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Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio

  • In Albany, De Blasio and Democrats Push ‘Mansion Tax’

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    De Blasio in Albany (photo: Rachel Silberstein/Gotham Gazette)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio journeyed to Albany Wednesday to rally with Democratic legislators and activists for the extension of the “millionaires’ tax,” set to expire this year, as well as the “mansion tax,” a proposal the mayor has been pushing since 2015. De Blasio and his allies called for both to be part of the new state budget due by April 1.

    Citing the threats of deep federal budget cuts from President Donald Trump’s administration and a

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  • The East New York Rezoning, One Year Later

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    Council Member Espinal and Mayor de Blasio (photo: Jeffry W Reed)


    About a year ago, the City Council approved a comprehensive rezoning plan for East New York, the first of a dozen neighborhoods that the city targeted for new land use rules in an effort to develop more housing, including affordable housing, and improve community amenities. As with any rezoning, the plan approved in April 2016 was many months in the making and negotiated in close consultation with the local City Council member, in this case Rafael

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  • De Blasio and Aides Won't Face Charges in Dual Investigations

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    Mayor de Blasio (Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Federal and state prosecutors, who had for the last year been investigating the fundraising activities of Mayor Bill de Blasio and his associates, announced on Thursday that they would not be bringing any criminal charges in the two parallel investigations.

    The mayor and his aides had been the subject of two probes -- a federal investigation into allegations of quid pro quo in their fundraising for his 2013 campaign and

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  • De Blasio Attempts to Clarify Latest Media Insult

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    Mayor de Blasio speaks to the media (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio regularly expresses frustration with the ways New York media covers him and his administration. He believes that his accomplishments are not given enough ink and airtime, and that journalists focus too much on any sign of mistake or conflict, trivial matters, and the “personalities” as he feuds with Governor Andrew Cuomo and Comptroller Scott Stringer.

    De Blasio believes that reporters and editors do not reflect in their coverage what New Yorkers really

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  • Law Department Budget Hearing Focuses on De Blasio Administration Legal Defense

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    Mayor de Blasio & aides in a courtyard (photo: Mayor's Office on flickr)


    The investigations into Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration have cost the city $10.5 million in outside legal defense spending so far, and might cost millions more, said Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter at a City Council preliminary budget hearing on Monday.

    Carter, who heads the city’s Law Department, testified before the Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations that the state and federal investigations into the mayor

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  • With One-House Budgets Due, Key Points of Contention in Albany

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    Heastie, Cuomo, Flanagan (photo: Governor's Office/Kevin P. Coughlin)


    With a new state budget due by the end of the month, the Senate and Assembly are finalizing their one-house budget resolutions. The one-house statements of priorities in the Democrat-controlled Assembly and Republican-controlled Senate will be passed this week, and their passage signals the official start to the negotiations that will yield a state spending plan for the new fiscal year, which begins April 1.

    The one-house budgets are shaped, in part, by a

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  • Supreme Court Ruling May Help De Blasio Avoid Charges

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    Mayor de Blasio swears-in judges (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    In June 2016, the United States Supreme Court overturned the corruption conviction of former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell, ruling that his help to a constituent who gave him thousands of dollars in gifts did not break the law. The ruling, which examined the meaning of an “official act,” set a new precedent for corruption prosecutions

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  • The Hole in the Mayor's Money-Into-Pockets Defense

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


    Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent meeting with federal prosecutors signalled that the investigation into his fundraising for his 2013 campaign and his now-defunct nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York, are winding down. There’s no indication yet whether the mayor or any of his associates will face charges, and the mayor’s office has stated that de Blasio himself is not the target of the probe. The administration is confident that “at all times the Mayor and his staff

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  • Trump’s Victory, De Blasio’s State of the City

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    Mayor de Blasio at Trump Tower (photo: Gotham Gazette)


    Perhaps so as not to pour salt in the wound, Mayor Bill de Blasio took a few days to give his assessment of what went wrong for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. But, since he started to explain his take on how the Democrats blew it and the country wound up with Donald Trump as President, de Blasio has laid out in sharp terms what he believes should have been done differently.

    “I think the campaign became about the wrong thing,” de Blasio said during a February 10 taping of Pod Save

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  • Massey Pledge to Not Take Money from People with City Business Only Applies to Potential Reelection

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    Paul Massey (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    Mayoral candidate Paul Massey, a real estate executive running for the Republican nomination, has promised to not accept financial campaign contributions from people who do business with the city. But, that pledge does not apply to his current campaign, which has already received about two dozen donations from people with city business.

    While Massey has made the promise on the trail, when presented with Gotham Gazette’s analysis

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  • 'External Risks Threaten NYC Budget,’ State Comptroller Says

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    State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli (photo: @NYSComptroller)


    As City Council hearings on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s preliminary budget plan began Thursday morning at City Hall, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a new report on the city’s finances. “External risks threaten NYC budget,” the report blares, raising additional red flags to those already in the air courtesy of de Blasio’s own budget office, city Comptroller Scott Stringer, and others.

    DiNapoli’s report, “Review of the Financial Plan of the City of New York,” is part of his job

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  • Federal 'Wait and See' Dominates First City Budget Hearing

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    Council Finance Chair Ferreras-Copeland (two photos: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The City Council held its first hearing on Thursday to examine Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $84.7 billion preliminary budget for fiscal year 2018, starting the next phase in a months-long process to determine the city’s spending priorities amid broad uncertainty about its fiscal future.

