Gotham Gazette

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Citizens Union

Devin Balkind

Devin Balkind

  • A More Transparent City, with A Page for Every Capital Project

    capital project dbalkin

    Construction in Corona Plaza (photo via DOT)

    Few things impact the lives of New Yorkers more than the city’s “capital projects.” These projects create, maintain, and improve the infrastructure New Yorkers use every day, including: streets, bridges, tunnels, sewers, parks, and so much more. In 2018, the capital budget will be $16.2 billion, approximately 17% the size of the city’s $85.2 billion “expense budget.” What are these projects? How can you find out about them? It’s not easy, but it should be.

    The Capital Budgeting process is a complex endeavour. The City

  • Disaster Preparedness Requires a 211 System; New York City Still Doesn’t Have One

    Sandy devastation

    After Sandy (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)

    Over the last few weeks, New Yorkers have watched with great anxiety as Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, among many other places, were pummeled by massive hurricanes. Whenever we see storm destruction, memories of Sandy re-enter our consciousness; as does the question: Is New York City significantly better prepared for the next big one? My answer is “No.”

    As a technology professional in disaster management, I’m constantly on the lookout for better ways to use software tools and information