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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union

The Eye-Opener

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A coalition of elected officials, advocates, and nonprofit leaders have created a plan for the next mayor to end hunger by 2018. The main thrust consists of executive actions the mayor could take, while the rest is rounded out by recommendations for federal, state, and local legislators. It would "make food jobs a central component of the city’s job creation strategy" and "grow, process, and manufacture more food right here in NYC." Other goals would be to push for higher wages, streamline food assistance benefits, and to mandate universal school lunches. The plan would create jobs, aid workers, bolster businesses, and protect the environment, its authors say.
Tagged in: hunger poverty

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued its final Hurricane Sandy service assessment yesterday. The report found that The National Weather Service offered valuable services during the storm but found room for improvement. The most prominent area that needed improvement according to NOAA was communicating the impact of storm surges to residents. (read the full report)

Recent Reports
Sewage Overflows Caused By SandyGaps In Financial Services For Low Income Immigrant HouseholdsBenefits Of Extending Tuition Benefits To Undocumented ImmigrantsGrowing Gotham:A Survey of NYC's Minority and Women Owned Businesses 88 Percent Of Parks Score A Or B: Good News? more recent reports.

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Superstorm Sandy caused 11 billion gallons of partially or untreated sewage - the equivalent of Central Park stacked 41 feet high - to leak into rivers, lakes, and waterways, according to this report by Climate Central. New York City reported six sewage spills larger than 100,000,000 gallons, and 28 larger than 1 million gallons. New York authorities estimate it will cost nearly $2 billion to repair flood damaged sewage treatment facilities. Sewage overflow is common in the city, although not on this scale, and climate change will only make things worse, the group warns:

"Climate change is making sewage treatment plants more vulnerable to major failures and overflows due to rising seas, more intense coastal storms, and increasingly heavy precipitation events."

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More than half of Mexican - and over a third of Ecuadorean - immigrants in NYC do not have a bank account, according to this study by the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs. But 80 percent of immigrant survey participants who make less than $300 a week report having savings. To address these gaps, the city plans to offer specially designed direct deposit bank accounts and free, one-on-one financial counseling, along with low-cost tax preparation.

Tagged in: economy immigrants

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A new report says the successes of market-oriented approaches to education reform in New York City, Chicago and Washington D.C., have been overinflated by their supporters. The report by the Broader Bolder Approach to Education campaign reviewed data to examine the assertions by reformers in those cities that expanding the number of charter schools and closing failing schools will increase student achievement and decrease gaps to education attainment based on race and income. The conclusion: "The reforms deliver few benefits and in some cases harm the students they purport to help." The 15-page executive summary has been released and can be read below. The full report is due on April 18. 

Market-oriented education reforms’ rhetoric trumps reality