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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, April 4

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    We're about two weeks from New York's April 19 presidential primary vote. The three remaining Republican candidates and two remaining Democrats have been campaigning in New York, which is more in play than it has been in several cycles. Hillary Clinton is set to hold events in New York City and Albany Monday, including a rally with Gov. Cuomo and a meeting with state Assembly Democrats, and while the candidates are

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  • Confusion, Concern Remain as Cuomo Promises Full CUNY Funding

    cuny protest

    Shirley Jackson of the CUNY Student Senate at Thursday's protest (via @PSC_CUNY)


    Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget proposal to have New York City take over $485 million in funding for CUNY still has a number of legislators and advocates on edge despite the administration's repeated attempts to quell concerns. Advocates and faculty held a "die in" at Cuomo's New York City office on Thursday afternoon and a number of legislators say they remain ready to delay the state budget and vote against it should CUNY

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  • AARP Emerges as Key De Blasio Ally

    aarp ny

    AARP members pack City Council chambers (photo via @aarpny)


    There are about 800,000 AARP members in New York City and Mayor Bill de Blasio has been arm-in-arm with them of late. The organization has come out in strong support of key pieces of de Blasio's affordable housing agenda and his plan to create a city-run retirement savings program for private sector workers.

    De Blasio has sought and embraced the support, frequently engaging with AARP members and regularly citing AARP's endorsement as validation for his housing plan, specifically controversial changes to the city's zoning

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  • No Surprise Uber Drivers Are Protesting

    taxi TLC

    photo via the NYC TLC


    Uber’s New York City drivers continued to rally against the company last week at City Hall — and it was no coincidence that recent reports show most Uber drivers don’t like their jobs.

    In a new survey of Uber drivers published this month, less than half said they enjoy driving for Uber. Almost 40 percent of the drivers said they “strongly disagreed” or “disagreed” with the survey’s question about whether

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  • To Meet Staten Island Needs, Borough President Focuses on Beating Bureaucracy

    oddo torres springer meeting

    SIBP Oddo, right, & Maria Torres-Springer of the de Blasio admin (photo from Oddo's Twitter) 


    Staten Island has the highest rate of homeownership of any city borough, residents largely use cars to get around, since mass transit options are severely lacking, and despite being the city’s third largest borough in terms of square miles, Staten Island is home to just under 500,000 out of more than 8 million New Yorkers. There are a unique set of concerns on Staten Island, to

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 30

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    After a quiet Thanksgiving weekend, New York politics springs back into action Monday. As the week gets going we're watching as discussions continue around the mayor's rezoning policies, which have been seeing some significant pushback from community and borough boards.

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  • Two New Reps Join the City Council

    borelli grodenchik council

    CMs Borelli, right, & Grodenchik are sworn in next to the Speaker (photo by William Alatriste) 


    The New York City Council has two new members, each with prior experience in elected office and bringing to the 51-member body the perspective of New Yorkers living in the city's outer-reaches. Both districts being represented by new members are populated by many car- and single-family-home-owners.

    One new representative - Barry Grodenchik of Queens - brings a fairly moderate Democratic viewpoint to the

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  • Labor Leaders Declare State of Unions Strong, At Least in New York

    de blasio uft

    Mayor de Blasio at a UFT conference (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Four of New York's top labor leaders assembled recently to give a state of their unions, and to assess the broader union climate in New York and elsewhere.

    Each sounding like a determined boxer in the middle rounds of a grueling fight, they decried attacks on unions across the country, but indicated that they are pleased with the strength of the labor movement in New York. They credited intra- and inter-union solidarity for much

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  • Combatting New York's Enduring Quality-of-Life Problem: Litter

    garcia sanitation

    DSNY Commissioner Garcia (photo: @NYCSanitation)


    New York is safer and more prosperous than it's been in years, but the city still can't figure out how to stop people from trashing streets with litter.

    Despite a focus on quality of life issues, City Hall has made limited progress in dealing with a problem that has plagued mayors since the days when animals roamed Broadway. Even a small army of workers from the Department of Sanitation (DSNY), business improvement districts, and the Doe Fund still can't fully police 6,000 miles of city streets and more than 27,000

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  • Map Launched to Bring Greater Accountability to Capital Spending

    Lander map

    A screenshot of the new map launched by Council Member Brad Lander


    They are notoriously over-budget and late. Capital projects - infrastructure investments in things like transportation, parks, libraries, and schools - regularly leave members of the public wondering if their elected officials are competent or honest.

    On a large-scale, think 2nd Avenue Subway, 7-line extension, and East Side Access. But, there are also many, many smaller capital projects all over the city.

