Quantcast

Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union
Loading

Jumaane D. Williams

Jumaane D. Williams

  • City Council Speaker Candidates Address Power, Reform and Transparency

    city spe canidates

    the City Council Speaker candidates at a prior forum (photo: William Alatriste)


    Seven of the eight candidates vying to become the next Speaker of the New York City Council convened at New York Law School on Monday night for a forum focused on government reform, running the Council, transparency, ethics, voting, and elections.

    The candidates made their cases for their leadership prowess, and discussed extending term limits for Council members, greater transparency around lobbying, key questions about campaign finance reform in the city, and

    ...
  • City Council Evaluates Progress of NYPD Inspector General

    Mark Peters DOI City Council

    DOI Commissioner Mark Peters (photo: William Alatriste)


    Four years ago, over the veto of then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the City Council passed the Community Safety Act, a landmark piece of legislation relating to policing in New York City. One of the law’s most prominent planks was the creation of the NYPD Inspector General, an independent police department watchdog that would audit NYPD practices and operations and make recommendations on improvements.

    With the nation on edge over widely disseminated videos of black men

    ...
  • The Right to Know Act and the City Council Speaker Race

    jumaane williams rtkar

    Jumaane Williams at a Right to Know Act rally (Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    In less than two months, the current class of the New York City Council ends its term, and eight incumbents who won reelection on Tuesday are running to lead the 51-member legislative body as its next speaker. It is an internal race influenced by county party affiliates, labor unions, Mayor Bill de Blasio, himself newly reelected, and others.

    As the clock ticks on this term and the speakership of Melissa Mark-Viverito, a de Blasio ally who is

    ...
  • De Blasio’s Record on Ethics and Transparency

    Mayor de Blasio City Hall

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    This article is part of a series on Mayor de Blasio's first term record as he seeks reelection this fall, in partnership with WNYC radio and City Limits. Find all pieces of the series here.

    ...
  • Key to Affordable Housing Development, Vacant Lots Remain Source of Controversy

    vacant lot


    On 43rd Street in Far Rockaway, Queens, sit five adjacent, vacant lots. Cordoned off by a chained-link, gray metal fence, the lots—owned by the city’s Department of Housing and Preservation (HPD)—are covered in weeds and garbage. They are “eyesores for the community,” said Alexis Smallwood, a local community organizer, in an interview with Gotham Gazette. “Vacant lots should be used for community spaces or real affordable housing.”

    These five lots are examples of the hundreds the Department of Housing and Preservation (HPD) could utilize for affordable housing. Since issuing an audit and fuller report in early

    ...
  • As Deaths Mount, Scrutiny of NYPD Response to ‘Emotionally Disturbed Persons’

    NYPD de Blasio

    Mayor de Blasio & law enforcement officials (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayor’s Office)


    At a recent hearing, New York City Council members discussed the effectiveness of NYPD responses to “emotionally disturbed person” (EDP) calls, the slow pace of implementation for new NYPD crisis intervention training, and the tragic outcomes of several recent interactions between NYPD officers and emotionally disturbed individuals.

    At the hearing, held Sept. 6 jointly by the Council’s Committee on Public Safety and Committee on Mental Health, Developmental

    ...
  • Oversight Bill Moves Ahead, with Police Union Opposition But De Blasio Support

    de Blasio Jumaane Williams NYPD

    Mayor de Blasio & Council Member Williams (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    A police oversight bill sponsored by City Council Member Jumaane Williams unanimously sailed through the Council’s Committee on Oversight and Investigations on Tuesday, and is all but certain to be voted through the full City Council on Thursday. The legislation, which increases reporting requirements about and efforts to mitigate police misconduct, has the support of the de Blasio administration, but is being opposed and criticized by the city’s largest police

    ...
  • Police Misconduct Bill Set to Move Through City Council

    jumaane williams pthny

    Council Member Jumaane Williams (photo: @pthny)


    After a lengthy legislative process, a bill regarding police misconduct is likely to move through the City Council this week, beginning with a Tuesday committee vote.

    The legislation (Intro. 119), introduced in 2014 by City Council Member Jumaane Williams, a Brooklyn Democrat, would require the city’s Law Department to post online, and to

    ...
  • Council Speaker Contenders Spread the Wealth to Colleagues

    15418071831 7ded33d9b6 z

    Speaker Mark-Viverito (center) and Council Member Johnson (r) (photo: William Alatriste/New York City Council)


    A number of City Council Members who are jockeying to replace Melissa Mark-Viverito as the next Speaker of the City Council seem to be stepping up efforts to curry favor with their colleagues and other elected officials through strategic campaign donations.

    The latest campaign

    ...
  • Illegal Conversions Crackdown Could Worsen City’s Housing Crisis

     hum listings

    (photo: Tarry Hum)


    The New York City Council recently passed an “Aggravated Illegal Conversions” bill by a 49-0 vote. The legislation -- sponsored by City Council Members Gentile, Williams, and Grodenchik, and Brooklyn Borough President Adams, and signed into law by Mayor de Blasio -- significantly increases the civil penalties for owners who illegally subdivide their residential property to create

    ...
  • Cuomo’s ‘Progressive’ Budget Misses the Mark

    Jumaane Williams City Council

    Council Member Jumaane Williams, the author (photo: William Alatriste)


    Governor’s budget epitomizes the need to define what "progressive" means

    The new state budget, like almost all budgets, has some beneficial things that should be celebrated. However, to call this budget “progressive” clearly means that in this era of Trump, the term is being stretched to the point of possibly having no meaning at all. And frankly, we should also examine what it means to be part of the "resistance."

