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Gotham Gazette

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Stephen Levin

Stephen Levin

  • De Blasio's Record on Poverty and Inequality

    de Blasio equality shaking hands crowd

    Mayor de Blasio at an announcement (photo: Ed Reed/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.

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  • City Council Tenant Advocate Bill Met with Resistance

    Councilmember Helen Rosenthal

    Council Member Helen Rosenthal (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    The City Council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings on Wednesday heard more than a dozen bills that would enhance tenant protections and combat abuses by landlords. Among those proposals was one that would create a new ombudsman within the Department of Buildings whose responsibility would be to prioritize the welfare of tenants when property owners and builders apply for construction permits.

    The bill, ...

  • 10 Key Data Points from Social Services Budget Hearing

    Corey Johnson hearing

    City Council Member Corey Johnson (photo: William Alatriste)


    The City Council General Welfare Committee conducted a budget hearing Monday to evaluate the programs, expenditures, and needs of the Human Resource Administration (HRA) and Department of Homeless Services (DHS). Steven Banks, Commissioner of the Department of Social Services (DSS), which oversees both HRA and DHS, provided testimony for the two agencies before taking questions from concerned Council members.

    Though HRA provides a wide variety of services -- including job training

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  • Fair Share: Design Flaws, Flashpoints & Possible Updates

    garbage trucks

    Trucks (photo: Sofie Hecht/Gotham Gazette)


    This is part two of a two-part series on the city’s Fair Share rules. Read part one: City May Soon Have More Formal ‘Fair Share’ Discussion

    Fair Share Flawed from the Beginning, Some Say
    Ronald Shiffman, now professor emeritus at the Pratt Institute and co-founder of Pratt’s Center for Community Development, was appointed to the newly-expanded City Planning Commission in

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  • Nearly Six Years After Landmark Street Harassment Hearing, No Measurable Progress

    street harassment mural1

    Anti-street harassment mural in Bed-Stuy, led by Groundswell


    Street harassment is a pervasive and public form of sexual harassment that most women face at some point in their lives. Overwhelmingly, it is experienced for the first time ...

  • Report Propels Debate Over City's Welfare Reforms

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    CM Levin, left, & HRA Commissioner Banks (photo: William Alatriste)


    A new report on the city's reengineered public assistance system concluded, among other findings, that it's too soon to tell whether the wide-ranging reforms put in place by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Human Resources Administration Commissioner Steven Banks are working. The updated analysis from the city's Independent Budget Office (IBO) not only leaves unanswered whether the Banks/de Blasio reforms are working, but how exactly to judge a system now geared towards long-term change rather than short-term

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  • Council to Assess Hunger Problem, City Efforts to Reduce It

    de blasio food thanksgiving

    Mayor de Blasio serving food (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The City Council’s Committee on General Welfare will hold an oversight hearing on hunger in New York City on Wednesday morning at City Hall.

    Council Member Stephen Levin, the chair of the general welfare committee, told Gotham Gazette he and his colleagues want to get a broad assessment of hunger in the city, as well as specifics related to de Blasio administration efforts to mitigate the problem, which is the

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