    Roughly $7 billion in federal funding to the city is threatened by the proposed policies of the Trump administration and the Republican Congress in

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  • The Risks of De Blasio’s Interview with Federal Prosecutors

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    Mayor de Blasio gives his State of the City speech (photo: The Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio met with federal prosecutors on Friday, the latest step in the ongoing investigations into the mayor and his associates. In the face of multiple probes, the mayor maintains that he and his government and campaign teams acted appropriately; that no government action was promised or given for donations; and that everything done was within the bounds of local, state, and federal laws.

    We’ll soon see if

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  • Several Points of Funding Contention for City Budget Negotiation

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    Mayor de Blasio presents his budget (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The city’s annual budget season kicked off on January 25 with the release of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $84.7 billion preliminary budget for fiscal year 2018, which begins July 1. Starting Thursday, the City Council will hold weeks of hearings to examine the financial plan,

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  • De Blasio Faces Local Questions About ‘Mansion Tax’ Plan

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayor's Office)


    A report released by the city Independent Budget Office has raised questions about the potential effects of the so-called “mansion tax,” a proposed part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing strategy that would levy a 2.5 percent surcharge on the sale price over a threshold of $2 million for residential properties.

    De Blasio put forward a version of the mansion tax proposal, which requires approval by the State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo, in mid-2015. It failed

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  • Broken Windows Policing Will Fuel the Trump Deportation Machine

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    City Council Member Rory Lancman, the author (photo: @RoryLancman)


    We’re now more than 30 days into Donald Trump’s presidency, and it is already crystal clear that the hostile and offensive rhetoric he used toward immigrants on the campaign trail will be put into practice by his administration.

    It was just this week that Trump’s Department of Homeland Security issued ...

  • Focused on De Blasio Investigations, Massey Makes City Hall Campaign Debut

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    Paul Massey (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey took his campaign to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s home turf Tuesday, hosting a news conference at the steps of City Hall to criticize the mayor’s record and the ongoing legal investigations into de Blasio’s campaign and government behavior.

    Massey, a millionaire real estate executive, has centered his early campaign on attacking de Blasio as corrupt and incompetent. In what was his first official news conference as a mayoral candidate, Massey was short on policy

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  • Little Progress on Utica Avenue Subway Expansion

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    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

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  • Jobs of the Future Come From The Right Education

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


    In his State of the City speech last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke of the need to create 100,000 good jobs for New Yorkers in the coming decade. He defined “good jobs” as those which pay more than $50,000 a year and talked about encouraging various sectors of the economy, like technology, that have average salaries that pay even more. To his credit, the mayor talked about creating good jobs that don’t necessarily require a college degree, like construction, but he also recognized the

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  • Comptroller Criticizes Mayor for 'Out Of Control' Homelessness Spending, Limited Agency Savings

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    Comptroller Scott Stringer presents his budget analysis (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    Comptroller Scott Stringer blasted aspects of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s preliminary budget for fiscal year 2018 on Wednesday, taking issue with the mayor’s homelessness strategy and what Stringer described as a dearth of savings for city agencies.

    Speaking to reporters at his offices on 1 Center Street, the comptroller said the city’s economy continues to be strong but warned of the challenges from an economic slowdown after years of sustained growth, the effects of which

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  • De Blasio Focuses on Affordability Crisis in State of the City Speech

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    Mayor de Blasio delivers State of the City speech (Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    At his fourth State of the City speech on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared an ambitious agenda to create thousands of jobs while continuing to expand affordable housing for the city’s most vulnerable residents.

    Speaking at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem, de Blasio acknowledged in blunt terms that New York City is facing an affordability crisis that has been years in the making, resulting from rising rents and relatively stagnant incomes. “This affordability

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  • The Time Is Now to Increase City Human Services Contracts

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    Urban Pathways members rally outside City Hall (photo via Urban Pathways)


    In May 2015, my fellow Urban Pathways Board Member Gary Belsky rightfully recognized Mayor Bill de Blasio’s fiscal year 2016 budget investment in the human services nonprofit workforce. The investment -- a 2.5 percent cost of living adjustment and an $11.50-per-hour wage floor, coupled with a subsequent City-funded

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  • Attorney General Unveils Sweeping Voting Reform Package

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    Attorney General Schneiderman with voting reform advocates outside Federal Hall (photo: @AGSchneiderman)


    New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman unveiled an extensive voting reform package Wednesday that aims to streamline New York’s voter registration system, boost voter participation and increase voter turnout.

    Standing with elected officials, good government groups, union members, and voting reform advocates outside Federal Hall in Manhattan, Schneiderman released the legislation, called the ...

  • 8 Key Takeaways from Cuomo's Budget & De Blasio's Response

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    De Blasio in Albany (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo released his $152.3 billion Executive Budget plan on January 17, with funding and policy proposals that stand to have significant impact on New York City. The governor’s budget is a starting point for legislative hearings and negotiations, with a fiscal year 2018 budget due by the April 1 start of the next state fiscal year.

    After he and his team had some time to analyze the governor’s new spending plan and policy proposals, Mayor Bill de Blasio drove to Albany

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  • In Albany, De Blasio Evaluates Cuomo’s Budget, Faces Legislators’ Questions

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    Mayor de Blasio in Albany (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor’s Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio visited Albany Monday for his annual budget testimony in front of the joint budget committee of the state Senate and Assembly. In opening remarks, de Blasio touted some of his accomplishments and gave his on-the-record response to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recently-released executive budget plan in terms of what it means for New York City and his own agenda. The mayor then fielded hours of questions from state legislators that often veered far from strict

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