    The main

    ...
  • Little Progress on Utica Avenue Subway Expansion

    Subway stop

    The new Second Avenue Subway (photo: Patrick Cashin/MTA)


    Two years ago, Mayor Bill de Blasio released a comprehensive plan for the city that included funding to study the expansion of a subway line on Utica Avenue, Brooklyn, one of the most crowded transit corridors in the city. The plan roused speculation among transit advocates and elected officials that funding for the much-needed subway line might eventually be in the pipeline, but with little movement on the study, some are beginning to doubt whether officials are truly

    ...
  • Bill de Blasio’s Police Accountability Problem

    de blasio nypd headquarters

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign account recently posted a Twitter message touting the NYPD’s neighborhood policing initiative. “New York City is proving to the rest of the country that respectful, compassionate neighborhood policing drives down crime & makes us safer,” the tweet from @BilldeBlasio read.

    In a response symbolic of a problem de Blasio is facing as he heads into his re-election year, Lumumba

    ...
  • Council Member Williams Forecasts End of Pledge Protest

    williams seated peace

    Council Member Williams (photo: William Alatriste)


    City Council Member Jumaane Williams, whose sit-down protest during the pledge of allegiance at the Council’s stated meetings has created waves and elicited both support and criticism, said on Wednesday that he plans to again stand once Mayor de Blasio commits to an agenda for jobs for city youth.

    On the sidelines

    ...
  • Working with The Next Police Commissioner

    williams king deblasio

    City Council Member Jumaane Williams, the author (photo: Jeff Reed)


    Given where we are in the policing discussion in this city and country, and the acknowledgement of how deeply systemic the problems lie, focusing on the departure or hiring of any one Commissioner has always simplified a complex problem. I have never known a time when people were not calling for the removal of an NYPD Commissioner as the solution to policing issues in our city.

    It was right for many of us to express concerns when Commissioner Bill Bratton was chosen,

    ...
  • Change of Commissioner Spotlights De Blasio’s Record on Police Reform

    de blasio nypd tucker bratton oneil et al

    photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office


    Many believe that the biggest responsibility of the Mayor of New York City is to keep people safe and Bill de Blasio has largely done that, in no small part by letting his lightning-rod police commissioner, Bill Bratton, call the shots on public safety policy. The mayor has focused on pre-kindergarten and affordable housing while Bratton has governed the streets, helping bring crime down to historic lows. At the same time, Bratton has led an evolution of sorts

    ...
  • Could CUNY Be Tuition-Free Again?

    hunter college graduation

    (photo via Hunter College)


    Members of the New York City Council want the City University of New York (CUNY) to return to providing a virtually tuition-free college education to local students, but major issues stand in the way.

    For years, students, teachers, elected officials and education activists have led an on-and-off crusade to reduce tuition at CUNY and reinvest in higher education. CUNY was free for qualifying city students from its inception in 1847 until 1976, when a city fiscal crisis led to change. Recently, these efforts were

    ...
  • Without Key Stakeholders, Administration Supports Council Police Misconduct Bill

    jumaane williams

    Council Member Jumaane Williams (photo: William Alatriste)


    The City Council’s Committee on Oversight and Investigations heard a bill on Tuesday, sponsored by Council Member Jumaane Williams, which would require centralized reporting of data on police misconduct from multiple agencies to identify systemic problems and help create an early intervention system for the NYPD. To the disappointment of Williams and others, though, key stakeholders to be affected by the bill and instrumental in implementing it if it becomes law, were not

    ...
  • Council to Hear One of Two Police Accountability Bills

    NYPD training

    photo via @NYPDNews


    NOTE: this article was originally published June 7, but the hearing discussed was postponed to June 28; it has been edited to refllect the new date and other recent news

    Following on the heels of passing the Criminal Justice Reform Act, which diverts the prosecution of a number of low-level nonviolent offenses to civil rather than criminal avenues, the City Council will hear a bill on Tuesday that also addresses criminal justice reform, but this time by targeting bad actors within

    ...
  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, November 9-13

    week in review bus readers

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


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday November 13

    PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: NYPD Commissioner Bratton addresses the media after a shooting Monday morning near Penn Station, via @NYPD1Pct; City Council Members-elect Barry

    ...
  • Participatory Budgeting Grows in NYC - Why Isn’t Every Council Member Doing It?

    PB NYC East Harlem

    PB voting in East Harlem, photo via PB NYC


    In four years participatory budgeting has exploded from four to 27 New York City Council districts. With over 51,000 voters casting ballots last cycle to allocate a total of $32 million dollars to projects across the city, New York‘s experiment in direct democracy has quickly become the largest of its kind in North America.

    "This is the biggest year of participatory budgeting yet, with 27 Council members asking their constituents to

    ...
  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, August 10-14

    week in review bus readers

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


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday August 14

    PHOTO OF THE WEEK:a Brooklyn street was officially renamed "Do The Right Thing Way," after the iconic Spike Lee movie, via Council Member Jumaane

    ...
  • In Changing District, Cumbo Continues Culture Crusade

    cumbo alatriste

    Council Member Laurie Cumbo (photo: William Alatriste)


    In one of Brooklyn's most rapidly changing districts, where brownstones sell for millions of dollars around the corner from deteriorating public housing complexes, Council Member Laurie Cumbo believes that arts and culture can be a unifying factor.

    "The whole purpose of humanity is to create culture and to advance culture. So it can't be separated from all of the other priorities," Cumbo said during an interview in her legislative office. "If you're not

    ...