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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

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Brooklyn

  • Can Anyone Defeat Eric Gonzalez for Brooklyn DA?

    tish and gonzalez

    Acting Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez with Public Advocate Tish James


    With just days before Brooklynites head to the polls and decide who will be the borough’s next district attorney, a position briefly held and transformed by the late Kenneth Thompson, the field is crowded with Democratic candidates, each vying to present him or herself as the most progressive, best-suited option to carry on Thompson’s legacy.

    Of the six Democratic candidates who will be on Tuesday’s ballot, the frontrunner -- having raised the most money and scooped up endorsements

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  • Two Very Different Democratic Assembly Primaries in Brooklyn

    Pam Harris voting via Facebook

    Assemblymember Harris votes (photo via Facebook)


    Among the upcoming legislative primary elections, two Brooklyn State Assembly races with very different storylines are intensifying. Unusual electoral circumstances in the 44th and 46th Assembly Districts make the contests races to watch. Located in Downtown Brooklyn, the 44th seat, which is opening up due to the retirement of the longtime incumbent, is home to a short, frenzied primary race among three Democrats. In the 46th, an embattled short-term incumbent and an

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  • The Urban Agenda Our Growing Cities Demand

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    Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, the author (photo via @BPEricAdams)


    Communities like what we have in Brooklyn represent the future of the United States — vibrant places where people from around the world come to achieve their ambitions.

    After many years in which many of our great cities declined in stature, young professionals and couples now want to build their careers and start families in urban America, and older adults want to enjoy their golden years in cities as well. I often say that there are only two kinds

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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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  • City Council Raises Provoke Questions About Staff Pay

    city council members budget announcement

    Members of the City Council (photo: William Alatriste) 


    As New York City Council members voted on a package of legislation that increased their salaries from $112,500 to $148,500, aides to two Council members stood silently in the balcony of the Council chambers, wearing white t-shirts that read, “Paycheck to Paycheck, Pay Raises for All.”

    The $36,000 salary bump for Council members is about the same amount of money that many of their staff members make in a year. These are aides filling roles such as

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  • Ten Days in the Life of a Police Reform Advocate

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    PROP volunteers, including the author (photo: @PROPNYC)


    In a recent ten-day period I had experiences that taught me new things about bad NYPD practices, reinforced my cynicism about the lame way that mainstream politicians, including officials who self-identify as progressives, posture on policing issues, and strengthened my determination to press aggressively for fundamental and meaningful changes in NYPD policies. My organization, PROP - the Police Reform Organizing

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  • What To Do When The L Train Closes

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    Out of service (photo: MTA/Patrick Cashin)


    The denizens of Williamsburg and Bushwick have responded to news of potential multiyear L train closures with a mix of shock, despair, and irritation. People are talking through the alternatives: taking the G, J, and M trains; boarding the East River Ferry; or even (gasp!) riding the bus. Quite likely Williamsburgers will also summon a swarm of UberPools and Lyft Lines unlike any seen in our time.

    Hysterics aside, it’s unlikely that the MTA would do a full, year-long

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  • Brooklyn Neighborhoods Look to Address School Overcrowding, Avoid Rezoning Issues Seen Elsewhere

    bk overcrowding forum

    The community school forum (photo: @JoAnneSimonBK52) 


    As rezoning problems plague some city school districts, leaders in one area of Brooklyn are looking to avoid similar pitfalls while reducing overcrowding.

    In Carroll Gardens last week, local officials and parents gathered in the PS 58 auditorium to discuss overcrowding issues facing three elementary schools. Like others across the city, District 15 - which includes the schools at

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, Sept. 28-Oct. 2

    week in review bus readers

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


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday October 2

    PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: Mayor de Blasio does some road repaving on Staten Island, via the Mayor's Office; Gov. Cuomo checks out the beer at the Anheuser

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  • Reforming Solitary Confinement At The City's Biggest Psych Ward — Rikers Island

    Ismael-Nazario-Solitary-Confinement

    NEW YORK — After about three days of being isolated in “the Box” away from his fellow detainees at Rikers Island, Ismael Nazario was beginning to break.

    "That's when it started to take it's toll,” he said, conjuring memories of his time in punitive segregation — solitary confinement — in

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