    As participatory budgeting

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  • How To Become a New York City Council Member

    bdb cms muni id alatriste

    Mayor de Blasio, a former Council member, with several current CMs (William Alatriste)


    Ask any New York City Council member and they'll tell you— there is no set formula that will send an aspiring candidate to City Hall.

    "If you want to be a lawyer, the path is the same: get a bachelor's degree, take the LSATs, go to law school, take the bar exam, and voila, you're a lawyer," Ritchie Torres, the 51-member Council's youngest rep, told Gotham Gazette. "Whereas in politics, there is no single path."

    Torres'

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  • De Blasio Moves From Media Criticism, Toward Direct Contact

    BdB Gibson August 18 willalatriste

    Mayor de Blasio at City Hall Tuesday (photo by William Alatriste)


    Mayor de Blasio declined to discuss his recent criticism of the media at a press conference on Tuesday. When asked about it, de Blasio said he wanted to stay focused on substance. The choice, along with several other moves, may be indicative of a turn in communications strategy aimed at promoting more positive news from the de Blasio administration and boosting public approval of the mayor, which recent polls show at its lowest level

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  • Conference Keys to Restore Voter Confidence Start with Campaign Finance Reform

    CFB conf panelists

    Ann Ravel, Jared DeMarinis & Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, from left (photo: @NYCCFB)


    Ninety-six percent of Americans are concerned by the role of money in politics. Ninety-one percent think there's nothing they can do to change it.

    Federal Election Commission Chair Ann Ravel presented these statistics during her keynote address at a conference - "American Elections at the Crossroads: How do we restore

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, July 13-17

    week in review bus readers

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


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday July 17

    PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Activist Russell Simmons in an electric car outside City Hall, where we was calling on Mayor de Blasio to make good on his promise to ban horse-drawn carriages ...

  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, July 6-10

    week in review bus readers

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


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday July 10

    PHOTOS OF THE WEEK:Governor Cuomo appoints AG Schneiderman as a special prosecutor in cases where police officers kill unarmed civilians, via the Governor's Office on flickr (top); mothers of individuals killed by police officers join hands after Cuomo's

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, June 22-26

    week in review bus readers

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


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday June 26

    PHOTOS OF THE WEEK:Gov. Cuomo shakes hands with Sen. Flanagan at their Thursday 'big ugly' announcement (top; via The Governor's Office on flickr); Mayor

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  • 7 Points of Contention as City Budget Deal Finalized

    BdB MMV RI

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


    “This year we're fighting for much-needed funds that will get #NYC 6-day library service citywide, more police, better parks & much more,” tweeted City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer on Monday morning.

    Van Bramer, who chairs the Council’s cultural affairs committee, where the debate over library funding has largely been heard, reminded

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  • Flanked by Business Leaders, De Blasio Continues Mayoral Control Push

    bdb classroom visit

    Mayor de Blasio in a classroom (photo: @BilldeBlasio)


    After meeting privately with a bipartisan group of business leaders at City Hall on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio told members of the media that there is widespread agreement mayoral control of city schools must be extended by Albany lawmakers. And, he said, these business leaders, Governor Andrew Cuomo, and others believe it must be extended for at least three years.

  • Education Upheaval in Albany is Backdrop to DOE Budget Hearing

    farina via levine

    Chancellor Carmen Farina testifying Thursday (photo: @MarkLevineNYC)


    With an eye on Albany, it was time Thursday morning for New York City schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to again testify in front of the City Council about her agency's proposed fiscal year 2016 budget and key education issues facing the city. The heightened level of concern with events in the capital comes amid shakeups in state leadership, important legislation on the negotiating table with deadlines looming, and recently passed controversial state teacher evaluation laws.

  • Through Committee, Bill to Create Office of Civil Justice Heads Toward Law

    MMV Levine and co

    Mark-Viverito, front, & Levine, behind her, are the lead sponsors (photo: William Alatriste)


    New York City is one step closer to having a new Office of Civil Justice. On Tuesday, the City Council's Committee on Courts and Legal Services unanimously passed a bill that would create the office, to be tasked with assessing, coordinating, and helping reform the civil legal services available to low-income New Yorkers. Among the most pressing concerns are ensuring legal representation for immigrants facing deportation

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 11

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to look for this week in New York politics:

    SKELOS WATCH: The fallout from Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos' arrest on federal corruption charges continues, with Skelos facing increased pressure to step down from his leadership post. The Legislature is back in session in Albany on Monday, it seems that it is only a matter of time before Skelos takes the path indicted Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver took after his arrest:

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