Blasio delivers his State of the City (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office) 


    Experts warn that the entire country could be headed for a financial crisis caused by the fact that an aging workforce has not been saving for retirement.

    Whether due to cutbacks of public pensions, the lack of retirement plans offered by private employers, or workers forced to raid their savings, it appears to a growing number of advocates and politicians that many Americans will be forced to keep

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, February 22

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week will see a new member of the New York City Council elected; further debate over the de Blasio administration's housing plans; a return to Albany for state legislators in the midst of budget season; a number of interesting conferences and panel events; and much more.

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  • In Departure from Predecessors, De Blasio Administration Overhauls City Welfare System

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    Steve Banks, left, & de Blasio at a homeless shelter (Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office) 


    The de Blasio administration is more than halfway through an ambitious overhaul of its welfare system that was initiated last year and is drawing strong reactions. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Commissioner Steven Banks, who runs the city’s Human Resources Administration, did away with strict work requirements for people seeking public assistance and established a more conciliatory framework

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  • De Blasio to Sign Higher Raises for Council Than He Previously Approved

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    Mayor de Blasio & Speaker Mark-Viverito (photo: William Alatriste)


    On Friday morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio will sign a package of legislation into law that will raise the salaries of all of the city’s elected officials, and reform the job descriptions of City Council members.

    The City Council held only ...

  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, February 15

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This President's Day week will be somewhat quiet, with both the City Council and state Legislature on break, as they usually are to coincide wit schools being closed. The weekend was a busy one in Albany, though, where the Legislature's Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus held its annual caucus weekend of conferences and celebrations. Mayor Bill de Blasio and many other elected officials took part, in addition to caucus

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  • Comptroller Raises Several Flags in Budget Analysis

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    Comptroller Scott Stringer (photo via Stringer's office)

     


     

    In an analysis of Mayor Bill de Blasio's preliminary fiscal year 2017 budget unveiled on Wednesday, Comptroller Scott Stringer pointed to several areas of concern amid a still-positive overall financial picture for New York City.

    Speaking to members of the media assembled in a conference room at his Manhattan offices, Stringer said that the "budget cushion," or savings, that de Blasio has allocated is insufficient to properly prepare for an economic downturn and

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  • Real Affordable Housing for Our Communities

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    photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office


    When I think about my family's future in New York City, I wonder: will there be an affordable, safe, and healthy apartment where I can raise my children and still be able to provide them with everything else that they need?

    This is the question that our city government has to address if it wants to protect low-income and working class New Yorkers.

    My husband and I live in Bushwick in a one-bedroom apartment with our three children—one of whom has special needs—and

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  • De Blasio Pushed to Include Local Jobs in Neighborhood Rezonings

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    Mayor de Blasio talks with parents (photo: Ed Reed, Mayor's Office) 


    Community advocates are making it clear that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plans to rezone neighborhoods are not acceptable unless they include broader economic development initiatives like local hiring.

    As part of his ambitious affordable housing plan, de Blasio has announced several communities the city plans to rezone first in an effort to create more density, build affordable units, and improve neighborhoods. When the mayor initially

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, February 8

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    State budget hearings continue in Albany this week, but excitement in the capital is centered around the presence of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who makes a rare visit to Albany, where he'll participate in several events Monday, including one with good government groups where he'll discuss ethics and corruption in state government.

    Meanwhile, in New York City, on Sunday Mayor Bill de Blasio announced new

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  • De Blasio Stresses Neighborhood Health in 'One City' Vision

    BdB SOTC

    Mayor de Blasio delivers his State of the City (Mayor's Office)


    Strong neighborhoods are essential to a just city, Mayor Bill de Blasio argued from the Bronx Thursday evening, delivering his third State of the City address. De Blasio's speech was long on markers of progress and acknowledgement of the city's uniformed workforce, and included several new proposals ranging from the nitty gritty of city management to major innovations.

    The theme of the speech, according to the mayor, was "one New York: working for our neighborhoods," and de Blasio made the case that the

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  • Planning Commission Sends Mayor's Zoning Proposals to City Council

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    Mayor de Blasio & Planning Chair Carl Weisbrod (photo: The Mayor's Office) 


    As expected, the City Planning Commission passed two major components of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s housing plan on Wednesday morning, sending the amendments on to City Council for public hearings on Feb. 9 and 10.

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  • Is Mayor De Blasio Putting Students First?

    de blasio education

    Mayor de Blasio (photo via The Mayor's Office)


    Mayor de Blasio's annual State of the City address is a natural time to take a step back and review his performance running the largest school system in the United States. For StudentsFirstNY, our most basic litmus test for policymakers is a simple question – are they putting the interests of students first? After two full years with Mayor de Blasio, we can definitively say that the answer is "no."

    In analyzing Mayor de Blasio's stewardship of city schools, there are several themes that

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  • Planning Commission Vote Will Send Zoning Proposals to City Council

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    Council Member Greenfield leads a press conference (photo: William Alatriste) 


    The next ten days are an especially critical period for Mayor Bill de Blasio's housing plan. While negotiations around a new state-level program to incentivize affordable housing production continue and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has promised to soon flesh out general affordable housing plans he announced during his recent State of the State speech, city-level changes being sought by de Blasio are on the move.

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  • The City's Next Steps to Ensure Vibrant, Creative Communities

    nyc culture

    photo via @NYCulture


    Earlier this month, the city's Department of Cultural Affairs announced a promising new program aimed at strengthening cultural organizations in targeted neighborhoods. The initiative, known as Building Community Capacity, was introduced in conjunction with Mayor de Blasio's rezoning proposal in East New York, where the program will be launched.

    The new initiative is

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